Cindy Halle, Polo Coach
Renowned nationally for her high standards of play, knowledge of polo, horsemanship and commitment to excellence in sportsmanship coaching, Cindy Halle brings exceptional skills to the polo arena as a player, coach, instructor and umpire. In addition to serving as head coach for the GFS polo teams, Ms. Halle overseas all operations for the D. & J. Smith Equestrian Center, the Sheridan Polo Ring and Garrison Forest’s two barns in her capacity as Director of Equestrian Programs.
Ms. Halle began her GFS tenure in 1986, serving as head Polo coach until 1997 when she took a hiatus to raise her family. From 1986-97, she led the Varsity Team to five Women's National Interscholastic Championship titles, accolades which have gained national prominence for the School's Polo program. She returned to GFS in 2007 as head coach and promptly guided the team to national Championship titles in 2009 and in 2011. Ms. Halle also has a large number of junior and adult polo students from the surrounding community and schools who take lessons utilizing the GFS ponies and facilities.
Ms. Halle’s expertise goes well beyond the polo arena. A lifelong rider and experienced equestrian, Ms. Halle showed hunters and jumpers through high school. After college, she worked for several years as an equine surgical nurse at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Since moving to Maryland, she’s remained involved in different aspects of the horse world through her family's involvement and activities with foxhunting, timber racing, horse showing, eventing and Pony Club. For several years, she was the District Commissioner of Green Spring Hounds Pony Club.
Certified as an umpire by the United States Polo Association (USPA), Ms. Halle frequently officiates across the country at the collegiate and club levels. Her polo career while a student at University of California-Davis led her to win four women's intercollegiate titles, acquiring a three-handicap in the arena and a two-handicap outdoors. Ms. Halle lectures and plays around the United States, including the November 2012 Polo Instructors Forum in Houston where she led a session on teaching high school polo. She is part of the USPA Committee that annually reviews the interscholastic/intercollegiate rules and tournament conditions. During the summer, she is an active playing member of the Maryland Polo Club.
In 1998, Ms. Halle was awarded the coveted Polo Magazine Coach of the Year Award. During summer 2011, Ms. Halle created and taught an "Introduction to Horsemanship and Polo" as part of Garrison Forest's Middle Grades Partnership (MGP) program. (MGP is a collaborative partnership through the Baltimore Community Foundation, which brings educational and enrichment experiences to underserved Baltimore City girls.) Read the Baltimore Sun feature article published in July 2011. The MGP polo program continued in summer 2012.
Emily Kimball Dewey, Assistant Polo Coach
A standout polo player at Michigan State University, Emily Kimball Dewey continues to hone her coaching skills as the Garrison Forest Assistant Polo Coach and share her love of the sport to new generations of players. While at MSU, she served as the Women’s Polo team captain and taught the game to the younger college players. Ms. Dewey was selected on numerous occasions as an All-Star at the Southeast Regional Women's Intercollegiate Polo Tournament.
She began riding at age 11, helping at a local Arabian horse farm in exchange for lessons. Simple Western riding transitioned into barrel racing and games on the farm. She also has experience training and handling foals. In addition to her coaching role at GFS, Ms. Dewey directs and teaches the GFS Polo summer clinics and assists Cindy Halle, Head Polo Coach, with the Middle Grades Partnership Polo program at GFS. A leader in the regional and national polo communities, Ms. Dewey was named manager of the Maryland Polo Club in 2012. That same year, she helped organized the Intercollegiate and Interscholastic tournaments for the United States Polo Association.
Ms. Dewey brings her enthusiasm for teaching to the GFS classroom and boarding community. She and her husband are resident faculty members, and she serves as a student advisor in the Upper School, coordinates the GFS Spirit program (a beloved School tradition spanning from Lower School through Upper School), and teaches several science courses. In 2011-12, she introduced GFS's first Equine Science elective. She currently teaches this course, the Animal Behavior course, a section of Anatomy and Physiology and the Middle School Science Olympiad.