Mar 09, 2021 7:10 PM

Jeff Hall returns to the GAUNTLET OF POLO® with Texas 2-Step leading his string.
La Indiana's Jeff Hall returns to the GAUNTLET OF POLO® with Texas 2-Step leading his string.

As the only homebred in Jeff Hall’s string, Texas 2-Step (Cochise x Miss Texas) is an American born and bred mare of sentimental value, the daughter of two longtime horses favored by the 6-goaler. Taller than your average polo pony, the 12-year-old chestnut is built like her mother, in recent years also exhibiting the round white spots on her coat characteristic of her sire. Frequenting the high-goal fields of Florida and Southern California over the last eight years, Texas 2-Step is instantly recognizable blazing down the field at top speed, head held low to the ground. Named by Hall’s father after the popular country western dance of their state, Texas 2-Step has earned her owner’s trust with faithfulness and consistency.

Although Hall initially sold Texas 2-Step as a young horse, the pair reunited just a year later when he bought her back from Zacara Polo team. Prized for her undeniable speed, powerful bump and quiet demeanor, Texas 2-Step is the solid teammate Hall can depend on to take him to the right position on the field. Coming off a win in the 2020 USPA Gold Cup® before the start of the 2021 season, Hall hopes to win back-to-back trophies with La Indiana in the GAUNTLET OF POLO®.

Texas 2-Step is a homebred by Cochise (Moments Hope) and out of Miss Texas, both horses Jeff Hall played for many years.
Texas 2-Step helps Hall propel the ball forward in the 2017 Iglehart Cup.

What can you tell us about her sire and dam?

“Texas 2-Step is a homebred by Cochise (Moments Hope) and out of Miss Texas, both horses that I played for many years. I purchased Cochise in a horse auction in Wellington, Florida, 15 years ago and I still have him. My father bought Miss Texas in a group of horses from Grant Gollier and he gave her to me to play. Miss Texas was a bigger mare and one of my best horses in the earlier part of my career. I played her in many tournaments, including the year I won the U.S. Open Polo Championship® in 2003, until she had an injury that sidelined her when she was 14 years old. I decided to breed her and Texas 2-Step was her first baby through embryo transfer.”

“She’s never missed a game or a season. She’s a solid horse and she hasn’t lost any power since I first started playing her.”  – Jeff Hall

How did Texas 2-Step return to your string?

“I sold Texas 2-Step as a three-year-old to Zacara Polo team, but soon after that they decided to get out of polo so I brought her back. She was only with them for a year, but they played her in some light practice games.”

Was there a moment when you knew she would be one of the best in your string?

“Texas 2-Step was always a good horse, even when I sold her. When I got her back I bought back four horses and she was definitely the one right off the bat that stood out. She was a little bit of a handful for Zacara when she was younger, but she really came into her own as soon as I got her back. I knew right away she was good and she's my style of horse, very powerful, very quick and low to the ground. She's so fast that when you get going at those high speeds it takes a second for her to come back, but she's got a very good mouth and she has a very strong bump.”

What are her greatest strengths on the field?

“She has a lot of speed and she’s really comfortable to run with the ball because she runs very low to the ground. I use a 53-inch mallet on her and you can almost run with the ball sitting in the saddle. Once you get possession and you’re on a breakaway nobody is going to catch you or stop you. She has the power to get away from opponents and the power to go around defenders.”

Texas 2-Step headshot

“She’s a very quiet mare, super sweet and very easygoing. She's an angel in the barn and easy to trailer.”  – Jeff Hall

Which chukkers do you typically play her?

“I usually will keep her as a spare in the first couple of chukkers and then bring her back in the second half. I play her twice because she’s a quiet mare. Some horses get really anxious and they wear themselves out standing on the sidelines, but she doesn't so I can play her for two minutes as a spare and then play four or five minutes later in the game.

She's good on the line and she's great to start on too. I like to play her in the beginning sometimes because that's usually when the fields are the cleanest. You can really use that power of hers and go around people and use the space when the ball is rolling nicely.”

Texas 2-Step will play in all three tournaments of the GAUNTLET OF POLO® for Jeff Hall and La Indiana.
Jeff Hall and Texas 2-Step out in front with Pilot's Facundo Pieres in pursuit.

What distinguishes her from the other horses in your string?

“She's really reliable and I won’t be outrun on her, she's very fast. When you get into games where you really need all those qualities, she has everything - the speed, the handle and the mouth. For me Texas 2-Step is always a go-to horse and she's always better the second time I bring her out in a game. When you need to bring a horse back and the game's tight, as a player you always go to one specific horse. She gives me the confidence that I can get everything done that I need to on the field.”

What are your plans for Texas 2-Step after the Florida season concludes?

“She is going to play all three tournaments of the GAUNTLET OF POLO® and then she’ll get turned out before heading to California to play the season at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club [Carpinteria, California]. Hopefully I'll get three or four more playing years out of her and then after that I'll breed her for sure. Right now Cochise is 20 years old so if he is no longer around I will have to find another stallion in the future.”

After the season, Texas 2-Step will play the season at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.
Hall prepares to hit the ball during the 2018 America Cup at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.

What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to showcase a homebred?

“Texas 2-Step means a lot to me because she’s a homebred and since I played her mother it’s kind of special to now play her daughter. It's always fun to play a horse that you've played both the parents and see the different attributes they got from their dam and sire. It’s almost like having a little child because for example you can see the eyes of the mother, but you can see both the looks and watch the way they perform.”

All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.