Matthew W. Fonseca, Professional Polo Player & Trainer
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Birthplace: Windsor, Berkshire, England
Languages: English, Spanish
Matthew was born and raised in Windsor, Berkshire, England. He learned to ride and play polo from his father, a world-renowned horse trainer and team manager. At age 12, he began competing in The Pony Club at the famed Cowdray Park Polo Club. He turned pro at age 15 and since then, has played all over the world including Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, France, Italy, Belgium, Jamaica and all the United States. In Matthew’s 27-year career he has played with England’s Prince Charles of Wales, and for Tommy Lee Jones, Stephanie Powers, John Walsh and the Crown Prince of Pahang, Malaysia, to name a few.
Matthew loves the thrill of playing polo and considers himself fortunate to work with his horses every day, improving their skills and his own. His love for the game, charismatic personality, and years of experience in the saddle make Matthew an exceptional coach and instructor. His approachable teaching style, as well as his insight into the horse and game, ensures that his clients and students advance their stick n’ ball skills. And, without a doubt, you’re going to have fun!
Matthew is the Polo Product Manager and Owner of Aiken Dry Goods in downtown Aiken, South Carolina. He and his wife opened the store in 2011 and carry a range of polo equipment, tack, riding apparel, boots, as well as other ‘equinesque’ clothing, accessories, and gifts. You can shop brands like Tato’s, Medina Mallets, Bombers Bits, Texas Polo Balls, Beretta, Tato’s, G-Form, Oakley, Olathe Boots Company, Ona, TEC Polo Balls, and many more. They also design and produce customized team clothing and gear, as well as tents, banners and anything else for the horse or rider, any age, any discipline.
Matthew is the Head Coach for the Women’s Polo Team at the University of South Carolina in Aiken. The women’s intercollegiate polo team competes against any of eleven other collegiate teams in the USPA Intercollegiate Southeast region and approximately 36 other teams across the country.
Because there are only 24 hours in a day, Matthew is Co-Founder of Polo for Patriots an annual charity polo match held in Aiken, SC. All proceeds benefit two regional veteran charities: the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation and the Aiken-Augusta Warrior Project.
Matthew lives in Aiken with his wife Jami, their daughter Jennings, several dogs and, of course, the polo ponies.