New polo chief outlines World Equestrian Games goal

New Federation of International Polo (FIP) president Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers wants to focus on securing polo’s place at the World Equestrian Games, but has admitted it will be “exceptionally difficult” to return to the Olympic Games.

In a six-point plan published in the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, Colquhoun-Denvers outlined his plans for the federation. Among his goals will be to open up polo to a wider audience and allow players to make decisions on certain safety provisions. However, in terms of participation at major Games, the new president is targeting the showpiece event of the FEI, equestrian sport’s global governing body.

“The new president of the FEI (Belgium's Ingmar De Vos) will be good for polo,” Colquhoun-Denvers said. “Polo was a sell-out demonstration sport at Deauville at the World Equestrian Games, with the French putting it on with FIP involvement.

“We are a recognised Olympic sport having participated in four Olympic Games up to 1936 – sadly there are less and less equestrian sports now in the Olympics. The idea of getting polo back into the Games, even though it is the dream of FIP, will be exceptionally difficult. So I would like to see us getting involved in events such as the World Equestrian Games in the future – even if it is just on a demonstration basis.”

He added that “integrating global rules is key,” with the FIP working hard to encourage different national rules to be brought together worldwide. “At the moment, when one of the countries makes a rule change they don’t necessarily inform the others, meaning that the rules drift further apart,” he said. “It is something that I would like to address, but I can’t guarantee it will be during my time.”

Colquhoun-Denvers would also like a junior version of the FIP Ambassador Cup to be launched and the FIP’s ‘Zone D’ region – comprising Asia, the Middle East and part of Africa – to be split into multiple zones. “We need to find a solution to support a lower goal level,” he added. “We should be supporting the sport in these emerging polo nations.”