Directive by the Hurlingham Polo Association to combat the risk of Equine Infectious Anaemia to the UK polo pony population.
All ponies, including any with visiting players or teams, must be accompanied by a valid Equine Passport at all times. This includes when they are taken to play at any club or in any tournament. To be valid for polo, the passport must:
a. Be issued by an approved EU Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO). The HPA is a PIO.
b. Contain an ‘Administration of Medicinal Products’ section (formerly Section IX, now Section II).
c. Be registered with the HPA in the name of the correct owner.
- In the case of passports not issued by the HPA, the passport must be over-stamped by the HPA.
- When a pony changes hands, it must be re-registered accordingly within 30 days.
All ponies issued with an Equine Passport after July 2009 are required to be microchipped.
Due to the current increased risk of Equine Infectious Anaemia, a recent negative Coggins test must now accompany any application for:
- an HPA passport for all polo ponies over 2 years of age;
- any existing non-HPA passport to be overstamped by the HPA unless it has a Weatherby’s passport with a Stud Book reference number on the front page;
An approved UK laboratory must be used and the results must indisputably correspond to the polo pony being registered.
Voluntary testing of the whole UK polo pony population will be difficult to implement. The above proposal would mean that all polo ponies new to UK polo would be tested for EIA (it is extremely rare for polo ponies under the age 3 to be imported and even more unlikely that they would play polo until much older). The rules would not appear to discriminate against Argentine imports. It would also provide general surveillance amongst the resident population as polo ponies requiring replacement passports, or those entering the sport late that have not yet been issued with a passport, would also need a recent negative Coggins test in order to be registered with the HPA and be allowed to play polo.
Vets as well as clubs should work with the HPA to ensure the rules are implemented
For further information on EIA to https://www.aht.org.uk/skins/Default/pdfs/equine_vol2_2_focus2.pdf