Feb 02, 2021 6:15 PM
As the winter season continues at Eldorado Polo Club (Indio, California), the cooler months have created the perfect temperature for a great polo environment. With the first tournaments of the season under way, Bush League (Ryan Robertson, Ryan Kerley, Jimmy Wright*, Ulysses Escapite) recently claimed their second win of the year in the 2021 Mack & Madelyn Jason Memorial. CLICKPOLOUSA spoke with Ulysses Escapite, who is Bush League’s professional player.
“We are very fortunate to be having a polo season during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Escapite said. “The Eldorado Polo Club has been very diligent in keeping everyone safe and preventing outbreaks. I feel very fortunate to be playing here because the club has great fields and facilities to keep horses fit and sound.”
Escapite has been playing at Eldorado for the last five years, working as a professional player and manager for Bush League. "Bush League consists of two business partners, Virgil Kyle and Ryan Robertson, who are both very committed to the sport,” Escapite commented. “When I started working for them they had 17 horses and now they own more than 30 and are looking to add to their breeding program. This year Virgil’s son Quinn was ready to play in the 8 goal so they decided to put two teams in the 8 goal.”
Although the Escapite brothers do not belong to a traditional polo family, Ulysses and Pelón have established themselves as consistent players in the American polo scene. Their father played polo for about five years as an adult, but Ulysses started when he was nine-years-old.
A native of El Paso, Texas, Ulysses Escapite represented Mexico at the Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Polo Championship played in France. He also played for the United States in the Super Nations Cup in China in 2013, and among his major achievements are C.V. Whitney Cup® runner up in 2007 and reaching the U.S. Open Polo Championship® Semifinal with White Birch the same year.
“2020 has brought a lot of new challenges, both personally and professionally,” Ulysses Escapite revealed. “I broke my hand in a game and had to deal with rehab and the struggles of not being able to be out there on the field with my teammates. Also, my wife and I had our third child and first daughter, Eiza. My expectations for this year are to be successful in making Ryan [Virgil] and Quinn better riders and players. Also, to keep the young horses developing and getting them ready to play.”
After their first couple wins of the season, Ulysses hopes his team can keep the momentum going in the tournaments ahead. “Right now we are playing in the 8-goal league, but there are also 12-goal tournaments beginning in February and some money tournaments for March. It has been very competitive with 10 teams in the first tournament and 12 in the following tournament.”
*Jimmy Wright is a Team USPA alumni. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing men-tored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
Effective Date: Saturday, May 16, 2020
The suspension of USPA Tournaments and Events will be lifted for USPA Member Clubs in locales where hosting polo matches and tournaments is permitted under applicable state and local laws, executive orders and similar decrees. The USPA Member Clubs in these locales are encouraged to follow all such requirements of their state and local authorities with respect to polo operations. In addition, we also encourage all USPA Member Clubs to take the precautions recommended by the CDC. We are preparing a detailed list of best practices for USPA Member Clubs as they return to hosting USPA Tournaments and Events and plan to circulate these guidelines within the next week. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will notify you if we determine a different course of action is necessary.Read More