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UK Squad Named For Inaugural Polocrosse World Cup

With membership of the UK Polocrosse Association leaping from 250 to more than 400 in the last two years, three new clubs opening this year and 2003 heralding the first ever Polocrosse World Cup, now is an exciting time to be playing polocrosse.

Nations competing in the first ever World Cup, to be held in April/May in Warwick, Queensland, are expected to be Australia (which has almost 4,000 players), New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe, USA, Canada, Ireland and the UK. Australian clubs will provide ponies for all visiting teams. International tours by our players this year include a Ladies' tour to the USA in May and an Under 21s mixed tour to South Africa in July.

A fuller season than ever was played from April to September this year, with record turnouts at almost every weekend tournament and high attendance at the week-long training courses. A winter league, using covered arenas, is now running for the first time, which will enable year-round play nationwide. A thriving pony club polocrosse scene is bringing more and more young players into the game.

The sport is considerably cheaper than polo, with each player needing only one pony. Teams of six are split in two, playing alternate chukkas of three against three, enabling horses to be rested between chukkas. The field is about the size of a rugby pitch, in comparison with a polo ground, into which several football fields fit.

Whilst top players favour ponies trained specifically for polo or polocrosse, most players start using their existing mount: cobs, native ponies, hunters, jumpers and trotters adapt to the game easily, once they get used to the stick, ball and other ponies on the field.

The UK teams for the Polocrosse World Cup are as follows:
Ladies' squad: Debbie Harris, Shelley King, Sophie Lodder, Ruth Simkin
Ladies' non-playing reserves: Penny Hillier, Jessica Shearing
Men's squad: Shane Borland, Jason Burbidge, Rick Murray, Andrew Schaefer
Men's non-playing reserves: Guy Robertson, Simon Shearing

Visit the UK Polocrosse Association on Stand No. 179 at the British Equine Event, 2nd & 3rd November 2002


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