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Temecula’s Polo Set Moves Into Galway Downs

“We’re thrilled to be here. Look at this place.”

Do you fancy the idea of mingling with the polo set?

The opportunity exists near Temecula Wine Country.

the 240-acre equestrian facility situated at the edge of Wine Country off the 79 South, will be the home of the Temecula Valley Polo Club beginning May 1.

“We’re thrilled to be here. Look at this place,” said club president Geraldine Strunsky as she looked out over the regulation-sized polo field at Galway Downs Tuesday afternoon.

Strunsky, wife of Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Burke Strunsky, held a kickoff event Tuesday at the field in celebration of the lease agreement with Galway Downs management, which included talks with

The Temecula Valley club will have the ability to house up to 200 polo ponies in Galway barns, and will have access to amenities that include the field, a polo arena and several gallop areas, among others, said Galway Downs manager Robert Kellerhouse.

Kellerhouse called the agreement with the Temecula Valley Polo Club “a perfect fit” for the facility. Galway Downs hosts international equestrian events, and is situated in a bucolic spot in the county that is still known for turning out top-level performance and racehorses.

Galway Downs currently houses approximately 175 equines from across the riding disciplines of racing, eventing, jumping and dressage, Kellerhouse said, noting that he is seeking a western trainer to come to the facility.

Strunsky said bringing the club to Galway will also allow her to spotlight a cause near and dear to her heart: charity work. She is president of The Humanity of Justice Foundation, which serves abused children, and she hopes the new polo venue will attract fundraising opportunities for her cause as well as other local charities.

Holding a fundraiser -- set against the backdrop of a polo match on a beautiful day in Wine Country -- makes good business sense, Strunsky said.

“I am working with several local charities and sponsors to hold fundraisers in the upcoming seasons,” she explained, noting that Galway could serve as a “regional fundraising venue.”

The Temecula Valley Polo Club has added clout going into the season: The club was accepted this week as a member of the U.S. Polo Association, the organization that governs the sport.

While polo may suggest “uppercrust,” Strunksky said she wants to open the Galway Downs experience to all community members by keeping club membership fees down and working to attract families and singles to events, including lessons.

“We are here to serve the community,” she said.

For more information about Temecula Valley Polo Club membership and upcoming events, email Strunsky at Geraldine@hojf.org.

Temecula resident January 17, 2013 at 04:54 PM
It's nice to hear about more local equine events held in the Temecula valley; before it all becomes vineyard and expensive multimillion dollar tasting rooms. Horses are a big part of the history of Temecula and the surrounding areas.
Joan Lennert January 18, 2013 at 03:41 PM
The whole idea sounds like a WIN WIN situation to me! MANY THANKS to those involved. Joan Lennert Temecula Resident

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