Equestrian sports are embedded into the spirit of Maryland. In 1962, Maryland became the first state to adopt a state sport, naming jousting as the official sport of the State of Maryland. While most people are unaware that the state sport is Jousting, almost everyone is aware that the Preakness Stakes takes place in Baltimore every May.
While it is neither a state sport nor part of the Triple Crown races, polo has become a staple in equestrian sports throughout Maryland. One of the clubs in Maryland that has expanded into a international club is the Capitol Polo Club in Montgomery County. Capitol Polo has grown to include “about 40 members from around Montgomery County, Washington DC, and one drives all the way from Charleston West Virginia” said Melanja Jones the Polo Manager and Head Instructor at Capitol Polo Club. In addition to the members from the United States, Capitol Polo “has international members representing China, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina, Chile, and England”
Unlike some polo clubs, Capitol Polo plays three seasons out of the year. The club hosts member practices, several charity events such as the Green Cup and Chukkers for Cecilia in support of diabetes research, and a wide array of tournaments, including youth and women’s tournaments. May through October they also host Sunday games which are open for the public on the grandstand field. Polo truly is “a unique spectator sport combining the appeal of the horses with a contact sport and a great social occasion for all ages” said Jones. So make sure and head out on Sunday to watch a match. If you’re interested in joining the fun on the field by learning to play polo, the Capitol Polo Academy is a great place to start. The academy offers instruction and fun from beginner through advanced levels. No previous polo experience is necessary, they will teach you everything. Capitol Polo was nice enough to let some of the Maryland Sports employees try their hand at polo, and while we were by no means good, it was a great day and everyone had a blast. If you want to watch our adventures, click here.
Facilities like Capitol Polo Club will continue to expand the sport of polo in Maryland keeping the state’s equestrian roots alive.
To learn more about Capitol Polo and all it has to offer visit their website.