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Aiken polo community mourns death of polo player Delmer 'Del' Walton

Walton.pic

Delmer Walton, who was a member of the Aiken Polo Club and owner of Walton Farm Polo, died in fatal traffic accident Saturday. 

A positive person, an equestrian and a  great person to be around is how the Aiken and polo communities will remember Delmer "Del" Walton.

Walton, 39, of Blackville, a fixture in the local polo community, died early Saturday morning in a traffic accident.

“He was a super fun guy,” Aiken Polo Club manager Tiger Kneece said.

In the early morning of Dec. 3, Walton was driving a 2004 Toyota Highlander SUV East on Highway 4 when it went off the right of the road, overturned and hit a tree, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Walton was unrestrained, ejected from the vehicle and died from blunt force injuries, the highway patrol said.

He is survived by the "love of his life," Tessa Callaghan Lord; his three sons David, Cal and Harrison; his parent; a sister and his stepfather, according to a Facebook post from the Aiken Polo Club.

A third-generation polo player, Walton was a polo trainer and a breeder of polo ponies, according to the post.

Walton played in several polo tournaments and was frequently named MVP at Aiken Polo Club events, the post said.

Several people commented on the Aiken Polo Club Facebook page that Walton will be missed and that his death is a loss to the equestrian community.

“Aiken Polo, or polo, in general, will never be the same. I don’t think you could find another as passionate about polo & horses as Del. Devastating news, a huge loss,” Faith Rangel said in a Facebook post.

Walton was the owner of Walton Farm Polo in Blackville and ran it with Callaghan Lord.

Kneece said he can’t believe Walton is gone and said he knew Walton for most of his life.

“I have basically known Del all my life,” Kneece said. “I have known him since he was like a really young kid.”

Kneece said Walton was a great friend , loved horses and enjoyed competing in polo tournaments.

Kneece said the polo community is a small-knit community and Walton’s death is a big loss.

“I basically spoke with him nearly every day,” Kneece said.

Kneece said Walton enjoyed every part of the polo club, which included attending practices, bringing in clients for polo tournaments, helping to put teams in the tournament and having his children play youth polo.

“He was passionate about polo and even more so about his horses,” Kneece said. “He ran a big breeding operation where they would raise horses and sell them."

Kneece said Walton was a hard worker and they shared great memories together, like watching polo games, watching their children play polo and having dinners and barbecues.

“We are definitely going to keep his legacy," Kneece said. "If it's going to be through his horses, through his polo teams and maybe the great thing is to keep his boys involved and engaged in polo."

Several fundraisers have been set up to help Walton's family with funeral expenses.

The Polo Players Support Group Inc., which is based in Wellington, Florida, is accepting donations to support the family and a family member of Walton set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds.

The GoFundMe has raised $19,035 so far.

Those wanting to make donations can visit polosupport.com and email Dave Offen at dave@polosupport.com to ensure that the donation will be marked for Walton’s family.

GoFundMe donations can be made by visiting gofundme.com and searching "In Memory of Del Walton."