April 5, 2013
By Coleman Cornelius
The men's and women's polo teams will be seeking the program's fourth national championship this week in Texas.
Update, Thursday, April 11: CSU men’s polo is swinging for the national collegiate title. The CSU men's varsity polo team beat the squad from Cornell University 19-12 this morning. Now CSU polo advances to the final in the National Intercollegiate Championship polo tournament near Houston. The final game will be played Saturday morning. Will the Rams bring home the fourth national championship in collegiate polo?
The CSU polo teams, fresh from winning men’s and women’s regional championships, are prepping for the National Intercollegiate Championship polo tournament April 9-13 in Brookshire, Texas.
CSU will face competitors from Cornell University, Southern Methodist University, Washington State University, Westmont College and the University of Virginia.
CSU polo, a club sport, is entirely run by the 45 students involved – much different from the polo teams that dominate the sport in Texas and on the East and West coasts. Yet the team is known for stellar horsemanship.
“This is truly a 100 percent student-run organization. The students do everything. All of their competitors have full-time coaches and horse caretakers,” said Jason Bruemmer, a professor in the CSU Equine Sciences Program and the team’s faculty advisor.
Even so, the team is a powerhouse in college polo’s Central Region, in part for its tradition of excellent polo ponies, riding and playing skills, Bruemmer said. Just two years ago, CSU went to the national tourney against the same backdrop: Both men and women had won regional championships. CSU varsity men and women are undefeated during the 2013 season.
Almost invariably, a CSU student is selected by fellow players as winner of tournament sportsmanship awards, Bruemmer said. Dani Kammann, a senior agricultural business major on the women’s squad, won the award at the collegiate regional tournament in late March.
The CSU Polo Team, established in 1977, won national championships in 1990, 1991 and 1999. The championship is sanctioned by the U.S. Polo Association.
Like their competitors at the national tournament, CSU students will ride polo ponies loaned by collegiate teams in and around Houston because transporting their own horses that distance would be costly and too hard on the animals.