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Tue 7th Apr 2020

Equestrian Relief Charity Initiative

UK’s top polo players pledge support

Over the course of one week (6 – 13 April) Equestrian Relief will see equestrian stars and celebrities competing in a series of challenges with the goal of raising £100,000 in a week for the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal Fund. Currently Equestrian Relief have raised nearly £35,000. 

Each day, two team members will take part in one of the five challenges (On the Gallops, Plankety Plank, Horse Drawn, Showstopper and Dark Horse) which are designed to test the physical, creative and artistic skills of the riders. Plus the campaign is also holding a charity auction featuring a selection of exclusive experiences such as a Skype Call with showjumping Olympian William Whitaker and behind the scenes ITV racing experience. 
Eventing world champions Ros Canter and Zara Tindall, Olympic gold medallists Carl Hester and Scott Brash, plus McCoy and Dettori from horse racing are just some famous faces who have all pledged their support. It has been reported that Jack Richardson, Hazel Jackson-Gaona, Tom Morley, Mark Tomlinson and Malcolm Borwick will be representing the polo community. 
The fundraising initiative has been launched by the Bolesworth and Liverpool International Horse Shows, Bolesworth’s Managing Director Nina Barbour commented, “Our priority is to unite the horse world to support our health workers and our goal is to raise a sum of money that will make a real difference. All donations will go directly to NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Crisis Fund – supporting NHS staff and volunteers on the frontline as they work under pressure and in the most challenging of circumstances.”
Click here to find out more about Equestrian Relief and how you can get involved. Follow all of the action on the Liverpool International Horse Show social media channels.  

Mon 6th Apr 2020

2020 Argentine Triple Crown Teams

Two remaining teams confirmed

The 2020 Argentine Triple Crown team line-ups have been announced, with the two remaining teams for the 2020 Triple Crown also confirmed. One is a new version of La Irenita (Juan Martín Zubía, Min Podesta, Juan Gris Zavaleta & Facu Fernandez Llorente) and the other, which is still to be officially named (Francisco Elizalde, Alfredo Capella, Facundo Sola & Guillermo Caset), is a mixture of players from last year’s La Albertina and Las Monjitas. 
Interestingly, in a surprising change of line-up, Ellerstina have deviated from their all-Pieres line-up with Hilario Ulloa replacing Polito Pieres, who has moved into La Natividad Monjitas.
Despite ongoing delays to suspended polo seasons across the globe, the 2020 Triple Crown has yet to be affected. 
2020 Argentine Triple Crown Teams:
La Dolfina: Adolfo Cambiaso, David ‘Pelon’ Stirling, Pablo MacDonough & Juan Martín Nero
Ellerstina: Facundo Pieres, Nico Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres & Hilario Ulloa
La Dolfina Polo Ranch: Guillermo Terrera, Juan Britos, Diego Cavanagh & Alejo Taranco
La Natividad Monjitas: Ignatius Du Plessis, Bartolomé Castagnola, Camilo Castagnola & Polito Pieres 
Name Awaiting Confirmation: Francisco Elizalde, Alfredo Capella, Facundo Sola & Guillermo Caset
Name Awaiting Confirmation: Agustín Merlos, Ignacio Toccalino, Santiago Toccalino & Mariano Aguerre
La Irenita: Juan Martín Zubía, Min Podesta, Juan Gris Zavaleta & Facu Fernandez Llorente
Name Awaiting Confirmation: Segundo Bocchino, Matias Torres Zavaleta, Alfredo Bigatti & Jero Del Carril
Photograph: Action from The Argentine Open Final in 2019, Ellerstina vs La Dolfina. By Helen Cruden

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.  

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Other top stories

Mon 23rd Mar 2020
April Polo Times Out This Week!
Your perfect isolation read

Fri 20th Mar 2020
Lord Patrick Beresford 1934 – 2020
Polo legend passes away

Thu 19th Mar 2020
Start of UK Season Delayed
HPA has released a statement regarding the effect of Coronavirus

Wed 18th Mar 2020
National Junior Gold & Silver Cups
Success for inaugural tournament

Tue 17th Mar 2020
HPA Releases Covid-19 Response
Keeping polo playing for 2020 UK polo season

Mon 16th Mar 2020
USPA Gold Cup Quarter Final Results
Weekend of wins at IPC

Fri 13th Mar 2020
End of Season Handicaps
Arena Handicaps 2019/2020 announced by HPA

Thu 12th Mar 2020
Copa De Las Naciones Postponed
News from Argentina

Wed 11th Mar 2020
USPA Gold Cup Underway
Teams battle for Gauntlet of Polo second instalment Quarter Finals positions

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