Wellington, FL--April 15, 2012--- Dwight Tran can still remember his debut three years ago at the International Gay Polo Tournament.
"When I first came out here, I fell off my horse," Tran said with a smile, shaking his head.
"It was the first year of the tournament and it was on the qualifying day. My horse reared up and I fell off. The horse rolled over my leg but luckily I didn't break anything."
Since then Tran has made remarkable progress and for the second consecutive year was voted the Most Improved Player Award for the third annual International Gay Polo Tournament Saturday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Tran competed for Polo Gear/Palm Beach Rox which lost a thriller, 6-5, to Gamma Mu in front of nearly 3,000 fans.
At 28, Tran is the second youngest player in the Gay Polo League.
"I always come back for more, I didn't get discouraged that first time," Tran said. "It made me work harder."
Tournament host and sponsor Melissa Ganzi has been supportive of Tran since the start and is impressed by his improvement. "It's been amazing watching him play and get better every year," Ganzi said.
Against Gamma Mu, Tran had several key plays including feeding leading scorer and MVP Talbot Logan the ball for two goals and defending Argentine pro Juan Bollini with a hard bump to ride him off the ball.
"I am getting more confident," Tran said. "I have been playing every week. I am playing with a great team at Yale."
Tran is currently completing the first year of his MBA at the Yale School of Management. One of the reasons he chose Yale was to be able to play on the Yale polo team.
"The practices are at night, 8-11 in the winter in a covered barn," Tran said. "We groom and tack our own horses. We are very self-sufficient."
With every game, Tran picks up valuable experience particularly playing with other players like Logan and Wellington pro Nic Roldan. He started playing polo on the west coast at the Menlo Polo Club in 2009 when he took a hiatus from his marketing career at Google.
"I have played this tournament every year and love it," Tran said.
"I will be back. I thought today's game we were fairly matched. We had a great day on Friday and today they just had a better day. It was great. It's always great to be out here. It's great polo."
Third Annual International Gay Polo Tournament Team Sponsors