Jun 24, 2016 5:20 PM

sioux falls polo

USPA Clinician Robert Lyn-Kee-Chow travelled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a weekend full of polo. An Introduction to Polo Clinic for new members and a more intensive clinic for playing members was held. The Sioux Falls players were joined by members from St. Croix Polo Club, who travelled in from Woodville, Wisconsin, for the clinic and coaching chukkers to tune up for the summer season.

Beginning on Saturday with the Intro Clinic, Robert walked everyone through the basics of how to hold a mallet and simple shots before getting them on horseback for some fun riding for polo drills. After giving everyone a crash course in polo, Robert explained the rules for a slow mock chukker to get all of the new polo enthusiasts involved.

After working with the beginner participants, Robert moved on to the playing members. He offered drills catered to the needs of the members, beginning with riding and hitting drills help them improve their base this season. He then ended the session with some strategy drills which included turning for back-shots and creating team plays. Finally, it was time for the coaching chukkers with the advanced and intermediate players. Robert served as an umpire and took the time to explain plays and how to improve them, creating more open polo for everyone.

sioux falls polo

At the end of the day, Robert offered a chalk-talk for everyone over a BBQ dinner. During the chalk-talk he continued to emphasize the plays he had highlighted in coaching chukkers, spoke about positioning on set plays, and answered questions about the rules. Rebecca Barker-Brandt, was beyond impressed with Robert at the end of the day, “he never stopped” she said “it was the hottest day we have had all year and he put 100% into everything! And then he woke up the next day and did it all again! Robert was outstanding and did a phenomenal job, and we hope he can come back soon.”

Robert’s efforts were appreciated all around, especially his energy and enthusiasm to teach everyone. He was thrilled at the end of the clinic exclaming, “This is the largest clinic I have done to date, everyone was very enthusiastic and had fun. The interest in the area seems to be on the upswing and hope it continues. Rebecca has done a great job trying to get new members! There is potential in the community as the economy is very vibrant.” This is the second trip Robert has made to Sioux Falls and the growth over the past two years has been tremendous. After the clinic, three new people had already signed up for lessons.

sioux falls polo

One of the intro clinic participants who signed up was Heather Benson, who works with the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP). She was first exposed to polo last fall in Lexington, Kentucky, and found, “the polo group stood as not only having the most fun, but being the most inclusive and some of the best horsemen and women at the event. Down-to-earth, full of good cheer and truly outstanding riders, they were the kind of people I knew I would enjoy riding with!” Based off her first experience with polo Heather recruited some friends for the Sioux Falls clinic to give polo a try. Upon arrival, she found her previous experiences repeated, “I had so much fun that I could hardly make myself dismount. I don't think I have grinned ear to ear that much since I got my first pony has a child. It is fairly safe to say that I am likely hooked for life . . . the USPA can expect my membership form in the very near future!" Heather has already signed up as a new USPA member.

Congratulations to Sioux Falls for their hard work on this clinic. If you would like more information on the USPA Free Clinic Program please contact Liz Holson



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