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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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