Idahoan makes U.S. polo team
Who would have guessed a young man growing up on a farm and ranch operation in Idaho would be one of seven members on the U.S. Polo Association (UTPA) team.
Meet Lucas Reid.
Reid grew up in the Wolverine Canyon—Preston Bench area and learned horsemanship on the farm.
About a month ago, Reid returned from training camp for the U.S. Polo team. The week’s training was in Wellington, Fla., the polo capital of the U.S. It was a busy week.
Besides meeting his teammates and coaches, Reid attended hitting clinics, learned about how to school a horse and proper bridling techniques, among other things.
“I’m being trained by the best American polo players,” Reid said. “Normally, these guys could be charging $500 to $1,000 per hour for the training I’m getting.
“USPA wants to get the popularity of polo in the U.S. going again,” he said. “After being selected for the national team, I will be given three years of training and three years of support.
“USPA wants to support the growth of the program at the pro and amateur levels, Reid said. “After my training, I will be able to give back to people coming up.
“Polo is seen as a rich man’s sport but USPA helps you find sponsors and you can work off some of the expenses off by fixing fences, and other things, he said.
“I’m new to the sport,” said Reid.
“My older brother’s fiancé had started a women’s polo team at the U of I,” he said. “I was interested in the sport so she suggested I start a men’s team.
“During my sophomore year of college, two friends and I started a men’s team,” he said.
A collegiate polo team is played three players on three players in an arena.
“I had applied to be on team USPA, but with only three years experience, I didn’t expect much,” Reid said.
“Last September, I was notified I had made the team,” he said. “I went from excited to ecstatic in about a second.”
What Reid likes best about polo is the intensity of the game.
“You’re on top of a 1,000 pound horse,” Reid said. “It’s mentally demanding with lots of strategy.”
A polo match is played in four quarters, called chuckers.
“You switch horses every chucker,” he said. “You only have a one to two-minute rundown to get to know the horse before you jump on and go play it."
Since polo is no longer part of the Olympics, now every four years there is an international polo competition.
“My goal is to be part of the six-man American polo team,” said Reid. “I’m looking forward to seeing where it’s going to take me.”