RSPC Open Sportsmanship

Thai Polo gave their opponents in the RSPC Open a lesson in sportsmanship.  With less than two minutes to play in the match, and having just scored to take the lead in the game, Thai Polo heard the cries of La Sarita’s players that one of their players had had a fall but the game had not been stopped.  Thai Polo decided not to contest the throw-in after the goal, allowing La Sarita to walk it in to level the score again at 6 – 6.Watch it on the Youtube video of the Grand Final, from the 47:10 mark.

You will see the ball played in from the back-line by La Sarita.  La Sarita’s Agustin Andrada couldn’t play the ball effectively even though he outran Thai Polo’s Raul Laplacette to the ball.  Raul turns the ball and hits it long in a very quick counter attack.  As he releases it, you will see on the right of the screen, La Sarita’s player, Amirul Farhan’s horse stumble and dislodge him.  You will also see him hit the deck and you can just see Amirul starting to roll to his knees before we lose him in the video.

During the match, I kept my eye on Amirul as he came down, and my initial reaction was that he was not in danger.   The umpires, in my opinion, quite rightly, did not stop play as the fall was neither interfering with play, nor did there seem to be any danger.

Amirul, perhaps realising that they were about to give up a goal, flopped back down on the ground.  When the game finally resumed, Amirul is the player who scores the uncontested goal.

La Sarita’s  appeal that the goal should not be counted amounted to an accusation that Thai Polo was unsporting to have played on.

What happened next confirmed the exact opposite was true.  Thai Polo gave them an uncontested goal.  And then promptly went on to win the match.  What a way to win!

About Peter Abisheganaden

Polo Player, Tournament Director and Executive Secretary of the Royal Malaysian Polo Association. FIP Ambassador and FIP Tournament Director of FIP Snow Polo World Cup and Super Nations Cup. World Cup and Asian Games Showjumper. Champion SEA Games Showjumper and Eventer. FEI L3 Show Jumping Course Designer and L1 Course Presenter. Champion amateur jockey. Retailer and wholesaler of saddlery and polo equipment and Managing Director of Zack's Tack.
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