Polocrosse season in full swing

With the Polocrosse season in full swing, Rachael Duhig from Cotswold Polocrosse Club has sent in this report on the up and coming sport of Polocrosse – a team sport that is a combination of Polo and Lacrosse where former racehorses are showing their athleticism and natural speed to succeed on the field and RoR recognise the best playing former racehorse.

Arden Spring League Tournament

Lady Tatiana, a 6 year bay mare was crowned Best playing former racehorse of the series. Gifted to Rachel in 2016 by her farrier who had taken her straight out of training as a 3 year old and bred from her in the summer of 2016. Formerly trained by Ian Williams, Lady Tatiana, known as Money, didn’t really take to racing with just four starts on the flat but is a small compact little mare so he thought she would suit the sport of Polocrosse.

Rachel says “Since we were entering the winter months, she was turned out to be brought back in the next Spring. So fast forward to March when she began her training. From the first time being ridden in nearly two years, to her first time at Polocrosse training and first time playing in a tournament, she has taken everything in her stride.

Literally nothing phases her, she hasn’t put a foot wrong and is the softest mouthed thoroughbred my husband and I have ever trained. Her first full tournament in 2017, my husband played her in the top division, A grade. She was phenomenal all weekend playing the defensive position #3. She was awarded Best Horse in the A division for that tournament. Money played a couple more times that season and was brought back into work in January to prepare for me to play her in the Arden Spring League tournaments.. From the first to the last, she never put a foot wrong. We were honoured to receive the best former racehorse of the series.

She is a joy to have around, a stunning mare who goes from strength to strength each time she plays. We are very excited for her future and can’t wait to see what it holds for her.”

Winter Nationals

Four former racehorses where taking part in the one day tournament held at Onley Equestrian Centre, in the end the clear winner was BB Chaparral owned by Stuart Dyson, know at home as Bumble.

BB Chaparral is a an 8 year old who was bought from Ireland in 2015, unfortunately she never made it to the racecourse despite going onto training and Stuart says “Bumble is a lovely mare with a great temperament, not one bad thing to say about her. She will happily go from playing top division polocrosse with me at the weekend, to letting my mother plod around hacking. She also jumps and does faltwork through the winter with my sister to keep her fit.”

Early Season Tournament

The most recent tournament held, was the Early Season Tournament again held at Onley Equestrian Centre. Over the two day tournament there were 7 RoR horses vying for the prize with the eventual winner being Zipped Up, owned by Eoin O’Donnell who says

Zipped Up, known as Sol as home, ran 4 times in his racing career between 2012 and 2015, all of which he finished last in! After retiring from racing he did showjumping and Hunter Trials in Ireland in 2015 and 2016. He was then sold to a lady who just wanted to hack. She kept Sol for a number of months and didn’t have the time for him and felt he was going to waste in t he field, so advertised him for sale. I came across the advert on the internet and liked him as soon as I tried him, he was very agile and athletic.

I have had Sol since September, 2016, and have introduced him to the game slowly since then, as he can be quite hot and gets stressed easily. He is one of the most athletic horses I have sat on with boundless natural ability (despite being 16″3 alot biger than the average polocrosse horse!) hence why I persevered with him. He has been a challenge but has taught me alot about training a different type of horse than I am used to! I’m very lucky, I have Avis Wotton around to help me. This season, Sol will play in the International Test Matches against the UK, 1st & 2nd June.”

If you would like to find out more about Polocrosse, contact tournament@ukpolocrosse.co.uk or UK Polocrosse Association