Horse play in McFaddin assists Nave Museum (video)
MCFADDIN - The new pope, beef, Lionel Messi and polo are among the Argentine products that are world-renowned. The latter was on display here Saturday afternoon as part of a fundraiser for the Nave Muesum.
More than 400 people ventured to the McFaddin Ranch Polo Grounds to watch the match between McFaddin Ranch and Rockin P. Polo Club, or get introduced to the sport.
The match was divided into six seven minute chukkars. Throughout the match those who were not busy socializing and eating the free food spent their time educating others abut the rules of the game.
A live auction at halftime raised $19,000 before the teams were at it again. McFaddin Ranch used a pair of Cody Woodfin goals in the last five minutes of the final chukkar to produce a 6-4 victory.
"The field is playing real fast and the ball is rolling a lot, so it's hard to control the ball near goal," said McFaddin's No. 1 Bob McCan at halftime.
Before, during and afterward players on both sides were quick to point out the gentility of the match. In their minds the winners would not be reflected on the scoreboard, but in terms of raising money for the Nave and awareness about the Sport of Kings.
Referee Brant Schafer has traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada in his 42 years in the sport.
He said the backgrounds of the eight participants were a strong representation of the sport considering there were two professionals in Woodfin and Argentine Marcos Villanueva, two amateurs in McCan and Carl Price, as well as two children in Courtney and Grayson Price.
McCan, the McFaddin Ranch director, was introduced to the sport when he was 18 years old. His father learned the game while attending Yale and he brought it home to his family in the 1970s.
McCan frequently drives to Houston to play in one of the most active polo clubs in the country. Afterward, he said he would love nothing more than to have more people from the Crossroads area delve into the sport.
When Marco Di Leo, his brother Orlando and friend Nick Valdes, found out Grayson Price was just 12 years old moments before the match started the three boys were even more excited to see Schafer roll the ball into play to begin the match.
"I'm always amazed at the coordination these players have to deal with to ride a horse and hit the ball at the same time," said 11-year-old Marco. "It seems, they put their bodies under a lot of pressure."