Proposed I/I Budget Cuts to Horse Providers and Shipping Expenses
An Open Letter and Petition to the USPA Executive Committee, Board-of-Governors, Circuit Governors, and Governors-at-Large:
In a recent e-mail from the Polo Development I/I staff, we have been informed that there are budgetary constraints put-forth for the 2019 - 2020 and 2020 - 2021 seasons that will affect shipping reimbursements at the Preliminary and Regional Tournament levels for the Interscholastic (IS) and Intercollegiate (IC) divisions. In addition to that, horse provider ("horse rental") payments for the 2020 - 2021 season are proposed to be eliminated at the IS Preliminary and Regional levels.
After successive conference calls recently divided into "Eastern" (Southeastern and Northeastern Regional teams) and "Western" (Central and Western Regional teams), the overarching theme and consensus among the undersigned coaches, players, and team representatives is that these proposed cuts will have a negative (and undesired) effect on the participation of many team members and their families. This will undoubtedly impact the ability and the willingness for the undersigned horse providers to continue providing horses to I/I tournaments. Supporting the shipping and use of horses by providing these incentives to the providers is paramount to the recent successes and record levels of membership in the I/I ranks. Continued support of these youth programs only serves to bolster the popularity of our sport and will ultimately lead to the continued growth of the sport of polo in the United States.
We, the undersigned, fully support the reorganization of the current and future I/I budget to recognize the importance of shipping horses and horse providers to the sport of I/I polo. We unequivocally propose that the financial support of shipping expenses and horse provider payments remain intact in some form across *all* levels of I/I polo and I/I postseason tournaments.
Anthony Condo and Lou Lopez
2019 – 2020 Coaches Representatives