David Woodd retires as Chief Executive of the HPA

The following is a letter posted by Nick Wiles, Chairman of the Hurlingham Polo Association, regarding the retirement of David Woodd as CEO of the Governing body of polo in England and Ireland:

Dear Members,

We are announcing today the retirement of David Woodd as Chief Executive of the HPA from the end of the current 2021 season.

David indicated a desire to step down after more than 20 years in the role during 2020 but due to the pandemic agreed to stay a little longer to provide stability and leadership during the challenging period we have been through over the past year.

During his period as Chief Executive, David has been a central figure in English polo, providing strong leadership to the HPA and great advice and support to his Chairman and Stewards. His authority and diplomacy have guided the sport through many challenging situations and he has frequently found a way of bridging the wide range of interests and opinion in the sport with charm and good humour. Overseas, David is highly respected for his knowledge of the sport and he has played a critical role in the HPA’s relationships with Governing bodies internationally. 

I have formed a small panel of Stewards to manage the succession process and the appointment of a new CEO at the end of the season. We will be inviting applications from within the sport and also externally in the expectation of securing a well qualified and strong candidate to succeed David. To this end members will see a formal announcement of this process in various publications in the coming weeks. Our expectation is to bring our recommendation to the Council meeting at the end of November. 

David has said that he is very happy to continue in some capacity with the HPA on his retirement and feels that one of the gaps has been the HPA’s liaison with the regional clubs to ensure their voice is properly heard. Once we know more about his successor we will look at how he might best help the HPA. 

As a sport we owe David a huge debt of thanks for his considerable contribution to the sport over many years and we will in due course, later in the year find the appropriate way to recognise this.

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