Team disqualified following pony hire duplication

Ainsley Saddlery have been disqualified from The Out-Sourcing Inc Royal Windsor, after Charles Cooney hired a pony from Richard Blake Thomas which had already been played previously in the same tournament by Tommy Marin Marino (Emlor Red), as the HPA rules state that a horse cannot be played by two teams in the same tournament and is there to prevent teams from getting an unfair advantage in tournaments of 15 goals and above. 

The pony was played in Ainsley Saddlery’s last two league games against Bardon and Emlor Black, as well as also being played in the third chukka of Ainsley Saddlery’s Quarter Final against Emlor Red, which Ainsley Saddlery eventually won 7-6; coincidentally, the chukka which the pony in question was played in was the only chukka which Ainsley Saddlery did not win. 

Tommy Marin Marino informed his teammates that he had played the pony previously in the tournament and Emlor Red raised the objection. Richard Blake Thomas has confirmed that Charles Cooney did not know that the pony had previously played in the tournament. 

If all of the teams against which the horse had played under Charles Cooney had been willing to provide waivers, then the HPA could have allowed Ainsley Saddlery to proceed, however not all three teams were prepared to do so, therefore Ainsley Saddlery have been disqualified from The Out-Sourcing Inc Royal Windsor. 

The HPA has “accepted that no one on the Ainsley Saddlery team knew the situation but in contrast to most rules in which circumstances can be taken into consideration, the HPA considers that this rule is binary and clear”.  

Photograph: Charles Cooney in action for Ainsley Saddlery in the 2020 Out-Sourcing Inc Royal Windsor. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com

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