Outsports has been hearing regular updates from the Gay Polo League, recently formed in the Los Angeles area and rolling forward to exciting success -- new members, new opportunities to play with non-gay teams. Key to their success is a solid relationship with the California Polo Club, which runs a polo school and supports the GPL with access to both their facilities and to loaner ponies.
No sooner had the Station Fire gone to devouring the mountains and foothills in that vicinity than I started wondering about the safety of everybody in that polo scene, both humans and horses. The California Polo Club is located in the Valley, on Osborne St. near the 210 Freeway, which places it uncomfortably close to the angry out-of-control fire -- one of the biggest in California history. An emergency evacuation of large animals from the path of an rapidly advancing wildfire can be a nightmare unto itself.
So I fired off an email to Chip McKenney, co-founder of the GPL, and got this reply this morning: "The California Polo Club received mandatory evacuation orders from the fire department last Monday. All 38 polo ponies were safely relocated at that time. CPC was given clearance to bring the horses back yesterday. So, all is well."
Today the news is that the fire is slowly coming under control. With that drama hopefully ended, Chip has other things to report on GPL doings. He told me:
There is a LOT happening. A group in Wellington, Florida wants to bring the GPL to Wellington for an exhibition match at the end of March. So far, articles have appeared in the Palm Beach Post and Sun Sentinel. Last month, GPL sent 3 teams to the Mack Jason Invitational Tournament - @ the Menlo Circus Club Polo Club - where 3 won TWO of the three divisions! Fantastic. We are sending more teams back to Menlo next month (Sept 19 & 20) to compete in the Menlo Invitational Tournament.
Wellington is a huge international mainstream center for horse activity, so it's exciting to know that LGBT polo players will be playing there, and all those other tournaments too -- and hopefully winning!