Accidents at the pole: due to the serious falls in the last 14 months, the AAP took four measures

After the several accidents that happened in the pole with Argentines, authorities and players try stop this situation and prepare measures in accordance with a risky sport and with the tools available. One another they feel that in this sense polo has remained in time and that other sports did adapt to the demands and needs who were showing up.

the Argentine Polo Association (AAP) took the initiative to work on raising awareness of the risks of this game and on prevention and care among polo players. In this context and before the accidents that hit the environment, he maintained meetings with the protagonists to do a diagnosis, discover what is being done wrong and get on tuning with the form of work in this matter in other powers of the pole, as England and the United States. In those meetings he put himself on the table regulatory issues to be polished. In short, we try to adjust as much as possible to avoid the avoidable.

The telematic talk “Safe Polo. Accidents and prevention”, organized by the Argentine Polo Association and in which Eduardo Novillo Astrada (h.), Ignacio Heguy and Delfín Uranga participated, among others.

The situation does not give as for more. In just one year and two months they had more or less serious accidents Pedro Heguy, William Willington, Nicholas Pieres, diego araya, Clemente Zavaleta (h.), Thomas Dartiguelongue Y Paul Pieres, and the time has come to minimize risks by adjusting to new security protocols. In this sense, a few weeks ago there was a meeting convened by Uranga Dolphinthe president of the AAP, in which the Players Association (AAJP) participated, headed by Mark DiPaolaand high handicap polo players, judges and members of the Argentine Association of Polo Horse Breeders.

Clemente Zavaleta, one of those who face the worst consequences;  he has been hospitalized in Palm Beach for more than a month, and his prognosis is not clear.
Clemente Zavaleta, one of those who face the worst consequences; he has been hospitalized in Palm Beach for more than a month, and his prognosis is not clear.Fernando Massobrio – THE NATION

It was resolved on three fronts: security, regulations (game) and discipline. Starting September 1 only homologated helmets can be used; should be take the man in parallel instead of doing it with an angled blow; full court blocking will be removedplus the accumulation of faults of a team will be sanctioned with aggravation of penalties and/or a two-minute suspension the player who reaches the limit established for the number of personal fouls.

“The pole still has a lot to improve. When I started with Eduardo Novillo Astrada, we realized that he was somewhat distant from sports that had evolved a lot. At first we made sure that there was a lot of polo, a lot of volume, but Juanma Nero’s blow left us with many alerts”, explained Uranga for THE NATION, alluding to the fall of La Dolfina’s back in the final of the 2019 Argentine Open, in which he broke an ankle and scared all of Palermo. “We created the first medical commission and discovered that we had a lot of shortcomings. Juanma Nero that day entered the court again, and that should not have happened”, pointed out the president of the AAP.

The accident of Tomás Dartiguelongue on field 1 of Palermo, during a match for the Copa República Argentina;  The player from Araucaria-Alegría had a better diagnosis than the one initially suggested by the mishap, but he was hospitalized.
The accident of Tomás Dartiguelongue on field 1 of Palermo, during a match for the Copa República Argentina; The player from Araucaria-Alegría had a better diagnosis than the one initially suggested by the mishap, but he was hospitalized.Capture

While Willington, Araya and Zavaleta, in varying degrees of severity and progress, were fighting for their recovery, the accident of Tomás Dartiguelongue, from Araucaria-Alegría on court 1 in Palermo during the Argentine Republic Cup tournament, was another severe call of attention. At La Irenita’s coronation after her victory over La Chavita in the final, the champion’s coach, Matthias MacDonough, analyzed the possible causes of so many misfortunes. Without forgetting that his father, the remembered George MacDonoughhad died at the age of 73 after a mare headbutted him during practice.

“My old man died playing polo. A year ago Temy Willington, who is a friend of mine, got hit. The truth is that he is touching me closely: now Tomy Dartiguelongue, Corchito [Zavaleta], Diego Araya… Everyone, polo players who have played with us and great friends”, he lamented. And why so many strong falls? “There is a lot of bad luck. Helmets can be upgraded and obviously we have to do something about it, because, for me, they are the most important thing. And then, take as many precautions as possible. Each one will have to do their own thing and look inside a bit and ask themselves what we can improve on. I think there is some negligence out there, but it is minimal. You have to be safer on the horse, because polo is played a lot, ”she closed.

A stirrup higher than the strap that holds it and Cristián "Magoo" Laprida doing an involuntary stunt, which is scary but will not have major consequences.
A stirrup higher than the strap that holds it and Cristián “Magoo” Laprida doing an involuntary stunt, which is scary but will not have important consequences.

While the Association and members of the polo family were looking for solutions, the accident of Polito Pieres during a practice of his team, Santa Rita, in Palm Beach, for which he had surgery on his left clavicle. At the same time, Cristián Laprida (h.) alarmed with an impressive fall in front of the head of his mount, also in the high season of the United States. Magoo he is the one who got it cheaper among all those who wallowed anxiously in recent times.

Polito Pieres, with his left clavicle damaged by a fall in the United States, but with his good humor intact.
Polito Pieres, with his left clavicle damaged by a fall in the United States, but with his good humor intact.@clickpolo

This is a very sensitive subject, no doubt. In fact, several high handicap polo players consulted for THE NATION They chose not to speak publicly about it. Some didn’t even reply to messages.

“It is very sad what has happened. Several are friends of mine and that is why it is not a good time for me either. But I think this will help us become aware of what was not being done well”, closed Uranga, hoping that the new measures will give the desired result: avoid as many accidents as possible. And if not, that at least the consequences are not serious.

Delfín Uranga, the president of the Argentine Polo Association, went from concern to action: the entity took several measures to reduce the number of accidents.
Delfín Uranga, the president of the Argentine Polo Association, went from concern to action: the entity took several measures to reduce the number of accidents.