“The prettiest woman in the world loses her beauty when at these violent exercises. Hot and damp, mopping her flushed and streaming face with her handkerchief, she has lost that sense of repose, that delicate self-restraint, which belongs to the ideal woman. She is no longer dainty. She has thrown off her grace and abandoned all that makes her lovely for the uncomely roughness of pastimes wherein she cannot excel, and of which it was never intended she should be a partaker. We have not yet heard of women polo-players; but that will come.”
— Eliza Lynn Linton (shown above) from “The Wild Women as Social Insurgents” in The Nineteenth Century magazine, October 1891
“Some damsels, too, were present, who were really quite enthusiastic, and who not only wanted to know the names of ponies and players, but even said it was ‘an awful shame that women could not play polo!’ Women do most things nowadays, for have we not lady doctors, lady lawyers, lady gardeners, lady tea-planters, lady cricketers, and the latest development of feminine talent, lady commercial travellers; but really the line must be drawn at polo, though the sight of two damsels hustling each other would perhaps be edifying!”
— J. Moray Brown from “Polo in May” in Baily’s Magazine, June 1892.
And so, some edification for Mr. Brown:
Courtney Asdourian of Catena USA backs the ball underneath the horse of Maureen Brennan of Northern Trust, at the 9th annual Women’s Championship tournament in Wellington, Florida. Photo by Scott Fisher.
Three polo photos by Mark Crislip
Camila Rossi at a tournament in Pilar, Argentina.
Yamila Natacha Ruano, 2010 Ladies Polo World Championship at Cañuelas, Argentina.
And one more for good measure, by photographer Ale Barbieri of Argentina.