Big Four | Photo Print by Freudy, 1927

Monday, Jan. 30, 1928

Devereux Milburn, having played polo seven times for U. S. against Great Britain, will play no more. Last week Mr. Milburn, potent back, potent captain, refused to report retirement but indicated that the U. S. four will ride against the English team without him in 1930. Observers recalled remarks of J. Watson Webb, teammate who aided Milburn to beat Britain, that he was done with international polo. Observers noted that Malcolm Stevenson, No. 3 for U. S., is only a few years younger than veteran Milburn (47) and doubted that he can equal the attacks of younger players in 1930. Thomas Hitchcock Jr., 27, is left alone among available U. S. International veterans.

Milburn’s successor is generally accepted as Robert Strawbridge Jr. who got into the 1924 series as a substitute; who was a substitute last autumn. Another of the 1927 substitutes was Winston Guest (21), recent Yale graduate, U. S. citizen, son of a British polo player and a Long Island Phipps. He is the likeliest new internationalist. The fourth member of the team cannot now be forecast by even shrewdest prophets.

Malcolm Stevenson learned last week that his handicap had been raised by the Polo Association from 8 goals to 10; offered no comment on retirement. He attains parity with Milburn and Hitchcock as the highest rated players in the world.

Horses to Remember

Considered the greatest polo mount of his day, Gay Boy was an incredible athlete with remarkable speed who played in the 1924 International series and was most remembered for his sensational play in 5 chukkers of the 1927 International matches – 2 in the first match and 3 in the second by polo Hall of Famer Malcolm Stevenson who regarded him as “supreme among ponies”. His play, described as “an unequaled performance” by Newell Bent in his book American Polo, was crucial in that last match and his courage and dependability were a deciding factor in the US victory.

He was later also played by Hall of Fame greats Robert Strawbridge, Jr. and Tommy Hitchcock, Jr. Gay Boy may have been an inappropriate name for this gallant Texas-bred cow-pony who had the reputation of being one of the quickest horses on the get-away, a pony that could turn on a dime and scoot away like a quarter-horse. In later years he was sold by Fred Post to Averell Harriman and as part of Harriman’s formidable Orange County team string, Gay Boy was described as an outstanding pony in a string of outstanding ponies.

Gay Boy’s curious and tragic death, crushed by a falling airplane as he stood in his stall at Meadow Brook in 1928, removed a great figure from the game.

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