A painting of polo legend C. D. LeBlanc was donated last month to the Will Rogers Polo Club at their end of the season party. The artist, Bonnie Burke, owner of Heritage Realty, said LeBlanc started the Will Rogers Polo Club in 1953 and it will now be exhibited annually at the C.D. LeBlanc Memorial Tournament.
Burke, who became an avid fan of polo, began taking photographs of several players and their families who were regulars over there. She painted the portrait in 1993.
"He was dearly loved by the polo players," Burke said of LeBlanc in an email. She said Will Rogers landscaped the polo field in 1926 before he even built his home there. Rogers and his family lived at his ranch between 1928 and 1935 and he played there with such celebrities as David Niven, Spencer Tracy, Walt Disney and Clark Gable on weekend mornings.
C. D. Leblanc then became a legend in polo throughout the years and could most often be found along the sidelines cheering the players on.
Burke created oil paintings on canvas from the photos of players. Most of the paintings have been sold to the families or friends of the subject in the painting. However, Burke said she kept the one of her dear friend, C. D. LeBlanc, for many years.