The Time Is Right
BY RON ALLEN
Recent revelations from one of the most respected and successful
patrons in the sport of polo have bright to light what many have
suspected for some time. Something is seriously wrong with the
governing body of the American polo association.
When Lyndon Lea (2) recently opened fire over his concerns about
where polo is headed in the United States he was not alone in his
perceptions. The hard truth is that Mr. Lea is talking aloud about
important issues, which have been whispered about along the sidelines
for several years.
His Zacara team represents one of the most successful polo originations
in the world. They just won back-to-back U.S. Open titles. As a serious
competitor his opinion is backed by experience and credibility.
Something apparently lacking within the polo association. For those not
aware Lyndon has withdrawn from any future high goal competition in
the U.S. His decision was based on handicap changes meted out against
the two teams that competed in the Open finals. Thus destroying any
chance of a much-needed rivalry for the future.
Lyndon accepts US Open trophy for second year in a row
Lea harshly criticized their decisions as unfair and corrupt. He was
quick to point out that low goal committee members are making
decisions on high goal players they haven’t even observed playing and
are not qualified to even make such critical decisions. The association
has been accused of a lack of real transparency along with personal and
political agendas many times in the past.
The Solution? The time is right for polo to follow the highly successful
lead of the game of golf with representation for two completely different
types of polo competitions. The USGA represents 700,000 amateur
golfers while the PGA is for professional golfers only. The amateur
volunteers can continue to try and manage low goal polo as best they
can. But, a new professional management company needs to be formed
to take the reins of high goal polo. It’s a simple solution to a serious
problem that otherwise may continue unchecked for years to come.