Polo Players Support Group (PPSG) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization helping those who could be so easily forgotten. We are firmly established and actively engaged in providing financial assistance to seriously injured or ill players and grooms.
In 2000, the 40-Goal Rob Walton Benefit was created to raise money for 8-goal Polo Hall of Famer, Rob Walton, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a polo accident. In this inaugural event, many of the best polo players in the world donated their time and efforts to play this exhibition match and raise funds to help Walton meet his on-going medical expenses.
Inspired by the success of the Rob Walton Benefit and recognizing the need to help other members of the polo community, Dave Offen, Tony Coppola and Tim Gannon founded the Polo Players Support Group (PPSG) and created the annual U.S. Polo Assn. 40-Goal Polo Challenge to raise funds to help members of the polo community in financial crisis caused by physical injury or illness. Since its inception in 2002, $3,000,000 has been given to 101 members of the polo industry.
Board of Directors
David “Dave” Offen co-founded the Polo Players Support Group with Tony Coppola and Tim Gannon. An accomplished professional polo player from Toronto, Canada, Offen achieved a high handicap of 6 goals outdoors and 9 goals in the arena, traveling across the USA and to numerous countries including Argentina, England, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, and the Dominican Republic. Representing Canada on numerous occasions as a player and coach, Offen has competed in several FIP (World 14-goal tournaments) and coached multiple Canadian teams over his distinguished career in the industry.
"It is a privilege to serve as the Executive Director of the PPSG. Rob Walton's accident inspired the entire polo community to come together to support many friends in need. It is extremely gratifying to help members of our polo family when they find themselves in very difficult times. None of this would be possible without a dedicated and caring Board of Directors, an amazing team of helpers and volunteers and the very generous sponsors and donors who make it all possible."
Anthony “Tony” Coppola
Both the iconic “voice of polo” and the owner of Wellington landmark, The Tackeria, Tony Coppola is well respected throughout the polo community. He has managed some of the country’s top polo clubs including Burnt Mills, Gilbertsville and Saratoga. Aside from commentating for ESPN, Coppola has announced the most prestigious tournaments in the world including the U.S. Open, Argentine Open, a variety of major tournaments and Sunday polo at the International Polo Club. In addition to the PPSG, Tony also serves on the Board’s of the USPA, PTF, and Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame.
"Dave and I started the PPSG together and it’s a very worthwhile cause and we’ve helped a lot of people over the years."
Creator of the famous Bloomin’ Onion of Outback Steakhouse, Tim Gannon in part developed the recipe to afford playing the sport of polo. Earning an art history degree from Florida State University, Gannon ultimately became a restaurant chef and co-founded Outback Steakhouse in Tampa in 1987. As a sponsor and player on Outback Polo Team, Gannon’s team won five U.S. Open Championships and helped him realize his dream of playing polo competitively. Tim and Outback Steakhouse made it possible to host the Rob Walton Benefits and the early years of the Outback 40 Goal and other PPSG Fundraising events.
"I’ve been a board member and one of the founding members with Dave from day one. I’m deeply committed to PPSG and love the idea of two things: putting on the greatest polo game in North America and raising funds for many of the people in the industry who are forgotten. We help grooms, farriers, and those who don’t have the means and support which a lot of the polo community members have."
Gillian Johnston is one of the most formidable women in high-goal polo as captain and patron of the Coca-Cola polo team. She is the only woman other than the legendary Sunny Hale to win the U.S. Open Polo Championship in 2002, in addition to dozens of 20-goal tournaments. Her polo career extends to a breeding operation on the eastern slope of the big horn mountains called G String Polo Ponies, which has produced many top polo ponies in the United States.
"The polo community is like one big family and being part of the PPSG is a way to give back whenever a member of our family is in need."
Brenden Moriarty is an attorney at The Moriarty Law Firm, P.A. specializing in estate planning, wills and trusts, probate and guardianships, real estate, business formation, business planning, shareholder agreements, contracts, and trust administration and litigation. He serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations, including Braden River Soccer Club and Professional Polo Players Association.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of an organization that has helped so many families in their time of need.”
Todd Offen has been a professional polo player since 1989. He is a former 7-goal player and a founding director of the PPSG. Todd continues to help build awareness of the PPSG mission at the ground level, informing injured or ill players and grooms about the available assistance and educating new donors about our mission. Todd is currently based in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Susan, and children, Jackson and Ella.
"It is a great feeling to be part of an organization that acts very quickly to help members of our polo family who have fallen on hard times."
Ginny Orthwein's family comes from a deep history of American polo that has been especially instrumental in the development of polo in South Florida. Husband, Stephen Orthwein, founded Port Mayaca Polo Club in 2006 where sons Steve, Jr. and Robert play competitively. Ginny Orthwein has vast experience as a board member on local and state levels. She is also a skilled amateur golfer, winning the BMW World Championship in Australia, the 2015 Mid Amateur Championship, and the reigning undefeated club champion for the past 10 years at the Wanderers Club in Wellington, FL.
“I love the PPSG because it immediately helps people that are a part of the polo community and most of the time the families are in a state of shock. There is not any red tape to go through, if someone meets the criteria requested funds are immediately available.”