For many years, the U.S. Army supported polo, beginning in 1896 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Beyond improving the riding skills of cavalrymen, polo taught leadership, teamwork and strategy. West Point introduced polo in 1901. By 1914 there were 17 Army posts playing polo. In 1928, the U.S. Army team made it to the final of the U.S. Open, and there were Army polo teams across the U.S. as well as in the Philippines, Hawaii and Panama.
However, the increasing mechanization of the Army and the realities of World War II ended the Army’s reliance on horses, and thus ended Army polo as well.