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“P” is for Polo

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  “P” is for Polo. Polo has been played in South Carolina nearly as long as it has existed in the United States. Polo began in modern-day Iran some time between 500 B.C.E. and 100 C.E. The British military in India picked it up in 1860. In 1876, the sport was brought to the U.S. The first polo game in South Carolina was played on March 27, 1882 in Aiken—which has remained a major center for the sport. During what was known as the “golden age of polo,” through the 1950s, Aiken was the winter capital of polo in the United States. The Aiken Polo Club, founded in 1882, is one of the country’s oldest. In the early 21st century there were fourteen polo fields in Aiken and active U.S. Polo Association clubs in Aiken Charleston, and Columbia.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.