Empire Polo Club to Host USPA Townsend Cup
A 22-Goal Arena Polo Tournament on Saturday, March 26th at 6 PM
Indio, CA: For the first time in the history of polo in the desert, there will be a 22-Goal Arena Polo Tournament right here at Empire Polo Club. The United States Polo Association (USPA) has awarded the USPA Townsend Cup to Empire Polo Club. This is the first time this prestigious event will be held on the west coast and it is also the highest level of polo currently played on the west coast. If you were to compare polo to golf, the Townsend Cup would be PGA Tour level polo. Empire Polo Club and the local polo community are very excited to be awarded this tournament and to host such an historic event.
USPA Townsend Cup Arena Challenge Game – Saturday, March 26th, 2011
The USPA Townsend Cup is an arena challenge game traditionally played between teams from the U.S. and England. The game will be handicapped at 22-goal polo, which means that all of the players handicaps on one team, when combined, equal 22 goals or less. The higher the handicap, the higher the skill level is of the players and their team. The highest level being played this winter on the grass is 8-10 Goal Polo. A 22-Goal Arena game is a rare opportunity and one that you won’t want to miss.
Professional polo players are flying in from England and various parts of the U.S. to compete in this 1-day event. Shane Rice, originally from Poway, CA, is rated 7 goals. Joining Rice are two players from Wellington, FL, John Gobin, (6 goals) and Tommy Biddle (9 goals). Biddle is the Team Captain. Billy Sheldon, from Poway, CA, is the coach and alternate player for the U.S. Team. Sheldon is rated 7 goals.
Representing England: Ryan Pemble (6), Chris Hyde (9) (Capt), Sebastian Dawnay (7) and reserve player and coach Tarquin Southwell (7).
Event: USPA Townsend Cup 22-Goal Arena Tournament
Date: Saturday, March 26th at 6:00 Pm
General Admission: FREE
Location: Empire Polo Club Arena
Food and Beverage concessions on site
Directions To Empire Polo Club
From I-10 take the Monroe St. exit and head south on Monroe St. The club entrance is off of Monroe St. at Ave. 51. Follow the parking signs.
Empire Polo Club
81-800 Ave. 51
Indio, CA 92201
About Arena Polo
In arena polo there are only three players on a team and in grass polo there are four. The game is played in an arena, approximately 300 feet long by 150 feet wide, with walls all around. The playing surface is dirt. The chukkers (periods of play) are 7.5 minutes long and there are four periods in an arena game. The teams switch directions after each period of play.
Each player has a handicap between 0 and 10. The higher a players handicap, the better the player, which is the opposite of a golf handicap. The total handicap of the three players on each team is the handicap of the team. The term “handicap” is also referred to as goals. A 22-Goal Tournament means that the total handicap of each team cannot exceed 22.
What to wear? This is one of the most asked questions by spectators. Polo is a casual affair at Empire Polo Club, so please wear whatever you feel comfortable in. You will see spectators wearing everything from shorts, jeans and flip-flops to sundresses, khakis and button down shirts. For more information about “How To Dress For Polo” visit our website at www.empirepolo.com.
About The USPA Townsend Cup Arena Challenge
The Townsend Cup has been referred to as “The World Series” of arena polo and it represents the highest-level of international arena polo in a competitive format. The Hurlingham Polo Association is bringing the English Team to Indio, CA to compete against the United States Polo Association’s U.S. Team.
The Townsend Cup was first played in Manhattan in 1923 and featured two teams, one from England and one from the U.S. It was this historic match that spurred the growth and development of arena polo here in the United States. The Townsend Cup wasn’t played again until 2004 and then again in 2008. The Townsend Cup is named in honor of John R. Townsend, a New York City social figure who was an active advocate for arena polo in the early years of its development.
Empire Polo Club is honored to host the USPA Townsend Cup on March 26th, 2011 and to be part of such an historic event. To continue the promotion and growth of arena polo here in the desert and in the United States, Empire Polo Club invites the public to join us in welcoming England to our county and to show support both teams as they compete for the title.
The John R. Townsend Challenge Cup: America vs. England
1923 America, A.W. Kinney, H.B. Blackwell, R.A. Granniss
2004 America, Tony Vita, Peter Daly, Michael Zeliger
2008 America, John S. Gobin, Adair Seager, Billy Sheldon
About Empire Polo Club
Established in 1987, Empire Polo Club is one of the largest polo clubs on the west coast with 7 polo fields and an indoor arena and a polo school. Polo is played Wednesday through Sunday, November through March 27th, 2011 with featured matches on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
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