Temecula Valley will soon be home to a new polo club – the first of its kind in the area. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Temecula Valley Polo Club, located at Galway Downs in Temecula, became certified as a new member of the United States Polo Association (USPA).
“We welcome the newly formed Temecula Valley Polo Club as a member of the USPA,” said Dennis Geiler, Pacific Coast Circuit Governor, USPA. “Polo in California is an important part of our association and we are excited about the continued growth in the popularity of our sport.”
Temecula Valley Club President Geraldine Strunsky is passionate about both polo and philanthropy, so she plans to use the club to help area nonprofit organizations to raise funds for their programs.
Tomorrow’s weather? Click here.
“We are thrilled to position the club as a regional fundraising venue and prestigious polo club, showcasing the talent of local and internationally renowned players in our beautiful wine country,” Strunsky said.
Strunsky is also president of nonprofit agency The Humanity of Justice Foundation, which funds programs for abused and neglected children.
Serving as a regional fundraising venue for area and national charities, the polo club will host exclusive events to raise funds and awareness for a variety of causes, merging philanthropy with the sport of polo.
“I am working with several local charities and sponsors to hold fundraisers in the upcoming seasons,” Strunsky said. “Celebrity Ranch has already partnered with the polo club to do a fundraiser with The Humanity of Justice Foundation. And there are a handful of other interested organizations. I plan to do about 10 large events this year.”
Temecula Valley Polo Club members will be able to play four days per week – Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – beginning May 1. Strunsky plans to open a polo school and offer a series of clinics geared toward learning about polo, basic horsemanship and riding.
“Hourly lessons will be given as well,” she said. “We’ll be open to experienced and novice riders.”
Strunsky has been collaborating with Ken Smith, owner of Galway Downs to prepare the 240-acre equestrian center for certification by the USPA. There are a few other arena based polo clubs in the area, but the Temecula Valley Polo Club at Galway Downs will be the first grass field polo club in the region.
There will be an opening party for the polo club May three at Galway Downs from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission is free of charge. There will be a small fee for parking.
There will also be a cocktail reception at the equestrian center for Temecula Valley Polo Club sponsors and partners Feb. 1 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Anyone interested in sponsorship or membership may contact Strunsky at 760-832-5297 or Geraldine(at)hojf.org.
Jennifer Dean is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.