All-girls Garrison Forest School quietly builds a national polo powerhouse in Owings Mills

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 03:29:12 PM. The all-girls Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills has won 13 national championships in polo since beginning competition in the late 1970s.
Garrison Forest School has experienced plenty of success in one particular sport. The Grizzlies have won 13 national championships since beginning competition nearly four decades ago, are known around the country for their exemplary program, but have remained a bit of a secret back home in Owings Mills. That’s because Garrison Forest, an all-girls school, excels in polo, which remains largely a niche sport. The school won its latest Girls’ National Interscholastic Championship last spring, edging the Maryland Polo Club, 12-11, in the title match in Charlottesville, Va. The Grizzlies run a unique, hybrid program. Garrison Forest competes against girls and boys at the high school level as well as college teams, the reason they’ll take road trips to schools like Virginia, Yale and Cornell. Coach Jenny Schwartz said they play mostly girls and women, along with a variety of club teams that are not officially affiliated with a particular school but can represent an area. In fact, Garrison Forest is one of just two high schools in the United States that offers polo – the Culver Academies in Indiana is the other. “In the polo world, we’re known,” Garrison Forest athletic director Traci Davis said. “We couldn’t be more proud of our girls.” The Garrison Forest program was started in 1979 by Dan Colhoun, who is active in the polo world and whose daughters (Julie Colhoun Deford, ’79 and Martha Colhoun Williams, ’86) played, as did both granddaughters (Lilly Deford, ’06 and Kate Williams,...Read more
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