Triple Crown of Polo

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News 12 at 11, September 16, 2007

AIKEN, S.C.---The Triple Crown of Polo event has grown each week. Last week, 900 people attended the tournament, this week 1,200, and next week they are expecting 4,000 people to attend the finals in Aiken. The president of the Triple Crown of Polo said this tournament puts Aiken on the map.

"This is our first year here and our first year putting the tournament on worldwide TV. Even though Aiken was featured last year as an encore event on ESPN. This year is the first year of the next three years for sure being here in this market place," Triple Crown of Polo President, David McLane said.

The Triple Crown of Polo is held in three markets this year. Santa Barbara, California, Sarasota, Florida, and Aiken, South Carolina.

"With the chance to come down here and see the Triple Crown of Polo, we thought it was a great opportunity to educate the next generation of polo fans," Richard Peterson said.

He's talking about his 9-year-old daughter Helena and her friend Brianna. This is their first polo tournament.

"It is very incredible. It's no other sport that I've seen," Helena Peterson said.

And Helena said she definitely wants to come back next year.

"I love hearing the horses run by. It is amazing," Peterson said.

The fans aren't the only people saying it's amazing. Some polo players spend several months of the year in Aiken.

"I tried to move to Aiken because I could have my horses, and all my polo preparation in the U.S. and not have to travel overseas," polo player Matias Magrini said.

Polo player Jeff Hall is from Santa Barbara, California and said Aiken is a great place for the tournament.

"It's kind of booming again. There's a lot of players..lots of facilities and fields. Lot of people moving here..there's tons of polo. I'm actually thinking about re-locating to Aiken," Jeff Hall said.

Hall says there's also a lot of opportunity.

"Aiken's a great place to have a farm and ranch and have a place to breed and train your young horses which is all a big part of it too," Hall said.

The final results are in from Sunday's matches, and since all teams are tied, the finals will come down to Wednesday's games. New Bridge, Goose Creek, Tres Hijas, and Brigadoon are all tied with one win and one loss a piece. Wednesday's winners will play for the Triple Crown of Polo Championship Saturday at 3 p.m. That match will be televised on ESPN 2. The losers play a consolation match at 1 p.m.

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