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Polo in the West

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									            the ’94 first and second teams of the lemars (iowa) polo club, founded in 1885.
                   A. C. Colledge.              J. M. Sammis.           J. H. Grayson          Percival Wraight.
                               H O’K. Richards.         G. C. Maclagan.               E. P. Sammis.         E. A. Dalton.

Polo in the West
                                                                                                                 J.B. Macmahan




       T
              HE game of polo has become so                           Meadow Brook Club, Westbury, L. I.;
                firmly established and so widely                      Country Club of Westchester, N. Y.;
                known in this country that its                        Morris County Country Club; Myopia
                ancient history may be omitted                        Club, Hamilton, Mass.; Harvard Polo
       and its rapid advancement in the East                          Club; Country Club of Brookline,
       be but briefly noticed. The object of                          Mass.; Westchester Polo Club, New-
       this article is rather to follow the sport                     port, R. I.; Philadelphia Country Club;
       in its progress westward to the great                          Hingham Polo Club, Mass.; Country
       plains, where, owing to many natural                           Club of St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.;
       advantages, it at once found a conge-                          Monmouth County Polo Club; Dedham
       nial home.                                                     Polo Club, Dedham Mass.; Buffalo
          In 1876 James Gordon Bennett, Esq.                          Polo Club, Buffalo, N. Y.; Chicago
       interested a number of American gen-                           Polo Club, Chicago; Devon Polo Club,
       tlemen in the game, which was then                             Devon, Pa.; Lowell Country Club.
       very popular in England, and as a                                 The polo clubs outside the associa-
       result the Westchester Club was formed.                        tion are to be found principally in the
       Its first headquarters was at Jerome                           South and West. Two strong clubs are
       Park, but shortly afterward was changed                        located in Mexico City, old Mexico, one
       to Newport.                                                    of which is composed of Spaniards, the
          In 1886 occurred a great event in                           other of Englishmen and Americans.
       polo history—the first international                           These rivals have many a sturdy bout,
       match. In August of that year the                              especially at Christmas, when the great
       crack Hurlingham team crossed the                              tournament is held. There are several
       Atlantic and played a two days’ match                          teams of cowboy players in New Mex-
       at Newport. The Britons carried back                           ico, while New Orleans, Colorado
       with them the prize cup of the Ameri-                          Springs and Los Angeles have thriving
       cans, but left behind their ponies and a                       clubs.
       wholesome lesson in magnificent team                              In Iowa, Minnesota and Dakota, a
       work to offset the humiliation of a                            group of clubs banded together in what
       crushing defeat.                                               is known as the Northwestern Polo
          In 1890 the American Polo Associa-                          Association. These clubs have been in
       tion was formed, with seven clubs as                           existence for ten years, and they yield to
       charter members. The Association                               none in eager advancement of their
       now comprises seventeen clubs, as fol-                         favorite sport. The support of the
       lows: Rockaway Club, Cedarhurst, L. I.;                        military, which will surely come, will
                                                     siasts, were the active organizers.
                                                     Mr. Maclagan had played “forward”
                                                     for several years with the Calcutta
                                                     Polo Club, the oldest Caucasian polo
                                                     organization in existence, and long
                                                     accounted the champion club of the
                                                     world. Admission to this club stamps
                                                     a man as top form in polo. Here
                                                     Mr. Maclagan acquired a brilliant
                                                     style. Mr. Watson had likewise
                                                     learned his game in India. The re-
                                                     maining Lemars players were prac-
                                                     tically novices, though nearly all had
                                                     seen the game, and some had at-
                                                     tempted it.
                                                        In 1886, Messrs. Cecil F. Benson,
                                                     Matthew B. S. Dodsworth. T. W. Orde.
                                                     G. B. Gray and F. C. S. Dodsworth
                                                                        all members of the
    capt. francis michler, u. s. a., on                                 English colony,
            “dan lamont.”                                               started a club at
do much for                                                             Sibley, Iowa. None
polo, and                                                               of these gentlemen
there is no                                                             had played before,
reason why it                                                           and they were assist-
should not                                                              ed in organizing by
find favor at                                                           Mr. Maclagan.
many a fron-                                                               In 1888, Fred. B.
tier post. And                                                          Close, who had pre-
now to glance                                                           viously played with
at the pro-                                                             both the Lemars
gress of polo                                                           and Sibley clubs,
in the West.                                                            started a club at
   Early in                                                             Sioux City, Iowa,
the summer                                                              with the following
of 1885, the                                                            membership: F. B.
 Lemars Polo                                                            Close, W. T. Hum-
Club w a s                                                              ble. C. Statter,
formed in
 Iowa.     This
was the first                 ellicott evan on “butterfly.”
polo organ-
ization west of New York. When it came
 into being there were only a dozen clubs,
 not one hundred actual players, and
 fewer than two hundred trained ponies
 in all of the United States.
    The Lemars Polo Club, though so
 entirely isolated, was a thriving institu-
 tion from its inception. The charter
 members were G. C. Maclagan, J. S.
 Watson, J. H. Grayson, H. J. Moreton,
 Francis J. Moreton, O. T. Pardoe and
  H. O’K. Richards.
    These gentlemen were all English,
 being members of a British colony in
 that locality. Mr. Maclagan and Mr.
 Watson, both veteran poloists and enthu-


                                                   james carey evans, captain chicago polo club, on “carmencita.”
                                                    hooking was never in favor. The rules
                                                    of the Association further provided for
                                                    tournaments to be played in rotation
                                                    on the members’ grounds, for a cup, to
                                                    be awarded permanently to the club
                                                    victorious in three successive seasons.
                                                    The cup, a very handsome one copied
                                                    after the Westchester trophy won by
                                                    the Hurlinghams in ’86, was thus con-
                                                    sidered a sure bone of contention for
                                                    many years. The struggle, however,
                                                    proved a very one-sided affair, for the
                                                    Lemars Club, by three successive vic-
                                                    tories, secured permanent possession of
                                                                         the prize.
                                                                            The association
                                                                         shortly after dis-
                                                                         solved, but a trag-
c. w. scudder, on “taffy,” founder and captain of                        edy and no inher-
                st. louis polo club.                                     ent w e a k n e s s
 Arthur F. Statter,                                                      brought about this
 Floyd Tappan,                                                           dissolution. This
 R. T. Patrick and                                                       tragedy was the
 G. P. Statter. Mr.                                                      death of Mr. F.
 Tappan was the                                                          Close, t h e b e s t
 only American in                                                        rider and polo back
 this club.                                                              the West has ever
    During these                                                         s e e n , excepting
 years the game                                                          Mr. Maclagan. Mr.
 was being played                                                        Close was killed at
 in a desultory                                                          Sioux City in 1890.
 way at a number                                                         He was riding and
 of other so called                                                      playing a brilliant
  “colony”      centres                                                  game too, with his
 in Iowa, Minne-                                                         left arm fractured
 sota and Dakota.                                                        and in splints
     I n 1 8 8 8 the                                                     bound to his body,
 Northwestern                                                            and his collar bone
                          g. c. maclagan, on “billy,” founder and captain
 Polo Association                           lemars club.
 was formed by a
 union of the Sibley, the Lemars, the
  Sioux City and the Larchwood, S. D.,
  clubs, Larchwood, however, dropping
  out the first season.
     It was the sanguine expectation that
  the association would prove a per-
  manency; a school for, and promoter
  of, this rajah sport throughout the
  West, and but for a sad event in its
  subsequent history this would undoubt-
  edly have been the case.
     As was to have been expected from
  its founders the association played the
  Indian game. A shallow ditch and not
  the regulation plank formed the touch
  line; the Indian “standing” (not the
  Hurlingham it charge”), was the favor-
  ite opening, and the game was the
   “off-side,” though the English mallet-

                                                                 f. w. lamport, on “white wolf.”
388                          OUTING FOR AUGUST.




             H. H. Drake..   W. T. Humble.      A. F. Statter.     G. P. Statter.

                                sioux city polo team, 1894.

likewise broken, when he collided with            A. C. Colledge’s roan “Bombay,”
one of the opposing team. He fell be-          fourteen hands, has played five years.
tween the ponies; his own horse stum-          He is a marvel in his way; a thorough
bled, fell over him and crushed him.           weight carrier, never having played
His injuries were so severe that the phy-      with less than two hundred pounds.
sicians would not permit his removal           He has a fair pace and a will of his own.
from the spot where he fell. A tent was           Brown (‘Ben,” fourteen hands, owned
erected above him and he died in four          by E. P. Sammis, has played six years.
hours.     The hundreds of spectators          He has a very light mouth, is very fast,
were so horrified by this accident that        and in the hands of his owner, quick on
for several seasons after polo languished      the turn.
all over the Northwest, and it is a fact          G. C. Maclagan’s white “Billy,” thir-
that the smaller clubs ceased to exist         teen and a half hands, is a perfect won-
from that date, the only organizations         der. He has played polo for eight
to survive the shock being the Sioux           years, and not a youngster in the string
City and the Lemars clubs.                     can outclass him to-day for staying
    The season of ’94 found the Lemars         qualities. He is perfectly accustomed
with thirteen active members, as fol-          to playing an entire game, and his
lows: G. C. Maclagan, captain, E. Pay-         owner never thinks of taking a second
son Sammis, J. U. Sammis, E. A.                horse when he rides Billy. He has a
 Dalton (first team); J. H. Grayson, A. C.     remarkable record, never having taken
 Colledge, H. O’K. Richards, Rudolf J.         part in a losing match. He loves the
 Koehler, Percival Wraight, P. Boland,         ball, and from start to finish, with cocked
 H. J. Moreton, Francis J. Moreton, and        eyes and nose down, is after it. He
James Brooks Farquhar.                         makes up for being a trifle slow by his
    This club undoubtedly owns some of         wonderful turning and his quickness in
 the finest polo ponies in the West. Only      starting.
 fifteen animals are claimed as available,        The Sioux City club was never so
 but their standard of excellence is very      strong or so well established as in 1894.
 high. The horses are such thorough-           According to seniority of membership
 goers in the ‘field that it is difficult to   its list of active men is as follows: Wm.
 say this or the other is best; but a few      T. Humble, Perry Statter, Henry H.
 deserve special notice.                       Drake, Arthur F. Statter, Wm. A. Dins-
                            POLO IN THE WEST.                                        389
more, J. Clarke Duncan, Richard B.           perfectly familiar, as these men are
Oldfield, E. S. Weatherly, Denard Will-      with all the tactics of the different recog-
iams, Harry R. Gragg, and Fred. F.           nized modern games.
Grandy. The team for 1894 was Arthur            It was not until 1891 that St. Louis
F. Statter, No. 1; Wm. T. Humble, No.        organized its Country Club. The St.
2; Henry H. Drake, No. 3 and captain;        Louis club is properly classed with
Perry Statter, back.                         Western polo, but as a member of the
   This quartet play a hard and very         American Association its detailed his-
fast game, excelling in team work. The       tory may be found in the records of
most eminent name in Western polo is         that organization. However, a few
that of Statter. Statter, senior, who        items concerning this fine club may
rides over two hundred, is as handy on       be not out of place.
a good horse as any lightweight, while          The game was taken up with the
his sons sweep the field like a hurricane.   greatest enthusiasm from its introduc-
To the Statters belongs the credit of        tion. The club membership is limited
introducing some excellent training ex-      to fifty; admission is eagerly sought
ercises, and of inventing some capital       and the ranks have been full from the
polo gear. One of the most unique            first. The captain, C. Scudder, plays
games ever played in America occurred        a good, all-around fast game, and has
at Sioux City in 1892, when the Statter      been a successful trainer. The polo
family, father and three sons, played a      ground is laid out on the divide between
picked team, and beat them by a score        the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers,
of 5 to 0.                                   a delightful location. The field itself
   The club can show some excellent          cost the club $3,000 to level and prepare,
ponies.    “Babe”    now      owned     by   but is not first-class, being a fresh dirt
Weatherly, was raised by Arthur F.           in which the grass needs time to weave
Statter. She is fourteen hands; nine         the deep, tough, root carpet so essential
years old, and has played continuously       for sure footing.
for five years. When ridden with short          This club uses the system of buying
rein and close blinds she is absolutely      and training ponies and selling them to
the best pony in the West for “No 1,”        the players. The animals are mostly
and in the riding-off game.                  from the Texan and New Mexican mus-
   J. Duncan Clarke’s “Corona,” 14.1,        tang herds. They pay for a “raw” on
in her third year in polo, is the            an average fifty dollars, and find about
strongest and fastest pony in the club.      one out of five useful. There is no loss
   Arthur F. Statter owns a prize in his     on the discarded animals, as the pre-
dun mare “Peggy.” She has played             paratory training never fails to increase
for five years and knows the game so         their value as hacks.
well that without using anything but a          The members are men from the
halter she will follow the ball closely,     Noonday, the St. Louis, the Mercantile
and can be turned at a full gallop with-     and the Jockey clubs.           The active
in a space fourteen feet square.             members manage to devote on an aver-
   “Kit Beer,” fourteen and a half           age, two afternoons a week to the sport.
hands, is a thoroughbred with a record       The club has never crossed sticks with
of one quarter mile in twenty-four           any other association member, the
seconds. She is owned by W. H.               most notable playing event being a
Dinsmore; is six years old and has           match with Lemars in 1893. The St.
played polo two years, showing great         Louis team in this match consisted of
aptitude for the game.                       C. W. Scudder, back; A. S. Cushman
   The club has a fair ground, a level       and H. McKittrick, Jr., half-backs; O.
twenty-acre field with ample room for        L. Mersman, forward. The first great
side and foul hits. The site is pleasing     public game which took on the nature
and the turf sufficiently fast.              of a brilliant function resulted in en-
   The Iowa Clubs are now playing the        thusing all St. Louis with a passion for the
regulation American game and they            magnificent sport, and polo never stood
bring to it a formidable set of fearless     so well in Missouri as it does to-day.
riders and brilliant strokers. There is         The Chicago Polo Club had its incep-
no doubt a decided advantage in being        tion during the World’s Fair. James
390                        OUTING      FOR      AUGUST.
Carey Evans, S. H. Hubbard, W. T.           India, where the Shaw-Kennedys are
Carrington, Col. W. V. Jacobs, A. J.        greatly distinguished in the Anglicized
Whipple, Captain Francis Michler, F.        Oriental game. Captains Maus and
W. Lamport and Ellicott Evans, having       Michler being by the nature of their
a small house at Brookline near Chicago,    professions well used to the saddle,
for their own amusement brought up          dashed into the sport with spirit.
ponies from the Indian Territory and           The club stables are fine. The mem-
started polo on the lawn of their country   bers are very proud of their string.
place. To James Carey Evans belongs         From several hundred ponies put
the honor of really introducing the         through their paces in Indian Territory
game; he and Captain Michler being          some twenty-five were selected by the
the first to show the way. The idea         acting agent for the club, and were,
was taken up with the greatest enthu-       from time to time, shipped North.
siasm. Ponies were tried and polo           Five more, mostly thoroughbreds, were
technique mastered in bi-weekly prac-       picked up elsewhere, so that the club
tices during the summer. Saturday           now has at command some thirty prom-
was field day, and toward the end of        ising animals, though, like the riders,
the season spectators were frequent at      they have their records still to make.
the Brookline practices.                       Mr. James Carey Evans is doubly for-
   From this modest beginning was born      tunate in owning a pair of perfect polo
in the winter of 1893-’94 the Chicago       animals, “Lottie Collins” and “Car-
Polo Club, with the following member-       mencita.” The former is a thorough-
ship: George Henry Wheeler, Captain         bred, a perfect miniature race horse,
Francis Michler, U. S. A., C. P. Mc-        with a marked aptitude for the game.
Avoy, James Heyworth, H. M. Higin-           “Carmencita” is a beautifully marked
botham, V. Shaw-Kennedy, W. T. Car-         playful little mare, very quick on the
rington, Walter Farwell, Arthur J.          turn, and brimful of intelligence. And
Whipple, Frank J. Macky, J. Henry           when it comes to the test, it is intelli-
Norton, Capt. Marion P. Maus, U. S. A.,     gence plentifully mixed with good tem-
Edward Green, Lawrence Heyworth,            per that distinguishes the polo pony
W. W. Keith, Urban H. Broughton, F.         from the common herd.
W. Lamport, W. V. Jacobs, Ellicott             “White Wolf,” a light gray, regula-
Evans, James Carey Evans, K. B. Fort.       tion height, is owned by Mr. Lamport.
   A Board of Governors was chosen at       He is a model polo pony, and perfectly
the first meeting, consisting of J. C.      at home on the field.
Evans, chairman; J. H. Norton, C. P.           Mr. Kennedy’s “Skidmore” is a much
McAvoy, George H. Wheeler and Cap-          branded mustang with a history, having
tain Michler. All the men being mem-        carried a member of the notorious Dal-
bers of the Washington Park Club, a         ton gang before his introduction into
field was secured in Washington Park        the more polite circles of polo. He is
for matches and tournaments. The            admirably adapted for his new vocation.
location is charming and the ground            Arthur Whipple’s “Deacon,” and
fairly good. It exhibits a natural turf,    Mr. Carrington’s “Comanche,” a Texan
or more properly speaking, a specially      pony, are also promising animals.
rolled ground covered with sod in the          The Chicagoes played, at first, the
low places. The footing is not always       Hurlingham “off-side,” this being in
sure, but better than the average fresh     the opinion of Captain Evans the more
field. Unfortunately, there is not space    scientific game, requiring, as it does,
for a north and south ground, so the        closer attention to a man’s position in
players are hampered by east and west       the field than does the American style.
positions. The field is marked by the       The club colors are lilac and blue, dis-
regulation eight-inch plank along the       played in the cap.
sides.                                         The first exhibition on the Washing-
   But two members of the club have         ton Park grounds was played June 17,
had any previous polo experience. Mr.       1894. This was the Saturday before the
James Carey Evans played with the           Derby, and society stamped its approval
Buffalo Club of Buffalo, N. Y. Mr. V.       of the new sport by turning out in force.
Shaw-Kennedy played for some time in        When the exhibition was over, society
                               POLO IN THE WEST.                                       391
declared polo to be “quite the thing.”          ciation laws are followed; the British
   The heroes of Chicago’s first polo           “offside” is, however, still retained.
game were: Blues—J. C. Evans, Cap-                 The membership is more or less
tain F. Michler, Walter FarwelI, V.             unstable in character, as is to be expected
Shaw-Kennedy. Reds—A. J. Whipple,               at a pleasure resort.    Messrs. Stevens,
Ellicott Evans, W. T. Carrington, Law-          Lyle, Braggiotti and a few others have,
rence Heyworth.                                 however, played with considerable
   In Colorado polo has been played for         regularity from the beginning. These
eight years, Colorado Springs being             men are all members of the Country
the centre of activity. From 1886 the           Club situated about three miles from
game had a steady growth up to the              town. Here are a club house, stables,
season of 1893 and 1894, when the fi-           tennis, base-ball and live pigeon shoot-
nancial depression gave it a slight check.      ing grounds, a race-track and a polo field
   Mr. J. S. Stevens, of New York, was          all within the club enclosure. The polo
the instigator and active coach of the          ground was laid out in 1891; the field
Springs Club.      Mr. Stevens is con-          is natural prairie, level as a table, well
ceded to be one of the finest polo              rolled and watered.        No amount of
players of America.      Should the long        dressing or artificial attention can
threatened return match with Hurling-           improve on the tough prairie sod when
ham be played in 1895, Stevens stands a         it is smooth and level.
fair chance of being included in the               There is a notion in the East that
American team. For several seasons he           when a Colorado man wants a polo pony
has played No. I, on the Rockaway team          he starts out in the morning with a
during the New York season.                     lassoo and comes back to breakfast with
   Associated w i t h M r . S t e v e n s i n   a fine broncho dangling at the end of
organizing the Colorado club was Mr.            his rope. This is not quite the case.
Harvey Lyle. Mr. Lyle is an Irish-              Each year the Springs men find it
man by birth, and he has had over               harder to pick up good polo cattle in
twelve years’ experience in the game,           their vicinity, and are obliged to send
having played four years in India               further and further away for them. As
before coming to America.        Lyle has       a rule they are bronchos broken to
never been rated by the Association, but        ride, and are chosen from those already
it is conceded by all who have seen his         used a little in cutting out cattle, which
game that his play is as effective as           makes them naturally quick and bridle-
Mr. Stevens’, though his style is entirely      wise. Raw ponies of this class range
different.                                      in value from $35 to $100. After they
   The Colorado Springs Club had thus           are polo trained, those showing special
the inestimable privilege of being trained      aptitude for the game are shipped East,
by two first form men, representatives          where the demand for trained bronchos
of different games. A club so trained           is vastly greater. than the supply, and a
was bound to get the combined best of           handy animal brings any price. For
the two systems; at any rate the result         this reason the Colorado clubs, though
justifies such a conclusion, for the            finely mounted, have no stable records
 Springs club plays a magnificent game.         such as other clubs are proud to exhibit
 In most respects the American Asso-             after a season or two of play.
                                      [to be continued.]

								
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