This year’s POW Cup will take the form of a once off international against a team from Kenya. With the loss of Waterfall and the lack of an alternate facility suitable to the sponsors, they agreed to host a “mini international” at approximately 14-goal level against an African country. Their initial choice was to invite a team from Nigeria but when this was not possible the Kenyan Polo Association accepted their invitation.

The event will take place at the Rosefield Polo Club on Sunday 10th September. Sponsors, Mr Concierge will be responsible for all hospitality invites although SAPA will be allocated a number of tickets for distribution to its members. Depending on the handicap of the Kenyan team, South Africa will field an equal handicapped side to ensure a competitive match. It will also offer the opportunity of selecting a development player thereby ticking SASCOC’s transformation boxes. A development curtain raiser game will take place before the main game. Further details to follow as and when they become available.

As with previous events under Mr Concierge’s sponsorship, this promises to be a high profile VIP event that will promote and show case polo as in Gauteng.

FIP ZONE “E” PLAYOFFS:

The 2017 Zone “E” playoffs took place from the 29th June to 8th July. The South African team was as follows:

Selby Williamson
Mike Osborn
Sipho Spilsbury
Hannes Pickard
Johann du Preez
Alex Watson

Hannes Pickard very kindly sponsored the tour costs and although South Africa didn’t win the tournament the team acquitted themselves very well. By all accounts horses were not of the highest quality and conditions extremely hot. Congratulations to India who won the tournament and will proceed to the World Playoffs in Sydney later this year.

BMW SERIES:

As you all now know, BMW will not be sponsoring the International Series in 2017 but have indicated their willingness to sponsor the Johannesburg event in 2018. Bridget and I have a meeting with them in early August to finalise details. SAPA has also engaged with SAIL (an event management and sponsorship company) to procure further sponsorship for International events including the BMW Series. It is hoped to bring co-sponsors on board to lessen BMW’s commitment without compromising the high-class nature of the event.

LADIES POLO:

Galia Dviri, who is the newly elected ladies representative on Exco has been hard at work planning “all ladies” fixtures at some of the 2017 tournaments. These include the Karkloof Classic, Highveld Champs and SA Champs. Val de Vie have already hosted a very successful ladies tournament in February this year. Our grateful thanks to Tessa Moxon for organising this event.

Highveld Champs hosted an all ladies section which proved very popular as did the ladies section at the Karkloof Classic. My thanks to Galia Dviri and Craig James for their efforts in organising the Highveld ladies section whilst Amy Gace and Kate Holmes put in a huge effort in making the Karkloof ladies event the success it was. The visiting Argentine and Zambian ladies had a thoroughly enjoyable experience largely thanks to those who hosted and looked after them.

Galia has also been instrumental in organising a ladies coaching clinic to be held at ERPC over the weekend of the 15th/16th July. This initiative had to be postponed twice, once because of heavy rains and then again because of a long weekend in June. ERPC have very kindly offered their facility free of charge whilst many of SAPA’s senior players have agreed to assist with coaching.

FIP SNOW POLO WORLD CUP IN CHINA:

South Africa was fortunate to be invited to the 2017 FIP Snow Polo World Cup hosted by the Metropolitan Polo Club in conjunction with Fortune Heights and FIP. Other participating nations were Hong Kong China, United States, England, Argentina and Australia. The South African team consisted of Tom de Bruin (7), Chris MacKenzie (6) and Jannie Steenkamp (3). Gareth Evans travelled with the team as Manager/Reserve. Results from this successful tour were circulated to affiliated members but my congratulations to Tom and his team in finishing 3rd after being knocked out of the semi’s by Argentina. Given that during our last tour in 2015, South Africa didn’t win a game, the results were a remarkable turn around and will hopefully earn us an invite for 2018.

HIGHVELD AND SA CHAMPS:

Highveld Champs and SA Champs were held at ERPC over back-to-back weekends in May/June with entries exceeding 20 teams in each. A notable feature being the “A” Section of both events boasting 8 x 12 goal teams competing for top honours. Our congratulations to Inanda Renegades for winning the Beresford Cup and Highveld’s “A” Section.

SAPA JUNIOR COACHING CLINIC:

The 2017 SAPA Junior Coaching Clinic for children was held at the Karkloof Polo Club on 3rd to 5th July. It was again a great success as evidenced by the numbers illustrated below. The Clinic culminated with the traditional mini matches and pony parade. After prize giving the SA Schools team was announced:

William Crowe
James O’ Sullivan
Johann van Reenen
Matthew Thake (Captain)
Reserve: Chrisna Spies
Full results of matches are as follows:

D SECTION
Winners of the Craig Cup
Team Pink
Charlie Spilsbury
Oliver Crowe
Alice Eustace
Lucy Brook Leggatt
Julian Gace

C SECTION
Winners of the Ian de Gersigny Cup
Team Black
William Gilson
Tamzin Gace
Roxanne Roberts
Abby Williamson

B SECTION
Winners of the Heuer Cup
Team Yellow
Keyan Gace
Jill Ellis
James Gilson
Jack Williamson
Ben Bryden

A SECTION
Winners of the Colts Cup
Team White
Matthew Thake
William Crowe
Cearne Young
Ulrich Spies

Most helpful player at the Clinic (Mike Miller trophy): Abby Williamson
Most promising player (Mic Harvey trophy): Jack Williamson
Best turned out player (Kippy Bryden trophy): Jessica Johnson

My special thanks to the coaches who gave up their time to coach the various age groups. In particular Duncan Ellis, Terence Spilsbury, Brad Gace and Andrew Gilson who spent the entire three days at the Clinic. Also, to Beth Shaw’s equine academy, Spurwing Horse Feeds and Bomber Nel who kindly provided instruction and lecture material on various topics of equine management. Special thanks to Mike Griffith’s “Rocksteady Polo” for the sponsorship of the colourful team shirts. The Clinic was well attended with a total of 36 children from all the provinces. The statistical breakdown is as follows:

KwaZulu Natal: 13
East Griqualand: 10
Free State: 9
Highveld: 4
Cape: 0
TOTAL BOYS: 24
TOTAL GIRLS: 12

INAUGRAL ARENA POLO EVENT IN MPUMULANGA:

SAPA has engaged with the Mpumalanga Agricultural Show Committee to stage an arena polo tournament over their spring show weekend (1-3 September) in an effort to promote polo in the province. The event has received a high level of interest from businesses in the town of Nelspruit as well as surrounding areas and promises to be a high profile event. Warren Lurie initiated talks with the local City Council and has been instrumental in getting this off the ground.

As usual, any comments or suggestions are welcome.
CLIVE PEDDLE
Managing Director – South African Polo Association