Retrained racehorses to show off their Horseball skills at National Heritage Centre in Newmarket

  • 15 former racehorses feature in elite team training weekend
  • Daily demonstrations open to the public over half-term

The National Heritage Centre at Palace House, Newmarket will host on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June an elite training weekend for the Great Britain Horseball team featuring 15 former racehorses.

Both the Team GB Ladies and the Pro-Elite team will be in action across the weekend in the Peter O’Sullevan Arena, with twice daily public demonstrations at 11am and 2.30pm.

Visitors will be able to watch the country’s leading Horseball players as they take part in team training in preparation for the upcoming FEI European Cup 2017. The training sessions will be led by former French International, now Team GB Coach, Christophe Desormeaux.

Included among the horses in action over the weekend are 15 former racehorses, retrained in Horseball and now set to represent Team GB. The horses include the popular and talented Mabait, formerly trained in Newmarket by Luca Cumani and latterly David Simcock. Mabait retired from racing in 2014 and within two years was representing Team GB with his rider Ben Berry at the 2016 Horseball World Cup.

Horseball is played on horseback where a ball is passed between riders and points are scored by shooting it through a high net (approximately 1.5m x 1.5m) The sport is a combination of polo, rugby and basketball and is one of the ten disciplines officially recognised by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI).

The training weekend is set to be the final session before the Team GB selections are made. At this stage, the players and horses attending have been shortlisted in groups of ten, the final squad will number eight plus two non-travelling reserves. Coach Christophe Desormeaux has observed thee players and their horses in action in the British Horseball Association League, as well as at Team GB training sessions.

Tickets to the Peter O’Sullevan Arena will be £5 throughout the day, and free for annual members. The daily demonstrations will take place as usual at 11am and 2.30pm which all ticket holders on the day will be able to attend.

A full list of riders and horses can be found on the What’s On section of the National Heritage Centre website