(First published in June 2018 issue of The Equiery)

In Maryland, Cindy Halle may be best known as former coach of Garrison Forrest School’s polo teams, but her dedication to the sport of polo goes much further. She is a player, umpire, clinician and even a certified trainer to train other polo instructors. Since she first started playing nearly four decades ago, she has helped grow the sport in many ways.

For her role within the US polo community, the US Polo Association recently named her their Woman of the Year. Halle said, “The award is not just for playing, it’s for contribution to the sport. I was very surprised and honored to receive it.” USPA describes the award as being for women who serve as role models; “women whose selflessness, passion and drive have contributed to the sport for the greater good of the polo community.”

Halle was first introduced to the sport when she was a show rider and began exercising polo horses for extra saddle time. While attending the University of California Davis, she started playing right at the time when women were first allowed to participate in the sport. Returning to   Maryland, Halle was the coach at Garrison Forrest for 10 years before “retiring” to raise a family.  “One never really retires from this sport and after taking some time off to raise my kids, I was coaching at Garrison again for another 10 years.” Halle officially retired as Garrison’s coach at the end of the 2017 school year.

Her most recent project is the Charm City Polo Club, a new program that has started at City Ranch in Baltimore. “Our goal is to have two teams that can play in the middle school league this coming fall,” she stated.