Polocrosse in the Pines

Polocrosse in the Pines

Polocrosse in the Pines held annually at the Pinehurst racetrack is a sport that blends the horsemanship of polo with the skill of lacrosse. Horse, rider, and cane dance together in perfect harmony. One moment the horse and rider stand regally in alignment according to their position. The ball is tossed into the air seemingly without direction. Suddenly the six players, three per team, erupt into dance. Scampering for the ball in the air and then on the ground.  Once captured the horse and rider gallop in the direction of the goal posts. They dance, spin, and twirl around their opposing defender while they progress toward the goal. The clouds in the sky threatening rain and the chatter of the spectators do not distract from the lovely dance of man and beast on the field.

The dance resembling the foxtrot ensues as the two players and their horses move precisely back and forth across the field. The number 1 player is seeking the scoring window, and the number 3 player is seeking the opportunity to steal the ball. The 6 to 8-minute chukka speeds by remarkably fast. The next six team members come onto the field to play the next chukka.

Much like dancing this is a sport for all ages, men, women, and children. Originally conceived in England and further developed in Australia to teach people to ride horses. Additionally, this is a great sport to exercise both rider and horse.

On this particular Sunday afternoon in late May among the longleaf pines, the skilled polocrosse players demonstrate their talents and passion for the sport. Several of these players have qualified to represent the United States in the world championships in Australia early next year.

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