By Ron Allen
Recent days in the world of polo have people dazed and confused as to what the future will bring. Americas biggest club, International Polo Club, hit midseason like someone slammed on the brakes of an F1 race car going 100mph. Fourteen teams competed in the 20 goal and suddenly the 26 goal starts with an embarrassing three team field.
England is holding its breath as their government slapped restrictions on the number of groom visas to be issued for this summer. The impact on high goal will not be as severe. But, there will still be a ‘trickle down’ that will impact polo worldwide.
Who’s to blame for this polo ‘ball of confusion’? Some are pointing fingers at the polo associations on both continents for not planning ahead and not focusing on the immediate future of the game. The cash rich American association appears to be caught up in growing the sport from the ‘grass roots’ level, which will take years, if not decades, to develop a group of higher handicapped American players. Perhaps the British association acted too late in anticipation of what they actually knew was to coming more than two years ago.
Has polo become its own worst enemy?