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Reviewed by:
  • The Polo Encyclopediaby Horace A. Laffaye
  • Keith McClellan
Laffaye, Horace A. The Polo Encyclopedia. 2ded. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015). Pp. 242. Illustrations.

Horace A. Laffaye, a polo player and one of the most knowledgeable experts on the sport, is chairman of the Polo Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and a member of the board of directors of the Museum of Polo. Laffaye is author of five books and numerous articles on polo.

The first edition of the Polo Encyclopediapublished in 2004, had some ten thousand entries. This edition has more than eighteen thousand that define polo rules and nomenclature and identifies polo clubs worldwide, players, club officials, equestrian authors, tournaments, and even well-known polo ponies. The breadth of research reflected in this new edition is extraordinary. There are entries covering nearly a hundred different countries and tidbits of information that will impress even the most-informed polo aficionado. [End Page 428]For example, few are likely to know that King Alfonso XIII of Spain, an enthusiastic polo player, prevented his own assassination by riding his horse straight at the gun-wielding assassin; that Bend, Oregon, once had a polo club called “Dead Horse”; that Des Moines, Iowa, held a polo match named “The John Wayne Shoot-Out”; or who are the nineteen most prominent left-handed polo players.

Unlike most books about polo that concentrate on the five most prominent polo-playing nations—Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, India, and the United States—this book provides insights on polo that span the world and the hundreds of years that polo has been played.

The only way this marvelous book could be improved is by the addition of an index. If one is interested in polo in Mexico, for example, it is currently necessary to scan the entire book to find the more than eighteen references to Mexican polo.

The second edition of The Polo Encyclopediais a truly significant addition to the literature on this magnificent sport.

Keith McClellan
Oak Park, MI


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pp. 428-429
Launched on MUSE
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