Page 1

La Low Goal

December Issue


So here we are in December. Christmas is now only just around the corner, the temperatures have plummeted below freezing point and across the country, arena polo is in full swing.

However you intend to beat the cold this Christmas, La Low Goal is always there by your side. Perhaps you will while away the winter months Christmas shopping, or perhaps sneakily treating yourself while nobody else is looking. Then why not pop over to lalowgoal.co.uk? You can find a small range of novelty polo inspired tshirts and jumpers, perfect for yourself or for that polo mad friend’s xmas present.

Maybe you’ve been out and about, braving the elements to get your polo fix. Well spare a moment to check for yourself among these very pages. Perhaps you’re now famous, snapped up in one of our articles. Or not. Why not write in with a contribution of your own, guaranteeing you a place in next month’s copy.

Maybe you’re just curled up against a nice warm fire (and honestly who can blame you). In that case, why not snuggle up with some of the back issues, and catch up on all the going on in polo over the last year and a half?

Whatever you’re doing this Christmas, just remember, when your warm indoors this Christmas time, spare a thought. A though for all the arena umpires braving Boltic temperatures, lashing rain, snow and painful hail. Well tonight, thank god its them instead of you.

Enjoy the issue

Connor Kay

1


by low goal for low goal


Contents Page 5

#trypolouk -A look at the HPA’s new marketing strategy

Page 9

AQUI Polo Pony - The worlds first global polo pony marketplace

Page 13

Druids Lodge -Report from the first fireside polo event of the season

Page 17

Christmas Gift Guide - Everything you need for your polo mad friend

Page 22

Chukka Wellness - Polo Holidays

Page 24

Joined up Junior Polo? - How the Pony Club and HPA could adapt youth polo

Page 28

Claire Brougham -Talks England selection, Women's polo and her introduction to the game

Page 31

Ignacio Fernandez Llorente - A gentlemens game?

Page 32

Club News - Match reports from all over the UK

2


#T PO


RY LO


another benefit for the clubs, as more people are taking lessons and spending money with them, but to the HPA and the sport as a whole as well. Even if just a small percentage of these new beginners carry on and become full HPA members, it will provide a greatly needed influx of new members, especially after so many years of decline in membership numbers.

Only a matter of month’s on from the HPA’s groundbreaking Vision For Polo document, we are already beginning to see actual progress being made. The HPA’s new initiative, #trypolouk, is a marketing scheme focused squarely at bringing new players into the sport. Put simply, the HPA will take on the responsibility of marketing and advertising the game, both online and physically at shows and events, beginning with Olympia this December. Here the HPA will attract potential beginners and sign them up to three different levels of polo experience at their local HPA affiliated club. From there, it is down to the club to provide the actual lessons, much as they would usually do when dealing with beginners who have joined independently.

The benefits of this kind of scheme are obvious, for both clubs, the HPA and the sport as a whole. As far as clubs are concerned, their marketing is largely done for them, allowing them to reap the rewards of large scale marketing campaigns without having to provide the man power or budget. Furthermore, you would at least hope that the HPA would be able to produce higher quality marketing materials which, along with an easier to understand and cohesive structure, should allow more people to get involved with the game. Not only is this of course yet

Furthermore, this kind of inclusion seems to signify a real change of mindset from within the HPA. For years criticism has been levelled at the HPA for prioritising existing members above any initiatives to make polo more accessible. Many felt that the HPA were content with the way the game was played and saw no reason to broaden their horizons. However now, we have a real step change. The HPA are really investing in beginners and the grass roots and actively reaching out to the public in a way we haven’t really seen before. Not only will this new mindset bring a fresh set of new members, but it has the potential to slowly and surely open the entire game up to the general public, breaking down many of the existing stereotypes which are currently holding the game back.

In conclusion this is a very strong move on the part of the HPA. It is a decision that seems to benefit almost all, and could signify the beginning of a new chapter in how the game is perceived.


La Low Goal Shop Available at lalowgoal.co.uk


Nele is for sale at AQUI Polo PonyÂ

Advertisin


ng Feature

A more transparent way to buy and sell Polo Ponies The world’s first online marketplace exclusively for polo ponies  Lack of market overview and transparency is a key reason polo players’ end up investing in the wrong ponies. Without making proper comparisons before visiting breeders, you will be trying out horses “blindly.” This process can be slow, costly and risky, and it is hard to know if you get a fair deal.   AQUI Polo Pony is the first online platform dedicated to cataloguing polo ponies across the globe. For the first time, buyers can get a transparent overview of the market and compare ponies before visiting seller. While buyers preferably should try out a horse before purchasing, now they can make a more informed decision about which ponies to try.   The platform facilitates direct contact between buyer and breeders/sellers. The goal is to build trust and save money for both parties when buying or selling polo ponies. Buyers can make side-by-side comparisons of ponies form different sellers, comparing relevant information, before inspecting the selected ponies in person.  

“The transparency and overview help to condense a buying trip, so you can see more horses fitting your requirements” 


Advertisin

Pulga is for sale on AQUI Polo Pony Sellers avoid paying third parties to sell or advertise their horses, by selling direct to buyers. The platform makes it quick and easy to publish and edit their catalogue. In just a few clicks their horses will be visible to buyers around the world.   AQUI Polo Pony simply joins the dots — connecting buyers and sellers by offering a transparent market overview. The platform is designed to increased trust, transparency and cost-saving, benefitting the global polo pony buying industry.  

Know your options before trying out polo ponies by visiting https:// aquipolopony.horseroof.com/.    Horseroof — Everything polo under one roof 


ng Feature

Luca is for sale at AQUI Polo PonyÂ

15


FIRESIDE POLO


On Saturday 9th November Druids Lodge held their first Fireside Polo event of the season.

Congratulations to Druids Lodge, they beat Lilyford 19-17 in a brilliant match for the El Rosario Trophy on Saturday night. If you missed it you can watch the game, chukka by chukka, on our Facebook page. Sean Wilson Smith’s pony “Tia” won the Best Playing Pony Award. Most Valuable Player went to Robin Ormerod.


The curtain raiser “Poppy Trophy” was a 6 – 6 draw between Gorgeous Girls and Xanthos. Clare Macnamara’s “Madeja” won the Polo Times BPP award, she was played by Andrea Redder. Thank you to everyone who came along. We had a great turn out despite the day’s torrential rain, and were rewarded with a beautiful and DRY evening. A special thank you to our sponsors Paddock Power UK.


as ChifrtisGtum id e G G


ITS CHRISTMAS! Yep, its December (or at least it will be when this is published) which can mean only one thing… Christmas. The Christmas music has already become grating, the lack of snow disappointing, and the sudden realisation that you have no money and an extended family with to buy Christmas presents for has set in. But panic not, La Low Goal is here to lend a helping hand with all of your Christmas gift buying conundrums. (assuming the person you are buying for is entirely polo obsessed, which is everyone. Right?) Welcome to the La Low Goal Christmas Gift Guide Part 2.

For the player

‘How to look cool whilst playing polo’ book.

£17.50 amazon.co.uk

Leather polo belt £32.50 rjpolo.com

Oakley polo glasses £210 rjpolo.com


For the groom Polo Mallet adjustable bracelet from Argentina. £22.60 etsy.com

Polo spiral notebook £9.33 redbubble.com

Polo Travel Mug £18 amazon.com

For the spectator Polo Scarf by Tosamok £21.00 redbubble.com

Horse hair jewellery, made from your own horses hair. horsehairjewellery.co.uk


La Low Goal

Hoodies

£22 + delivery


Advertising Feature

In 2020 Chukka Wellness is proud to announce its Collaboration with Iridike Polo Club, Sotogrande. Iridike Polo Club is a polo club located at the door of Sotogrande. This club has a unique Holiday Offer allowing the combination of the best polo training with an amazing stay in one of its private villas (all designed and inspired by Andalusia). The perfect South of Spain weather condition allows the club to be open 365 days a year and a

Iridike Polo Club is focusing on enhancing the polo holiday of its clients; and Chukka Wellness is the perfect add on for a complete and successful polo holiday. CW will be helping polo players to reach their full sporting potential and prowess through

strong team of professional will make sure you have the Best Polo Holiday whatever your level can be: beginner, amateur or professional player. The structure offers polo lessons specially tailored and suited to all different needs that guests can have. It can be catered for individuals, groups or families.

increased fitness, flexibility, strength and personalised nutrition. Adding a wellness program to a polo holiday is the best way a complete a polo experience and prepare you physically for upcoming seasons.


Advertising Feature

Together, Iridike Polo Club Team and Chukka Wellness have decided to run various training sessions from January to June 2020. India has been working on polo yards in Sussex and Argentina where she trains polo players on all aspects of their fitness and wellness, plus work on the Estancias, honing her own Polo and horsemanship skills. She already runs polo specific fitness training days in both Argentina (with La Tarde Polo Club) and the UK. India trains both international and UK Polo

professionals focusing not only on functional movements & body maintenance, but also advising clients on fuelling their bodies correctly for mental alertness and physical endurance. For more info & to book your stay contact Iridike Polo Club: info@iridikepolo.com 0034 633 242 742 All club info: www.iridikepolo.com FB & IG: IridikePolo


Joined up Junior Polo?

In a recent letter to the HPA, Pony Club Polo Chairman, Charles Whittington expressed a desire to see “a more coherent strategy for youth polo” between the HPA, Schools, Universities, the polo schools hires, the HPA coaches and instructors. He argued this would “allow a wide base of new players to rise to the top of the pyramid which encourages genuine talent to emerge”. Of course this seems like an idealistic pipe dream, especially when you consider that the Junior HPA, the main competition to Pony Club Polo in youth polo, is still a relatively new creation. However after disappointingly low turnouts in some of the Junior HPA levels this year, most prominently

“a more joined up Junior polo scene may be more necessity than wish list”

Buckmaster, and the continuation of relatively low numbers of teams across most of the higher levels of Pony Club polo, it may seem that the chairman’s aspirations of a more joined up Junior polo scene are more necessity than wish list.

Although we may be considering low turnout across youth polo, it is worth noting that 39 teams attended this years Pony Club Polo Championships at Cowdray. This is, in any other context (discounting SUPA, because their numbers are exceptional) a fantastic haul of teams. However the issue seems to be more localised in the upper echelons of both the Junior HPA and The Pony Club’s respective levels. Jorrocks, Surtees and Hipwood continue to soldier on almost unchanged. However Buckmaster, Gannon, Rednell and Langford seem to be under much more threat. It is with relative certainty that I can say that the main issue does not seem to be the competition between Junior HPA and Pony Club, but with the adult game itself. This is an hypothesis only further strengthened when you consider that even if the Junior HPA and Pony Club simply melded back into a single entity, they would only have 52 teams, still


considerably below the figures reached in the Pony Club’s heyday.

It seems that as the kids are getting better they are increasingly likely to opt to play adult polo, abandoning youth polo all together. And from their perspective it makes absolute sense. They will probably get free or even paid games compared with expensive Junior polo entry fees. Not only that, but the standard of play will mostly be better in the adult games, allowing them to learn more from their opponents and teammates, as well as providing opportunities for them make new connections and get invited into higher and higher level games. There simply is no competition for many of the better kids, youth polo is simply just too much of a dead end for the more serious players. And the demand for these kids is not likely to end anytime soon as well. Kids almost always learn faster and improve at a greater rate than adults of their ability. This means many kids are constantly under handicapped, making them an absolute steal for any competitive teams. If Junior Polo is really going to fight back against the draw of adult polo they need something on the line which makes it worthwhile for these kids and parents to invest their time and effort over such tough competition.

Money? Money is always a good draw. People will rarely pass up the chance to compete for an actual financial reward. After all, the introduction of prize money recently rejuvenated the US high goal. However I am not convinced this is the correct way for either the Junior HPA, Pony Club, or a system that sees the two sides joined up, to go. First of all, although more of the serious players may be drawn back for the finals and if required qualifiers, it is very unlikely they would opt to travel around the country playing the friendlies. This means that, bar the final few tournaments, attendance would still remain small, something that is already an issue for many of the Pony Club friendlies. Furthermore, although both the Junior HPA and Pony Club have benefited from a reasonable amount of sponsorship, it is unlikely they would be able to sustainably put up an amount that makes all the traveling and playing worthwhile, especially across all the different age and pony requirement classes. Finally, and not to be overlooked, this kind of system could see Junior polo becoming too serious for its own good. As soon as money is on the line things may get far more serious, sucking the fun out of it for many of the new teams and players. New kids are just going to become demotivated with the game if top kids from polo families, on all the best ponies are clearing up and stamping them into the ground on a regular bases to get their hands on a cash prize. Youth polo needs to be fun, and this endangers sucking it out of the game for these up and coming players.

So what else? Perhaps something as simple as a national title could attract the teams. Not only does this not require any kind of substantial

investment, but should offer a significant draw for new and established players alike. Let’s face it, which egocentric child doesn’t want to be crowned the “National Champion”? It certainly has a ring about it. And, what’s more systems like this already exist in a majority of other sports, where players make up location based teams in each age category, and compete for a national crown against similarly aged players.

“Which egocentric child doesn’t want to be crowned the National Champion?”


However one issue still stands. Teams are still not incentivised to compete across an entire season. The end goal is there now, but teams will still take the shortest possible route to get to it. If we really want to implement a full championship campaign we are going to need a brand new system. Something that encourages teams to travel to different clubs. Perhaps something point based? Perhaps something like... like... the Victor Ludorum.

We already have a nationally accepted championship system where teams travel round the country competing in different tournaments to become champions of their particular level. Why can this system not be extended to include youth polo, much like it has done into Women’s polo? Could we not have under 12s, Under 16s, under 18s and U21s Victor Ludorms or something to this extent? Teams would be forced to stick pretty much together, as with the current Victor Ludorum rules, and different clubs could host all around the country. But I hear the screams of outraged parents “what happens if we can’t travel that far?” We’ll maybe have one or two drop rounds? Take the teams top results allowing teams to skip somewhere if it simply too far or they are unable to attend for whatever reason. This also means you could spread the qualifiers

Photo by Alice Gibbs

more evenly across the country, opening it up to more northern kids and clubs. “But why will people want to turn up to the finals when they can just drop its score?”. I understand that the finals, especially the Pony Club finals, are a special event for many. If it remained the final event it may become pointless to turn up at the finals when the result is already wrapped up, reducing the sense of occasion for many of the parents, kids and organisers. Well, offer double points then. The events prior are still as valid, as a team will be unable to win without scoring well there, but the big points and therefore, almost always the championship, will be on the line at the championships.

This is only my idea for a system that may fix some of the issues faced by Junior polo today. It has not been announced or even hinted at by either the HPA or Pony Club, so don’t hold your breath. But perhaps, just perhaps, someone is reading this who could actually make a difference. Perhaps the chairman is already thinking along the same lines or perhaps plans are already in the works. Whatever the truth, hopefully this year, as suggested by the Pony Club chairman, will be the year that sees everyone come together to strengthen and rejuvenate youth polo.


lalowgoal.co.uk

OUT NOW


claire brougham Ladies 6 goaler Claire Brougham talks England selection, Ladies polo and her introduction to the game

1) Congratulations on your recent selection to play for England. How do you feel it went?

encouraged me to try polo, I loved it after one lesson, and I have never looked back!

CB: The tournament was great, very well organised,

3) Who has been you favourite coach or role model?

and thrilled to have won it. I hadn’t played arena since 2013 so I was very surprised to have been selected.

We had a great team! Lucy Taylor and Saskia Meadows were dream team mates. It was one of my favourite teams I have ever played with. Everyone worked so hard, played their positions and we all had the same ultimate goal of winning, doing whatever it took to do so! The communication in the team was so positive and we all worked really well together.

2) Can you tell us a bit more about yourself. How and when did you first get involved in polo? CB: I am 33, 6 goals ladies - 1 goal mixed and 2

goals arena ,based out of my family farm in Guildford. I started playing polo in pony club for Chiddingfold Farmers at the age of 15. I have ridden all my life and used to event but had had a few nasty falls, and was ready to give up. My parents

38

CB: Sunny Hale, was the pioneer of Ladies polo, her passion and commitment to growing women’s polo as a sport has given me so many opportunities to play abroad. Sunny helped create women’s handicaps, women’s polo tours, and she also gave the best advice! I owe a lot to Sunny!

I owe a lot to Ross Ainsely, at 19 I went to New Zealand. I was 0 goals, but had only ever played on made polo ponies. It was a massive shock the system trying to play 0 goals on young horses. Riding young horses taught me how to play any horse, and become a more effective rider. This has made it so much easier to travel as I am less phased by the horses. I would highly recommend any player wanting to improve to go do a season in New Zealand! John Horsewell is an incredible coach, he has an eye for detail and has massively helped improve my technique and skills.


And always travel with a spare over girth! (India has some pretty unique tack)

5) Which has been your favourite horse over the years and why? CB: Pip, now 22 he was my first polo pony and I still play him today! I played him in my first ever England game when I was 18 against Canada, and played him at the Berkshire in the arena! He is a machine!

6) What would you rank as your greatest achievement in polo so far? CB: Representing my Country will always be my greatest achievement. I have been fortunate to represent England, against Canada and in the European 8 goal Championships in mixed teams. As well as against South Africa, Argentina and USA in Womens teams. Recently playing in the arena for England meant a lot as it was the first time I have represented England since having my son and major hip surgery.

7) Do you prefer playing mixed or ladies polo? Grass or Arena? Why? CB: I would have to say Ladies grass polo as it has Players Nina Clarkin, is a great player and captain. She has the most amazing ability to make everyone in her team play a goal better. Always positive and you go away feeling you have learnt something playing with or against her. Sarah Wiseman my favourite team mate - we have traveled the world together playing women’s polo, USA open, Malaysia, Singapore, Argentina and of course at home in England. She is a great player and even better friend.

4) What has been the best piece of polo related advice anyone has ever given you? CB: Ride as many different polo ponies as you

can, it will make travelling to play a lot easier and enjoyable! Keep your goggles/glasses on whatever the weather.

enabled me to travel all over the world including, Thailand, China, Barbados USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. I have met so many amazing people, and had so many great experiences.

“representing my country will always be my greatest achievement

“

39


8) What are your opinions on the recent growth in the women’s game? CB: The growth in women’s polo is amazing as a Lady

CB: Start with an accredited coach, invest in your

horse power, and play in good teams. Always keep learning and be open to advice.

player we have so many opportunities to play. The creation of our own circuit means we can play women’s polo most weekends of the English season, then travel the world playing in the off season. It has allowed ladies to become professional players and make a living from playing polo.

11) What are our aspirations for the rest of the arena season and beyond?

There is also more support for women players with the creation of the Ladies polo Foundation.

If you could have anything in the world this Christmas, what would it be?

10) What advice would you give to other women looking to get involved in polo?

CB: If I could have anything in the world for

CB: I am looking forward to playing in the women’s VL series. Travelling to the USA to play in the New Year.

Christmas, it would be to have a cloned Strings of Pips!


Ignacio Fernandez Llorente A Gentlemen's Game The regulation of Polo begins with a few words from Pedro F. Christophersen that is worth remembering: “Polo has its etiquette: it is an art that is practiced and a science that is cultivated for almost all of life; it is a tournament, a duel, a fight that demands skill, strategy and courage; but it is also a test of temperament and honour, which while offering the opportunity to show itself, a man creates the obligation to behave like a gentleman. Keep all this in mind and persist with it in improving the game, remembering, as we have said, and now we repeat, that the quality that characterises every player who progresses and stands out is none other than, in essence, that his persevering effort to achieve The perfection". It is necessary to instil so that the polo continues being a sport of gentlemen, that fair play continues as it is said these days. There are certain acts that show chivalry / fair play: When a player in the middle of the game • abandons the play to reach his opponent's mallet. When a player requests to be charged a • corner against (penalty 6) When a player shoots towards the goal the • ball goes very high and close to a goalpost and recognises that it is not a goal. When he avoids hitting his opponent with • his mallet or his horse throughout the match. When he avoids or tries to avoid crashing • an opponent who commits a foul.

• •

When he asks to stop the game when he sees an opponent beaten, injured or with any inconvenience. When in a throw in a team does not participate (passive throw in) since before the throw in the opponent had the ball and for some reason the game was stopped. When a player acknowledges that the ball was gone outside, and does not continue playing.

• •  Unfortunately I have seen cases that one player recriminates the other for recognising a corner, to players who claim goal when the ball clearly went outside, players who pass by the side of a player without his mallet and do not stop to lift it. For cases like these, despite the fact that the regulation does not penalise it, it would be good to start penalising those players with a yellow card.   Currently, passive throw in is being used for cases in which the game is stopped and a player had possession, but since it is not in the regulations there are teams that refuse to do so.   It would be good if the umpire decides to apply the passive throw in cases that he deems appropriate. Including the case that a player clearly with possession of the ball, a foul is charged and the third man (referee) decides "NO FOUL" to make a passive throw in where the team that had the ball continues with the ball.


Club News MASSIVE well done to the WIP UK girls beating Ireland today - on to play England in the Nations Final tomorrow.

Lets go!!! 12.30 at The Royal Berkshire.

Good luck girls - you can do it! #letsgo #girlpower #unitedkingdom!

Fun in the fog! So proud of my little 4 legged team this weekend bringing home first place at the University Challenge tournament in the intermediate division! #winners

Seriously cool day at TPC today for the seriously cool trophy

5345


Club News

The news we have been so excited to broadcast.....from the beginning of the LPF our goal was to start being able to offer training to young female polo players. Part of being able to do that is being able to send them half way across the world to spend time with professional players during the Winter months. In order to do this we needed to raise funds to be able to pay for airfares, their accommodation and tuition abroad, this has been achieved thanks to the hard work and support of our amazing brands and ambassadors. Emma Sanderson is our First Lady player who has been chosen to receive this ‘scholarship’. Emma started playing polo when she was 15years old and currently works for Lord Manton making young horses and running the yard in Yorkshire. Emma played some of the women’s tournaments for a few teams in 2019 @larosadapolo being one of them, but she also continues to play mixed polo with Milo Manton, Tony Wesche and a great supporter of polo, Phil Storr.

Emma will be going in the New Year to

https://www.estanciaelrocio.com/

And taking notes from Nico Fontanarossa whilst staying on the beautiful family farm.

Thank you to @annabel_brocks @dodsonhorrell @rugupnow @chukka_wellness @victoria_lodder @salvavita_polo for helping us achieve thiswithout you it wouldn’t have been possible!

And of course our ambassadors, @ninaclarkin @rebsylouise3 @wiseman.sarah @rosieross828 @tivagross and Tamara for their help behind the scenes.

Bringin’ home the gold đ&#x;?† What a fab match against the Edinburgh Dick Vets, which was tied until the last minute with a final score of 4-3.


Club News

Bawtry Polo club would like to invite entries for the first ever SUPA sanctioned Northern Polo League!

Our first event is a one day christmas novice* tournament at the Tickhill Arena near Doncaster on Saturday Dec 14th, 10am-4pm with lunch 1-2:30pm. Prizes for all players. ÂŁ100/ player all in + lunch costs. Lunch will be at a local pub or you can bring your own food. Each team will have a fancy dress theme!

Well done to the @saragarhipolo team & @catherinevarney - winners of the Arena Challenge on Saturday!

Thanks to @ochurch_burypoloclub_ & @collettgrant for coming over to play!

Nothing scary about this! Just a great day of junior polo training at @blackbearspolo coaching the future of polo!


This Month’s Contributors: -

52

Chukka wellness Claire Brougham Horseroof Druids Lodge Polo Club Ignacio Fernandez Llorente Connor kay

@la_low_goal La Low Goal


January Issue

Coming Soon

Profile for La_Low_Goal

La Low Goal - Issue 15 - December  

Advertisement
Advertisement