KITANA ST CYR

MEETING THE UP AND COMING PLAYER IN HER ELEMENT

ON LOCATION AT THE WOODFORD RESERVE POLO CUP, SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
PRESENTED BY @TRIFECTAGALA
PRODUCED BY JOSH MEREDITH, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF @ORIGINALMAKERS


WRITTEN BY LAURIE BERGLIE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SIXTEEN CYPRESS

This month’s Field Notes takes us into the world of polo with Kitana St-Cyr. Kitana was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but left the country after the 2010 earthquake. Since then, she grew up “a little bit of everywhere” before settling down in Dallas, Texas, where she is currently based.

Kitana begin riding at the age of eight, just for pleasure, alongside her father and older brother. Before finding polo, Kitana’s competitive equestrian life began in the hunter/jumper arena where she was fortunate enough to train with some of the best in the region, including former Olympic Show Jumper, Lucia Santa-Cruz from Brazil. It was a friend and former show jumper who introduced Kitana to polo shortly after she had finished college. She started playing at the ATX Polo Club in Austin, Texas, under the tutelage of Javier Insua from Argentina and Gustavo Galvan from Mexico – and Kitana has never looked back.

courtesy of Original Makers

Image courtesy of @originalmakers

While she is still a newcomer to the sport, she notes that one of her biggest accomplishments was when she was asked to be part of the US Polo Association’s global campaign and photoshoot. “As a new, upcoming player, an opportunity like that is not often granted to everyone, and I felt very blessed to have been selected for that.”

Currently, Kitana is working hard both on and off the field. She’s partnering with photographers, videographers, painters, and equestrian brands and retailers on a variety of projects to showcase the world of polo and spread its wonders to a wider audience. She hopes that by sharing her story and passion for the sport, she can inspire a younger generation of riders. On the field, she’s working to hone her craft in hopes of fully breaking into the professional world within the next five years.


Q&A

 

FIRST EVER MEMORY OF A HORSE

My first ever memory of seeing a horse was when I was in the first grade during a school field trip to the zoo. I saw a man from outside my window on horseback; the horse was carrying the man and some merchandise up the mountain alongside the road. This was in Haiti; I was six years old.

DO YOU REMEMBER AT WHAT POINT YOU BECAME SERIOUS ABOUT MAKING RIDING A PART OF YOUR LIFE?

Yes, I remember very vividly when and how it all started. I had a revelation one night when I saw my great-grandfather in a dream. He spoke to me and basically assigned me a mission; his exact request was for me to take on any riding discipline and be ready to take it far. He told me who he was and what he had accomplished, and he said that I had it in me as well. That it’s in my DNA.

I woke up the next morning feeling very inspired and asked my mother the same day to help me get there.

DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST FALL? HOW'D IT GO DOWN? :)

Yes, I remember very vividly when and how it all started. I had a revelation one night when I saw my great-grandfather in a dream. He spoke to me and basically assigned me a mission; his exact request was for me to take on any riding discipline and be ready to take it far. He told me who he was and what he had accomplished, and he said that I had it in me as well. That it’s in my DNA.

I woke up the next morning feeling very inspired and asked my mother the same day to help me get there.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT OR TACK YOU FEEL MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR RIDE AND YOUR HORSE(S)?

My favorite piece of equipment is always a nice pair of gloves. And an all-time personal one, mallets.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN NOT PLAYING POLO

Outside of polo, I work in the tech world. When I’m not playing polo or working, I am relaxing on the lake with friends on the weekends or taking my dog on long walks. I also enjoy programming my own workouts and exercising.

DO YOU HAVE OTHER ANIMALS BESIDES HORSES

Yes, I have a two-year-old Great Dane at home. His name is Zion.

FAVORITE TREAT TO GIVE HORSES

I like to give them apples.

FAVORITE WEATHER TO RIDE IN

I’ve ridden in all kinds of weather, so no real favorites. I don’t prefer the cold, however, because I’m anemic, so I can’t feel my hands holding neither my reins nor my mallet. It’s not fun.

ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR POLO PLAYERS THAT INSPIRE YOU

Yes, I’m inspired by Nigerian female polo player, Neku Atawodi-Edun. She is the first black female player to ever play professionally. She’s a beautiful example in my eyes and what I wish to also accomplish in my file.

Also, I admire Argentine polo player Hilario Ulloa. He is one of the few players in the world to be rated 10-Goal in Argentina, the US, and the UK. I never miss a game that Ulloa plays in; his precision on the field is always a great learning curve for me, and I just think the man is brilliant.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT POLO

I love the horses, the adrenaline, the teamwork, the competition. I love that it is played coed, even at a pro level. And I love how amateurs can play with pros on the same team.

WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE TYPE OF POLO PONY FOR YOU? BREED, SIZE, ABILITY, PERSONALITY ETC.

My ultimate type is an Argentine Polo Bred, medium-small size, very handy and comfortable. I like one with personality – a horse that is a winner.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A HORSE: BREED, PERSONALITY, ABILITIES AND WHAT YOU ENJOY DOING THE MOST

Myself as a horse is a Thoroughbred and Argentine crossed breed, 15 hands, with stamina, controlled speed, can stop and turn quickly, has a calm temper on the field during plays, and has a sweet personality outside of the game.

IS THERE SOMEONE WHO YOU FEEL INFLUENCED YOU ON YOUR PATH AS A AN EQUESTRIAN / POLO PLAYER, AND WHERE YOU ARE TOAY?

Yes, Henry St-Cyr, my great-grandfather. The man that I grew up hearing stories of my whole life, so much that I feel like I knew him. He remains to this day a big influence in my riding and even more special to have received that kind of revelation from an ancestor at such a prime age. That has definitely set the path for me.

FOLLOW KITANA @KITANALOJOLIE


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TRIFECTA TEAM @LOUISVILLEPOLOCLUB
WINING THE WOODFORD RESERVE POLO CUP
PRESENTED BY @TRIFECTAGALA
PRODUCED BY JOSH MEREDITH, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF @ORIGINALMAKERS

Image courtesy of @originalmakers


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