Gold Cup Winning Over New Polo Fans

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

September 29, 2005
The final round of the Gold Cup Polo Tournament starts today and forget stereotypes when you look into the stands. The event is popularizing polo in Aiken. In Howard Parker's 46 years this is only the second polo game he's been too and already he's hooked.

"The acrobatics they can do on the back of the horse with a mallet is quite impressive," said Parker. Forget the idea that this is the rich man's game. The gold cup is expanding the audience.

"I'm not rich and I'm enjoying it. It's a great sport," said Parker. Down the field we catch Marty Hart watching the game. He started out as a Gold Cup volunteer. He's only been to two or three games before. Now he's a true fan.

"You know it's caught on when you take a lunch break and run out here and catch a match during the week," said Hart. "I think it's been an excellent venue to introduce people to polo," said Janet Morris, Director of Aiken's Downtown Development Association. Morris sells tickets at her office.

"The most surprising thing to me personally has been the number of people that have come in and said they've never been to a polo game before," said Morris. The hope is new fans who watch the Gold Cup will return for future events. Hart certainly will.
"I know we have the Aiken Polo Club here, Newbridge and there's quite a lot of polo that takes place and I will most likely tee in on their schedules and try to take in as many as I can." said Hart.

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