South Africa polo by Matthew Gomez
South Africa polo by Matthew Gomez

In its second season, Franklin Polo Academy has not only brought some of the best arena polo players in the world to play in Franklin’s Tractor Supply Co. Arena at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm; it’s also now set to launch an inter-scholastic polo program sanctioned by the U.S. Polo Association.

On Saturday, October 7, the public has a chance to be a part of history, as the newly established Tennessee team takes on the talented Bluewater Creek team of Killen, Alabama. Among the Nashville-area players are brothers Jacob and Zach Wallace of Station Camp High School in Gallatin and Cey Johnson of Page High School in Franklin.

Following the 3 p.m. inter-scholastic match, the professionals will take the arena, with the Windmill Title USA team taking on the Ashblue South Africa squad in a rematch of one of last year’s most exciting matches, when South Africa edged the USA team 10-7. The 2017 International Cup is presented by Carlock Motorcars.

“This is an important moment for polo in Tennessee,” said James Armstrong, director of Franklin Polo Academy. “Our objective from the beginning has been to provide a platform for more people to get involved in the game, and we’re proud to be hosting a sanctioned inter-scholastic match in our second year. In the International Cup, we’re again showcasing some of the top players in the game today, and expect a very competitive match.”

Among the USA team are local stars Chris Nevins and Lexie Armstrong, along with Wes Finlayson, one of the top rising stars in the world. At just 21 years old, the Grand Champions Polo Club team member began playing as a professional internationally at age 15. He already has two USPA President’s Cup wins under his belt.

For the South Africans, longtime USPA polo instructor and Sarasota, Florida-based pro player Stuart Campbell will join Whistle Uys, whose Graymar Farms team is a perennial championship competitor in the Florida winter season. Rounding out the team is Zulu Scott-Barnes, who has played internationally but settled in Nashville to support a growing polo community.

Families interested in enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon watching the matches can expect something for everyone to enjoy. Franklin Polo Academy will again be offering pony rides, face painting, a bounce house, music and halftime challenges for the kids. The concessions stand at the Tractor Supply Co. Arena will have food available from Catering by Suzette, along with a cash bar.

General admission tickets are $10 at the gate, and children ages 10 and under get in free. Cabanas are available – along with food and drink packages – on the grass berm of the Arena. For more information, visit www.franklinpolo.com or email info@franklipolo.com.

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Andrea Hinds
Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.