Category Polo

Lewis Lacey

In 2010 the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame welcomed Lewis Lacey, to which I say, “It’s about time.” Lewis L. Lacey was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1887, the son of William Lacey, a professional cricket player. In 1891, when the Hurlingham Club was established by the British colony outside of Buenos Aires, […]

The Spreckels Cups

The sport of polo’s Spreckels Cup has a deliciously confusing history, a tangle to delight those who take pleasure in unraveling the strands. We begin with the namesakes: Shown above, John D. Spreckels (1853-1926) and below, Adolph B. Spreckels (1857-1924), sons of California sugar baron Claus Spreckels (1823-1908). Working together, John and Adolph invested in […]

Polo’s Obscure Mr. Besley

The pages of polo history are filled with interesting people, even in the footnotes. Browsing the winners’ list of the Pacific Coast Open, you might breeze right by J.C. Besley; he only appears once, winning the trophy in 1913 with the Coronado Country Club. His teammates were all better known: Malcolm Stevenson and C. Perry […]

Baba Blackshirt

On the face of it, it’s the trophy presentation at the 1929 Pacific Coast Open Championship, with the sweaty but pleased San Carlos Cardinals accepting accolades while a woman smiles under a cloche hat. Oh, but the history in this photo. On the left, polo coat open and eyes on the prize, stands George Gordon […]

Eleonora Sears and John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent and Eleonora Sears are both favorites of mine, and so I was delighted to discover their paths crossed in 1921, when Sargent wrote to Sears asking her if she would sit for a drawing, and she accepted. Ethel Barrymore, the actress, wrote of her friend Eleo, “She has more charm than anybody […]

Polo, Oysters and Evelyn Nesbit

A tournament for the Monty Waterbury Cup, in Aiken, S.C., called to mind one of America’s greatest polo players and the evening he dined with Evelyn Nesbit.James “Monty” Waterbury was a 10-goal player and a finesse player, always composed, in perfect control of himself, his pony and his mallet. Playing with The Wanderers, he won […]