Sep 15, 2020 11:00 PM

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The 2020-2021 Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) season is going to look a bit different this year, especially for USPA intercollegiate programs. Due to COVID-19 several programs were forced to shut down at the end of the spring season. Even though many schools are back in session, some colleges and universities aren’t allowing club sports or organizations to be active, bringing some teams’ fall polo plans to a screeching halt. Although college programs are eligible to receive assistance through the USPA COVID-19 Equine Welfare Relief Program (ERP), without polo being played, some clubs are not receiving student dues to support their programs. The USPA has been very impressed by some clever fundraising ideas, so please take a peek at this week’s I/I Team Spotlight and consider supporting their fundraiser!

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ABOUT THE MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY POLO CLUB: The Michigan State University (MSU) Polo Club was founded in 1999 by five members, foot mallets and a wooden horse. Today, the club has grown to over 30 members and 11 horses. The Michigan State Polo Club is entirely student run and receives no university funding, so all costs associated with the ponies and polo are paid by members. The Michigan State Polo Club is the only MSU club that owns their horses, which have all been generously donated. Recently, the women’s varsity team won the 2020 Southeastern Regional Women’s Intercollegiate Preliminary Tournament, and most of the club’s members go on to play polo outside of intercollegiate competitition.

PONY PEN PAL FUNDRAISER: The MSU Polo Pals program pairs grade school students with one of the club ponies for monthly letters, similar to a pen pal. Letters are personalized to meet each child's age, either straight from the horse's mouth for the younger members, or from a member's point of view describing “your” pony’s most recent activities. Membership is $20 per pony/per semester. This includes at least one letter a month from your pony, and pictures too. The children are encouraged to write back to their pony and ask questions, so they can learn about the sport of polo as well as the horses involved in it. Payment is accepted by venmo @msupoloclub, or contact Stesha Payne at 740-463-3511 for more payment options.