CLUB HISTORY


Polo in Sonoma County has its inception in Golden Gate Park, where a polo field and all its staging facilities were available and used for decades, starting before World War I. Names like Billy Linfoot, R.C. Smith, Mack Jason, and Bud Dardi all competed on what was a rather weedy field. Henry Trione’s early interest in polo began after returning from war service in the Pacific, at which time he was assigned to the Naval Air Station, Alameda, and would take Sundays off to enjoy watching the fascinating sport.


A few years later he became hooked, thanks to his friend Robert Walter, whose farm once covered the entire Fountain Grove district in Santa Rosa.  Walter was an active polo player in Milwaukee and Florida and brought his string of polo ponies to Santa Rosa.  “Once when we were trail riding on his ranch, he gave me a mallet and on a level piece of ground he demonstrated the techniques of polo.  I was hooked and from there on polo became a part of my life,” said Henry Trione in an interview published in 2011.


The Wine Country Polo Club (originally, Santa Rosa Polo) began with the creation of Annadel Park and the Wild Oak Saddle Club.  Thanks to the considerable generosity of Henry Trione, and his huge passion for the sport, what was once pasture for livestock, was engineered with massive earth moving equipment, countless trucks of sand, and an intricate underground watering system into one of the finest polo fields in the West. 


Indeed, for more than 50 years, Henry Trione, a banker turned vintner and polo player, has promoted polo on the West Coast. He not only founded the USPA registered Wine Country Polo Club but, also, helped establish the Eldorado Polo Club in Palm Springs for Winter polo. In recognition of his service to the sport, he was inducted into Florida’s National Polo Hall of Fame in 2008.  When Henry passed away in 2014, the field reverted to his sons Mark and Victor, who continue to support polo in the wine country.


Wine Country Polo club has offered exciting polo for players and spectators every summer since its founding in 1969.  Now the children and even the grandchildren of some of the earliest club players help continue the rich tradition of polo in the wine country.