4th Annual Alumni Tournament full of successes!

The Stanford Polo Club, alumni and parents, and the surrounding community had a wonderful and exciting day of polo at the Menlo Circus Club this past Saturday! The festivities started with a Polo 101 demonstration by Dr. Ashley McCaughan, a Dartmouth alum and horse sports medicine doctor, and a silent auction with items donated by Peninsula companies and private contributors. The first game of the day featured the Stanford alumni team against the Dartmouth representative team. The Stanford team consisted of alums Russell Field, Colvin Pitts, Jason Knight and Tom Shanahan, while Dartmouth included Megan Judge (Cal Poly alum and current Cal Poly coach), Francesca Finato (also a Cal Poly alum), Mike Zeliger (Cornell alum and current Stanford coach) and Greg Wolff (Cornell alum and previous Stanford coach). The teams were well-matched throughout the game, with Dartmouth finishing ahead 9-5. After the game, the polo club had the chance to thank Stanford alum Tom Shanahan for his extremely generous donation of a new red truck for our club to use to pull our trailers. Tom has been a strong supporter of both our men’s and women’s teams this past year, and has worked with us for several months to find the perfect new truck for our club.

stanford_end_pic The Stanford Alumni team, comprised of (left to right) Russell Field, Tom Shanahan, Colvin Pitts and Jason Knight
img_0623 The Dartmouth team, comprised of (left to right) Greg Wolff, Mike Zeliger, Fran Finato and Megan Judge

The day also featured the introduction of a new pony into the Stanford string! Martinelli is a seasoned polo pony who has come from Cal Poly, and should be a wonderful addition to our string. We are already fighting over who will get to ride her first!

To round out the day of college-themed polo, Menlo players suited up in colored polo shirts to represent various universities in their regular Saturday matches. In the second game, Menlo players represented Occidental College and Cornell University, while the third game featured a round robin of Yale, Harvard and MIT-themed colors. The sidelines also featured a demonstration by the Square Peg Foundation, in collaboration with Rupert Isaacson, who has pioneered the Horse Boy Method for using horses to work with autistic children.

For the evening portion of the event, we adapted Stanford’s traditional Grilled Cheese event, with current and past club members gatheringto reflect on the past year, the successes of the Alumni Game, and our hopes for the future of the club. The night included a slideshow presentation of historical club photos compiled by Russell Field. He has worked tirelessly to search Stanford archives and interview past club members, and we believe he has finally tracked the official club start date to 1919, despite some confusion on the Stanford logo (ahh! The mysteries of our club!). The club coaches also honored Men’s and Women’s Team Captains Malav Chakravorty and Laura Hansen with best playing man and woman in the club, and senior Laura Lilly with the Outstanding Contribution award. Freshman Shivani Torres received the traditional Red Boot award for her immense dedication to polo and position as club treasurer throughout her first year.

The event was incredibly successful overall, and we look forward to continuing to build the Alumni Match in coming years! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to watch. Stay tuned for last events of the season! We still have four weeks of school, and plan to make the most of them.

img_2079 Mike Zeliger and Stanford’s newest pony, Martinelli!
img_2073 Russell Field battles Greg Wolff for the ball
img_2049 Colvin Pitts winds up for a shot
img_1911 Jason Knight and Mike Zeliger fight for possession of the ball

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