“I had a lot of moments where I thought I was completely crazy after entering the tournament,” polo player Molly Agee tells POLO LADY when asked about her experience in playing as the sole female at the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship in December. “I started to tell myself that I probably shouldn’t have and that I wasn’t ready. But somehow, I managed to push myself to do it.”
A polo mainstay in recent years, the young talent is brimming with possibilities. And she has proven that the sport is a passion for keeps, as she sees no other path in polo but up. The said tournament, where she won Amateur Most Valuable Player, is proof of this.
“Looking back now, playing that tournament is one of my biggest accomplishments of my polo career so far. I could’ve easily never had that experience had I let my nerves take over,” the sportswoman muses.
Being the only female present there may have added to her confidence that she somehow represents ladies in a very competitive field. Playing alongside big names, Molly relied on her strength and skill—with her fierce and determined spirit on high. “Playing with so many talented players really pushed me to the next level,” she says.
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The experience further motivated her that she—and anyone else—can. “It feels really awesome to represent women in a tournament like the Arena Open. There are so many amazing women polo players that could’ve just as easily been out on the field with me. I really hope I have motivated other women to be out there in the years to come,” she shares.
Armed with the goal to give her best, the power femme found the experience a motivating force to focus on getting better. As it all went well and far greater than she expected, Molly prepared for her next games, eyeing the top. “I believe that there’s something you could’ve done better in every game,” she muses.
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It also adds that her husband, Garrett Bankhead, is there to support her. The two have met through polo and have been playing the sport together for a long time. And in every step of the way, they helped each other grow into a better version of themselves—whether they were on or off the field.
Molly spills, “I definitely think polo has kept our relationship strong as it’s tested its limits. We still are competitive against each other, but it only makes us better players and our relationship stronger.”
Apart from traveling around to play in tournaments, Molly, along with Garrett, are currently working on an exciting project that revolves around their shared passion. While it’s nice to hop on the next trip to a round of chukkas, the couple thought of putting the sport in their home base.
“We’re currently working on our arena at home, which is super exciting!” Molly says enthusiastically. “We’d like to help grow arena polo in Southern California, so we are hoping to put on some tournaments in the near future.”
Photographs by Kerri Kerley
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.