Midland Polo Club Provides Community With Centuries Old Sport

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MIDLAND - Polo is a sport that was invented long before written record. It was brought to Midland, TX in the early 1900's by a college student named Jay Floyd.

The Floyd family raised thoroughbreds on their ranch, and used a dry-lakebed as their first field. Now the club consists of 30 acres, tucked away in North Midland.

"For our club to last this long through bust and booms and everyone just has a heart for this club, which is what brought me back here," says Molly Musselman, the Midland Polo Club teacher.

Musselman was born in Midland, and grew up watching her dad play at the polo club. She started the polo team at TCU, but gave up the sport after graduation to pursue a career as a broker in Fort Worth.

"I was so used to the barn, and the smell of horses and all of that fun stuf," said Musselman. "I said 'I'm quitting my job. I'm going to go work at a barn."

Museelman moved back home, and immediately began helping her sister run the polo school. She has been running the school for 8 years now, and said that one of the main keys to her students' success is understanding the importance of responsibility.

"You have to feed them. You got to make sure all their tack is right. And you have to make sure everything is good when you get on so the horse doesn't get hurt, or you don't get hurt," said polo student Allison Brooks.

"I was always finding myself coming before school to come and work the horses and make sure that they aren't stiff, so that in the afternoons they could play," said Hollis Hightower, an interscholastic polo player. "You're always cleaning tack, and mucking stalls, and making sure that everybody is fed and watered."

While taking care of a thousand-pound animal is a full-time job, members of the club say in this sport, it's all about relationships.

"It's a community and having all of these nice people, it's like a family," said Davis Hord, member of the Midland Polo Club.

"When you're playing it's definitely like you're definitely one with the horse, and you learn so much about the horse," added Hightower.

"I wish I could be here all summer so I could do all of the polo" Brooks concluded. "I can't wait until we get to do it again."