Mallets, Horses, and ‘Chukkers’—Polo Is Back

Handful of players score 1st victory for revived Harvard club

SOUTH HAMILTON—The chortling horses, long-handled mallets, and cries of celebration returned to Gibney Field yesterday.

The Harvard Polo Club, which has struggled to find a permanent place at the University since the late 19th century, jockeyed to victory in its first game of the school year against the Myopia Polo Club in South Hamilton.

Polo has a long and rich history at Harvard. It was a popular pastime in the 1800s and returned sporadically in the past century. Last school year, a group of students revived the club with the help of head coach Crocker Snow Jr. ’61.

Harvard’s men’s team included two alumni and two undergraduates: Nicholas B. Snow ’09 and Alex R. Levin ’08. Three female undergraduates—L. Caroleene Hardee ’09, Meera E. Atreya ’09, and Stephanie A. Hon ’09—made up the women’s team.

The undergraduates on the women’s team had not played polo before the club’s revival last year.

“None of us would have dreamed eight months ago of having such an opportunity,” Hardee said. “We are all very grateful to our coaches.”

Snow, the captain of the men’s team and the son of Crocker Snow Jr., was the most dominant player on the field, scoring five out of seven points to secure Harvard’s victory over Myopia.

Snow comes from a long line of polo enthusiasts: his father was a renowned player, and his eldest brother, Adam Snow, is considered one of the best players in the United States. Cissie Jones Snow, Crocker Snow Jr.’s wife and an established polo player herself, coaches the women’s team.

Sunday’s match, a fundraiser for the Harvard team, was well attended by both Harvard students and South Hamilton community members. A group of senior women traveled 26 miles from Currier House to cheer for Nicholas Snow.

Bay Hudner ’08, one of the Currier fans, said it was her first time attending a Harvard polo match.

“It was a fun Sunday afternoon retreat and we were happy to be spectators for an unconventional collegiate event,” she said.

Sunday’s match, played on the country’s oldest polo field, lasted for six chukkers, or rounds, with the men playing four seven-minute chukkers and the women playing two. The women and men took turns on the field and shared responsibility for the victory over Myopia.

The Harvard Polo Club was fresh from a retreat in San Saba, Texas, where they spent a week training on the ranch of the polo aficionado and actor Tommy Lee Jones ’69.

The club plans to compete against Yale, Cornell, Skidmore College, the University of Connecticut, and possibly some other teams in the upcoming school year.

—Staff writer Joshua J. Kearney can be reached at