Maryland’s National Champion High School Polo Teams To Receive State Honor
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland-based women’s and men’s high school polo teams that recently won the 2015 national interscholastic polo championships will be honored with Touch of Class Awards from the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) on Friday, July 31, at 7 p.m. at the ‘Swing into Summer” polo tournament at the Maryland Polo Club grounds at Ladew Gardens in Monkton.
The ceremony takes place at half time during the charity tournament sponsored by the Maryland Horse Breeders’ Association. MHIB Chair Jim Steele and board member Beverly Raymond will present the award.
The women’s team, composed of Marissa Wells, sisters Maddie and Abbie Grant, and Stephanie Schultz are coached by Kelly Wells, owner/operator of Marlan Farm in Freeland. This is the second straight year the team, made up of the same four members, earned the national title. In addition, Marissa Wells, who graduated in May from Hereford High School, was named the top U.S. interscholastic women’s polo player. The team will receive the June Touch of Class Award. It is also their second Touch of Class Award presentation.
The men’s squad, known as the West Shore Team, is composed of George Hempt, captain; Tommy Huber, Ben Lynch, Jackson Bennett and Jack Magruder. Although they attend different area high schools, the team is based at the Garrison Forest School in Reisterstown where Cindy Halle is their head coach, assisted by Posey Obrecht. They will receive the July Touch of Class Award.
Both teams are headquartered in Baltimore County, operate out of stables licensed by MHIB and won the Southeast Regional polo championships en route to their national titles. The women’s team traveled to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California to earn their championship and the men’s team won the National Open Interscholastic Championship in Brookshire, Texas.
“Obviously, Baltimore County is getting to be known as a polo powerhouse,” Steele said. “We are extremely proud of the players, the coaches and the fine Maryland horses that they ride in these top competitions.”
MHIB presents the Touch of Class Award monthly to recognize Maryland horses and people who achieve national and international recognition. The award is named in honor of the Maryland-bred mare, Touch of Class, who own two Olympic show jumping gold medals. Now in its fourth year of Touch of Class presentations, MHIB has honored more than 100 Maryland horse men and women, as well as their horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, from more than 20 equestrian disciplines. All have of them have earned national and/or international championships, awards or special recognition.
For more information about MHIB and the Touch of Class Award, contact Ross Peddicord, MHIB executive director at email@example.com or 410-841-5798.