May 31, 2016 4:21 PM

uspa instructor skilz franklin polo

Six polo instructors gathered May 24-25 in Franklin, Tennessee, at the Franklin Polo Academy to take the first step towards becoming USPA Certified Polo Instructors. The Franklin Polo Academy is a new USPA club, launched in 2016, by two professional polo players with a mission to grow the sport of polo. James Armstrong and Stevie Orthwein, both successful polo players, are offering lessons to beginners and amateurs at the new Tractor Supply Co. Arena. Stevie and James, along with Guy Gengras, Tommy Barrett, Elise Markell, and Sammie Uys will be working toward CPI Certification in addition to their already impressive list of accomplishments in such a short time.

uspa instructor skilz franklin polo

The two day clinic was taught by Certifier Robin Sanchez who grew up under some of the best coaches and instructors of the game including Corky Linfoot, Ronnie Tongg, Graham Thomas and Rege Ludwig. Robin has managed and taught lessons at several polo clubs, has given polo clinics and run polo camps around the country, and coached several I/I teams. She also spent many years as a Field Director for the Polo Training Foundation. The CPI clinic focused predominately on safety and how to teach polo lessons. Robin took the participants through interactive riding drills that help to teach polo to a wide variety of skill levels. Mock polo lessons were taught by the participants while Robin gave pointers on how to improve their instruction skills. According to Director of Polo Operations & Instructor James Armstrong “Robin kept us on our toes," referring to the emphasis on safety aspects throughout the clinic.

uspa instructor skilz franklin polo

According to Assistant Polo Manager and Instructor, Sammie Uys, “The riding drills were the most helpful. Sometimes it is hard to come up with new and interesting ways to teach polo. Robin was able to show us fun riding drills that teach a person how to really ride well.” Sammie also commented on another part of the clinic, "Robin showed us that there are many different ways people learn. Some through seeing, others from doing or hearing. It was really helpful to go in depth on that subject as an instructor.”

Franklin Polo Academy has hit the ground running having opened their doors just a couple of months ago. They are well on their way to becoming a great arena polo school with certified instructors. For more information on the Franklin Polo Academy, visit their website or follow them on Facebook.

uspa instructor skilz franklin polo

The Instructor Skilz Clinics provide polo instructors with the knowledge needed to prepare for their Certification Field Test. To learn more about becoming a Certified Polo Instructor, visit the PoloSkilz website or contact Jess Downey, CPI Coordinator at