Whoever thought banning Polo Shirts could be so comical?

Although not exactly in the realm of veterinary medicine, I still thought this article was worth the post. Equine humor at hunter/jumper discipline’s expense. The article is posted below:

Polo Shirts Banned for Being “Too Comfortable”

Jan 10, 2015 1:10 pm by Carley Sparks in Dressage, Horse Play, Hunter/Jumper, Show Jumping


In a move that is certain to stir up controversy, the United States Hunter/Jumper Alliance (USHJA) has banned polo shirts from all rated competitions, claiming they provide “an unacceptable level of casual comfort.”

“Polo shirts are basically pajamas,” says USHJA president, Edmund Gordon. “Science shows that sleepwear is not conducive to athletic performance, nor is it appropriate apparel for cultured company. You wouldn’t wear a polo shirt to the Opera, would you?”

The new decree, Gordon continues, upholds the longstanding tradition of unbending conformity to outdated rules that defines equestrian sport.

“Some people say athletic wear should ‘breathe’ and ‘be comfortable,’ when what they really mean is ‘cheap’ and ‘affordable.’ What we’re doing is a civilized sport. It’s based on more than 100 years of dogmatic adherence to tradition. We’re not about to go changing that now!”

Equestrian sport, Gordon notes, is the only sport that still requires professional athletes to compete in formal wear.

“That’s something to celebrate,” says Gordon. “Quietly, of course. With a raised champagne flute and an eloquent toast.”

Several opponents of the polo shirt ban, who requested not to be identified, cited concerns for rider well being and lost sponsor promotional opportunities. To that, Gordon scoffs.

“It starts with a small logo on the collar, sure. Next thing you know they’re out there riding in neon billboard pants. Or worse: blue jeans!

“Putting a stop to the flagrant disregard for personal appearance on our show grounds is the first step in ensuring show jumping never becomes a mainstream sport,” he continued. “Let dressage and eventers worry about attracting sponsors. We know ‘the old way is the only way.’”

Gordon hopes the polo shirt ban will, in effect, correct character flaws such as excessive perspiring.

“Don’t be ‘that guy.’ Nobody wants to watch a bunch of Johnny McPitstains out there in the saddle. They’re called handkerchiefs. Every respectable gentleman should have a square of monogrammed linen in his breast pocket to discretely dab moisture from his brow and to comfort delicate females overcome by heat and the excitement of the sport. This is Pony Club 101 stuff right here.”

Effective immediately, the ban extends to the entire show grounds on all rated hunter/jumper shows.

“We don’t want to see polo shirts on the grounds, in your vehicle and certainly not in the ring. Listen, we have a reputation to uphold and we’re not going to let a bunch of polo-shirt wearing hooligans ruin it for everyone.”

“If you want to be comfortable,” he says, “take up golf. Or polo.”

Of course, the emphasis was on humor…not fact.