The Story goes that Cliff Braden was attending a polo match in Zelienople in 1936 when a willow-root ball was hit off-field and under his car. He retrieved it and brought it home to show his riding buddies, Bob, Wayne, and Keith Watterson. The friends attached two-by-fours to broom handles to see how hard it would be to play. Within a year, they had formed a polo club.
But there was a problem. Gentleman's polo was played in the afternoon..,preferably on Sunday afternoons. "My grandmother was very religious," Watterson said. "She wouldn't allow her sons to play polo on Sundays, and their work prevented them from playing during the day. So the had to play in the evenings"
At first, they strung lights in trees. Then they placed floodlights on telephone poles, until finally a real lighting system was installed. A county historical marker commemorates the occasion: "First lighted polo field in the United States, 1938".
The present lighting system costs the club several thousand dollars a year in electric bills, which is barely offset by the $5 per adult admission fee. Kids get in FREE. But the Darlington Polo Club players don't play for money. To them, it's just as fun as when their fathers, and grandfathers, and great-grandfathers taught them to swing a mallet.