Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Polocrosse

I posted earlier about Polocrosse - an early variation on polo which is, as its name suggests, a cross between lacrosse and polo.  I didn't go to a lacrosse school so my only exposure to the game was reading about it in Enid Blyton's school stories, where it took on a sort of mystical fascination as some daring and glamorous game.  Had I actually come across lacrosse I would probably have run a mile (or at least hidden in the changing rooms) - I was never keen on thundering around a field unless it was on a horse.

Polocrosse was started in the UK at the National Equitation Centre in Roehampton:  it's been played since the early 1930s.  I recently found an article in Riding Magazine, December 1936 by "AP" describing the game as "intended to amuse children and give them confidence handling their ponies," which the riders in the clip below certainly have.  It's a British Pathé clip of polocrosse in 1940.

POLO CROSSE (issue title - SAFE AND SOUND)



Does anyone have any idea at all about where this game was played?  British Pathé have no note of the location, so I have no idea whether it's Roehampton.  Might it be Richmond?  

Polocrosse is still going strong.  The World Cup will be played in England 8th-17th July 2011 at the Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre near Rugby.  I actually drove past the ground recently (goodness, it's smart) and made a mental note of it as somewhere worth exploring, and here is my chance to see England play, and of course the holders Australia.  Here's a clip of Australia playing the USA:



Many thanks to Jane Venworth for telling me about the Polocrosse World Cup and sending me the links.

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