POLO AT YALE
1903: Polo is established at Yale.
As the oldest team sport at Yale, and one of the oldest collegiate polo programs in the United States. Prior to 2009, Yale's polo program and its 60+ ponies were housed in the Yale Amory, where for nearly a century polo players competed in its regulation-size indoor arena and, once upon a time, on the adjacent intramural fields. The Armory was constructed in 1916, and was first used as a cavlary training center during World War I before becoming home to polo at Yale.
2009: Yale University closes the Armory
When the University shuttered the stables at the Yale Armory in 2009, an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, Yale Polo and Equestrian Center (YPEC), was formed to oversee operations and to manage the resources necessary to field a collegiate team. YPEC sold half of the polo ponies previously housed at the Armory, keeping just fifteen for the continuation of the college program. Allowing the team to continue uninterrupted, YPEC rented a practice facility and stabling, managed the horses, and supported community programs for youth and adults in New Haven and the surrounding community.
Since its formation, YPEC has maintained a balanced operating budget through program fees, horse leasing revenue and the support of volunteers. Much of the initial success was due to a generous benefactor whose contribution of high goal horses, a truck, trailer and equipment has secured the foundation upon which we seek to build.
Learn more about the future of Yale Polo.
2015: Yale Polo acquires a permanent home in Bethany
Playing Polo at Yale
Yale is a member of the intercollegiate division of the United States Polo Association (USPA). Our Intercollegiate Women's and Men's teams compete both regionally and nationally in indoor arena polo. We have also competed in international outdoor polo tournaments in China and the UK.
At Yale, there is polo for all ages and levels, both for students and for local players:
All new student members join as beginners, though experienced players may be moved up to the Novice/Grad or Competing Teams. Beginners include players who have never picked up a mallet, or even sat on a horse before!
This is a slightly more advanced group that includes both graduate and undergraduate students who have progressed beyond the beginner level.
The intercollegiate Competing Team is made up of undergraduate men and women who play in intercollegiate USPA games and in international tournaments. Tryouts for the intercollegiate team are held at the beginning of the fall semester.
High school and middle school students play on the Yale Interscholastic Team, which regularly competes in USPA games and tournaments.
We hold weekly club chukkers for experienced local players of all ages. Experienced Advanced Grad and competing team players are occasionally invited to play in club chukkers.
We offer polo lessons for players of all riding and playing levels.
The oldest team sport in the world has its American roots at Yale.
Yale has won 21 national titles in Intercollegiate Polo: a record 19 men’s championships and the first two women’s championships ever awarded
1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1931, 1932, 1938, 1942, 1953, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1986
Collegiate Club Leadership
PRESIDENT Sofia Cianchi, PC '20
VICE PRESDIENT Aia Alvarez Nishio, GH '21
HEAD OF ALUMNI RELATIONS Noah Carlson, BF '22
FINANCE CHAIR Lotta Keller, BF '20; Benito Flores, TC '20
FUNDRAISING CHAIR Mariel Barocas, SY '21
PUBLICITY CHAIR Aia Alvarez Nishio, GH '21
SOCIAL CHAIR Benito Flores, TC '20; Nikhil Patel MC '21