World Class Polocrosse Players Meet Their Trusty Steeds

It’s not only the 64 players from across the world that are performing at the Adina Polocrosse World Cup next week – some of the best polocrosse horses from across Australia will also be on show.

Today, Tuesday 16 April, the official World Cup horse draw sponsored by Ceva took place, which allocates a pool of horses to each of the eight competing teams. Players now have around one hour each day over the coming week to get to know their horse and how it plays, before competition commences on Monday 22 April.

Australian captain Abbott Grills drawing his team’s pool number Image by Libby Wells

Australian captain Abbott Grills drawing his team’s pool number
Image by Libby Wells

150 horses

Over 150 horses have been sourced for the World Cup, resulting in one of the largest horse recruitment drives in Australia’s peacetime history. Some of these horses have been supplied by the Australian players, with some of the best polocrosse horses from around Australia in the pools. View the full horse directory

Suzette Thomas, Australia team player, has a few crackers all the way from Western Australia in the pool including Australian Stock Horse ‘Bentley’ who recently won A grade champion ladies horse and rider at the Jugiong carnival in NSW, and Australian Stock Horse ‘Action Man’ who took out A grade champion ladies horse and rider at Trafalgar with 2015 World Cup player Elizabeth Reid.

Australia’s youngest player Beth Hafey has her eight horses in the pool and finds it hard to pick the best, because she has all of her best Australian Stock Horse mares in the pool. Sarah and Charlie Grills of Albury NSW, parents of Australian players Jim and Lucy Grills, have 24 Australian Stock Horses in the pool, including ‘Berragoon Percussion’ who has won the best Australian Stock Horse at the last three National Championships and is often played by Australian Captain Abbott Grills. The Grills have not left any of the ‘cream’ at home, they have all of their top horses in the pool.

Why a pool?

With teams coming from all over the world, it would be a very expensive and exhausting task to transport horses to and from the host city, Warwick. In order for the events to proceed, horse owners across Australia have loaned their valuable and much-loved mares to go into the horse draw for the players to compete on. In most cases, players have not previously ridden the horse they are allocated, which is the same horse they will use for the duration of the event.

Horse draw results

The official horse draw took place this morning at the Mayoral Breakfast at Warwick Gold Club, with results as follows:

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See details and bios on some of the registered Australian Stock Horses

Team managers are now tasked with matching a horse to each player.

The World Cup teams attended the official event; here is Polocrosse World Cup Team USA Image by Libby Wells

The World Cup teams attended the official event; here is Polocrosse World Cup Team USA
Image by Libby Wells

Horse scouting

The horse scouts responsible for sourcing the horses are Warwick Polocrosse Club members, Charlie Brook, Kent Wells and Cameron Shepherd, and International Polocrosse Council President, Gill Mathie. The process took 18 months and was supported by the Australian Stock Horse Society and the many horse owners and loaners that are passionate about polocrosse and horse events.

Thank you to Libby Wells for providing photography services for the Mayoral Breakfast.

Linda Tillman