Hawaiian rider Danielle Travis has proved that you don’t need to be rich to play polo, all you need is to find the right pony on Craig’s List and you can play with the best of them
The Horse Show is presented by Chris Stafford
Podcast length: 33’26”
Danielle Travis has created her own pathway to a sport that is generally perceived to be elitist and usually demands the wherewithal to be able to own a string of polo ponies. Based in Hawaii, Danielle has the added challenge of traveling to the mainland to compete with other clubs, which speaks to her passion and determination to further her game. She has played with some of the sport’s top players and in 2011 was one of two women among 12 players to be named to Team USPA by the U. S. Polo Association. Born in Wailea, Hawaii, Danielle first sat in the saddle at age four and spent her childhood emerged in a variety of sports from surfing and wakeboarding, naturally, to tennis, softball, competitive gymnastics and dressage and hunter jumpers. It was when she discovered polo at the age of 16 where she found the equestrian sport that would provide a team environment that she found most satisfying. Her passion for polo became an addiction once she had a taste of college polo while at Santa Barbara City College and later at Texas Christian University. Once she had graduated Danielle went shopping for a polo pony but instead of perusing the polo world she went on Craig’s List to find the pony in Texas that she could afford. An Appendix Quarter Horse called Boomie fit her budget and ambitions and she loaded her on a trailer to haul her to Aiken, South Carolina. She got the leg up she needed playing in polo tournaments and continued to travel from coast to coast gaining experience and developing the network she needed to establish herself in the sport. She is now the highest ranked female polo player in Hawaii. With Boomie back home on Hawaii having a break from tournaments, Danielle has headed back to California to lease some ponies and play the clubs there with a view to becoming self sufficient with her own string one day and eventually play in Argentina and Europe. Chris Stafford caught up with Danielle just before she headed to California.
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