Learn To Play Polo In Vinings

Polo October C 2014 043Want to learn to play the sport of kings, but don’t have a polo pony, or even a mallet? The Atlanta Regional Polo Center in Vinings holds a polo school for new players, both youth and adult.

Between the banks of the Chattahoochee and Polo Lane in Vinings is one of the few polo fields in the metro area. Developed by Dolph Orthwein, a great-grandson of the legendary Adolphus Busch, in 1985, the area has room for a regulation polo fiend, practice field, and horse stables.

A regulation-sized polo field is 300 yards long by 160 yards wide. You can fit 7.5 football fields into the square footage of a polo field.

Jolie Liston, founder of the Atlanta Regional Polo Club in Tyrone, is the instructor. She began a polo school for juniors in Vinings three years ago. It is an all-inclusive program for kids and juniors with little or no riding experience up to individuals who are experienced riders.

The program provides all horses and equipment so the students just show up and get to learn to play.

The program then allows any students to continue in a competitive program as they progress.

Frankie Questal, assistant instructor, said, “You don’t need to know how to ride, you can learn it all at the Polo School.” The eight-lesson course includes all equipment, plus use of the horses.

In addition to the school there are full Polo Matches on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays, weather permitting. The outdoor season runs from May through October and then moves indoors in Tyrone.

Dave Shurden, parent of a rider, said his son, McCauley Tinnermon “started off watching a polo match online and was very interested in how the sport worked.” After meeting with Ms. Liston and discussing the program, “by the next week Mac was out riding and trying to hit the ball.”

“After that he was hooked and I have to admit my wife and I really enjoy going out to the fields and just watching, it’s all so friendly and family oriented,” he said.

“This program has taught Mac how to depend now just on his team members but the horse and equipment,” Shurden said. “His maturity has developed so much with the program Jolie has put together, we all just love it.”

Polo can also be a social occasion, as spectators gather to watch the matches.

Groups line the field with picnic baskets of snacks and beverages.

“This is hockey on a horse for me,” said Brad Mattson who manages a nearby business.

For more information on the polo school go to http://www.polobearpoloclub.com/polo-school.

From the October 2014 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.