Polo

General George S Patton Jr. with his daring exploits, spirited maneuvers, and calculating battle strategies combined to make him the legend we remember today. Spending much of his military career in the cavalry branch of the U.S. Army played a key role in his cause to rescue the renowned Lipizzaner breed during World War II. Elizabeth Letts, in her bestselling book “The Perfect Horse” detailed the experience and the event was also featured in the Walt Disney 1963 film “Miracle of the White Stallions.”

The same traits he embodied in war, such as the bold daring tactics and remarkable focus under pressure, he utilized to set fire on the fields of Polo.

“The virtue of polo as a military accomplishment rests on the following: it makes a man think fast while excited; it reduces his natural respect for his own safety, that is – it makes him bold; it teaches restraint under exciting circumstances… nearest to mounted combat; makes riding worthwhile; keeps a man hard and teaches better horse management.” – General George S. Patton Jr.

George Patton was a devoted lover of equestrian traditions and a passionate supporter of polo. Beyond his appreciation for riding, he believed polo served as the perfect fundamental training tool for crucial war strategy and acute mental exercise. With a six-goal handicap, Patton was one of the best players the Army ever produced. His expertise guided the U.S. Army Team, of which he was manager, in 1922 to win the American Open Championship at Meadowbrook. Patton remained a lifelong rider. During wartimes until his death he was easily identified by his distinct personal uniform riding breeches and high boots. As he grew into folk hero status, it was near impossible to separate the commander from the faithful horseman he embodied.

George S Patton Jr.’s polo legacy endures and continues to inspire Equine lovers and polo enthusiasts the world over. On January 29, 2017 the Empire Polo Club located in Indio, California, held an extraordinary ceremony and field dedication at the final of the 4-Goal USPA General George S. Patton Jr. Tournament. To honor Patton’s lifelong love and appreciation for
horses and the sport of polo, the Empire Polo Club dedicated its main Sunday Polo Field to be named the “The General Patton Field.” The ceremony unveiled a new flagpole and commemoration plaque honoring General Patton’s renowned military and equestrian legacy.

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