Mark Tomlinson's 'concerns' about girls playing polo...

rosiesowner

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Here's the article I stumbled across this morning.
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/mark-tomlinson-facts-657449

He’s married to Olympic gold medal-winning dressage rider and H&H columnist Laura Tomlinson, and the pair have two children: Annalisa, three (pictured top with her parents in 2014), and Wilfred, one.

Mark’s not sure about the idea of Annalisa taking up polo when she’s older, though: “It’s great for polo that the ladies’ game is growing, but as a dad and a player myself I’m dubious about girls playing polo — it’s so physical and pretty much rugby on horseback, and I probably wouldn’t want my daughter — or my son — to play rugby either,” he says. “But the separate ladies’ leagues and handicapping system is great; they’ve realized that ladies can’t really compete at the top level with the guys. There are women such as my mum, and [top British female player] Nina Clarkin who have, but they are exceptions to the rule. Women-only polo creates more of a opportunity for younger girls, such as Annalisa one day, as they don’t have to go on the field with seven men.
Not entirely sure how I feel about this one!
 

madamebonnie

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Those three little words balance it out though...'Or my son'

I read it as he is supportive of the sport opening up opportunities and being made more inclusive. I've never played polo but I imagine it is really one of very few equine sports where physical strength is a real advantage.

In terms of his own children it sounds like he just wants them safe, at one and four years old I guess that's a pretty normal feeling! To me the reference of girls is about children rather than females in general.
 

rosiesowner

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Those three little words balance it out though...'Or my son'

I read it as he is supportive of the sport opening up opportunities and being made more inclusive. I've never played polo but I imagine it is really one of very few equine sports where physical strength is a real advantage.

In terms of his own children it sounds like he just wants them safe, at one and four years old I guess that's a pretty normal feeling! To me the reference of girls is about children rather than females in general.
Interesting, I think his phrasing could have been better. I'm not sure what it is about it, and that's what probably makes my argument seem so poor! But just the whole "realised ladies can't really compete at the top level with guys" just rubs me up the wrong way...
 

Fred66

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Interesting, I think his phrasing could have been better. I'm not sure what it is about it, and that's what probably makes my argument seem so poor! But just the whole "realised ladies can't really compete at the top level with guys" just rubs me up the wrong way...
Me too but then I thought it through and if you think about it most sports are split as women cannot compete at the same physical level. Football, Rugby, Tennis, Rowing, Athletics etc etc.

Therefore if what he was advocating is the development of women's only polo in order that they can gain access to a sport that is currently male dominated then fair play to him. He just needs to work on his phrasing
 

Sheep

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Me too but then I thought it through and if you think about it most sports are split as women cannot compete at the same physical level. Football, Rugby, Tennis, Rowing, Athletics etc etc.

Therefore if what he was advocating is the development of women's only polo in order that they can gain access to a sport that is currently male dominated then fair play to him. He just needs to work on his phrasing
Yes - if it was intended that way, but clumsily worded, I get what he means.
 

madamebonnie

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I think its a poorly written article. There's not much context to his quote, who knows what the interviewer was asking! Do you think women can compete against the top men? Do you think it's a level playing field for girls getting into Polo? Why isn't you're three* year old playing polo with the men yet?

A poor attempt to highlight sexism/name and shame/clickbait. Although overall equestrianism is one of the best for equal opportunities for women/men, not sayings it is perfect, surely there are better examples of issues than this!

*stand corrected from earlier, his girl is three not four.
 

Clodagh

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Well there were plenty of people on here who thought that women shouldn't be jump jockeys, so no doubt the delicate little dears risking themselves playing polo is also a no no.
What is wrong with croquet, for heavens sake? My brother and I were quite even at that when we fell out and whacked each other.
 

Fred66

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Well there were plenty of people on here who thought that women shouldn't be jump jockeys, so no doubt the delicate little dears risking themselves playing polo is also a no no.
What is wrong with croquet, for heavens sake? My brother and I were quite even at that when we fell out and whacked each other.
Women only races were introduced as well as giving them better handicapping to encourage the trainers / owners to give them the ride.

Even now there are relatively few and getting the top rides is difficult, it's 41 years since the first female jockey was allowed in the Grand National and only 17 have competed in that time with the best placed being 3rd.

Without having women only sport you would not get the participation and support necessary for them to get the experience to reach the top .
 

ozpoz

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People are so quick to accuse instead of just reading his actual words, which are perfectly reasonable.
 

AFB

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People are so quick to accuse instead of just reading his actual words, which are perfectly reasonable.
Totally agree. Protective father that's in support of women's polo - what's the problem here? (I do agree it could possibly have been better phrased)
 
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He says he doesn't want his son playing rugby as well as his daughter, I thought it was more to do with not wanting his children hurt than an actual objection to women playing more physical sports?
 

Mule

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Plenty were saying the same about women jockeys and of course women's boxing and but it seems we're not as delicate as we look;)
 

Theocat

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People are so quick to accuse instead of just reading his actual words, which are perfectly reasonable.
Agree.

How many top female tennis players / rowers / name your sport would we have if we had mixed genders across every level?

It's hard enough getting girls motivated about sport without putting them constantly in a position where the average girl is going to feel second best to the average boy.

Fine, let the best compete at the top level regardless of gender. But if we want to get more women to that point, we need to create the right environment.

FWIW I agree with him on the rugby as well. Plenty of less risky sports have the same benefits.
 

ycbm

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Well there were plenty of people on here who thought that women shouldn't be jump jockeys, so no doubt the delicate little dears risking themselves playing polo is also a no no.
What is wrong with croquet, for heavens sake? My brother and I were quite even at that when we fell out and whacked each other.
To be fair, as I recall, the argument was mostly about career longevity in the face of repeated injury, and did the jockey who was most being discussed not announce her retirement shortly after the National?

There was nothing wrong with what he said about polo. Not everyone is a perfect wordsmith.
 
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Rowreach

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The thread title is very misleading. He doesn't have a problem with women playing polo as such. And he is probably making a fair point, but you can never trust a journalist to quote accurately or in context all the time ....
 

DabDab

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I am actually not really sure what point he was even trying to make - there's lots of oddly phrased statements in that quote, at lot of which seem to contradict when read as a whole. Tbh, it doesn't seem like he was trying to make any kind of point at all, just like he was answering a strange question with a sort of stream of consciousness
 

JFTDWS

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Can't see a problem with segregation by sex at the top levels of polo - it's common to almost every other sport to split by sex. In international polocrosse matches, the men play against the men, and the women against the women - though not, as far as I've seen, in national competitions. The women are, however, in my experience, just as vicious as the men :rolleyes3:
 

Annagain

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A genuine question as I've never played polo and only watched it a couple of times but how is it "so physical and pretty much rugby on horseback"? I've watched a lot of rugby and been married to a rugby player for 11 yars so understand its physicality - high speed collisions, incredible forces going through the body as scrums, taking people's legs away from them in full low, lots of twisting in the tackle etc. With polo, other than a bit of banging into each other (where the horses seem to take most of the impact) I don't think I've seen a huge amount of physical contact? I have no doubt swinging the mallet and controlling the ball while galloping on a horse takes strength and skill but I can't say I've seen physicality to the level of rugby - or to the level where men and women cannot play with/against each other? Am I missing something?
 

ahml100

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A genuine question as I've never played polo and only watched it a couple of times but how is it "so physical and pretty much rugby on horseback"? I've watched a lot of rugby and been married to a rugby player for 11 yars so understand its physicality - high speed collisions, incredible forces going through the body as scrums, taking people's legs away from them in full low, lots of twisting in the tackle etc. With polo, other than a bit of banging into each other (where the horses seem to take most of the impact) I don't think I've seen a huge amount of physical contact? I have no doubt swinging the mallet and controlling the ball while galloping on a horse takes strength and skill but I can't say I've seen physicality to the level of rugby - or to the level where men and women cannot play with/against each other? Am I missing something?
It is probably not a big issue at lower goal but once you reach high goal such as the kings cup or at the pinnacle of the sport, the Argentine open, the collisions get a lot more powerful as the ride-off will be that much faster as you have two horses meeting at a 45 degree angle galloping at around 30mph!
 

Goldenstar

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All the serious polo players I have met where constantly covered in bruises.
It’s a tough tough sport at the top level it’s a contact sport and I would not berate any father for not wanting to see his daughter going through that .
It’s human nature not evil sexism .
 
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