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VALLEY GALLERY

A Ride in the Park

June 04, 1996

Felice Densa likes the danger and the speed of polo. The Studio City woman is the only female member of this team at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades.

Polo, she said, is a lot like soccer and hockey--only the players are going up to 30 mph, swatting at the ball while on horseback. The game originated in Pakistan, and some accounts have traced a version of it to ancient China.

"You have to have great horsemanship skills and you have to be a pretty good athlete," said Densa, 36, who fell in love with horses after hearing her father's stories of his days in the French Foreign Legion. She took her first lessons at 14, but began to ride seriously in her late teens, after moving to Southern California to attend UCLA.

The main center for polo near the Valley is the Fair Hills Farms Polo Club in Topanga Canyon, where Densa boards her horses and plays arena polo on weeknights after work.

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