As the lights go down on 2016, my wrap-up blog post can go in two directions: a) it has been a good year, with much achieved, or b) it has been a hard year, with the slowdown in retail in the regional economies, with a Ringgit badly hit. In truth, it has been both.
I’ve had the highs and the lows this year. It has been a tough but good one. Business has been tough, and Zack’s Tack has to evolve to face the new challenges in this brave new world.
Polo has been very active, but we still struggle with sponsorship and 2017 will be very difficult year. The 2017 leagues will be run, but the two highlights are the World Cup Zone D Playoffs and the 29th South East Asian Games. It’s a packed calendar.
My personal polo was very satisfying in the early part of the year, winning the Merdeka League with Head Hunters, and being named MVP in the Masters. I didn’t play any International League polo this season, and only two chukkas of the Malaysian Open.
Off the field my life was pretty stressful, but that comes with the territory of being an organizer. I have to take it as it comes.
Well, not everyone.
Some players will do virtually anything to play for their country, while others won’t even respond to a national call-up. Sometimes I don’t know which is worse.
SEA Games Polo, Equestrian and Endurance will be held at three different venues. Polo will be at Putrajaya Equestrian Park, Dressage and Jumping at 3Q Equestrian and Endurance at Terengganu International Endurance Par. It will make it very difficult for me to see it all. I do hope I can catch some of the showjumping at least.
I really enjoyed the little course designing I managed to do this year. Reconnecting with my friends in that world is something I really enjoy. I wish I could have more time and opportunities to do more of it.
It could be a fantastic year. I start next week with the Thai Polo Open, then I head to China to run the Fortune Heights FIP Snow Polo World Cup, then it is back to Thailand for the FIP World Cup Zone D Play-offs. That’s just January!
The Merdeka League starts in February. In March, we have been invited to send a team to play at the Perth Polo Club again. April will see the Festival of Polo take center stage. In May we hope to be playing the Malaysian Open on a new field at Putrajaya. The 13th season of the RMPA International League starts in July. The 29th South East Asian Games in August. The Royal Pahang Classic in September.
If Malaysia qualify for the FIP World Cup Final in Sydney next October, I would love to be there. The last time I was in Richmond, NSW, I was jumping 1.50 m fences at Chris Chugg’s Diamond B Ranch. Yes, it was a few years ago.
2017 – it is certainly going to hectic. I would say the forecast is cloudy with a chance of landmines. Snipers are a given. Sometimes I think I should head into it with my eyes wide open, and a bullet-proof vest on.
Whatever, it’s going to be an interesting ride.