GPL Hosts Successful Clinic at Palm City Polo in Preparation for 2018 TournamentWith prime polo season soon to begin, Palm City Polo hosted the Gay Polo League for the 5th Annual GPL Thanksgiving Polo Clinic. Held Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26 to cap off the Thanksgiving weekend, twelve players learned from some of the best names in the polo industry both on and off the field. Each player received valuable instruction both on and off the horse.
Photo: Sara Cole"Every year, Joey Casey from Palm City Polo enlists an impressive group of top professionals who collectively coach our players in the basic and finer points of polo," said Chip McKenney, organizer of the GPL Clinic. "As always, these professionals help us develop stronger and more effective polo skills through a series of exercises, coaching chukkers and other methods that contribute to an outstanding and challenging polo boot camp."Leading the active and informative weekend of polo action, a strong list of high-profile individuals shared their expertise to the group of clinic participants, who hailed from France, Canada, New York, New Jersey, Texas and Florida. Coaches Jeff Blake, Joey Casey, Hector Galindo and Peter Rizzo instructed two groups of six during educational sections such as Hitting Analysis & Techniques, Mounted Skills & Drills and Mounted Coaching Chukkers.
- Jeff Blake - Winner of US Open 3 times, winner of Pacific Coast Open; 6 goal player
- Joey Casey - Owner Palm City Polo Club; winner of numerous high-goal tournaments; former 7 goal player
- Hector Galindo - Inductee to Polo Hall of Fame; former 9 goal player
- Peter Rizzo - Former CEO of USPA; former 6 goal player
Following Friday's activites, clinic coaches, participants and guests were treated to an evening Friendsgiving Dinner on the polo field. Saturday's schedule featured additional training highlighted by ball control, controlling the shot, winning the ride-off and shooting on goal, followed by a question and answer session before the festive Argentine asado Saturday evening.
The weekend concluded with a tournament to showcase improvements. Photo: Sara Cole
Sunday afternoon, the twelve students were put to the test to demonstrate their improvements from the two days of high-class training. Four teams each played two chukkers under tournament conditions that gave each rider the opportunity to showcase his or her skills, with every individual impressing.
"It was the best clinics we have ever had," said Casey, one of the four coaches and owner of the Palm City Polo Club. "The instructors and participants were amazing! With the expert coaching, every player significantly improved over the three days."
With the polo season gearing up to begin at the end of the year, players from across the country are readying themselves for an exciting few months of polo action. From April 5 - 8, 2018, the iconic International Polo Club Palm Beach will host the 9th Annual Land Rover Palm Beach International Gay Polo Tournament, one of the most exciting social event of the season. Make sure not to miss it! GPL is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and is thrilled to host the annual charity event once again, with the proceeds going to help those within the LGBTQ youth community.