A significant milestone in polo history will be celebrated this coming February 14th as it will mark the 25th Anniversary of the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Awards Gala. On this important occasion the members of the Board of Directors of the Museum are pleased to announce the pending induction of the individuals who will join the ranks of the elite in the Polo Hall of Fame.
Former +10-goal star Adam Snow will be honoured for his accomplishments that, as he made his steady rise through the ranks, include being named Player of the Year twice and winning two U.S. Opens with an MVP in one of those years, and his mares Pumba and Amy winning BPP in 2002 and 2006 respectively. Along the way Adam (who actually initially preferred playing hockey to polo) notched three Silver Cup wins, three East Coast Opens, a Gold Cup, Monty Waterbury and numerous others.
The committee’s choice for the posthumous award is Peter Perkins, who during his stellar career reached an +8-goal handicap and won the U.S. Open in 1948 and 1951 along with other major tournaments of that era. The dashing polo-playing icon was frequently sought after as a model for magazine and poster advertising campaigns in the late 40s and 50s. According to Hall of Famer Bennie Gutierrez, “Peter Perkins had the most perfect form hitting a polo ball that I ever saw.”
Paul von Gontard will receive the “Iglehart Award” for his legacy of unselfish contribution to polo not only locally at the clubs with which he was involved, but also nationally and internationally. A member of the USPA since 1949, he has been one of the longest continuous active members. Paul served on the USPA Board of Governors from 1973 – 1974 and 2001-2009. He was recently, on his 80th birthday presented an award from the players of Jackson Hole in appreciation of his support.
The “Posthumous Iglehart Award” will go to William Tevis dubbed, the “Iron man of California”. Born in 1891, “Willie” was a colourful character who played polo for over sixty years, reached a respectable +6-goal handicap and was an active proponent in keeping the sport alive in California in its rebuilding years. Highly regarded for his superb skills as a horseman, he helped launch the famous 100 mile endurance ride known as the “Tevis Cup.”
To be honoured as a contemporary “Horse to Remember” will be Mike Azzaro’s great mare “Beetlejuice”. At just 14.3 hands, this small bundle of dynamite has racked up numerous awards including five +26-goal best playing pony awards one of which was the Hartman Award for BPP of the U.S. Open in 1996. In that game, Beetlejuice played almost three chukkers, leading Azzaro to score six goals on her alone. Mike has said that was the best game he ever played with her.
For “Horses to Remember (pre-1965)” the award will go to “Fussbudget”, a thoroughbred mare foaled in 1928 who was a winner of twelve races before starting a polo career. Considered by owner C.V. “Sonny” Whitney as one of his greatest mounts, Fussbudget’s impressive accomplishments and the accolades she garnered earned her the right to be called during her era “the First Lady of the polo realm.”
Committee Chairman Horace Laffaye: “This group of outstanding individual represents the finest of American polo. The Committee selected two players with outstanding records, a pair of supporters of the game which made lasting contributions to polo in this country, and two polo ponies which were at the top of their respective generations. I wish to express my gratitude to all the Committee members who worked long and hard in selecting these inductees from a large pool of highly qualified nominees.”
If you would like to join in the celebration to welcome the new inductees into the Polo Hall of Fame, you may purchase seats for the dinner up to a week in advance. Reservations are $200.00 each (tax deductible portion $100.00).
The 25th Anniversary Induction Ceremony and Awards Gala and Silent Auction will take place at the Museum of Polo on Friday, February 14th, 2014 and is the most important fundraising event for the Museum each year, so we hope you will help support your Museum – a 501 (c) 3, not-for-profit organization. Contact Brenda Lynn at the Museum of Polo, (561) 969-3210 or (561) 969-7015, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details, information, or to make your reservations.