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The Springfield Polo Club has been active since 1973 and we owe thanks to these fine folks who were the founding members. They had the vision and passion to re-establish polo in Manitoba with an official charter.

As it has always been, the Springfield Polo Club is a place to play, learn, socialize, enjoy, stay active, and work together to preserve the great game of polo. As a membership driven club, club members help do a variety of tasks like umpiring, managing facilities, organizing events, hosting parties, planning tournaments, sitting on committees, etc. Most members keep their horses right in their own back yards, feeding and caring for them daily, and honing their skills on the polo field for that next thrilling chukker! For us, polo is a way of life. 

The Heart of Manitoba Polo

Manitoba has a long polo history that stretches back to 1894 when the first match was played in Winnipeg.  Beginning in 1907, polo was played by the military and at Polo Park (now Winnipeg’s premier shopping centre), at Whittier Park (now the home of the Festival du Voyageur) and at the prestigious St. Charles Country Club.  Polo faded from the scene for some time following the First World War and the Great Depression.  For the 100th anniversary of the St. Charles Country Club in 2004, Bruce King and Gary Senft attended on horseback in polo gear and did demonstrations, including being asked to gallop down the 18th fairway demonstrating a ride-off and various shots.  Now that was a nice field to play on!

Polo was reintroduced to Manitoba by Ross Fargey who learned to play polo in Accra, the capital of Ghana, West Africa, while spending a number of years teaching at the Accra University.  Upon his return to Springfield, Ross stirred up excitement surrounding the sport with an ad in the local Clipper and 12 founding members came together from the Springfield area to draft an official charter in the summer of 1973.  Of the 12 initial members, Ross brought the polo and experience, John Paulsen implemented structure and formalized the club by arranging the charter, and Jack Brow fostered an emphasis on public relations that he soon shared with Jim Page when he joined.   


The first home of the Springfield Polo Club was at the Thunderbird Ranch belonging to founding member Reg Gibson, a popular country music artist and television personality.  Reg owned an arena that he previously used with his cutting horses and this controlled environment was selected for Ross to attempt to teach the game and hold the club’s first match.  The only problem; the ceiling was too low and most of the arena’s light bulbs were broken while the score was still 0-0 half an hour into the game.  Enthusiastic, undeterred, and still with no idea what they were doing, the club played further practices in a small pasture behind Reg’s arena throughout their first season.  Many a polo day was concluded around a campfire with Reg playing and singing late into the night, beginning to bond this ambitious group of local horsemen.

Moving forward, Ross Fargey's sheep pasture was used for practice games while Reg hosted Sunday Polo matches for the first couple of seasons. After this the club found it's ideal home on a natural sand-based field in the center of Birds Hill Provincial Park. Sunday matches were played in the park while Tuesday and Thursday evening practices remained at Fargey's. The proximity of all these fields was important because none of the club members owned a horse trailer yet, requiring that everyone rode to and from the games. It was a real game of neighbours. As the club grew in membership, newcomers from the area swarmed by horseback and simply joined in the action on whatever horse they access to with all the different breeds, shapes, and sizes learning the game as their riders learned simultaneously.


Over the years, players and horses improved, members bought trailers, facilities were enhanced, professionals were introduced and the SPC membership grew. While many players have come and gone, the club has always maintained a loyal and passionate group of core players. 

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