|Thu 3rd Sep 2015|
Groom apprenticeships scheme approved by the Government
Polo groom employers will be able to take on apprentices from 2017
Prime Minister David Cameron has just announced the approval of the Equine Groom and Senior Equine Groom Apprenticeships' Standards. A cross-discipline group representing all facets of equestrianism has drawn up these new apprenticeships. The Steering Group is made up of about 50 individuals at the top of their discipline, wanting to produce complete and practical grooms, with excellent transferable skills and work ethos.
There is a growing demand for grooms in polo as immigration, visas and foreign work permits are becoming more complex, expensive and time-consuming. The average polo school or livery yard require all-year-round staff that have the specialist skill-set for the polo industry. The introduction of apprenticeships could be the perfect solution to the problem. David Morley, who heads up Polo Permits and the HPA Welfare Committee spoke to Polo Times, “This is a very exciting time for polo as we now have a recognised route for people to learn and have the skills required to move into the polo industry.” There is also the argument that, not only will apprentices learn more about polo whilst on-the-job, but also polo pony welfare standards will increase as employers are able to train their staff for the job in hand from day one.
Sue Martin, Chairman of the Equestrian Trailblazers, said to Polo Times, “These standards have been carefully formulated to fulfil the Government’s aim to produce world class apprentices.” Prior to submission to the Government for approval, these new standards were publicised via various press channels across the country and received an overall 93% approval from employers, confirming the need for change in preparing future professionals for the equestrian industry. This was also included in the May issue of Polo Times this year.
Nick Boles, the Minister for Skills, said to Polo Times, “Businesses are better placed than anyone to train the next generation of workers and will help us deliver 3 million high-quality apprenticeships by 2020.” This is the first time that the entire equestrian industry has come together to work as a team, highlighting the importance of this vital project. The second phase is due to start in early September when work on the Assessment plans for these apprenticeships will commence to facilitate the new programme. To read about the new standards through Equine Trailblazers click here. To read about the finer details of apprenticeships for equine grooms laid out by the Government click here.
Photograph: Polo employers can now look forward to home-grown British grooms. By Lucy Wilson
Wed 2nd Sep 2015
Last chance to take up the Retraining of Racehorses Challenge
You could win up to £1,000 this Monday at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club
There is still time to enter your retrained racehorse into this year’s RoR Racing to Polo Challenge on Monday 7 September at The Royal Berkshire Polo Club, and have a chance to win prizes of up to £1,000 to the winner in each of the four main classes, plus additional bonus prizes.
With five RoR classes, including a new class for three-year-old and four-year-old horses that are unraced in Britain, RoR are looking forward to seeing more players take up the Challenge. The competition will be divided by age groups: three-year-olds, four-year-olds, five-year-olds and six-year-olds-and-upwards, with prize money given down to sixth place in each class.
Polo player Jack Richardson, winner of the RoR 2015 Young Producer Award for his contribution to retraining former racehorses, supports the Challenge competition and said to Polo Times, "It is a great event and I encourage anyone with a RoR eligible horse to enter. I will be entering three or four horses in classes and am looking forward to it."
Entries close this week, on Friday 4 September. To enter the competition, download the entry form and find out more now by clicking here.
Photograph: Tiny Title and Roddy Matthews, winners in 2014. Courtesy of RoR
Tue 1st Sep 2015
American Update: Lucchese takes Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open
East Coast Open sees White Birch continue winning streak
The weekend brought exciting play from the States, as Santa Barbara Polo Club saw the Final of The Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open, and Greenwich Polo Club hosted penultimate rounds of The East Coast Open.
Santa Barbara Polo Club
On Sunday 30 August, Lucchese beat Alegria/ Valiente 13-10 to take The Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open. Stand-out player of the match was Lucchese's Facundo Obregon, who scored seven goals in total. A 2-0 lead in the first chukka heralded the team’s victory, while a steady widening of the goal difference in the second was abruptly disrupted in the third where, after a tense on-pitch battle, Sterling Giannico made a brilliant run to level the score for Alegria/ Valiente, 6-6 at half-time.
However, the second half of the match proved the form of John R. Muse's Lucchese, who have already won The Belmond El Encanto Polo Classic Cup this season. Impressive teamwork saw every teammate contribute, despite Alegria/ Valiente snapping at their heels. At the start of the last chukka, the score hovered at a close 10-9, but didn't remain there for long, as multiple penalities were converted to bring the score up for both teams. A final long run from Mannix saw the last goal take the score 13-10 to Lucchese.
Tete Grahn was named Most Valuable Player, while Jeff Hall's Rocky was named The Best Playing Pony.
Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open Final teams:
Lucchese: John Muse (0), Tete Grahn (3), Facundo Obregon (6) & Jeff Hall (7)
Alegria/Valiente: Julian Mannix (4), Robert Jornayvaz (2), Santiago Torres (7) & Sterling Giannico (4)
Greenwich Polo Club
White Birch are still undefeated in the East Coast Open having beaten Audi 13-9 on Sunday 30 August. It was a tough match for Audi, who themselves were yet to lose a match as they started the game. However, strong defensive play from White Birch proved their downfall, while a high number of penalties upped the overall scores.
White Birch Farm: Santino Magrini (0), Hilario Ulloa (9), Mariano Aguerre (9) & Peter Brant (2)
Audi: Marc Ganzi (1), Juancito Bollini (2), Nic Roldan (8) & Miguel Novillo Astrada (9)
Photograph: Hilario Ulloa plays for White Birch in the East Coast Open. Courtesy of Alex Webbe