American Polo Pioneer


Sue Sally Hale

Carmel Valley, California's Sue Sally Hale was one of the first women to be admitted to the USPA in 1972. Over the years she worked tirelessly to promote women's polo, and her current interests are in establishing a national league for all women registered with the USPA.

POLO: You've been involved in women's polo for quite some time. How did this idea for the national women's league come about?

HALE: Pat Kimbrel, a player from Tulsa Oklahoma, contacted me about conducting a clinic this coming June while the Ralph Lauren's Women's Challenge Cup is taking place,. I accepted her invitation and in the course of our conversation the idea of a Tulsa team coming out to California to play came up. One thing led to another and the formation of a national women's league seemed the best route to pursue,

  There are a lot of women interested  in playing, just look at your polo clinic attendance - a very large portion of the participants are women. And there constantly seem to be more and more women's teams popping up in the intercollegiate ranks. Given the right set-up I think many more women would enter the sport. And the USPA could certainly use more women members.

POLO: What sort of preparations have been made thus far?

HALE: I've been in touch with a number of key people across the country who play in their own areas and have asked them to help me organize this project. Our first task is to gather information for the compilation of a master roster which would contain the names, addresses, ratings and club affiliations of women players all over the country. We would then proceed to circulate the list. It would be very helpful as far as identifying where women's groups play so the local and national games and tournaments could be arranged. Eventually, we hope to report competition results in a bimonthly newsletter.

POLO: What sort of response do you anticipate?
HALE: I think it will be in the hundreds. There are so many women who really aren't interested in playing polo with or against men. ... Women want to improve their polo and they need to feel a part of the sport. they also need to progress at their own pace. ...
 POLO: Who else is assisting you with this project?
HALE: There are four of us presently in each large region of the country. I'm the representative for the West and can be reached at ....Carmel, California. In the East contact Susan Patricelli at ...West Hartford Connecticut, in the mid-States, Patricia Kimbrel at ...Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in the Northwest, Susan Stovall at ...Spokane, Washington.We're open to all suggestions and would appreciate the assistance and support of all women interested.
POLO: It sounds as if the momentum has begun. Any closing thoughts?
HALE: Women's polo needs to grow and improve so that someday women players will be welcomed into any league on any continent. If you're a player or would like to become one, help us see the effort through. Join the USPA and play polo with us. The time has come.

                                     Polo Magazine 1979