Palm Beach News

Koch Brother-Owned High School Forms Polo Team, Will Practice at Wall Street Farm

One of the first high school polo teams is getting started at a high-priced high school owned by one of the billionaire Koch brothers -- and the students are going to practice at "Wall Street Farm."

Palm Beach resident William Koch, younger brother of the Republican kingmakers Charles and David (and no slouch himself when it comes to filling political coffers), started Oxbridge Academy in 2011, a $25,000 per year prep school where students "fall in love with learning." But what's the point of paying all that dough for a private school in West Palm Beach if you can't play the county's favorite pastime? Well, that question will no longer haunt the minds of deep-pocketed parents with the establishment of Florida's first high school polo program and only the third in the entire nation, reports the Palm Beach Post.

The students are getting ready to compete against teams through the Interscholastic Equestrian Association next year. Until then, they're going to learn the art of the "Game of Kings" at Wall Street Farm, an equestrian playground in Boynton Beach.

See also: The People of Palm Beach Polo (Photos)

Polo has a reputation of being a millionaire's sport, which isn't undeserved considering horses can cost upward of $100,000, not including feed and training. But the new program at Oxbridge will allow its students to participate at no additional cost to their tuition. And with 40 percent of its students receiving some sort of financial aid, according to a representative from the school's PR agency, more kids will be able to get a chance to play the world-famous game.

The Palm Beach area has become an international hotbed for polo over the past three decades, but high school polo has somehow not existed until now. However, it's not unusual for high-school-aged kids to participate in competitive polo. Julio Gracida, son of polo legend Memo Gracida, was only 16 when he competed in and won the U.S. Open in 2005. And current professional teams playing the Wellington circuit have members as young as 13.

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Ray Downs
Contact: Ray Downs