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Polo Match Prep with Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna, III

In advance of Saturday’s event, we sat down with Hoddy Hanna to get his take on the history of the Polo Match, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services’ support throughout the years, and most importantly, what to expect at the event this weekend!

How did Howard Hanna Real Estate Services first become involved with Family House, more specifically the Polo Match?

Family House was founded in 1983 and the first Family House building opened in 1984. I was an original member of the Board of Directors and then served as Chairman of the Board in the 1990’s. Since that time, a Hanna family member or Howard Hanna executive has continuously served on the Board, for all 38 years, including our current representative on the Board, sales associate Helen Cestra.  

The Board came up with the idea of a fundraising polo match during the year we opened to be played the first Saturday after Labor Day. The date was chosen because professional polo on the East Coast is played from May until Labor Day. The professionals start their fall/winter season in Florida the first weekend in October, so this allowed us to get the best players to come to Pittsburgh in early September to help raise money for charity. For the entire 38 years Howard Hanna Real Estate Services has sponsored a team and this year our team comes from Virginia.

How has the Polo match evolved over the past 38 years?

The Polo matches have evolved from a great outdoor event for adults to a true family day with fun-filled opportunities for all ages including, an antique car show at 11am, colorful horses and riders of the Hunt and pageantry, face painting for the kids, and fancy tailgating.

If someone is on the fence about attending Family House Polo, what would you tell them to convince them to come this year? How should a newcomer to Polo prepare for the event? What should people expect at the Polo Match?

This year, we are excited that the after-match concert returns from a 10-year absence. For the newcomers, the dress code is up to the individual and their individuality – colorful fashions, elegant hats, and fascinators – the sky is the limit. Everyone should expect incredible food and drinks – and for everyone that visits the Howard Hanna tent, you will see old friends and make new acquaintances.

What are Touts and how can attendees participate?

The Touts are an old English term for gambling on the outcome of the game by picking the winning team and total goals of both teams.  For example, if a spectator believes that the Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Foxlease Polo Club will win (and I know I do), they will choose green to represent the team and if they believe the total goals for the game (combined), will be 21 – then they have chosen green and 21 to represent their Tout bet.

At our event the wagers are $10 and a few years ago the winners received $2,300 and Family House got the other half of the prize money. A win-win for everyone.

Is there a competition between the teams of Howard Hanna and Cochran during the Polo Match?

During the years we have had numerous sponsors of the opposing team, but our friends at Cochran Auto and I usually have a substantial side wager that benefits the Family House mission.

It’s not too late – get tickets for the match today! Learn more at: Tickets for Family House Polo Presented by First National Bank in Allison Park from ShowClix

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Tags: , Last modified: September 9, 2021