To ensure safety for both player and horse, fairly intricate rules have been evolved to govern play. The chief body that oversees this is the Hurlingham Polo Association in the United Kingdom, and in Singapore, we play according to the Hurlingham Rules. In North America, the equivalent organization is the United States Polo Association or USPA.
Riders must be members of the Singapore Polo Club “The Club”. With the exception that non-members may be allowed to ride for up to a period of three (3) months after which, they must be members of the Club should they wish to continue. Members have priority over non-members for lessons allocation. The Club accepts riders from age 5. This age may vary depending on the Polo Pros’ recommendation.
2. Dress Code
Proper attire/equipment are to be worn during lessons.
a) Headgear: Safety certified – well fitted 3-point polo/riding helmet.
b) Shirt: Form-fitting t-shirt (Preferably Atoms T-Shirt). Singlets, tight fitting crop tops/shirts are not allowed.
c) Lowers: Breeches, polo jeans, jodhpurs, riding leggings, form-fitting jeans with no in-seam.
*Shorts, tracks etc. are strictly prohibited while on horseback.
d) Footwear: Tall riding/polo boots, short riding boots (leather soles and short heels) with chaps.
*Wearing of rubber sole footwear like sneakers, alpargatas and such are prohibited.
e) In the interest of safety, instructors have the right to turn away any student found to be inappropriately attired.
3. Applying for Lessons
To request for lessons, you must complete the “Atoms Application and the Deed of Waiver and Indemnity Form” and submit it to the Atoms Office. Riders will not be allowed to start riding until the “Atoms Application and Waiver Form” has been signed, submitted and approved by the Club.
4. Atoms Polo Professionals/Instructors
a) All Atoms riders/players can only take lessons and any other polo related activities/services from Atoms Full-time Polo Professionals.
b) The Club reserves the right to re-assign your instructor from time to time due to necessary commitments of the instructor such as tournaments, training, illness, etc. The Club is not obligated to offer make-up lessons in such a situation. Should the rider choose to cancel the lesson, full lesson fees will apply.
a) The Club recommends all riders to take up personal accident insurance and to have up-to-date medical coverage prior to riding/playing.
b) The Club is not liable for any injuries sustained by a rider and/or any other damage to the rider’s property during the course of a lesson.
6. Assessment for Applicants with Riding Experience
a) All riders interested in taking lessons must undergo a 20-minute assessment session with an Atoms Instructor to determine their riding level and identify a suitable group. The assessment may be conducted during a regular lesson with other riders if necessary.
b) Riders with prior experience will still be required to do an assessment ride with an Atoms Instructor to determine their level of competency.
c) Quarterly assessments of Atom Riders will be conducted by a panel of Atom Instructors on a quarterly basis, mostly every first week of March, June, September and December.
a) Lessons could take place either on the field or in an arena depending on rider’s level and at the discretion of the instructor and depending on weather conditions and/or other relevant factors.
b) In case of unsuitable field and/or weather conditions, field lessons may be relocated to the stick and ball arena, mount pleasant arenas, covered arena or unmounted lesson.
c) Arena riding lessons may be also converted into unmounted lessons at the instructor’s discretion, including: Theory, horse management, hitting with a mallet on a platform, cage lesson and training videos in the Atoms club room. An unmounted lesson fee of $65.40 will be applicable in such cases. Riders who fail to attend the lesson will be charged the full lesson fee.
d) In the event of light rain, lessons may proceed with consideration of the safety of both riders and horses. The instructor holds the discretion to cancel the lesson if any of the alternative lessons are not feasible to do.
e) Each riding lesson, except introduction lesson, is 40 minutes, including cooling-off, warming up and returning the horse to the stable.
f) The Atoms Office shall confirm a fixed lesson once the rider accepts the allotted time slot for such lessons. These lessons will be automatically rescheduled weekly until the Atoms Office receives a notification from a rider/player to cancel the lesson.
g) Every Monday from 10am, riders may book ad-hoc lessons for the following week up to a maximum of (3) lessons per week. Additional lessons can only be booked from Wednesday of the same week and are strictly subject to availability.
h) All booking requests must be made through Atoms Office.
i) All requests will be managed on a “first-come, first-to-commit” basis.
j) Riders are NOT permitted to book lessons with individual instructors directly. Please adhere to this rule as it enables proper scheduling of lessons.
k) Lessons are not available on Mondays or Public Holidays as the horses will be resting, except when tournaments or other activities have been specifically arranged by the Club.
8. Cancellation Policy
a) Payment for assessments, lessons and any such ancillary charges will be charged on a monthly basis to the member’s club account.
9. Changes to Instructors
a) Riders are to inform the Atoms Office if they are unable to attend their riding lessons as the groom would have already prepared the horse for riding. In such instances, the Club reserves the right to cancel riders’ future lessons if they do not inform the Atoms Office of their absence. Riders who fail to do so shall be charged the full lesson fee.
b) An ad hoc lesson may be cancelled within 48 hours’ notice in writing to Atoms Office. Riders who fail to do so shall be charged 50% of the lesson fee.
c) Fixed lessons can be cancelled within 48 hours’ notice in writing using the stop/reserve lesson form. To reserve your regular lesson slot during the cancellation period, fifty percent (50%) of the lesson fee will be charged. Otherwise, the lesson slot will immediately be made available to other riders, and there is no guarantee that members will be able to have the same slot upon return. Riders who fail to give 48 hours’ notice for any changes or cancellation of lessons will be charged in full.
d) Last minute cancellations will be charged in full unless there is a Certified Medical Certificate issued on the same day of the lesson.
e) The Club reserves the sole right to cancel lessons or change instructors due to tournaments, events, availability of horses or instructors.
10. Riders’ Compliance
a) At all times, while mounted on a Club polo pony, riders must be mindful of the horse’s welfare. For example, taking care not to strike the horse’s legs with their mallet or pulling excessively hard on their bits.
b) In the event that the rider is seen mishandling, abusing, or doing anything unacceptable to the club horse, the Club has the right to stop the rider from riding immediately. Depending on the severity of the case, the Club may take the appropriate action against the rider or to charge the rider vet fees as a result of such mishandling.
c) To avoid inconveniencing others, riders are requested to be punctual for lessons. Instructors are not obliged to make-up for any lost time if a member is late for a scheduled lesson.
d) Riders are expected to arrive in time to be mounted and ready by the scheduled lesson time. Any rider found mounted earlier than 10 minutes before the scheduled lesson will be charged an additional $50.
e) After a lesson, riders mounted on a Club polo pony are to ride the pony directly back to the stables immediately after cooling-off the pony. Riders found still riding the pony more than 10 minutes after the lesson has ended, will be charged an additional horse hire rate.
f) A rider must be with the instructor throughout the lesson.
g) Riders must not be on the polo field or sand-track when club chukkas or tournaments are being played.
h) Riders from Level 4 to Elite can sign up for stick and ball practice on the field every Wednesday and Friday afternoon in the time slots provided.
i) Parents of Riders from Level 4 to Elite who holds a SPC handicap may sign up for stick and ball practice together with their child.
j) Riders may, with the prior permission of the instructor, use a suitable, privately owned polo pony to take stick & ball lessons on the polo field. However, a ‘green fee’ of $50 (excluding GST) per lesson for the use of the polo field will be charged to the rider taking the lesson.
11. Quarter Lease of Club Horses
Riders may apply to lease Club horses. The rider must submit the Lease Application Form to the Atoms Office and agree to the Quarter Lease Agreement. Quarter Lease applications may only be effective upon the approval of the Atoms Lead Polo Professional.
12. Self-ride on Club Horses
a) Only riders from Level 2 to Elite are allowed to do self-rides upon written approval by the instructor who has to inform the Atoms Office accordingly.
b) Self-ride is for a duration 30 minutes at either the Mount Pleasant Arenas, Stick & Ball Arena or Covered Arena. Only upon written approval by their respective instructors through the Atoms Office, shall a rider be allowed to ride at the jungle trail or polo track.
c) Riders are only allowed to walk, trot and canter the horse. Galloping is not allowed while riding.
d) Riders are required to return the horse back personally to the stable immediately after the ride. An additional horse hire fee will be imposed should the horse or pony be returned to the stable late.
e) Riders are only allowed to ride within the Club grounds.
13. Arena Etiquette
a) All riders must pass each other in the arenas right hand to right hand.
b) Riders in the Covered Arena must use the polo side which is the section of the arena closest to the polo field.
c) All riders must close the arena gates after entering or exiting the arenas.
d) More advanced riders must give way to beginner riders in the arenas and exercise consideration to other lessons taking place at the same time.Non-members under the 3-month trial program shall make payment prior to any scheduled lesson. Proof of such payment must be shown to the Atoms Office prior to riding.
Note: A rider’s repeated infringement of any of these rules & regulations may result in the Club not offering further lessons or club ponies to the rider concerned.
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