American Polo Pioneer
Sue Sally Hale
By the time she was 11 she knew what she wanted to be, "... a polo player". The year was 1949. Unfortunately for Sue Sally there was no organized polo for women after WWII and women weren't allowed to join the all men's United States Polo Association, so she did the next best thing. She disguised herself as a man to be able to play. Thus began a historic and epic journey from hitting rocks across carved out lots in the Hollywood hills all the way to Polo's Hall of Fame. Sue Sally (Jones) Hale went where no woman had ever been, Sunday polo.
Sue Sally started polo at the Riviera Polo Club in Pacific Palisades, California in the late 1940s under the tutelage of some of the greatest polo players of the day. With no predecessor and no path to follow she persevered, playing regularly up and down the west coast with such legendary players as LeBlanc, Coulter, Skene, Linfoot, Conant, Atkinson, Jason, Wooten, Graber, Murray and Howden, campaigning for more than 20 years to be included in the United States Polo Association (USPA).
On January 1, 1972 Sue Sally Hale was accepted as a playing member of the USPA, finally eligible to compete in officially sanctioned tournaments.
Sue Sally and "Maya"
For the next 30 years, she continued to share her enthusiasm and love for the game of polo with everyone she encountered becoming the top American woman player of her era and polo's "Grand Dame", a legend in her own time.
Sue Sally was a trail blazer who pushed the boundaries of what was possible, accepted or allowed. She criss-crossed the country opening doors, creating opportunities and propelling the sport of polo forward inspiring generations who followed. With a career in polo that spanned more than five decades she achieved many historic firsts for women in polo , all the while mentoring and reinforcing the positive role of women as professional players, instructors, managers and organizers in polo.
Named one of 20 Legends of Polo, her accomplishments and contributions to polo have been recognized next to such polo legends as: Harry Payne Whitney, James Gordon Bennett, Devereaux Milburn, Cecil Smith, Thomas Hitchcock Jr., John T Oxley and Carlton Beal .
In addition to her passion for polo, Sue Sally was a competitor, instructor and mentor in several equine disciplines, the mother of five children (Brook, Stormie, Dawn, Sunset & Trails), a volunteer fireman, an EMT, a community activist, an artist, an author and an award winning poet.
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