Foxhall Keene

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameFoxhall Parker•Keene
Used nameFoxhall•Keene
Nick/petnamesFoxie
Born18 December 1867 in Oakland, California (USA)
Died25 September 1941 in Ayer's Cliff, Québec (CAN)
AffiliationsFoxhunters Hurlingham, (GBR)
NOC Great Britain
Nationality United States

Biography

The informal nature of the 1900 Olympic polo tournament is best illustrated by the fact that two years after winning a gold medal with the Foxhunters team, Foxhall Keene played for America against Great Britain in the Westchester Cup. Foxhall Keene started his polo career as a 16-year-old with the Rockaway Hunt Club, New York and at the age of 18 played in the first Westchester Cup match at Newport, Rhode Island in 1886 when he had the distinction of scoring the first ever goal in international polo. Although the visiting British team won 10-4, Keene scored for the home team after only 24 seconds of play. Keene was the only player to appear in all of the first six Westchester Cup matches, in 1886, 1900 and 1902, and he only missed the 1913 series after breaking a collar bone in the final workout. He was the first American to be given a 10-goal handicap and maintained that rating for 14 of the next 28 years. Keene won the US Senior Championship five times, with Rockaway in 1896 and 1907, Westchester in 1899, Lakewood in 1901 and Meadow Brook in 1912.

Keene spent two years at Harvard as a special student with the Class of ‘91 before transferring to the Law School, where he stayed only for one year. He then joined his father and helped direct the family’s substantial business interests. During this period he was a familiar figure at Castleton Farm in Kentucky, on the hunting and polo fields of England, and was also seen riding with the famous Quorn Hunt in Leicestershire near his home in Melton Mowbray. Keene enjoyed many successes on the turf on both sides of the Atlantic.

Foxhall Keene was a talented and versatile sportsman. In 1897 he finished 31st in the US Open Golf Championship and the following year reached the quarter-finals of the US Amateur Championship before losing to the renowned Walter Travis. After being badly injured when his car crashed into a telegraph pole in the 1905 Vanderbilt cup races, he gave up motor racing and devoted himself to other sports as a result of which he played in the 1914 World Rackets Championships. Keene never married and in 1913 went to live with his sister in Canada where he eventually died in poverty.

Although Keene was a US national all his life, at the 1900 Paris Olympics he played for Foxhunters Hurlingham, a British polo club.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1900 Summer Olympics Polo GBR USA Foxhall Keene
Polo, Men (Olympic) Foxhunters Hurlingham 1 Gold