In this interview with the Port Mayaca Polo Club, Laura Linfoot Townsend introduces PoloWeekly to the history and story behind PMPC. Read on to learn about the family oriented approach that PMPC takes to polo and click here to visit their site directly.
Can you give us a brief background on your club?
The Port Mayaca Polo Club (PMPC) located in Okeechobee, Florida, was founded by Steve Orthwein and his family. He had the vision to establish a haven for polo enthusiasts to collaborate and share in their love of the sport. Port Mayaca Polo is the embodiment of this vision, and was officially founded in 2007 and best represents Mr. Orthwein’s hard work, values and love of the sport.
PMPC has always offered club practices to our members. Traditionally polo players traveled to Florida polo clubs to play on great fields and collaborate with other like-minded polo enthusiasts. In many ways, PMPC feels this concept has been lost over the years. Port Mayaca Polo Club takes this idea to heart and keeps it in mind with everything they do.
The club strives to promote competition without animosity, quality without pretense, comfort without extravagance, and sportsmanship above all else. The polo club boasts 8 Polo Fields, as well as a stick n ball field, a riding field and a schooling field. We have turnout pastures, day paddocks and miles of trails.
What makes your club unique?
Members at Port Mayaca Polo Club can appreciate a unique South Florida polo experience. With club practices 3 days week, you are guaranteed to have plenty of play time. Our practice season begins in early December, with practices Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through April.
There are also informal green horse chukkers available throughout the season. Our members enjoy access to the clubs 500 acre facility. This includes 8 Celebration Bermudagrass fields, a 15-acre schooling field, exercise track and miles of trails and bridle paths.
Club Membership offers opportunities for a wide range of players- whether seasoning young horses, improving your game, or hosting private high goal practices.
Do you host tournaments at your club, if so what’s your most important tournament of the year?
We host a multitude of tournaments, from 6 goal to 22 goal. One of our favorites is the Annual Holiday Family Cup, which in 2018 became the Steve Orthwein Sr Memorial Family Cup. We have hosted the tournament since the clubs founding. It is always the first tournament of our winter season, taking place between Christmas and New Year. Each team must have 2 family members.
Can members from international clubs come and participate in your tournaments?
Everyone is welcome to participate in our tournaments, you do not need to be a PMPC club member.
What kind of other tournaments do your members participate in, do any of your members travel to play?
Many of our members play at other clubs in South Florida in addition PMPC. These clubs include Vero Beach Polo Club, The Villages Polo Club, Sarasota Polo Club, and the International Polo Club at Palm Beach.
How many polo ponies does your club currently have?
Our club does not own polo ponies, but has stabling for over 215 horses on site.
Are you seeing a lot of new people interested in playing polo?
Being in South Florida, we are somewhat isolated from the traditional “grass roots” polo clubs. So brand new players are likely to pop up in other places and then end up at Port Mayaca once they have established themselves with a few ponies and ready for practices.
If someone is interested in coming and taking lessons at your club, what is the best way for them to get started?
Visit our website or give me a call! This year we hosted our first Linfoot Polo Clinic! It was a great success, with support from the Polo Training Foundation and USPA Polo Development. We plan on hosting the clinic annually in the beginning of April.
Where is the best place for people to learn more information about your club?
Anyone interested in learning more can visit our website at www.PortMayacaPoloClub.com
Is there anything else that you would like to share that we have not asked so far?
Yes, please check out the recent video from PoloChannel that does a great job of showcasing the Port Mayaca Polo Club. You can see it here!