Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu Square,
Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.
The bye-laws of the Club are designed for the safety and convenience of members. They should be read carefully and strictly complied with at all times.
1. House & Grounds
Motor vehicles must at all time give way to horses and a speed limit of 15 km/hour must be strictly observed. Drivers should keep a sharp look out or loose or tethered horses or horses which may not be under complete control. No sounding of motor vehicle horns on Club grounds.
Motor vehicles may only be parked in the park beside the main entrance or in the car park adjacent to the Clubhouse.
No dogs or other pets are permitted in the Clubhouse and are allowed in the grounds only when they are on a lead and provided they are not noisy, aggressive or unruly. Under no circumstances are they allowed loose in the Club’s compound.
Children must at all times be under the surveillance and control of their parents or other adult directly responsible for their safety and for ensuring that they do no damage to the Club’s property or cause an accident to riders.
2. Prevention of Accidents
All members less than 16 years of age must wear properly designed protective headgear at all times when riding. Adult members are strongly recommended to wear protective headgear particularly for fast work.
No member under the age of 16 is permitted to ride outside the grounds unless accompanied by an adult who is a competent rider. (Adult members are advised against riding out alone as the risk of a fall is greater outside the grounds due to the presence of cars, dogs, wire and other obstructions and the consequences of a fall while unaccompanied could be serious.)
All horses traveling in opposite directions should pass right hand to right hand.
No children under 7 years are permitted to ride on the main track.
Horses being ridden or walked from the stable area to the exercise tract, polo field and jumping paddock must use the entrance for horses and in no circumstances the entrance for cars.
All bottles and glasses taken for the Clubhouse must be returned to the bar to avoid injury to horses. Parents must ensure that their children observe this bye-law.
No riding is permitted on main roads.
Members are not permitted to ride unaccompanied on the track on either privately-owned or Riding School horses unless they are in possession of a Riding Fitness Certificate. All members, with the exception of those who are actively playing polo, have passed a barrier test, competed in jumping, cross-country, etc, events, or are otherwise deemed qualified by the Instructor, are required to take a test. Tests can be arranged through the general office.
Riders are strictly prohibited from trotting or cantering their mounts in the stable area and the access road leading to the sand paddock and the track.
Horses being led in any area of the Club premises must be walked only and must be led with a lead rope.
Riders who wish to lead another horse while riding on any part of the grounds must ensure that they lead the unmounted horse with a lead rope.
Save for the provision relating to grazing in the paddock, horses shall under no circumstances be allowed to graze untethered on any part of the Club premises. Members are strongly advised against letting their horses loose in areas outside the Club premises to prevent accidents.
3. Exercise Track
Members must, at all times, ride round the exercise track surrounding the polo ground in an anti-clockwise direction.
Horses being ridden slowly must keep to the outside of the track, permitting faster moving horses to overtake on the inside of the track.
Members shall not ride more than two abreast and no member shall gallop his horse on the track unless and until it is safe to do so. Members overtaking must do so gradually and with due care and consideration for riders.
No gallops are permitted in the morning after 8.00a.m. and in the afternoon after 4.00p.m.
4. Polo Ground
The polo ground is out of bounds at all times to all members except when organized polo practice chukkas are arranged.
Members who wish to learn to play polo or to practice may stick and ball in the areas in the west side of the ground. Access to the west side of the ground should only be via the exercise track and permitted riding area.
All balls used for practice must be removed from the polo ground and exercise track after play to avoid injury to horses.
Horses waiting to play polo must be kept in the stalls under the trees in the area south of the Clubhouse and not inside the exercise track.
5. Riding Instruction
Members using the Club’s riding school horses or ponies whether under instruction or for exercise or experience shall, at all times, comply with the instructions of the riding instructors.
6. Hard Hats
All are advised to wear the correct head-gear for safety.
Leather shoes with laces are acceptable but correct footwear such as Jodhpur boots, Polo/Hunting long boots or Rubber long boots specially manufactured for riding are safer and add to the comfort of the rider. No sandals, gym shoes, or high-heeled fashion shoes are permitted.
Slim fitting jeans are acceptable but Jodhpurs (for use with Jodhpur boots) or Breeches (for use of long boots) will add to the comfort and safety. Loose fitting trousers will lead to sore legs and poor grip. Loose fitting “tops” or shirts should be tucked inside the waistband of Jodhpurs.
Valuables should not be carried or worn. For safety no large belt buckles, chains or any item with sharp edges should be worn.
Must not distract any horse or rider during a game. In the event of a fall, the officials will be in sole charge and decide any action to be taken.
Check saddlery and girth before mounting. Mount and dismount in enclosed arena. After dismounting run stirrup irons up the leathers and do not let go of your reins until the syce takes your horse.
No horse/pony should be ridden above a walk for at least 5 minutes and must be allowed to walk for at least the last 5 minutes to cool off.
In the allocation of stables preference shall be given to members who regularly ride their own horses. The Committee may give consideration to the use to which horse will be put when allocating stables and, where more than one stable is applied for, may take into account the number of members of a family who rode.
If a member, who has been allocated a stable, does not occupy it for a period of Eight (8) months the allocation will be cancelled unless he can satisfy the Committee that he has hired and is continuing to try to obtain a horse. The allocation will be automatically cancelled if the stable is not occupied by the member’s own horse within 8 months. Members are not permitted to lease or sub-lease their stables.
No horse or pony shall be brought into or removed from the stable nor may any horse/pony be moved from one stable to another without the permission of the official in charge. The Committee reserves the right to have any horse/pony removed or destroyed if brought in without authority after due warning is given and when such warning is ignored. It shall in any case impose a fine on the member concerned. A member will be held responsible for the actions of his groom in this regard.
A member occupying a stable shall be responsible for ensuring that his groom maintains it in a clean and hygienic condition including the drains, the areas in front of the stable and the feed room he uses. Member should ensure that the sides and back of the stables (especially the corners) are left clear of sawdust at least once a week in order to minimize the risk of infection from an accumulation of dirt.
(l) Members who stable their horses within Club premises shall purchase all fodder supplies from the Club if any.
(m) The Club will ensure proper maintenance and repairs of the leased stable. Members shall not put up fixtures, fans, etc. without written application to the official in charge and written consent from the Officials.
(n) Installation fees at members’ own expenses.
a monthly standard electricity to be paid by owners.
When a member relinquishes the stables, the accessories and fittings will have to be surrendered to the Club.
When a member moves his horse from a stable to another he is allowed to remove the accessories and fittings that he has installed in his previous stable but he has to re-apply to the Official in charge should he wish to install a ceiling fan in the new stable.
Members who installed accessories are allowed to remove when they vacate their stables, but may not be permitted to sell their accessories to the next stable occupant.
In the event that more than one member on the waiting list simultaneously be offered stables, one with adequate installations and one without lots should be cast between them to arrive at a decision.
Members with adequate installations must provide overhead safety and security in their stables.
(o) The Club is empowered to instruct members to vacate allotted stables as and when extra stabling is required for visiting tournaments, horse shows, etc. Alternative accommodation will be arranged by the Club for members’ horses required to be moved by the Club.
(p) A stable fee, the amount of which shall be decided by the Committee from time to time, in addition to the monthly rental, returnable deposit and other charges already imposed, shall be paid to the Club by the member in respect of each stable allocated.”
(q) Members who have been with the Club for more than 10 years and actively playing polo with a polo handicap of (0) and above may request for extra stable at the Club if needed. However, the approval is subject to the discretion of the Committee.”
(r) Subject to the discretion of the Committee, no stallion will be allowed to be brought into and stabled in the Club premises.
A member wishing to employ a groom must obtain permission from the Secretary of the Club.
Members are responsible for the behavior and actions of their groom and must ensure that they maintain the horses, stables, stable area and feed rooms in a fit and tidy condition and that they do not mistreat the horse. Shouting and excessive noise by groom must be avoided since this disturbs both members and horses.
Privately employed groom must obey all reasonable instructions of the Manager, Officials in charge, Committee and pertaining to the cleanliness of the stables and stable area. The Officials in charge will pass all but very minor instructions through the owner, provided the owner is available.
The Committee on recommendation of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee reserves the right to require any member to dismiss his groom for misbehavior or persistent failure to comply with the rules and bye-laws of the Club or the proper instructions given to him by the Officials in charge, Stable Manager, Committee and groom dismissed under this bye-law shall not be permitted to be employed thereafter in the Club by another member. A member who refuses to comply with the Committee’s instruction is liable to face disciplinary action.
A member wishing to employ another member’s groom must obtain permission from the previous employer.
Grooms wishing to ride must take a riding test conducted by Club officials. grooms must wear correct head-gear and footwear when riding.
9. Ownership of Horses
If any member’s horse is, in the opinion of the Committee, being ill-treated or is not being properly looked after and its owner does not immediately take steps to remedy the situation on receiving instructions from the Committee to do so, the Committee reserves the right to take over the management of the horse, to have the horse removed from the stable, or to have it destroyed.
All horses will be dispatched by the use of humane killer and under no circumstances should be given to grooms for disposal.
(c) Movement of horses in or out of the Club must be arranged in advance with the Officials in charge of the Club Office.
10. Disciplinary Action
Members in breach of the Club’s Rules and Bye-Laws will be given a written warning on the first occasion. A fine of reasonable amount will be imposed on the second occasion and will be required to make a written explanation on the third occasion why such member should not be suspended or expelled from the Club.
The Zaria Polo Club reserves the right to impose interest at the rate of 5% in respect of unpaid accounts due for 30 days or more and a fine of an amount to be determined by the Committee. Members with outstanding bills of more than 60 days will not be allowed to participate in polo matches and competitions.
12. Polo Bye-Laws
(a) Chukka List
The chukka list should be signed up before 3.00p.m. on each polo practice day so that chukkas can be arranged on time. Players are to indicate in the appropriate columns in the chukka list the chukka in which they wish to play, particularly if they are unable to come early.
Cancellations must be made before 3.30p.m.
Players who fail to turn up on time or to cancel their bookings will be penalized and will also be required to pay full fees for the chukkas booked in their names (when noticed of always failing to turn up on time).
On weekends or during tournaments, those who fail to turn-up on time or to cancel their chukkas without prior notice will be penalized with heavier penalties which will be decided by the Polo Sub- (b) Committee.
The Polo Captain is responsible for arranging the chukkas, team make-up and the number of chukkas to be played for each day’s program. His decision is final. Where this responsibility is deputed to a player, then that player’s decision is final.
Only the Polo Captain or his representative is allowed to arrange the chukka board.
(c) Polo Attire
i) Polo helmets with proper safety straps and knee-caps must be worn for all games.
ii) Players must have a their jersey or t-shirt available for all games.
iii) Dress for polo will be:
weekends – white breeches and long brown boots are compulsory.
(d) Behaviour on the Field
In order that games can be played in an orderly and gentlemanly manner, the following code of conduct must be observed:
i) Players shall not argue with or abuse the umpires;
ii) Players shall not intimidate other players or the umpires;
iii) Players must obey their team captain’s instructions. Team captains will be appointed for each side in every chukka.
(e) Time Wasting
i) Players are to mount their ponies promptly in between chukkas.
ii) The first chukka will start at 3:30pm – 4.00 p.m. (after asr prayer) during weekends unless otherwise notified by the Polo Captain.
i) All playing ponies must be fit and sound. Lame ponies shall not be permitted to play.
ii) A pony showing vice, or not under proper control shall not be allowed in the game.
(g) Horse Tack
All polo ponies are to have proper tack. Protection of ponies by boots or bandages on all four legs
(h) Mistreatment of Horses
The use of sharp spurs when riding is forbidden. Players are not allowed to hit their horses with polo stick or to treat their horses in any way that may be considered cruel.
All players must tread-in after the games are over. This is especially important when the ground is soft. The co-operation of all concerned will be much appreciated by those who enjoy playing on a well prepared ground.
i) The umpire is given full control of the game. He or she must start the chukka as soon as the bell is rung.
ii) Every player must umpire on his/her pony when requested by the Polo Captain.
(k) Competency of Players
The Polo Sub-Committee shall determine the competency of a player before he or she is allowed to play in a Club chukka or tournament. Beginners will be allowed to play only during weekdays in specially designated slow chukkas. Their participation during weekends, when permissible, will be in the early chukkas only.
(l) Guest Players
Participation of any guest player in any Club games must be by prior approval of the Polo Sub- Committee. Members introducing guest players are responsible for their guest’s.
(m) Polo Field
No stick and ball is allowed in the designated playing area at any time except before a game on polo days. An automatic fine will be imposed on anyone seen riding or doing stick and ball within the area marked as the Polo Field proper.
(n) Playing Conditions
The Grounds Member and the Polo Captain shall jointly decide whether the ground is playable or not. In case of disagreement, the President / Vice-President or any member of the Committee not being a member of the Polo Sub-Committee or Ground Sub-Committee shall have the casting vote. (o) Participation in Invitation Tournament
i) Polo Players are required at all times to give their loyalty to the Club by electing to represent the Club foremost in Invitation Tournaments. Polo players who are also members of other polo clubs but who spend the majority of their time playing at the Zaria Polo Club are also required to do likewise.
ii) Polo players may play for teams of other polo clubs only when they have not been selected to represent the Zaria Polo Club or after obtaining permission from the Committee.
(p) Use of Horses by Replacement Player
If for any reason a polo player turns up late, fails to be present or is unable to play in the tournament, then his horses are to be made available for use by a replacement player who shall be selected by the Polo Captain.
(q) Disciplinary Action
i) If in the opinion of the Polo Sub-Committee any player interferes with or upsets the polo
organization affecting the games of other players then disciplinary action will be taken against the player.
ii) Disciplinary action will be taken against any player who infringes any of the Polo Bye-Laws.