SHERIDAN — Flying H Polo club claims to have the best summer polo in the country. Ask the players at the Flying H and they will agree.
The facilities and field conditions contribute to that elite status. Nicolai Galindo is a professional four-goal player who travels to Midland, Texas, during the spring and California during the winter. Galindo said the fields at the Flying H are some the best, rivaling the fields that he plays on in California.
Nonprofessional players also enjoy the fields at the Flying H. Tom Sprung owns a construction company in the Denver area and has been coming up to the Big Horn and Sheridan area for the past 10 years to play polo. He started out by playing at the Big Horn Polo Club and is playing his first season at the Flying H.
Sprung said the combination of the great fields and amazing weather makes the polo very enjoyable. Sprung attributes Flying H being the best place to play polo to the way the teams are changed each week, which differ from teams out west. Sprung said during the winters he takes his team out to play at the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio, California, and teams remain the same all season.
At the Flying H, most people come in as pairs, a patron and a pro. The patron is usually an amateur player that finances the team, hiring the professional players for the team. Each week these pairs are mixed together to create a new team of four.
Galindo said this set-up allows people to interact with each other and play with a wide range of styles, instead of the same three other people. This keeps the games from getting boring to him since each week will be different from the next.
Players will build friendships with one another. Sprung described everyone playing polo at the Flying H as “chill.” The players are respectful to one another and support each other. He gave the example of when he misses the ball, his teammates are not yelling at him for messing up. Instead, they are coaching him on how to do better next time.
This does not mean players and the polo matches are not competitive. Galindo said players still want to win, just not at all costs. Everyone is just out there having fun.
Disagreements will arise, just like any sport, but once the heat of the moment is over everyone lets it go and remains friends. Galindo said this is a nice break from always being against everyone else at other polo clubs. Games at the Flying H are enjoyable and relaxing for the professional.
With the teams being mixed up weekly, Sprung said he has the opportunity to play polo with world-class players, an opportunity he enjoys. With professionals being added to the mix, the mid-level polo match cranks the game to a faster pace, moving the ball up and down the field more quickly than other mid-level games, Sprung said. Players are spending less time fighting over the ball and the game overall is more fluid than other places, Sprung said.
Each week is a new tournament at the Flying H with match games being played throughout the week to determine final teams for the main weekend event.