Stephen Hutchinson, Chairman of the HPA, spoke to Pololine after the test match between Young England and Ireland last Saturday. “I was cheering for both teams. Sport was the winner today, polo was the winner,” the Irishman stated.
On how important matches like these are for British polo: “Very, very important for Britain and Ireland. It was a very good match today. I think we were very well looked after by our member sponsors; it is very important that the sponsors have a good day and the people they invite are shown polo at its best, and I think that is what happened today. It was a very close match; Ireland were very lucky to come through and win 7-6. I think all the boys played very well on both teams.”
On his first months guiding the HPA: “It’s been very busy in these first months. The executive office led by David Wood does most of the work so I’m very fortunate that I have a very, very good professional team behind me. And my rule is to help guide the HPA rather than run it.”
On the objectives of the HPA: “A lot of work has been going on in the past few years regarding the harmonisation of rules between Argentina, the United States and England, and that has been achieved in the last few months. I think there is a good chance that we can all look at rules to make polo quicker and more exciting. And over the last few days we’ve had some very good meetings with top Argentine and British players to find out how we may be able to do that.”
On particular aspects that the HPA is looking at for the future: “Nothing in particular, but it’s an ongoing process and we are looking continuously at making the game more exciting for the viewing public and that’s the most important thing.”
On the next Test Matches in the UK: “Coronation Cup day (July 23) will see England playing the Commonwealth, which will be a very good. Young England will play Ireland again on the Coronation Cup day in the second match, so that will hopefully be quite exciting.”