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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

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Other top stories

Tue 1st Sep 2015
Last Junior Select match of the summer sees win for HPA
The HPA Junior team beat Kirtlington Park Polo Club for The Alan Budgett Trophy

Mon 31st Aug 2015
The season comes to an end in Sotogrande
Gold Cup Finals for low, medium and high goal at Santa Maria Polo Club

Thu 27th Aug 2015
Polo Times is out now!
The 100 page September issue is now available

Thu 27th Aug 2015
Bulgari Gold Cup Finalists are revealed
Semi Finals take place for the low, medium and high goal categories at Santa Maria Polo Club

Wed 26th Aug 2015
Brits battle it out in the youth polo in Sotogrande
Finals of the Championship of Andalucia and Spain 2015

Mon 24th Aug 2015
Semi Finalists decided for the Bulgari Gold Cup
A weekend of polo at Santa Maria sorts out the contenders for the Semi Finals

Mon 24th Aug 2015
England Ladies’ Team win in South Africa
East Rand Polo Club play host to The Ladies’ International Test Match

Mon 24th Aug 2015
First public match for East Coast Open 2015
High goal teams battle it out for prestigious American trophy

Sun 23rd Aug 2015
Drama Continues in Sotogrande
More thrills and spills in the Gold Cup of the 44th Land Rover International Polo Tournament

Thu 20th Aug 2015
Sotogrande Gold Cup Update
The low, medium and high goal action continues at Santa Maria Polo Club

Wed 19th Aug 2015
HPA fixture and update
Changes for Tianjin & Chester fixtures

Tue 18th Aug 2015
The Gold Cup gets underway in Sotogrande
First zone matches for medium and high goal Gold Cups take place at Santa Maria Polo Club

Mon 17th Aug 2015
USPA East Coast Open teams announced
Six teams to compete for the title at Greenwich Polo Club

Sat 15th Aug 2015
Dubai remain unbeaten in Sotogrande
Finals of the INDI Silver and Bronze Cups at Santa Maria Polo Club

Thu 13th Aug 2015
Lechuza Caracas to take on Dubai
Sotogrande sees Finals of The High Goal INDI Silver Cup

Wed 12th Aug 2015
Inaugural Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation Day
Guards Polo Club will host the event on Thursday 13 August

Mon 10th Aug 2015
Semi Finalists for high goal INDI Silver Cup decided in Sotogrande
Equus and Bayswater-Sapphire triumphant in medium goal

Mon 10th Aug 2015
Thrilling matches at The El Remanso Pony Club and The HPA British Junior Polo Championships
Well-deserved victories for superstars in the making

Thu 6th Aug 2015
22 goal and Victor Ludorum handicap changes are out
The up-and-coming players flourish with higher handicaps

See all news in:

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