This past summer, Ranch Marketing Associates acted as a co-sponsor for the polo stadium at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Alongside our partner, Engel & Volkers, and peer sponsors such as Folded Hills Winery, the Belmond El Encanto, Maserati of Santa Barabara, and Silver Air, we were given a fantastic opportunity to increase branding visibility, engage with consumers in the equestrian world, and entertain our current clients. Every weekend, highly competitive polo matches were held on the club’s pristine grounds, showcasing the bond between horse and rider, and celebrating the powerful athleticism of these beautiful animals. As ranchers, we cherish the companionship of our horses, whether on pasture in the mountains, or on the polo field in Santa Barbara. We’re proud to support the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, and are honored to have our name tied to their long-standing stewardship of equestrian sports.
History of the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club
The roots of the Santa Barbara Polo Club stretch back to 1894, when an exhibition polo match was played at the Santa Barbara Agricultural Park’s Flower Festival. The match created newfound interest in the sport, leading to converted fields throughout the area and a community of enthusiasts. In 1911, the United States Polo Association named the Santa Barbara Polo Club an official polo club, firmly establishing the equestrian sport in the region.
Throughout the 1920s, railroad stock cars brought riders, horses, and spectators from all over the country. The club became a hot-spot for actors like Charlie Chaplin and Will Rogers, both of whom competed in matches.
In the midst of World War II, the club fell on hard times. On February 23, 1942, a Japanese submarine opened fire on an aviation fuel tank in Goleta, just 20 miles West of the club. None were harmed, but the attack put the community on edge. Soon after, U.S soldiers were stationed and trained on the grounds of the Santa Barbara Polo Club, where they remained until the end of the war. Unfortunately, the polo fields took much wear and tear during this time, and only the most devoted supporters continued to play.
The 1950s and 1960s saw the fields re-established and the sport rising in popularity once again. This led to the U.S Open Polo Championship being held at the club in 1963 and 1966.
In the early 1970s, Robert Skrene, a former 10-goal player, took over the polo club and spearheaded serious renovations. This included tennis facilities, condominiums, 3 grass polo fields, an exercise track, and stables to fit 350 horses.
Since then, the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club has developed polo leagues for a variety of levels, a celebrated polo school, and an exhilarating summer season full of tournaments that pit the best professional teams against each other. Every season is thrilling, and last summer’s was no exception.
Ranch Marketing Associates is honored to be a part of this club. As a co-sponsor for the beautiful stadium on their historic grounds, we are proud to celebrate equestrian sports at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.