A History of Excellence

The first University of Connecticut polo team was organized by Hal Vita in 1969. Polo has been an intercollegiate sport of men at UConn since 1969 and for women since 1976. Since its founding, the team has captured the men’s National Intercollegiate Polo Championships in 1972, 1973, and 1974 as well as the women’s National Intercollegiate Polo Championships in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, and 2022. The men’s teams of 1982 and 84 were Reserve National Intercollegiate Polo Champions. The women first came into national prominence in 1995, when they were Reserve National Champions. During the 1997-1998 season, the UConn Women were unbeaten in intercollegiate competition with a perfect 16 and 0 record! UConn’s men’s team had a record of nine wins and only two losses that same year, which was the best overall Intercollegiate polo record in the nation for 1997-98 season! In 2001, the program received a major upgrade with the construction of a new indoor arena. At 120 by 220 feet, UConn’s arena is one of the largest and newest in the country. The arena includes a heated lounge, dressing rooms, and an office.
In 2003, Matt Syme, a former UConn polo player, became field coach of both the men’s and women’s teams. Since his departure as coach, various UConn Polo alumni have filled the role, including Patrick Marinelli, Anders Carlton, and Drew Gale. The UConn Polo Club is funded through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Animal Science Department. All of the horses that belong to UConn’s string have been generously donated to the program from members of the polo community.