A Look Into the Demands of Polo
I had the privilege of sitting down with Tiffany Meredith, Marketing and Development Director of the Louisville Polo Club, and got to chat with her about the demands of polo, the health of her horses, and how much she loves Excel Equine. Polo is a sport that not many of us equestrians have ever had the opportunity to experience first- hand. We might have attended a match or two, but never have we been able to swing a leg over a polo pony and experience the athleticism and skills these horses require to perform well in this sport. In an effort to somewhat “de-mystify” this facet of the equine world, Tiffany allowed me to gain some insight into what it takes to be successful and what the demands are on their horses.
Q: So how did you get started playing polo?
A: I always rode hunters as a kid and did some eventing in college, but then took a break for about twenty years. When my work lightened up, I thought about starting to take dressage lessons. One of my friends at the time was taking polo lessons so I ended up going with her once and was hooked the second I hit the ball. I never quit taking lessons after that.
Q: What makes the care and maintenance of polo ponies unique?
A: The demands that are placed on them include having to go flat out for 7 ½ minutes without rest and turning abruptly mixed into the high speed. They obviously need a lot of energy for this, especially since the season is in the heat of the summer. I always knew of the importance in sustained energy from what we feed horses from my time spent on the backside of the track. Race horses and other horses that compete in high intensity sports have a lot of strain that takes place on their bodies affecting muscles, joints, and tendons. I knew a healthy diet was vital in maintaining these athletes.
Q: What do you feed your own horses?
A: My horses are older and need a little extra gas and energy to compete. I feed Excel Equine’s Senior HF and have noticed a big improvement in my horses’ coats, muscle development, and weight.
Excel Equine’s Senior HF is a premium senior horse feed. This product has high quality fiber sources, such as beet pulp and an elevated level of Vitamin E. Senior HF is an ideal choice for older horses that are still competing and need a source of safe calories while trying to maintain or put on weight. And don’t let the name fool you…this product would still be a great choice for horses that are not old! Horses that are underweight, ty up easily, have metabolic issues, are prone to colic, or have COPD can all benefit greatly from this feed.
Q: What is your vision for the polo sport in Louisville?
A: There is a huge market for a polo school here. Horses are already so much a part of the culture in Louisville and all of central Kentucky. All communities can come together for a social event that is fun. I would love to see more people get involved like they do at Keeneland when they go tailgate and hang out all day to enjoy the social aspect but also to enjoy the talent of the horses.
I love seeing how equestrians have such a passion for their chosen discipline/sport. Tiffany is an excellent example of a horsewoman who takes the care of her horses seriously. She factors in what their demands are from their jobs and makes dietary and other caretaking decisions in light of those demands. We’re so excited to hear that her horses are thriving on our Senior HF, and would love to share with you the many feeds we have to offer. Excel is so privileged to be able to serve a wide variety of horse communities in central Kentucky and have a first row seat at some of their competitions, races and even polo matches to see the effects of what good nutrition does for these athletes. So let’s count down the days until late spring when we have the opportunity to go enjoy the atmosphere, people, and horses that are exhibited at a polo match right here in Louisville!