Cyril R. Harrison teaching polo Brandywine, 1963
Hurricane damage 2013, Brandywine Polo Club
MEET BRANDYWINE POLO CLUB
Rich in History, Long on Resilience
& Forever Committed to Polo's Future
Meet one of the oldest polo clubs on the East Coast, Brandywine Polo Club, whose history is as rich as it’s grounds are beautiful. Located on 122 verdantly wooded acres amongst the rolling hills of southern Chester County. Located near Kennett Square, Pa., Brandywine Polo Club was started in 1950 by James McHugh, a former intercollegiate Yale player. Success came quickly as the Brandywine Polo Club team won the 1956 U.S. Open Polo Championship at Oak Brook Polo Club in Illinois, 11-10 over Aurora. Their winning team was Dr. Raworth Williams, Ray Harrington Jr., Clarence C. Combs Jr., and William A. Mayer.
Coping with tragedy
Much like other clubs with a rich history, Brandywine has also experienced tragedy. In 1966 the clubhouse was struck by lightning igniting a fire that spread from the clubhouse to two nearby barns. Club manager Bob Connors was quick to respond leading nine of the 27 polo ponies to safety. Seven additional ponies injured in the fire were rescued and sent to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in East Marlborough Township for treatment of severe burns. Eighteen horses were lost that day. In their honor the Polo Ponies Memorial match was established a few weeks later, with the 5,000 spectators in attendance far exceeding expectations.
The club was able to rebuild the barns with overwhelming support from the community. Now, 50 years later, the 8-goal Polo Ponies Memorial tournament, which is sponsored by international companies such as OneMagnify, and continues to attract teams from up and down the East Coast.
Brandywine Polo faced another financial hardship in the spring of 2013 when the club was left to clean up the wreckage after being hit by a tornado. The damage was severe. The roof of the barn rebuilt after the fire in 1966 was ripped off entirely, with large amounts of debris strewn all over. The riding arena wall was hit with a large piece of the roof causing major damage to the walls and announcers stand. The cost to rebuild was $100,000, according to then-polo school coordinator Robin Bostwick. With help from the community, about 25 percent, and a hefty infusion of money from the club’s board of directors the repairs and rebuilding work began immediately. The roof repair was completed in 2014, and the club added blocks of stalls over time until the project was finished in 2016.
Making polo accessible
Brandywine Polo Club is a club committed to making polo accessible. With a polo school that dates back to 1963, the Brandywine Polo School has continued to offer a comprehensive introductory program called Orientation to Polo (OTP) that is perfect for anyone interested in pursuing polo regardless of age or experience. The OTP clinics are graduated programs designed to build on techniques, rules, riding skills, training, horse ownership and safety, all key foundations for becoming a great polo player.
We are happy you're here, reading our club's profile. Brandywine holds a special place in many players and spectator's memories, club president Dixon Stroud included. Dixon has played polo since he was a young man, winning tournaments all over Florida, the East Coast, including Brandywine. An avid horseman, Dixon won the Maryland Hunt Cup in 1984, and is the current co-master of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds. He carries the torch for Brandywine Polo, stewarding it's direction on the shoulders of polo's greats like Ray Harrington, Gerald Balding, George “Frolic” Weymouth, and James McHugh. These former stewards of the club would presumably be proud if they walked into the club today, seeing two beautiful grass fields, an arena, stabling for 100 horses, and seven major tournaments that attract local polo pros as well as professionals from around the globe. It's a great club. We want you to be a part of it if you aren't already and thank you if you have been. No matter our past hardships and proven resilience, the Brandywine Polo Club is here to stay, dedicated to polo, the education of polo, the competitions and the spirit of the sport at its best.
Originally from Argentina, 26-year-old Martin Eddy is the youngest polo pro to hold the position of manager at the Brandywine Polo Club. As a fourth-generation polo player who learned the sport from his father and his uncles, he comes from a long line of top-rated polo professionals who are highly regarded in the world of polo. His favorite horse is Papucho, his favorite shot is the offside back shot and his favorite field position is #2 offense. When not playing polo or managing Brandywine Martin Eddy can be found winning tournaments throughout the Florida Circuit or as a fishing guide in the Patagonia region of Argentina.
From Wyoming to Florida, Santa Barbara to NY, Elizabeth
has assisted numerous polo clubs over the years build toward a sustainable future. She is now in PA helping coordinate Brandywine Polo's next chapter and looking
forward to the results.
Husband-wife team, Ata & Olivia Alonso work together to manage the Brandywine Polo School. Origanlly from Las Pampas, Argentina, Atahualpa Alonso (Ata) began riding horses before he could walk. After moving to Buenos Aires, he began training horses for high-goal players, traveling to over 15 countries working for polo teams such as La Dolfina, Lechuza Caracas, Les Leon, Black Bears, and Las Monjitas as well as legendary polo families, Ulloas and Merlos. In 2020 Ata met and married his wife Olivia, while in Florida, and the two of them began a successful polo business teaching in the Hamptons and Myopia Polo Club. Contact them today to begin your own polo journey.
Ata & Olivia Alonso
Is Polo Cancelled?
2023 marks the 16th season for our announcer,
Bradley Hendrix. His passion and knowledge of Polo combined with an almost manic comedic flair have endeared him to crowds each year. Whether you're a first time Polo spectator or seasoned pro, it’s easy to get caught up in the action when Bradley is announcing.
"I try to bring something new to every match. My motto is Engage, Entertain & Educate." - Bradley Hendrix
Meet Bradley Hendrix
Brandywine Polo Club
Where can you stay?
Hilton Garden Inn 610.444.9100
Information / firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Directors / BOD@brandywinepolo.com
Polo School / email@example.com
Club Coordinator, Elizabeth Hedley / firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Address / 232 Polo Road Toughkenamon, PA 19374
Mailing Address / 105 East Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Walker Field / 770 Byrd Road, Kennett Sq, PA (off of FM 926)
+39° 52' 32.78", -75° 45' 30.25"