1876 Timeline
The beginning of polo in The US & Evidence to the Importance of the English Texans on the Origin of American Polo.

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The English Texans 


Many of The English on the Texas frontier were world adventurers, former military officers and second sons from England's wealthiest families.  Texas was an interesting place in 1876. In fact, Texas became the new Africa for the English as Africa was spent on action and opportunity. 


Texas was the new frontier and so popular of a destination that texas & English businessmen partnered up and formed a new company  called The Liverpool Texas Steamship Company.  They Built New Ships naming them The San Antonio, The San Jacintio & The San Marcus and re-tasked another ship The Lord Bute  to Texas from The Cape of Africa.


The English Texans Many of The English on the Texas frontier were world adventurers, former military officers and second sons from England's wealthiest families.  Texas was an interesting place in 1876. In fact, Texas became the new Africa for the English as Africa was spent on action and opportunity.


The Origins of American Polo? THE LEGEND SAYS James Gordon Bennett established the Westchester Polo Club on May 6, 1876 and on May 13, 1876 the Jerome Park Racetrack in Westchester County was the site of the first American outdoor polo match.The founding fathers of American polo were instrumental in establishing and nurturing the sport of polo in the United States. H.L. Herbert, along with James Gordon Bennett and August Belmont financed the original New York Polo Grounds.. H.L. stated in this 1913 article that they formed the Westchester Club AFTER the "first" outdoor game was played on May 13, 1876. This contradicts the historical record of the club being established before the Jerome Park game..

​ The Origins of American Polo Including The English Texans

During The 1870's Texas cowboys were considered the Genghis Khan of horsemen. 

and New Yorker's like James Gordon Bennett Jr. who lived in urban areas and "the man who brought polo to America" could barely ride & drove buggies. 

May 2nd 1876 Denison Texas has a polo club

FOUR DAYS BEFORE BENNETT'S "FIRST" GAME OF POLO IN THE US WAS PLAYED........It appears from H.L. Herbert's statement from the 1913 article above that Denison HAD A CLUB BRFORE The Westchester club was actually formed. The Denison club already had ponies and plenty of outdoor space to play BECAUSE THEY HAD RANCHES NOT RENTED SUMMER COTTAGES..




May 19th 1876 article talking about the New York polo players can't handle Texas ponies plus a great example of James Gordon Bennett's angle on the story compared to the Galveston News angle. Very funny. You can see why they wanted trained ponies from Texas after the first polo match from the may 17 article above.


SUMMARY OF THE FACTS CONCERNING THE ENGLISH TEXANS


The 1879 & 1898 articles about Belmont in Texas buying polo ponies...COMBINED... with the below facts and all of the above links challenges the orthodox view of America's polo origins and points toward the English Texans

The urban legend of Captain Turquand's influence on early polo in the US plus just 22 years after polo began there is an article written by a person who was actually there in 1876 and heard tales of Belmont & the writer himself witnessed Vanderbilt getting his Texas training.......the 1898 article....

The fact that Harold Gooch, an Englishman, was playing polo in Texas in May 1876 and that Denison announced its polo club on May 2nd four days BEFORE THE "FIRST" GAME IN NEW YORK......

In the H.L.Herbert 1913 article Herbert states that James Gordon Bennett's team had to beg borrow and steal to get horses locally in order to play on the 6th of May and they did not organize the club until  AFTER  the 2nd "match" on May 13th. 

Again, the fact that H.L. Herbert, who played in the 'first' polo match in The US, saying the Westchester club was organized after the Jerome Park game was played and James Gordon Bennett's polo team could barely ride & needed Texans to teach them how to handle the frisky Texas ponies

Trained ponies were sent to New York from the San Antonio area in May 1876 for the game of polo.......

Denison Texas had a polo club, English players,  ponies, sticks, balls and a place to play on May 2nd 1876.


In December of 1876 Captain William Glynn Turquand (THE FATHER OF TEXAS POLO) was called a colonial flockmaster in a British agricultural magazine......

Captain Turquand's sheep shearing device being patented in England in 1875.


Captain Turquand retiring from the British military in 1875.....

Who Swung The Mallet First?

Was it the English buffalo hunting Indian fighter & the ex British military officers or the New York Newspaper rich kid and his buddies who could barely ride horses?

Below is our original posting from 7 years ago (TODAY IS august 25th 2014) it is kept as an archive for the web bots.................. 

​Galveston Daily News - Saturday, April 08, 1876 (28 days before America’s first game of polo)"We have in Texas thousands of little horses, active and strong, that are the most docile, hardy and fleet creatures for their size that can be found in the world…The Texas Pony will make a better horse than those in use in Great Britain, which are generally composed of overgrown Shetlands or Scotch Galloways, who have neither activity nor speed…One great advantage to be derived from the game of polo, we are convinced, will be that it will make all who practice it good horsemen, and give an impetus to equestrian ism that has long been needed in this section of country…The advantage of superior horsemanship was manifest at the commencement of  the rebellion by the Southern cavalry, as every man was a good rider, and they are so still…A Southerner would soon become a good polo player… 

*1861 diary entry by Lt. Col. Arthur Fremantle of the British Coldstream Guards, who visited Texas during the Civil war, observed Texans  fondness for cavalry service: "it was found very difficult to raise infantry in Texas," he said, "as no Texan walks a yard if he can help it." Governor Clark observed that "the predilection of Texans for cavalry service, founded as it is upon their peerless horsemanship, is so powerful that they are unwilling in many instances to engage in service of any other description unless required by actual necessity”.

​Galveston Daily News - Thursday, April 06, 1876 (One month before the first game was played)Bexar County Texas (San Antonio area)Mr. Harry Blasson from New York has been in the region as agent of The New York Herald, Mr. James Gordon Bennett, to purchase twenty small ponies for a “Polo Club” of which he is president. This institution require particularly small and active nags… .The New York Club is first to introduce it into this country. Texas cow-boys and rangers would make admirable players…    

Galveston Daily News (from The New York Herald)- Thursday, April 06, 1876James Gordon Bennett, of New York, took the advice of the NEWS and sent to Texas for horses for the new game of polo, or mounted shinney…These Texas ponies understand another game that which will be will be new to the New York horsemen that is bucking bucking… 

Galveston Daily News - Saturday, April 08, 1876 (23 days before America’s first game of polo) James Gordon Bennett's twenty Polo ponies passed through Luling (Texas) Wednesday. They are beautiful little creatures and active as young leopards… 

​Galveston Daily News - Tuesday, May 02, 1876 - Galveston, Texas (4 days beforethe first game played in America)Grayson County, Texas Denison (Texas) has a Polo Club 

​Galveston Daily News - Saturday, May 06, 1876 (SAME DAY as the first game of polo was played in America)The West is teeming with immigrants, and all appear well pleased with the country…The young men of Graham (Texas) celebrated the 4th of May by riding mustangs at break-neck speed, and poking at rings with a stick a high old tourney. They should go to the Centennial and play polo with James Gordon Bennett's club. ..The Texas boys could, knock spots on the New Yorkers… 

Galveston Daily News - Friday, May 19, 1876 (16 days after the first match)As the NEWS predicted, the New York polo players are not up to the ways of the frisky little Texas ponies used in the game…After innumerable falls the New York polo players have discovered that Texas mustangs are not adapted to the business, and complain that these little steeds are unmanageable. The fault is not in the ponies, but the riders, a Texas cow-boy can track a hare on one of them with more ease than a greyhound. They can be checked instantly in mid career, or wheeled on their forefeet as a pivot…The New Yorkers want some Texas boys to teach horsemanship, and must learn to ride if they want to keep pace with the fashionable world… 

Galveston Daily News - Friday, May 19, 1876 (16 days after the first match) Galveston Daily News - Tuesday, July 11, 1876 Polo played near Dallas Texas (35 days after the first match in New York polo was being played in Texas)Two years ago the chief attractions were a “gander pulling, a greased pig and a greased pole. One year ago the gander pulling was left out of the program. This year the greased pig went with the gander. Let us hope that next year, the greased pole may slip the memory of the committee on arrangements. The News says nothing against the Polo and baseball games which were among the games of the day.