U.K. Women's Polo Team Wins Nationals

The University of Kentucky women's polo team topped three other teams at the United States Polo Association National Intercollegiate Championships April 5 - 10 in Charlottesville, Va., to capture its first national title. Additionally, one of UK's horses was named best polo pony in the men's division, and UK's polo string earned designation as overall best polo string in the men’s division.

Only four years old, the upstart team was an unlikely victor. Having fallen short in its run to a spot at the national championship with a loss at the March regional competition, the UK women's team earned a second chance to compete at the national competition due to its performance during the regular season.

And then the team won. And won again--first at California Polytechnic State University where UK came out on top 20 to 6. Next, UK took on top-seeded Cornell and came out ahead 18 to 12. In the finals UK played against Texas A&M and won by one point, with a final score of 15-14.

"I am so unbelievably proud. I went to Charlottesville with two others who were competing on the team and we were in tears," said Tannis Marley, co-founder and past president of the team. "I just thought it would be a fun thing to do when I went to college, and now we’re national champions. I'm just so proud of all the hard work and dedication and support this team has had over the years."

The team is coached by Jorge Vasquez, manager of the Lexington Polo Club. The championship team included riders Courtney Asdourian, a sophomore majoring in history and Spanish; Cary Campbell, team president and a junior majoring in family studies; Posey Obrecht, a freshman majoring in equine science and management; and Meghan Shader, a sophomore also majoring in equine science and management. Asdourian was also named to the All-Star Team.

"I'm so excited. To see where we were four years ago and now where we are," Marley said. "I had so many people coming up to me at the event wanting to come to UK just to play polo. We already have nine recruits coming next year. It’s just amazing."

Holly Wiemers, MS, is communications director for UK's Equine Initiative


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