Chukkers Against Cancer: Polo on the Prairie Set for April 28

Casey Donahew Band to Entertain at 26th Annual Fundraiser

MD Anderson News Release 04/12/12

Spring in West Texas means Polo on the Prairie. This annual fundraiser, benefiting The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, features a world-class polo match played on a hayfield-turned-polo-field at the Musselman Brothers' Lazy 3 Ranch in Albany, Texas. Rising country music star Casey Donahew is slated to entertain at this year's event.  

Mary Anne McCloud, MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors member and native of Eastland, Texas, conceived the idea for Polo on the Prairie to raise awareness of and philanthropic support for MD Anderson. With the help of her daughter, Melinda McCloud Musselman, and son-in-law Henry Musselman, also a Board of Visitors member, McCloud saw her idea become reality with the first official event in 1987. The event has grown from two teams and a few hundred supporters to eight teams playing in a U.S. Polo Association-sanctioned tournament with more than 1,000 spectators. It now includes a Texas-size chuck wagon barbecue dinner, dancing to a private concert and a spectacular fireworks finale.

Henry Musselman continues to be inspired by the support Polo on the Prairie receives each year.

"The way Polo has grown is just amazing," said Musselman. "The support we receive from the polo players, our local community and all those traveling from across Texas to attend each year speaks volumes about their desire to support MD Anderson. 2012 marks our 26th year, and we've already raised almost $300,000. We're very proud."

In total, the event has raised almost $4 million to benefit cancer research and patient care initiatives at MD Anderson including the Science Park in Smithville, the Anderson Network hospitality rooms, chaplaincy and clinical pastoral education, the Department of Plastic Surgery, the South Campus Research Initiative and the Anne and John Mendelsohn Personalized Cancer Therapy Fund.

"Each of these initiatives plays an important role in our mission to eradicate cancer," said Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. "Polo on the Prairie generates support for our research, our patients and their families. We're grateful to the McCloud and Musselman families and the many people who attend each year."

Individual tickets, $75, are available at 866-262-9029 or at Tickets will not be available for purchase at the event.