Tribute to Sunny Hale
 Tribute to Sunny Hale Tribute to Sunny Hale

Tribute to Sunny Hale

A Polo Legend Leaves Us

February 27, 2017
February 27, 2017
The polo world was shocked this morning with the news of Sunny Hale’s passing; a true polo legend, Sunny was considered the best female polo player of all time. 

The news of her death sent a sudden wave of grief over the international polo community, since the news of her cancer was unknown, and took her at the young age of 48. Sunny had been playing a tournament in Thailand only a month ago. 

Sunny was one of the most beloved characters in polo, an inspiration to young men and women around the world who were looking to begin their polo careers. Her passion for polo and horses was unique: she founded the American Polo Horse Association and the Women’s Championship Tournament, an important female polo circuit that took place around the US. 

She was the daughter of Sue Sally Hale, a trailblazer in female polo in the 1950s and 60s, and both Sunny and her sister Stormie inherited their mother’s love for the sport and for horses.

Sunny’s greatest achievement in polo came in 2000, when she became the first woman to win the US Open; she won the title with Tim Gannon’s Outback, playing alongside Phil Heatley, Lolo Castagnola and the one and only, Adolfo Cambiaso. She played many tournaments alongside Cambiaso, playing with New Bridge and Matías Magrini, but Sunny was always sought out by patrons and professionals alike to play different tournaments. At 5-goals, she became the highest handicapped woman in the world and was often considered the best female player.

She wrote the best seller "Let's talk about ponies", a series of books sharing advice from the best polo players and breeders around the world, where Sunny successfully put across her energy, optimism and love of the sport. 

Polo took Sunny around the world, bringing to life Winston Churchill’s famous phrase: "A polo handicap is a passport to the world". Generous, passionate, and loved by all, Sunny is surely going to be missed. She will remain in the hearts of all who knew her, and will always be remembered by the polo community. 

Everyone at PoloLine sends their deepest sympathies to Sunny’s family and loved ones, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for so much, Sunny! Rest in Peace, dear friend. 


Adolfo Cambiaso: We were great friends with Sunny. She even came to Argentina to play with Mia last year. We had a special relationship due to horses, as well as our own story within polo, because we won the US Open together and several 20-goal tournaments. Afriend, the best female player of all time, has sadly left us. There's no other like her; in fact, when I had to choose among the male 4-goalers to play the US Open, I chose her because of her amazing skills. But above all, she was a great person and a great friend. It's a very sad day for me.

Facundo Sola: This is terrible news for polo; very, very sad. Sunny was such an tremendous player.

Lesley-Ann Masterton Fong-Yee: Polo has lost one of its best ever players, ambassadors and developers tonight. I knew her from the age of 17 years old, played all over the world with her, worked with Sunny off the field, and can summarize her character by saying if you did not like Sunny Hale there is something wrong with you. An almost impossible statement to make about any successful athlete. My heart is shattered and our great sport will feel her loss terribly.

Alice Gipps: Devastating news to wake up to this morning. Sunny Hale you will be sorely missed by so many. You were a true inspiration as to what can be accomplished in life if you follow your dreams. Your legacy will live on forever as the most formidable female polo player in history and all the incredible achievements of your career will continue to inspire future generations. Lets remember the good times and all those who knew you will be thinking of you often.

Sarah Wiseman: My hero, my friend. You inspired me to play polo when I was growing up and gave me endless advice every time we met. We had some great battles against each other, but always with a smile. You will forever be the GREATEST, the kindest and most inspiring. One day I hope to finally play a tournament with you on the great polo field in the sky. Rest easy my friend. Your legacy will live on through all the ladies you have given hope to.

Peter Abisheganaden: Thanks for the smile, the laughs, the advice, the inspiration, the polo, and the friendship. Sunny Hale, I'm honoured to have known you. Comet. Icon. Legend. Superstar of a person.

Ploy Bhinsaeng: Forever my hero, always in my heart. May you rest in peace.

Nigel Gallimore: SUNSET 'SUNNY' HALE (1969-2017) worked for decades as a passionate ambassador of polo, welcoming anyone who would like to play and knew from a young age that polo was her incomparable passion. Her life of adventure and travel began young, and she never stopped smashing barriers. Sunny played in her first tournament at age 10 and started giving lessons to adults at age 12. She began competing regularly as a teen, and became a professional around the age of 20, the first woman ever paid to play polo and one of the first females to compete at the highest levels among men. In 2000, she made history and achieved her life’s top ambition by becoming the first woman in history to win the U.S. Open Polo Championship, she was hired by the Outback Steakhouse Polo Team at the request of the world’s #1 player of all time Adolfo Cambiaso. Sunny also earned the highest rating (5) ever for a female player in the United States. An inspiration to people all over the world with her unique story of success and acceptance at the top of a male dominated profession she was widely recognized among her peers both male and female, as the most accomplished and well respected female polo player in the world. What set her apart, were her achievements at the top of what has traditionally been a male dominated sport and the fact that she was hired to play by the best male players in the world for over 20 polo seasons, as a professional among them.

Hazel Jackson: Pretty much speechless to hear the passing of Sunny Hale- taken far too soon... the most naturally talented, inspirational and humble player I have come across... RIP

HH Sheikha Maitha Al Maktoum: The polo community has suffered a great loss. My condolences to the family & friends. May her soul Rest In Peace

Lia Salvo: What a legend, and inspiration for all of us. I still remember the day I meet you; such an amazing player and person that all I wanted was to be around you. I will miss you, polo will miss you! Thank you for all you have done for women's polo in the world! Rest In Peace Sunny

Marianela Castagnola: Heroes never die, they always remain in everyone's memory.You were my inspiration, I will remember you forever. RIP Sunny Hale.

United States Polo Association: The entire USPA family would like to express our sincere condolences to Sunny’s family and friends. Her love for polo, animals and others lives on through the programs she has founded and the young players she has inspired. She would often give affirmation to others by saying "great job, you were 10-goals today!". This encouragement and positivity towards others is one of the qualities that made her so loved by many. Sunny will always be 10-goals in all of our hearts.