Ponying up: Polo event helps build pharmacy building

By Elizabeth Pezqueda, Staff Writer

All the Dean’s horses and all the Dean’s men came together at the U on June 6.

The first-ever Pharmacy Cup Champagne Brunch and Polo Match, initiated by Claudia Skaggs Luttrell, was held to raise money for a new College of Pharmacy building.

The new building, yet to be named, will be connected to the original building by a glass atrium. The two will be known together as the Skaggs Pharmacy Institute.

Luttrell’s father, Sam Skaggs, gave a $10 million personal gift to the College of Pharmacy to make the new building a reality. Skaggs is the son of L.S. Skaggs, for whom the original building is named. Another $20 million was donated by the ALSAM Foundation, and all the proceeds from the match will also go to funding the new building.

“The current and new building in this new Skaggs Pharmacy Institute will stand together, like father and son, honoring these two great Utah businessmen on a campus and in a city they both loved and called home,” Skaggs said.

Professional polo players and ponies were flown in to participate in the event, bringing an old tradition back to the U, which hasn’t seen a polo match since the early 1940s. Luttrell said she chose to do a polo game for the fundraiser because of the sport’s history at the school.

“We wanted to do something different for a fundraiser other than an auction and dinner, so we thought polo. Let’s bring polo back to Utah,” Luttrell said. “The University of Utah used to have a polo team, so it was a perfect fit.”

The event took place at the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park and included a $100 per person champagne brunch, an MVP award, a Most Valuable Pony award, and a team trophy that was awarded to the victorious Dean’s Demons.

The MVP award went to the Dean’s Demons’ Luis Saracco, a professional polo player from Carlos Tejedor, Argentina.

There was even the traditional “Stomping of the Divots” after the third of six chukkers. The crowd stepped out onto the field to replace the divots of lawn that the horses’ hooves had dislodged during the game.

The Dean’s Demons, wearing green and representing the College of Pharmacy, won the match 15-11 over the Miller’s 4Runners. The 4Runner team was sponsored by Mark Miller, a devoted supporter of the health sciences.

John Mauger, dean of the College of Pharmacy, was present at the event and publicly thanked Luttrell and her family for their long-time support of the College of Pharmacy.

“I would like to thank Claudia Skaggs Luttrell for her friendship and support of the college,” Mauger said. “Without her we would not be here today.”

All those involved hope to make the Pharmacy Cup an annual event for the College of Pharmacy.

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Tyler Cobb

The Dean?s Demons, in green, defeated Miller?s 4Runners by a score of 15-11. The match was the first polo match to be played in Salt Lake in 60 years.

Thien Sok

Polo players fight for the ball at a fundraising event held at the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park. The event was held to raise money for the U?s College of Pharmacy.

Thien Sok