I am taking the sphere with Old Hickory Bourbon, one among 16 groups competing within the inaugural GAUNTLET OF POLO™, USPA Florida Circuit Governor Stevie Orthwein Jr. Is as active and concerned behind the curtain as he is in the game. The oldest of Ginny and Hall of Famer Stephen A. Orthwein’s three sons, he assumed the reins of his father’s Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida, dedicating his lifestyles to the advancement of polo as generations of Orthweins have carried out earlier than him.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Orthwein played intercollegiate polo for the University of Virginia (UVA), balancing the needs as a Cavalier crew captain even as reading authorities and overseas affairs. As a 3-time Federation of International Polo (FIP) competitor, Orthwein’s career as a four-goaler has taken him across the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, and France.
Residing seasonally in Wellington, Florida, Orthwein spends his summers at Grammar Farm (his wife’s early life domestic) in Franklin, Tennessee, playing at the Nashville Polo Club and educating on the close by Franklin Polo Academy. His marriage uniting families with a shared passion for polo, Orthwein unexpectedly reconnected with Margaret Lipman (daughter of Robert Lipman) at her sister’s wedding ceremony. The pair got engaged at Robert’s Western World, a well-known honky-tonk on Broadway within the coronary heart of Nashville.
An aggressive tennis player growing up, Orthwein’s hobbies consist of vegetable and flower gardening and his spouse and a love for all things sports associated, together with the occasional round of golf. Hoping to one day percentage the game together with his two-12 months-vintage daughter Hazel, Orthwein is worked up to make an effect in polo’s upward trajectory, always striving to decorate the enjoy for all who play within the nation’s polo capital. What is your equestrian background, and the way did you become concerned about polo?
“I come from a long line of polo gamers as a 3rd-era participant myself. My grandfather becomes a fox hunter who commenced gambling polo after World War II at the St. Louis Polo Club in St. Louis, Missouri. His five sons all performed polo sooner or later in their lives, and many of their youngsters play and are married polo gamers. My father, Stephen Orthwein, had a deep passion for the sport, so it became very natural for him to train me and my brother Robert a way to play when we were developing up.
Most of my early riding classes have been taught by way of my mother main me around our farm and the neighboring farms, which included my grandfather’s. The first horse I found out to trip as a child turned into a palomino pony named Daffodil. Later, I got the polo trojan horse and started playing with the St. Louis Polo Club in novice chukkers because there wasn’t a junior polo program at the membership.
I might additionally once in a while tour with my dad when he played in Florida, and there I turned into able to get involved in a few junior polos. Still, the junior polo at that time become a good deal smaller and much less prepared than it’s far these days. My dad could travel as much as Chicago and play at Oak Brook and Naperville Polo Clubs in Illinois in the summertime, and he would bring me alongside. The first event I ever played became a Governor’s Cup 6-purpose towards Robert Yackley at Blackberry Polo Club in Batavia, Illinois.
In 2002 my senior yr, our guys’ group [Stevie Orthwein, Santiago Avellan, Richard W. Hartnett Jr.] ultimately beat Texas A&M after many near defeats to win the National Intercollegiate Championship 19-14. Winning the championship in my very last year of university was a massive deal for me. I became around 12 years vintage at the time, and I ended up substituting for Carlucho Arellano.”
Becoming a crew captain in college became an excellent opportunity because it allowed me to take on a leadership role at a young age. Young gamers usually don’t get to experience leading a crew, so that is one of the first-rate things about intercollegiate polo. That role becomes very valuable to me each in my polo development and in widespread, at that time in my existence.”
Do you have a favorite horse or most memorable horse at some point in your career?
“I had a bay gelding named Star Man that stands out as one in every one of my preferred horses. He always played with a whole lot of coronary heart and was very strong on a trip off. His quickness, handiness, and strength made up for now not having numerous speeds. However, he becomes willing to perform each time I added him to the sector. He got here from my grandfather’s breeding software, and I got him from one of my uncles while he was 18 years old. We have been the same age when I was given him, and I had the chance to replacement in a U.S. Open Polo Championship® in recreation with him while he was 26, which may also or might not be a report!”