Palm Beach, FL - Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame
The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame
Preserving the Past for Tomorrow’s Players and Fans
The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame can be found in Lake Worth, Florida, and is just a short drive from the International Polo Club in Wellington. The Museum of Polo is currently the only polo museum in the world and is TOTALLY self-supporting.
The Museum of Polo receives no financial support from either the United States Polo Association or the Polo Training Foundation and relies on donations from the polo community and the general public.
For those curious about the sport of polo, past, present or future, the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame is a rich repository for the story of American polo. The Museum, a 501 (c) 3, non-profit educational organization, is home to an extensive collection of historic documents and physical treasures which include extraordinary works of art, magnificent trophies, artifacts, books, statistical records, periodicals, films, videos, recordings and much polo memorabilia.
The Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the grand history and tradition of the sport of polo for the generations of the future.
Since 1990 the Hall of Fame at the Museum has honored the heroes of the sport, each year inducting icons of the past and eligible living heroes of polo into the ranks of the great. In recent years, foreign players are eligible to be inducted if they have made significant contributions to polo in the United States. In 2000 “Horses to Remember” was added to the Hall of Fame to honor the equine heroes of the sport and in 2001 the Hall of Fame added the Philip Iglehart Award for those individuals who have made exceptional lifetime contributions to the sport of polo. This coming February the latest individuals to join the inductees into the Hall of Fame will be: Carlos Gracida (living Hall of Fame inductee), James P. “Jimmy” Mills (posthumous Hall of Fame Inductee), George Alexander (Living Iglehart award inductee), A.G. “Herbie” Pennell (posthumous Iglehart Award Inductee) and the horses Bob Beveridge’s Chips Royal and Mike Phipps’ gray gelding named Brown Fern. The Hall of Fame Induction Awards Dinner Gala takes place each year on the Friday of President’s Day weekend in February. This year the date is Friday, February 17th, 2012. This is traditionally the largest fundraising event for the Museum each year and is attended by the virtual Who’s Who of the polo world.
During a lunchtime discussion in 1978, the concept of the Museum was born as a vision of four polo players, H. Jeremy Chisholm, Phillip L. B. Iglehart, Leverett S. Miller, and George C. Sherman, Jr., who dreamed of establishing a place to honor and preserve the history of the sport. A temporary site was established at the Kentucky Horse Park and as the idea took hold and the collections started to grow, it became apparent that a permanent and larger site was needed. By 1997, they had succeeded in raising the funds, the permanent site was selected and the Museum was built, on time and under budget, at the current location in Lake Worth, Florida.
Every year, new and exciting exhibits are added to the Museum that are of interest to players and fans of the sport. There is truly something for everyone.
A permanent and newly renovated polo timeline exhibit provides a fascinating journey from the roots of polo which originated in Asia over 2,600 years ago, through the decades of its evolution in America, to its present day status as a worldwide sport. Polo has survived and continues to flourish owing much to the enduring relationship of human and horse which is celebrated in this exhibit. Other newly added exhibits include fascinating elements of polo such as “The Polo Pony; An Extraordinary Athlete”, The History of the Westchester Cup, Women in Polo, Arena Polo, Horses To Remember Portraits with push-and- play information, Best Playing Ponies, and the sweeping history of the “Super Bowl” of polo in America, the United States Open and much more.
Visitors can also explore the Hall of Fame area and reflect on the many magnificent trophies dating from the 1880’s around the time of the birth of polo in America, a collection that includes artifacts such as the fabulous silver filigree ball from the Maharaja of Jaipur and a 19th century trophy designed by English silversmith Paul Storr, which was donated by Mrs. Helen Boehm in 1997. There are amazing works of art both old and contemporary. Paintings by F. B. Voss, G. D. Rowlandson and Paul Brown are among the artistic treasures of the museum.
A multi-media theater is a part of the Museum that features important films and videos of the sport and the library contains many books, journals, magazines, statistical and written records, most of which are available for research.
When visiting the museum, one should plan to spend about one hour to an hour and a half to view the exhibits and library. Included in that time span is the viewing of a wonderful 10-minute film about the Museum of Polo that also serves as an introduction and explanation of the sport of polo.
The Museum is open Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and on Saturdays during the Polo Season only, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Admission is free, donations are appreciated.
The museum is a source of growing pride in the community as a place for research and study about a sport that has defined a special segment of our American heritage.
The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame is located at 9011 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL 33467, 561-969-3210.