28 May 2012
A different horse sport will take place just outside Newmarket, the home of horse racing, in August when the international polocrosse test match series between the USA and the UK comes to the village of Dullingham, near Newmarket. Alongside it is the UK Polocrosse Association club tournament, the Polocrosse Extreme Cup, which will feature all the UK's top club sides.
Polocrosse is easiest to describe as lacrosse on horseback and it is one of the fastest paced and most visually exciting equestrian sports there is. The horses twist and turn at high speed as they try and create space for their riders to shoot at goal and the players demonstrate amazing reflexes and skills as they pick up and pass the ball around between their team mates.
Polocrosse is a reasonably simple game to follow; teams try and gain possession of the ball and shoot it between their opponent goal posts (which are just eight foot wide) in order to score. Teams consist of six players but only three go onto the field at any one time and the players swap over every six minutes, allowing themselves and their horses a chance to rest, making it a one horse sport. There are three different areas on the field and players have to pass or bounce the ball between the areas while moving at high speed.
The test matches between the UK and USA should be an eye watering feast of skill and speed from the horses and their riders and the two teams will be taking no prisoners as they try to settle old scores and prove that they are the dominant force in Northern Hemisphere polocrosse.
Both countries have shown over the last few years that they are amongst the best polocrosse sides in the world, the UK claimed second spot in the 2007 World Cup and then lost by just one goal to the World Champions South Africa in 2011, while the USA shocked everyone when they climbed to fourth in the world rankings at the 2011 World Cup.
The event is taking place at the Dullingham Polo Grounds, Lower Farm, Dullingham and is being hosted by the Granary Estates. Alongside the polocrosse there is also bar and refreshment stands on site and a mini children's fun fair. The only charge for spectators is a parking fee of £10 per car. The test matches will take place daily at approximately 1pm while the polocrosse tournament runs all day from about 9am to 5pm.
For more information on the event go to www.pxtcup.com
For more information on the sport of polocrosse and the event visit www.polocrosse.org.uk