The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Men’s and women’s polo teams advance to Collegiate Polo’s Final Four

SMU Men and Women both take their respective divisions in 2014 USPA Regional Championships in Houston.

In the 3 short years since SMU’s women’s and men’s polo teams became chartered in 2011, they have worked tirelessly to prove their place on campus.
After a grueling year of training countless hours at Las Colinas Equestrian Center in Irving and traveling almost every weekend to compete with other universities, both teams have earned a spot at Collegiate Polo’s Final Four, the National Collegiate Polo Championship for the top four polo teams in the country. The championship will be held held April 9-12 at the ERG arena in Brookshire, Texas.

At the 2014 USPA Regional Polo Championships on March 23, the women’s team won 21 to 1 against TCU in the semi-finals and 15 to 12 against Texas A&M; in the finals, while the men’s team won 27 to 4 against Texas Tech in the semi-finals and 17 to 10 against Texas A&M; in the finals.

Tom Goodspeed, the coach for both teams, has been with SMU polo since its arrival on campus five years ago. The teams began participating in competitions for the Collegiates when they became chartered, which provided them the opportunity to win their respective divisions at the finals this year.

“Three years of a program and I’ve got two teams that are going to a national tournament,” Goodspeed said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of the whole group of them.”

SMU senior Chloe Carabasi was the high scorer on the women’s polo team at finals.


This will be the second regional championship in three years for the men’s team, and the first regional championship for the women’s team.

The polo teams began when SMU senior Enrique Ituarte sought Goodspeed’s help in bringing polo, also called “the sport of kings,” to the university. Goodspeed had coached Ituarte and men’s polo player August Scherer at Culver Military Academy prior to coming to SMU, and was eager to accompany them to Dallas to implement the teams.

“If it wasn’t for Enrique, there would be no polo at SMU,” Goodspeed said. “It’s been his passion, and that’s why the guys are here and why the women are here.”

Each team is comprised of experienced riders who have spent the larger half of their lives playing polo. In arena polo, three team members from each team are in a dirt arena at a time, and try to score goals on either designated end of the arena by hitting a small, leather-covered, inflated white ball with a long-handled mallet. The game is split into four 7 and 1/2 minute periods of play, called chukkers.

The women’s team is fueled by senior and high scorer Chloe Carabasi, senior Zara Walsh, senior Hayley Heatley, sophomore Emma Blackwood and sophomore Katherine Bentfield; senior and high scorer August Scherer, sophomore Tristan Smyth, freshman Maxi Langlois and freshman Manuel Ituarte make up the men’s team.

In addition to winning their divisions at Regionals, Scherer and Carabasi were selected to their respective USPA Central Regional All-Star Teams, and SMU’s Polo Pony “Menina,” owned by Ituarte, was selected as the “Best Playing Pony” for the men’s division.

SMU’s Menina owned by Enrique Ituarte won Best Playing Pony in 2013 and 2014.


“I’m so excited — I’m thrilled — about winning regionals,” Carabasi said. “We have worked really hard to get to that point so it’s really rewarding, especially as a senior; my last year to have that title under our belt and go out with a bang.”

Although the teams’ success has been on the upswing over the past few years, Carabasi is not the only senior polo player, a factor that Goodspeed no doubt must consider when looking at the polo teams’ future. Three of the women’s team’s players and two from the men’s team will graduate this May.

However, now that both teams have earned national recognition, the number of graduating players that would otherwise be a daunting reality is an aspect that does not worry Goodspeed.

“There are a couple of experienced players thinking about coming to SMU,” Goodspeed said. “Now that national attention has been gained, that’s going to draw a lot more interest in women and men coming to this program.”

Although both teams are hopeful about the upcoming championship, regardless of the outcome Goodspeed is proud that his teams have made it as far as they have.

“My kids have all done so great and worked their tails off to get to where they are right now,” said Goodspeed. “We have already achieved an incredible goal, so at this point it’s really about gaining national experience, and we’re happy to have made it to this point.”

Carabasi shares Goodspeed’s outlook and is excited about facing the women’s team’s competition at the championship.

“It’s an honor to be in the top four in the country,” Carabasi said. “The fact that I’m on the team that is in the top four is awesome, so I’m looking forward to it.”

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