Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyThe 10th Cavalry Polo Team from Fort Robinson, Neb., poses at the Glenwood Springs Polo Field (located at today's Polo Road) in 1905. The team, from left, of Mueller, Cook, Palmer and Graham, won the Rocky Mountain Championship that year.

Glenwood Springs residents received an introduction to the sport of polo on June 10, 1893. The grand opening of the Hotel Colorado was set for that afternoon, and sponsoring the polo match between Glenwood Springs and Colorado Springs showed the town was ready to receive wealthy tourists. With the Glenwood Springs polo team victorious in the match, it was also proven to polo enthusiasts throughout Colorado that Glenwood took its polo seriously.

Throughout the 1890s, Glenwood Springs’ polo team proved to be a consistently tough competitor. In 1902, as a way to continue that competitive spark, Walter Devereux, one of the founders of polo in Glenwood Springs, arranged a series of polo matches.

His Rocky Mountain Championship, scheduled for Sept. 11, 1902, invited teams from Denver, Fort Logan and Colorado Springs to play against Glenwood Springs. Devereux’s incentive to the winning team was an ornate silver punch bowl. The catch to the offering: To keep the cup, the championship had to be won three years in succession.

The series of matches in 1902 ultimately pitted Glenwood Springs and Colorado Springs against each other for Devereux’s cup. However, Glenwood’s team was not up to the challenge. Colorado Springs’ Cheyenne Mountain Country Club was the punch bowl’s first winner.

The Glenwood Polo Club won the Rocky Mountain Championship in 1903 and 1904. The 10th Cavalry from Fort Robinson, Neb., won in 1905. The next championship, in 1912, proved Glenwood Springs again victorious. At that time, the three wins in succession rule was relaxed, and Glenwood Springs took home the winning trophy.

As a tribute to the town’s passion for polo, the Rocky Mountain Championship punch bowl is displayed at the Frontier Historical Museum.

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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