Elisabeth Ireland Poe: A Trail Blazer for Women in Polo
Elisabeth “Pansy” Ireland Poe helped to pave the way for women in the game of polo, the “Sport of Kings”. Women were allowed to play polo very early on in the United States, but they were denied registration with and handicapping by the United States Polo Association (USPA) until 1972.
In the 1920s, Pansy was a driving force for the game and often registered under her initials “P.E.” Ireland. It was during this time she established herself as one of the best women players, playing not only on women’s teams but also on men’s teams. It was during this time when she succeeded in gaining an official United States Polo Association handicap. Unfortunately, because of the established regulations of the era, this achievement was removed from the record in 1935.
To honor Elisabeth Ireland Poe’s significant accomplishments in the game of polo, a special exhibition showcasing her polo career is on display in the Elisabeth Ireland Poe Gallery.