Sep 19, 2017 4:11 PM

Image of I/I managers with Ryan Murphy of Harvard Polo.
I/I managers with Ryan Murphy of Harvard Polo.

For the second year in a row, the USPA Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) team selected nine I/I tournament managers, both new and returning, to participate in a weekend of training to prepare for the 2018 tournament season. The group met in Boston, Massachusetts, to take advantage of the MSPCA’s Equine Ambulance and Safety Training Course. Participants from California, Texas, Oregon, Maryland and Colorado met up with staff on a Friday afternoon and kicked off the event with a tour of the Harvard Polo & Equestrian Center in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. While at the Harvard barns, the group reviewed a PoloSkilz Body Condition Scoring video, and then put the refresher into practice with a few of Harvard’s equine teammates. A demonstration of the tournament vet inspection procedure took place in Harvard’s outdoor arena, as well as a tack safety check demonstration. The group was able to openly discuss any issues they had come across at tournaments and work out any potential situations they might see at a future tournament with the staff. After saying goodbye to Harvard, the caravan took a quick drive around the corner to the Joseph F. Poor Memorial Arena at Myopia Polo Club to work through tournament award presentations and trouble shoot photography problems in dark arenas.

Image of I/I managers training with MSPCA's Roger Laude.
I/I managers training with MSPCA's Roger Laude and practice dummy horse Lucky.

Saturday began bright and early with a working breakfast to cover tournament condition changes, rules changes and meeting protocols. A lovely drive to the MSPCA’s Nevins Farm brought an afternoon of learning from the MSPCA’s Equine Rescue and Training Coordinator, Roger Lauze. Mr. Lauze and the MSPCA developed the original rescue glide for horses and regularly train individuals, rescues, veterinary hospitals, polo clubs and rescue teams on how to most effectively use the rescue glide for horses that must be transported laying down. With two scenarios in hand, Mr. Lauze split the group in half and walked them through moving a sedated horse and moving a sedated horse with a known leg injury. After practicing the situations with Mr. Lauze’s instructions, the groups set to work to move the practice dummy, aptly named Lucky, from post-sedation to loading onto an awaiting trailer.

Before flying out on Sunday afternoon, the managers reviewed split string and spare horse procedures with staff, and worked through a Best Playing Pony tally scenario. Tournament reporting tips and tricks were reviewed to make the final part of a manager’s responsibilities go smoothly. After chatting about some scenarios that new managers may come across in the field, the group packed up and headed back to their homes across the country.

The I/I team would like to send out a special thank you to Harvard Polo, Crocker Snow and Ryan Murphy for opening up their beautiful facility to us and sharing a few of their lovely ponies for hands-on experiences. A massive thank you to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm and Roger Lauze for giving I/I mangers new and extremely important skills for the field.



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