Horses' hooves thundered across the grass at the Twin City Polo Classic in Maple Plain last Sunday as spectators cheered and sipped wine on the sidelines.

Known since antiquity as the "game of kings," polo has a legacy here: The Twin City Polo Classic celebrated its 20th anniversary, with guests coming to support the Children's Cancer Research Fund. The organization supports efforts to cure the disease at the University of Minnesota.

"So much of what we're working on is how to target cancer without hurting the rest of the body," said Dr. John Wagner, a pediatric oncologist at the University of Minnesota who is also focusing on stem-cell research.

Wagner was among the doctors who treated Mathew Odette, 11, of Duluth. Mathew was found to have Burkitt's lymphoma at age 6, but he has since fully recovered.

Mathew enjoyed seeing his first polo match. "It's pretty cool. It's like soccer/hockey/hurdling," he said, adding that he plays soccer at school.

"He makes us look good," said Wagner.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177