Polo Hall Of Fame Gala Celebrates Stars Of The Sport, Past And Present

Polo Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Hall.

It was an emotional evening for more than 250 distinguished guests who gathered to celebrate the sport’s heroes past and present at the 34th annual Museum of Polo Hall of Fame Awards Dinner and Induction Gala on Friday, Feb. 17.

One of the premier events of the high-goal polo season in Florida, the black-tie gala shines a spotlight on the stars of the sport.

Highlighting the event was the induction of former 8-goaler Jeff Hall, a 10-time winner of the Silver Cup and one of the most accomplished U.S. players in recent history. Aided by cheers, whistles and a standing ovation, Hall walked to the podium and spoke about his early years in the sport and the unfailing support of his family, especially his father. Hall, 43, is the youngest Hall of Famer ever inducted and received another standing ovation after his speech.

The most poignant moment occurred when Tom Hughes’ grandson, Cole Salgado, accepted the posthumous Iglehart Award for his grandfather. He talked about how he learned about his grandfather and his well-known penchant for storytelling. The 17-year-old choked up several times while talking about his late mother, who passed away on Dec. 8, 2022, and how much she would have enjoyed the festivities.

Other 2023 honorees were Alexander Haagen III (Iglehart Award), Aiden Roark (Hall of Fame), and Horses to Remember Hale Bopp, owned by Hall of Famer Adam Snow, and None So Pretty, owned by Hall of Famer Stephen “Laddie” Sanford.

The historic night was made possible by the generosity of the event’s sponsors, including Grand Gala Dinner Sponsors Marc and Melissa Ganzi and Grand Champions Polo Club. Additional sponsorship support was provided by Olexa Celine and the Robert I. Goldman Foundation, Ambassador Glen Holden and U.S. Polo Assn.

Upon arrival, guests enjoyed an hour of cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres that kicked off the festivities with beverages provided courtesy of Wine and Spirits sponsors Robert S. Lipman, Margaret Lipman Orthwein, Lipman Brothers, Brown-Forman, Bacardi USA, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Old Hickory Bourbon, Harken Chardonnay, Rabble Wine Co. and Korbel Champagne.

Guests took home beautiful gift books featuring artwork by Melinda Brewer, whose horse portraits hang in the museum’s Horses to Remember Exhibit. The gift books were sponsored by the Iconica Foundation and Steve Cox. Special thanks also to Alex Pacheco, Krystal Zaskey Photography and Chukker TV for their hard work and contributions.