AIKEN, S.C. - The 3rd annual Ponies and Pearls event returned to the New Bridge Polo and Country Club. This event celebrated women both on the American polo field and in the working field. 

The nonprofit Brooke USA’S mission is to alleviate the suffering of working horses, donkeys, mules and the people who depend on them in developing countries. 

Emily Dulin, CEO of Brooke USA says, “What’s wonderful about this event is about celebrating women. So, we see extraordinary female polo players which is an unusual really in a sport that’s been predominantly male driven, but it’s also extraordinary because women in the developing world are the ones that manage these working equines. They’re the ones that have to go to the river to get water for their family. They’re the ones that have to take food to market. So, this is an opportunity for us to celebrate women. “

Local sponsors and members of Aiken Equine gathered for a pre-reception before the polo match. 

The two teams: Mint Eco Carwash and Spencer Ranch battled on the field. However, Spencer Ranch took the final prize.

One player from each team, Malia Bryan and Summer Kneece, were local to Aiken, South Carolina. 

Bryan and Kneece have been playing in Aiken together since they were young. Despite being on separate teams, they were excited to be in their hometown playing for a good cause.

Kneece says, “It’s awesome really, to be on field one and for this event, it’s amazing.”

“Normally, normally there’s a lot of mixed polo that’s been around forever but women’s polo has really made a big boom, so luckily we get to use it to portray a benefit like this, “ Bryan said.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Aiken Equine Center and Brooke USA.

Click here to learn how to get involved with Brooke USA.