In the wake of the highly successful 2011 Polocrosse World Cup there is now a permanent UK Polocrosse club at Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre, just south of Rugby in Warwickshire. The club has been established by Phillip Baker, the owner of Onley Grounds, and the UKPA as there is a high demand for a polocrosse club in that area.
The Rugby Polocrosse Club fits in well next to the Rugby Polo club, which is already run from the venue, and means that new people to the sport can try out the game on experienced horses and with coaches on hand to help them.
Phillip Baker, who is chairman of the new club, said “We started running fun polocrosse chukkas for a group of parents over 12 months ago. The parents were sat on the side lines watching their children play and wanted to have a go themselves and, as we had the polo ponies here, it was a logical step. We got involved with polocrosse through the UK Polocrosse Association holding their National Championships here and then the Polocrosse World Cup last summer and I personally really loved watching it and enjoyed the atmosphere of it. I think polocrosse has a very strong future in the UK in general and so we have committed quite a lot of expenditure to infrastructure for the sport here at Onley.”
Club Secretary Simon Paynter added, “As a new club with many members new to polocrosse, we have concentrated on constructional chukkas and coaching sessions in our all weather arena. The ability to hire horses has certainly helped to get our new members playing. Looking ahead to the outdoor season many of our members will be looking forward to playing at their first ever tournaments.”
Iain Heaton, the UKPA’s CEO, said “We are delighted to have another new polocrosse club established in the UK and this one is particularly exciting as the way it is structured alongside Phil’s highly successful polo club means that there is a now a large polocrosse centre with schoolmaster horses for people to try the game on. This is something we have been trying to develop over the last few years and hopefully we will see more centres of this nature going forwards.”
Polocrosse is easier to describe as lacrosse on horseback and it is one of the fastest paced and visually exciting equestrian sports there is.
For more information on the sport of polocrosse and the event visit www.polocrosse.org.uk