Plenty horse power at Paddock polocrosse

The juniors from Zambia and South Africa shake hands before the second test.

THERE’S nothing quite like the thundering of hooves, snorting of horses as they race for the ball, and cool winter air to get the heart rate going.

And that’s just as a spectator.

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The players who took part in the annual Paddock Polocrosse Tournament last weekend, held on Ryan Pretorius’s fields, provided superb entertainment for the farmers and other South Coasters who made the effort to come and watch.

“There was incredible local support and it was a very successful event, fun for the family and spectator friendly. Newcomers are always pleasantly surprised,” said organising committee member Juliette Classen.

Paige Pretorius from Paddock hits the brakes before shooting, with Ryan Hosking in chase.

The highlight was the three-test series between the Zambian and South African U14 teams.

Zambia would win this 3-0, but SA’s younger players gained valuable experience.

With the national anthem being sung before the games, it was taken seriously, and provided more than one or two ‘goose bump’ moments.

While the focus was more on fun for most of the players in the regular tournament, there was still a very high quality of polocrosse played, with some big names in action.

Among these were the Pretorius sisters, Paige and Amber.

Honestly, when they get moving, all you see is a pink-shirted blur. They have some serious skill and speed.

Committee member and co-organiser Juliette Classen said it had been a privilege to host the tournament and the test series.

“We like to shake the tree a bit and mix things up as much as possible for our tournament which is why the teams are often a mix of ages and genders,” she explained.

It’s interesting to note that polocrosse is not necessarily played according to gender and age group, but rather handicap (similar to golf in that respect).

Singing the national anthem was a heart-warming and borderline boisterous thing.

The horses are incredibly well schooled and treated like athletes. It all makes for a wonderful spectacle.

Make sure you go next year, but take a jersey, as the Paddock and Oribi areas have a sneaky habit of catching you out, even if the sun is shining.


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David Rush
Sports Editor

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PICS: Paddock Polocrosse Tournament 2017