American Polo Pioneer
Sue Sally Hale
in National Geographic's
The Book of
From roaming the Hollywood hills on horseback dressed as an Indian all the way to polo's Hall of Fame, Sue Sally Hale "just wanted to play polo". At the age of eleven in a Hollywood restaurant with her show business parents she wrote on a place card, "I want to be a bronc buster or a polo player". Polo won out! Single handedly and with sheer determination she worked her way up to become an integral part of the sport. At times disguised as a boy and for many years the only girl on the polo field, she went where no woman had ever been, Sunday polo.
Sue Sally and "Maya"
Sue Sally on "Traveler"
Sue Sally started polo at the Riviera Polo Club in Pacific Palisades, California in the late 1940s under the tutelage of some the greatest polo players of the day and continued on at the Will Rogers Polo Club where she, at times, even disguised herself as a boy to play. With no predecessor and no path to follow she persevered, playing regularly up and down the west coast, participating on teams with such legendary players as Skene, Linfoot, Conant, Atkinson, Jason, Wooten, Graber, Murry, Howden, and Coulter, campaigning for more than 20 years to be included in the United States Polo Association (USPA). In 1972 Sue Sally Hale was accepted as a playing member of the USPA, finally eligible to play in officially sanctioned tournaments.
For the next 30 years Sue Sally (Sal) shared her enthusiasm and love for the game of polo with everyone she encountered becoming the "Grand Dame" of polo, 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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