Polo Players Edition

AUG 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/1005812

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Page 14 of 67

POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 13 colleges. Playing a horse two chukkers in the arena was already the standard. Doc's idea was to level the playing field so a school with much better horses wouldn't have an advantage. Split strings equalized the horse power for teams and p ut the focus on the teams' playing and riding abilities. The challenge is most college and scholastic programs rely on donations to build their strings and donated horses are often older or may have soundness issues. Other negatives found their way into the split string system, such as a player using up as much horse as possible in the first chukker so there would be little left for the opponent that played the horse in the second chukker. The I/I program continues to be very proactive in pony welfare and has made appropriate adjustments to benefit the ponies. For example, I/I now only allows for a modest warm up so players no longer have the ability to try to overwork a horse in the first chukker. Most I/I programs take very good care of their horses and it allows aging d onated horses to stay active on a limited basis. They may be played more minutes overall, but the level of play often demands less. The academic school year includes a short fall season, followed by a long winter break before two to three months in later winter and early spring. Most I/I horses have the summers off. It is good to keep older ponies physically fit, but moving at a slower pace. There are not many people that can hire three top professionals and buy 50- plus top horses, however it is a lot of fun to watch those that can. There are many more players that can buy two horses and join in on local chukkers and lower-goal tournaments. To be competitive in the upper levels of play, think in terms of dozens of top ponies. For most, two to three healthy horses are all you'll need for lower-level, f our-chukker events. Consider each horse on an individual base when determining if it can double chukker. Pushing horses harder than they are capable will lead to injuries. If that happens, your string will become a strand and eventually turn you into a spectator instead of a participant. Tom Goodspeed is a renowned polo instructor, coach and horse trainer. He achieved a 5-goal handicap outdoors and 9 in the arena. He can be reached at polotom@usapolo.com. Bronzes by (not only) Polo in Bronze for over 30 years Rich Roenisch is a long time polo player and a lifetime cowboy, which brings authenticity to his pieces. His bronzes have an international reputation. A wide variety of subjects in a wide range of prices. Delivery times will vary. Rich Roenisch Walking R Holdings Box 113 Longview, Alberta, Canada T0L 1H0 ph/fax (403) 652 4053 email: walkingr@xplornet.com www.richroenisch.com (Front section of) "BANKS OF THE BOW" L36" x W19" x H24 Detail of maquette for monumental sculpture "By the Banks of the Bow" (by Rich Roenisch and Bob Spaith). Total of 15 horses in full maquette. Limited edition of 20

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