January Newsletter

Jan 18 2019

With the Festive Season now behind us, many of you will have hit the ground running in 2019. From a polo perspective 2019 promises to be an exciting year with some competitive international polo as well the usual popular club fixtures. KZN now have a new Provincial President in Guy Slater and we wish him well in his tenure as Natal Chairman. Guy has lots on new innovative ideas to restore Natal polo back to its former glory days.


At a recent SAPA Executive Meeting, the committee took the decision to make use of the D6 Connect as a means to disseminating information to the members. This is an App that can be downloaded onto your mobile phone only and is used extensively by schools and other organisations to get information to their parents / clients / members. You should already have received notification from D6 inviting you to download the App. The invite would have come either via email or sms (or both) to your device. Some members have had difficulty in registering so if you require help please contact D6 Support directly as follows:
Tel: 087 820 0088
Email: appsupport@d6.co.za
To date only 17% of our members have registered with D6 making it difficult to switch to this method of communication.


The following was agreed upon for the 2019 Midlands International Polo Event:

  • The Midlands International will be played at FIP 14 Goal level using 5 goal rated players and below i.e. FIP rules
  • SAPA will include a player of colour in the South African team. It is not a prerequisite that the development player plays in the preceding weekend (EG Champs), although it would be useful for training purposes
  • SAPA to invite Australia, failing which we will look to invite Gillian Johnson with a Canadian / American team
  • A Hilton vs Michaelhouse Curtain Raiser match will precede the Test match as was the case in 2018
  • A possible curtain raiser consisting of 8 lady players playing for a charity will be considered
  • A kid’s curtain raiser will start the day’s program as per 2018
  • The touring team of 4 players will be expected to play in EG Champs the preceding weekend as an opportunity to try out horses and to get to know local players
  • EG Champs will be considered a selection tournament for the SA team
  • Each team in the A Section must include a foreigner from the visiting team and will be responsible for mounting this player. These horses must also be available for the Midlands International the following weekend
  • The selected SA team must provide 3 horses per player to each of the visiting players
  • All players will be notified of all the criteria before making themselves available for the SA Team and EG Champs A Section


Numerous challenges were encountered with the 2018 Rule format, particularly in KZN and EG. It is important to recognise that the playing conditions throughout South Africa are vastly different between the provinces. The playing surfaces and weather conditions during December in Plettenberg Bay are vastly different to that of KZN in June and so it’s understandable that a 4.30 min chukka could be too short. After a review of the 2018 season Exco took the decision to revert back to HPA rules with the following amendments:

  • Tournaments of 5 goals and above will play 6 chukkas of 6,0 minutes + 30 seconds
  • Tournaments of 4 goals and below will play 4 chukkas of 7,0 minutes + 30 seconds
  • These will all follow the HPA rules
  • If a club wishes to reduce the number of chukkas for their tournament, the Club must apply in writing to the SAPA office with a motivation for permission to reduce the chukkas to be played at that tournament only. This will be advertised on the SAPA Fixture list


The SAEF annual subscriptions have doubled from R400 to R800 per member for 2019. SAPA will continue to “sponsor” members this fee for the 2019 season. This “sponsorship” will not apply to temporary members. They will be required to pay this over and above the SAPA fee.


SAPA Adult Full Membership: R2 500
SAPA Scholar / Student: R200
SAPA Temporary Member: R1 000

Please Note:

  • SAPA will not be subsidising Temporary Member’s SAEF membership fee of R800. This will need to be paid by the member over and above his / her R1 000 affiliation fee. The online website portal has been altered to this effect. SAPA will continue to subsidise its full member’s SAEF fee
  • The Temporary Membership fee is not available to foreign players – only South Africans with a valid ID
  • Affiliations run with the calendar-year, so I appeal to members to affiliate early (now) to enable us to update the website’s handicap lists


Sarah Jane will shortly have new stocks of the Texas polo balls from the United States. The cost will be slightly higher than 2018 due to increases in shipping and the weaker rand. I will advise the actual cost as soon as the balls have landed, and we have final shipping/duty costings. Clubs, please get your orders in early to Sarah Jane to facilitate planning and disappointment.

That’s it for now - as usual, any comments and/or suggestions are always very welcome.
Managing Director – South African Polo Association