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15 minutes with: Jim Huber

By NAN BIALEK
Photos Courtesy of Integrated Brand Group 

June 2016

After 40 years as an attorney with Foley & Lardner, Jim Huber retired, but heís never slowed down. At 78, heís the president of the Milwaukee Polo Club in Hartland, playing, training horses and encouraging both men and women to give the "sport of kings" a try.M: How did you get started in polo?

JH: "Iíve been in horses all my life. We were in quarter horses, the boys and me in the family; the girls were in thoroughbreds for jumping. A friend called me one day, and someone had given him a polo mallet, and he said, ĎCome on, letís try it.í So I tried it. The boys didnít want to do a lot of showing and wanted something a little bit more competitive. So I got them interested, and we havenít looked back since."

M: So polo is a family affair?

JH: "Itís typical of polo that itís multigenerational. Itís not unusual to have three generations on the field, playing at the same time. The unique thing about it in that respect is that you can play a team contact sport until youíre into your 80s. You can be playing a sport with your grandchildren. Very often you find that if the fatherís playing, itís very likely that his father played."

M: What do you remember about playing in your first

polo match?

JH: "What stands out is we got the cheesiest trophies after we won ó plastic trophies.

I always say itís the most meaningful trophy I ever got. Itís the one trophy Iíll remember."

M: How do you choose your horses?

JH: "Theyíve got to have a good, quiet eye, so you really look at them, and you can tell by their face and their eyes and their ears how intelligent they are. And you look at all of the measurements, length of the back and neck, how well muscled they are, how broad they are, and strong bones. Iím looking for a 15-hand horse. The highest Iíll go is

15.2 hands."

M: Your own 17 horses are retired racehorses. What do they need to learn before theyíre ready for polo?

JH: "Itís a process of about two years before you can say you have a Ďmade horse,í a horse thatís ready to play a long time. They can play until they are in their early 20s. These thoroughbreds are used to running, but not stopping and turning on a dime like a quarter horse. I only have mares, and they lay their heart out for you."

M: What do you enjoy doing apart from your work at the Milwaukee Polo Club?

JH: "I work with the horses year-round. We play a lot of basketball at the Milwaukee Athletic Club and do some traveling, and the grandkids are around all the time. We live on a farm in the Hartland area, so thatís a lot of work maintaining the buildings and so on. You think youíre going to have some time in retirement, but the list just gets longer." m

 


This story ran in the June 2016  issue of: