The thunder of galloping hooves will reverberate across the Albury equestrian centre as 200 junior polocrosse players from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa take to the field for a week of training and competition.
Some of Australia’s best young polocrosse stars including local talents Jess Ward, Will Ireland, Emma Piltz and Kasey Henry will take part in three days of coaching ahead of the Australian Polocrosse Junior Classic from April 14 to 16.
Up to 60 coaches will assist young players to develop their horsemanship, learn more about nutrition, ball skills, tactics, rules of the game and player fitness.
Albury Holbrook Polocrosse Club event secretary Elissa Koch said the three-day training started on Tuesday, April 11 with play to commence on Good Friday.
Friday’s competition will include the Silver Stirrup and Bronze Bit women’s division, along with the junior mixed division of the Australian Polocrosse Junior Classic.
Koch said junior games would be played under lights following the presentation of teams.
Play continues on Saturday with the club carnival and under-12 division of the classic while Saturday night will see the conclusion of the Silver Stirrup and Bronze Bit women’s competition.
The carnival concludes on Sunday with the adrenaline-packed finals in all divisions of the junior classic and club games.
Koch said organisers expected approximately 70 teams in total to compete at the event, equating to about 500 horses and players as well as their supporters.
There will be plenty of talent on display from regional clubs including Albury-Holbrook’s Jim Grills, Matt Davison and Abbott Grills.
An action-packed and fast-paced spectator sport, in equestrian terms polocrosse is akin to “rugby on horseback”, according to Koch.
“The best players just have that X-factor but all have good horsemanship skills, good horses and exceptional ball skills,” she said.
Trade sites will operate at the weekend and there is a canteen and bar facilities with entertainment at the conclusion of night games.