It has been three years since POLO LADY first spoke with Sabrina “Beanie” Bradley. Besides having more ponies to work with, the last few years have significantly proven to be an opportunity for inner growth for this rising teen polo star.
Looking back at her 13-year-old self, Beanie has always been headstrong, following her gut and playing her heart out. Three years later, the English player admits that her juvenile passion is something that she has learned to curb. “The 13-year-old Beanie didn’t see any obstacles and was just excited and passionate about playing polo without any idea about the industry,” she confides. And so, as Beanie acquired wisdom in and out of the field, she realized a key lesson: that “finances play a big part in gaining opportunities and success.” At a young age, one can say that this young lady’s head is in the right place.
Even though it’s a journey that isn’t easy to navigate, Beanie has also found confidence in her capabilities as a player. “I know that I have the talent to keep up with my peers who have the opportunities of an organization behind them. My self-belief, determination, and ability are higher than my current trajectory,” she affirms.
It’s truly inspiring to hear such assertive words coming from young talent like Beanie. But, given her past experiences on the field, it’s no surprise that she has cultivated a strong sense of where she’s at and where she wants to be. She’s been shaped by her games across the globe in countries such as Argentina, Spain, France, Thailand, and Italy. Whether she’s celebrating victories or dealing with a loss or injury, Beanie continues to thrive and make her way to bigger things.
Beanie is a full-time student, so she makes sure to balance her studies with polo. Whenever she gets the chance to practice polo, she says that her main focus is to strengthen her weak points. “Generally, that includes getting the horse to listen to my aids, balancing a relaxed swing, hitting the ball at speed, passing directional tail shots, and maintaining correct leg placement.”
Improving her playing skills makes Beanie feel more confident than ever for her handicap. “I’m stronger on the saddle tactically, mentally, and physically,” she says. “I’m more mature reading the game.” And this flourishing tenacity only goes to show that this teenage wonder is only getting started to show the world her peak potential.
Being in a competitive environment as a young athlete is not for everyone. But lucky for Beanie, she has found a “strong and welcoming” sisterhood in the polo world and helps cultivate a community of budding female players like herself. She’s always willing to promote the sport, saying, “I’m happy to talk about polo and how accessible it can be for complete beginners.”
Beanie also shares that she was able to convert her showjumping friends into playing polo. Additionally, her positive encounters with female players—whether on the field or social media—have created a sense of belongingness that she doesn’t find anywhere else.
Beanie considers Hazel Jackson a big sister and role model, saying that the seasoned player keeps her motivated. Lia Salvo is also one of the pro players whom Beanie admires. Beyond Lia’s techniques and leadership, another thing that Beanie values in her is the warmth that she radiates throughout the polo community. “She always has time to give advice and support, and she brings something else out of me when we play together,” Beanie shares.
While sisterhood comes naturally within Beanie’s polo circle, another relationship vital in the game is one that she has with her horses. “They’re not machines to me, but my ultimate teammates,” she says. Beanie is completely hands-on when it comes to training and taking care of her horses. Whether it’s hacking them out in standard snaffle bridles or mixing it up with dressage or pole work, she ensures that she keeps her horses balanced and lets them have fun at the same time.
Aside from playing a good game, Beanie takes pride in her horses and considers them the most rewarding part of the experience. “Bringing them home after a tough match all safe and sound and seeing them eating happily—that’s a great feeling,” she fondly shares. “They give me so much exhilaration and pleasure; I love them to bits!”
When asked about her goals, Beanie’s list ranges from getting good grades in school and passing her driving test to reaching an 8-goal handicap within two years and winning the Argentine Open one day. As bright-eyed as she is, Beanie’s aspirations will always be grounded on her humble beginnings. “I promise to remember and honor the young girl who discovered her passion, wanted to live out her dreams, and not give up when times get hard.”
There’s no doubt that this trailblazer is bound to reach stunning heights from here on out. Empowered by her youthful grit, Beanie is equipped with the right mindset that will surely aid her in her success. “There are no shortcuts. If you want to do something properly, you have to prepare thoroughly or prepare to fail.” It’s a good thing that Beanie has found the courage to go with this kind of ruthlessness. “You’re braver than most,” she ends.
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Madel Asuncion is a staff writer at POLO LADY Magazine.