Equine Welfare & Player Safety | U.S. POLO ASSN.


Equine Welfare & Player Safety

Equine Welfare

The USPA is committed to keeping our equine partners in the best health to allow for safe and fun participation for both horse and rider. The following policies have been put in place to ensure horses enter tournaments in the best health.

Tournament Policies

All horses appearing in a USPA I/I Preliminary, Regional, or National tournament, playing or umpiring, must provide proof of a negative coggins test and a current health paper to the USPA two weeks prior to the start of the tournament. Coggins and Health Papers need to be current through the completion of travel at the end of the tournament.

All horses will be scheduled for a Pre-Tournament Horse Inspection to be completed by the onsite veterinarian and any HTC members present. Horses will be Body Condition Scored (Henneke Scale) and checked for soundness. Horses must be within the 4-6 range on the BCS to be allowed to compete and/or umpire. Any horse(s) the veterinarian and/or HTC deems unfit to play, will be removed from the string. At completion of visual and Body Condition Scoring, horses will then perform a jog. Trotting in a straight line away from the committee, a left hand turn, straight past the committee, to a right hand turn, back to the committee.

An onsite vet will be provided for all Regional and National games.

I/I Shipping Guidelines

0 to 100 miles- complete travel 2 hours before game time

100 to 200 miles- complete travel 4 hours before game time

200 to 300 miles- complete travel 12 hours before game time

300 to 600 miles- complete travel 24 hours before game time

If shipping over 600 miles – a request must be sent to Emily Dewey at edewey@uspolo.org at least two (2) weeks before the scheduled tournament date. A detailed, round trip travel plan must be included, outlining travel times, layovers for horses to be off of the trailer, and planned travel dates. All requests will be sent to the NHTC for approval.

At the completion of the tournament horses should be given time to recuperate following their last game and before their return shipment.

Equine Welfare Resources

USPA Medication Report Form

2023 Equine Drugs and Medications Rules

USPA Equine Welfare Incident Report Form

USPA Body Condition Scoring Chart

Equine Fatality Report Form

Equine Welfare Guidelines (Second Edition)

Purchase Copies of the Equine Welfare Guidelines Book online

Equine Diaster Relief Application

Player Safety

For the safety of our youth athletes, the Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Program has committed to providing a safe environment in which our players compete and train. We believe this is paramount to the success of all our programs. To help foster this environment the following policies and procedures have been put into place.

  • All staff and coaches are required to complete:
  • SafeSport Training Course
  • Concussion Course
  • Annual Background Check

Along with coaching requirements players are required to participate with protective gear including a helmet and eye protection. An EMT is provided at all I/I Tournaments during game play.

Player Safety Resources

Heads Up Concussion Information

USOC Safe Sport