Polo on the Prairie raises over $1 million for MD Anderson
37th Annual event draws 1,300+ attendees in support of cancer research and patient programs
HOUSTON ― The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center hosted its 37th annual Polo on the Prairie event on April 29 in West Texas, raising more than $1 million for cancer research and patient care initiatives. The event drew more than 1,300 attendees to the Musselman Brothers’ Lazy 3 Ranch in Albany, Texas.
“We are so grateful to the many supporters who have continued to make this event possible for an incredible 37 years,” said Henry Musselman, long-time event host and member of the MD Anderson Board of Visitors (BOV). “Together, we are Making Cancer History® for cancer patients and their loved ones — in Texas, across the nation and around the world.”
The event featured a polo tournament played on a converted hayfield at the ranch. The Hubbard Creek Polo Club, whose players included Louisa Fikes, Jordan Fikes, Ignacio Del Tour, and Juan “Bauti” Crotto, won the championship tournament. Following the match, attendees enjoyed a Texas-size chuck wagon barbecue dinner provided by Joe Allen’s Pit Bar-B-Que and later took to the dance floor during a private concert by The Mavericks. The evening concluded with a spectacular fireworks finale by Pyro Shows of Texas.
“Polo on the Prairie is a West Texas tradition that has become deeply rooted in MD Anderson’s philanthropic culture,” said Darrow Zeidenstein, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief development officer at MD Anderson. “For nearly half of MD Anderson’s 80-year history, this event has taken place through the generous support and hard work of the Musselman family and the commitment and service of so many in this community.”
A legacy of philanthropy Before it became one of MD Anderson’s signature fundraising events, Polo on the Prairie was the brainchild of the late Mary Anne McCloud, of Eastland, and her son-in-law, Henry Musselman, of Midland. Both were members of the BOV and wanted to play a bigger role in advancing the institution’s mission to end cancer. McCloud expressed a desire to share her passion for cancer research and prevention, to spread awareness of MD Anderson, to raise funds for the institution and to pay tribute to all whose lives have been touched by cancer. Musselman suggested a polo tournament and began transforming a pasture on the family ranch into a regulation-sized polo field.
The first Polo on the Prairie event in 1987 raised $25,000. Today, the tournament nets many times that amount and attracts amateur and professional athletes who donate their time, equipment and horses, from as far away as Argentina, England and South Africa. To date, Polo on the Prairie has raised more than $10.2 million for patient care, research and education initiatives at MD Anderson.
MD Anderson extends special thanks to this year’s presenting sponsor, ConocoPhillips, and event sponsors Melinda and Henry Musselman, as well as the many sponsors and individuals who have contributed to the success of the event.
Jordan Fikes of the Hubbard Creek Polo Club plays at Polo on the Prairie on April 29, 2023.
For nearly half of MD Anderson’s 80-year history, this event has taken place through the generous support and hard work of the Musselman family and the commitment and service of so many in this community.
Darrow Zeidenstein, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer