American Polo Pioneer
Sue Sally Hale
American Polo Pioneer Sue Sally Hale was a trailblazer for women in polo. She is credited with breaking American polo's sex barrier in 1972 when, after 20 years of trying, she gained membership in the sport's national governing body.
By the time she had turned 11 years old she knew what she wanted to be, "a bronc buster or 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 (USPA). Thus, began her epic journey, from hitting rocks across carved out lots in the Hollywood hills all the way to Polo's Hall of Fame.
Sue Sally started playing polo at the Riviera Polo & Country 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, at times disguising herself as a man to be able to play. Sue Sally went where no woman had gone before, Sunday polo with the men.
Playing polo regularly up and down the west coast with and against such legendary players as
Sue Sally & Maya
LeBlanc, Coulter, Skene, Linfoot, Conant, Atkinson, Jason, Wooten, Graber, Murray and Howden,
she campaigned for more than 20 years to be included in the United States Polo Association.
In January of 1972, Sue Sally Hale was accepted as a playing member of the USPA, finally eligible to play in officially sanctioned polo tournaments. She became the top American woman player of her era, a legend in her own time.
For the next 30 years, she continued to share her enthusiasm and love for the game with everyone she encountered hoping more people would take up the sport she loved. Sue Sally pushed the boundaries of what was possible, accepted or allowed. She crisscrossed the country opening doors, creating opportunities and propelling the sport of polo forward inspiring generations who followed and in the process was crowned polo’s “Grande Dame”.
With a career in polo that spanned more than fifty years, Sue Sally 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 Who Left Their Mark, A Tribute To Those Whose Unique Contributions Shaped American Polo" her accomplishments and contributions to polo were recognized next to such polo legends as: Harry Payne Whitney, James Gordon Bennett, Devereaux Milburn, Cecil Smith, Thomas Hitchcock Jr., John T Oxley, Paul Butler, Northrup Knox, Dr, William (Billy) Linfoot, 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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