|Thu 26th Mar 2020|
Polo Times still operating, albeit at a reduced level
As we were pressing the print button on this April issue of Polo Times, the Coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across the globe at a breakneck pace, seemingly unstoppable. In a bid to try and stop the spread of the virus, entire countries are being locked down and quarantined. Initially it seemed as though polo may be spared these measures, with many commenting that it was a sport which naturally supported social distancing with low levels of public spectators at most Club matches. However, in line with the reactions of other sporting bodies, Polo Associations across the globe, including but not limited to the United States Polo Association (USPA), the New Zealand Polo Association (NZPA) and Argentine Association of Polo (AAP) announced that in light of the ongoing pandemic, polo tournaments will be postponed and cancelled with immediate effect.
Closer to home, the HPA’s announcement on Thursday 19 March that “all HPA courses have been postponed or cancelled and clubs are requested to postpone or cancel all polo tournaments until 1 May (with this date under constant review)” sent ripples of uncertainty through the British community as polo yards across the country are in the midst of pre-season preparations.
As the editorial content for each issue is worked on well in advance of the actual print date, you will see that in this issue, we are reporting on the varied polo played across the globe in the past month. As things have rapidly accelerated with the Coronavirus shutdowns across the globe, looking at this content, it seems somewhat surreal to think of a time so recently, when all this polo continuing and our lives resuming in relative normality. Things have certainly progressed in a way none of us could have foreseen.
Yet, bearing in mind the words of the great Winston Churchill “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” let us use this time effectively to best prepare ourselves for when polo does once again, which it will, resume.
This issue’s content featuring recent polo and indeed such volume, diversity and quality of polo that has been played around the world in the past 12 issues of Polo Times is true testament to the strength of our sport, prior to this global pandemic. Again, looking to the positives – as coincidence would have it – this issue’s Knowledge pages are full of ways you can stay at home and get fit in Natalie Willcock’s Yoga for Polo and India Parker-Smith’s ‘Get fit at polo’; world renowned polo coach Rege Ludwig’s ‘Polo Pony Collection’ feature is also a great way to make sure you know how best to prepare your ponies. As Rebecca Walters, a leading women’s polo player, comments in this issue “Try to understand horses. Learn their body language, then the ‘conversation’ on the field will be much easier.” So, although these times are deeply unsettling and worrying, we cannot afford to let them define us, and we should strive to ‘find the opportunities’, however small they may be.
Here at Polo Times we are still working, albeit at a reduced level, with our Publisher and Editor-in-Chief still at the tiller to steer as level a course as we can during these difficult times. Please be assured that we are still able to process new subscriptions and renewals, we all need something to read during these times. You can either read Polo Times in print but also online via our website and the Polo Times app.
Let’s keep positive and work together. Stay safe, stay well and stay strong.
Mon 23rd Mar 2020
April Polo Times Out This Week!
Your perfect isolation read
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic may have brought polo across the globe to a grinding halt, but that hasn’t stopped us here at Polo Times HQ and we have been working hard to bring you the April issue.
This issue has coverage from The Cuvée 450 Arena Gold Cup at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club, plus reports from further afield including the BMW New Zealand Polo Open, The C.V. Whitney Cup Final, The World Polo League Founder Cup and The Standard Chartered Gold Cup in Dubai.
Plus we speak to Adolfo Casabal, an Argentine mainstay on the British polo scene, on his 30 year polo career.
This issue’s Women’s Polo pages are positively overflowing with coverage of The Ladies Arena British Open, The Queen’s Cup Pink Polo at Thai Polo & Equestrian Club plus tournaments in New Zealand and America complete with player interviews and comments.
As ever, our popular Knowledge section has top tips for both player and pony health, with features including:
Nutrition Focus: Muzzles
Polodoc: Vision for Precision
Vet Insight: Equine Stomach Ulcers
Chukka Wellness: Utilising Polo Field Boards
Rege Ludwig: Polo Pony Collection
So, get ready to receive the April issue of Polo Times
and if you’re feeling generous, why not gift it to a friend! Click here
to purchase a gift subscription, the perfect isolation companion.
Fri 20th Mar 2020
Lord Patrick Beresford 1934 – 2020
Polo legend passes away
Yesterday, Thursday 18 March, it was announced that Lord Patrick Tristam de la Poer Beresford had passed away. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Lord Patrick Beresford was a prominent figure in the UK polo community, whilst also achieving a decorated military career and was a keen amateur jockey.
His military career began at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where Lord Patrick Beresford earned the Sword of Honour as top cadet; he then served with the Royal Horse Guards (RHG) from 1952 and served with them for 11 years, a time which included overseas deployments to Cyprus (awarded the General Service Medal (GSM) in 1957) and as part of the British Army of the Rhine. In 1963 he transferred to the No 1 (Guards) Independent Parachute Company in 1963 and took part in the Coy deployments to Cyprus in 1963 and Borneo in 1964 (awarded the GSM). Following this Lord Patrick joined R Squadron of 22 Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment and was part of overseas deployments to the Middle and Far East from 1966 to 1974. After leaving military service he remained an active member in the veterans’ community and was President of the Guards Parachute Association.
During his polo career, Lord Patrick Beresford’s reached 5 goals and won a number of notable UK tournaments including: Cowdray Park’s Gold Cup, Cowdray Park Challenge, Royal Windsor Cup, the County Cup, the Queen’s Cup, the Warwickshire Cup, Cowdray Park Challenge, Junior County Cup, the County Cup, the Smith-Ryland Cup, the Caterham Cup and the Westbury Cup. Further afield he won the South African Open Championship and in America won the Butler Handicap with a Cowdray Park team. Lord Patrick Beresford was also a member of the Commonwealth team that travelled to Buenos Aires in 1966 to compete in a 30 goal tournament against Argentina and the USA. In 2010 Lord Patrick was awarded the Hurlingham Polo Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at The Polo Awards. Aside from playing polo, Lord Patrick was Guards Polo Club’s first Polo Manager in 1955, Vice President of the England International Committee and a passionate polo pony welfare advocate. In later years he judged the polo pony sections at The Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Lord Patrick’s interest in equine sports wasn’t just limited to the world of polo, he was also a keen amateur jockey, enjoying his first win under National hunt rules in 1958 winning Sandown’s Past and Present Hunters’ Chase on Major Robert Collie's horse Topper. His other notable racing achievements included wins at Sandown’s Past and Present Handicap Chase, Thomond Chase at Limerick and the Dunboyne Plate at Fairyhouse. He was also Chef d’équipe of the British Eventing Team 1985 – 1992.
A full obituary will be included in the next issue of Polo Times, paying testament to Lord Patrick Beresford’s interesting and varied life.
Photograph: Lord Patrick Beresford was a keen polo player & supporter of the sport. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com