Cowboy polo is a variation of polo played mostly in the western United States. Like regular polo, it is played in chukkas (periods) with two teams on horses who use mallets to hit a ball through a goal. It differs from traditional polo in that five riders make up a team instead of four, western saddles and equipment are used, and the playing field is usually a simple rodeo arena or other enclosed dirt area, indoors or out. Also, instead of the small ball used in traditional polo, the players use a large red rubber medicine ball and use mallets with long fiberglass shafts and hard rubber heads.
The horse breed most often used for cowboy polo is the American Quarter Horse, due to its agility. Unlike regular polo, where multiple horses are used within a single game, riders do not change horses between chukkas, but instead are only allowed two horses, and in some competitions are required to ride one horse throughout. This ability to compete with relatively few animals has given the sport its nickname, the "average man's" sport. Horses competing in cowboy polo are often older, experienced animals with steady dispositions who have come to understand the basic purpose of the game and can assist their riders.
Cowboy polo originated in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, in 1952, where it was called Palmetto Polo. The name came from the mallet handles, which were made out of palm. It was renamed "cowboy polo" in 1959. As it came west, it was connected almost entirely to the membership of sheriff's posses, groups primarily dedicated to mounted search and rescue, consisting of deputized law enforcement volunteers. While participation was once limited to men only, women were admitted to the sport in the mid-1990s. It reached its peak of popularity during the 1970s, with clubs from Texas to Montana, as well as clubs in Australia. However, since then, cowboy polo has been in decline, with the national organization disbanding in 2005. Today, the sport is almost exclusively played in Montana. Even in Montana, where there were once 30 clubs, there are now only five.
Teams consist of five players, with two horseback referees and two goal spotters. Riders are limited to two horses per game, though most players use one horse throughout. The game is played in four periods of 15 minutes each, called, as in regular polo, "chukkas." There are mandatory four-minute rest periods at the end of each chukka and a nine-minute break at half time. Each team is allowed four two-minute time outs during the game. Teams switch ends at each chukka.
The field is divided widthwise into four 50 feet (15 m) sections or zones, and one center zone of 60 feet (18 m). Each team has one player assigned to each zone with the goal of hitting the ball toward the opponents' goal. If a player crosses into another zone, the team loses control of the ball to the other team. The goal areas are each 20 feet (6.1 m) and located at each end of the arena. The arena is generally 120 feet (37 m) wide.
A goal made from the first zone is worth one point. Goals made from the second zone from the goal, without being touched by either player in the first zone is worth two points. An untouched goal from the center zone counts for three points. Balls knocked out of the field are returned to the spot where the ball exited the field and the opposing team takes control of the ball.
Unruly or disobedient horses may be asked to leave the field, as will players who endanger other players unnecessarily. Equipment failure during the game that presents a danger to a player or horse results in a safety time out called by the referee.
Safety is of paramount importance. There are 32 rules of play, including 11 types of personal fouls, including “reaching across an opposing player’s horse,” or “riding into and hitting an opposing player’s horse in front or back of the saddle with his/her horse’s front quarters, at greater than a 45-degree angle.”
The ball for cowboy polo is a red rubber medicine ball. The polo mallet has a maximum length of 60 inches (150 cm). It was traditionally made of cane but can be made of fiberglass. Saddles must be American western saddles or Australian stock saddles. Participants are strongly encouraged to have their horses wear polo bandages or splint boots. Use of a breast collar is optional. There are no specific rules for horse headgear, as long as the equipment is humane. Tie-downs are allowed, but officials may require the removal of any piece of equipment liable to cause discomfort to the horse.
For riders, hats or headgear is required. Most riders now wear some form of equestrian helmet or other protective headgear, such as a cricket helmet with a face guard. However, Western or Australian style felt hats may be worn. Extra protective clothing such as knee and shin guards, is optional, though they must not be hard or sharp edged to prevent injury to your opponent or his/her horse. Riders also must wear jeans, riding boots and a shirt in the specified club color.
Ban'ei (ばんえい競走) "pull play" is a form of Japanese horse racing in which draft horses pull heavy sleds up sand ramps, urged-on by jockeys balancing on the sleds. The horses used in the races are often either purebred or crosses of Percheron, Breton, and Belgian breeds.As the popularity of the races has waned in recent years, regular ban'ei races are only held at the Obihiro, Hokkaido racecourse.Carriage driving
Carriage driving is a form of competitive horse driving in harness in which larger two or four wheeled carriages (often restored antiques) are pulled by a single horse, a pair, tandem or a four-in-hand team.
In competitions the driver and horse(s) have to complete three tests including Dressage, Marathon and Obstacle Driving. The International Federation for Equestrian Sports oversees International Shows. The FEI Driving rules are followed in these competitions which aim to protect the welfare of the horse and also ensure fairness in competitions.Pleasure competitions also have classes which are judged on the turnout, neatness or suitability of the horse(s) and carriage.English riding
English riding is a form of horse riding seen throughout the world. The term is a mis-leading portmanteau because many equestrian countries like Germany, France, Italy or Spain have used the same style of riding, with variations, for centuries. There are many variations, but all feature a flat English saddle without the deep seat, high cantle or saddle horn seen on a Western saddle nor the knee pads seen on an Australian Stock Saddle. Saddles within the various so-called English disciplines are all designed to allow the horse the freedom to move in the optimal manner for a given task, ranging from classical dressage to horse racing. English bridles also vary in style based on discipline, but most feature some type of cavesson noseband as well as closed reins, buckled together at the ends, that prevents them from dropping on the ground if a rider becomes unseated. Clothing for riders in competition is usually based on traditional needs from which a specific style of riding developed, but most standards require, as a minimum, boots; breeches or jodhpurs; a shirt with some form of tie or stock; a hat, cap, or equestrian helmet; and a jacket.
English riding is an equestrian discipline with many different styles, however, at the most basic level, most versions require riders to use both hands on the reins, rather than just one hand, as is seen in western riding. Riders generally "post" or "rise" to the trot (rising and sitting in rhythm with each stride). The "posting trot" is used most often in a working or extended trot, although there are also times when English riders may sit the trot; the "sitting trot" is most often used to ride collected forms of the trot seen in dressage, show hack and hunt seat equitation competition. The posting trot was an English invention which did not take on in other countries until the 19th century. It is said that Napoleon's campaigns from Russia to Spain were all done at a sitting trot.Equestrian at the Summer Paralympics
Paralympic equestrian competition is a Para-equestrian event that consists of dressage. It has been part of the Summer Paralympic Games since 1996.Equestrianism
Equestrianism (from Latin equester, equestr-, equus, horseman, horse), more often known as horse riding (British English) or horseback riding (American English), refers to the skill and sport of riding, driving, steeplechasing or vaulting with horses. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport.Equine agility
Equine agility or horse agility is a sport similar to dog agility but using horses. Horses are asked to navigate an obstacle course with guidance from a human handler on the ground. At lower levels, the horse may be guided with a lead rope but at higher levels the horse works without a lead and in some cases, without a halter. There also are competition levels where horses compete in the "wild" — outside of an enclosed arena, and competitions where horses are not judged live but rather via video sent in by their handlers. Any equine of any size may compete in agility, including miniature horses, donkeys, mules and draft horses.In live competition, handlers are required to wear an equestrian helmet and cannot use whips or sticks. The horse is only allowed, at most, to wear a halter, lead rope and may wear leg protection such as splint boots. The lead rope must be loose and the handler cannot pull on it but must remain within a designated position with their horse. Competition usually consists of a course of eight or more obstacles. Examples of obstacles may include tunnels, jumps, a seesaw, passing through a curtain, weaving between poles or cones, passing through or over poles, branches, gates, hoops, water, or tarps; entering a trailer; rolling a ball, backing between two poles, stepping onto an object, standing still, carrying a light load, crossing a bridge, navigating a small maze or labyrinth, crossing over an A-frame, and so on. Courses are often timed, particularly at higher levels.Kī-o-rahi
Kī-o-rahi is a ball sport played in New Zealand with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball and touch. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target. The game is played with varying rules (e.g. number of people, size of field, tag ripping rules etc.) depending on the geographic area it is played in. A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.
In 2005 kī-o-rahi was chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools.
The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.The New Zealand kī-o-rahi representative organisation, Kī-o-Rahi Akotanga Iho, formed with men's and women's national teams, completed a 14 match tour of Europe in September and October 2010. The men's team included 22-test All Black veteran Wayne Shelford who led the team to a 57–10 test win against Kī-o-Rahi Dieppe Organisation, the French Kī-o-Rahi federation.
Shelford's kī-o-rahi test jersey made him the first kī-o-rahi/rugby double international for NZ. The women's team coached by Andrea Cameron (Head of PE at Tikipunga High School) also won by 33–0. These were the first historic test matches between NZ and France.List of equestrian sports
Equestrian Sports are sports that use horses as a main part of the sport. This usually takes the form of the rider being on the horse's back, or the horses pulling some sort of horse-drawn vehicle.List of sports
The following is a list of sports/games, divided by category.
According to the World Sports Encyclopedia (2003), there are 8,000 indigenous sports and sporting games.Para-equestrian
Para-equestrian is an equestrian sport governed by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), and includes two competitive events: One is para-equestrian dressage, which is conducted under the same basic rules as conventional dressage, but with riders divided into different competition grades based on their functional abilities. The other is para-equestrian driving, which operates under the same basic rules as combined driving but places competitors in various grades based on their functional abilities.Paul W. Barry
Paul W. Barry, a.k.a. Uncle Bill, was an American polo player.Polo
Polo is a horseback mounted team sport. It is one of the world's oldest known team sports.Polo was first played in Persia (Iran) at dates given from the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD. Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king’s guard or other elite troops. From there it spread to entire Persia and beyond. It is now popular around the world, with well over 100 member countries in the Federation of International Polo. It is played professionally in 16 countries. It was an Olympic sport from 1900 to 1936.
It is known as the sport of kings. It has become a spectator sport for equestrians and society, often supported by sponsorship.
The game is played by two opposing teams with the objective of scoring goals by using a long-handled wooden mallet to hit a small hard ball through the opposing team's goal. Each team has four mounted riders, and the game usually lasts one to two hours, divided into periods called chukkas (or "chukkers").
Arena polo has similar rules, and is played with three players per team. The playing area is smaller, enclosed, and usually of compacted sand or fine aggregate, often indoors. Arena polo has more maneuvering due to space limitations, and uses an air inflated ball, slightly larger than the hard field polo ball. Standard mallets are used, though slightly larger head arena mallets are an option.Portuguese School of Equestrian Art
The Escola Portuguesa de Arte Equestre (Portuguese School of Equestrian Art) is a Portuguese institution dedicated to the preservation of the equestrian arts, in the Portuguese tradition. It is one of the "Big Four", the most prestigious classical riding academies in the world.Potato race
A potato race may refer to several similar racing events where contestants compete to collect a number of potatoes as quickly as possible. Participants may be mounted on horseback or running on foot, depending on the style of race. Potato races of both types were most popular at community events such as county fairs, rodeos, picnics, and track and field meets from the middle of the 19th century until approximately the 1930s.
Mounted events were held in many locations across America, but were particularly prevalent in the American Southwest. Individual mounted events usually consisted of individuals competing to be the fastest at collecting potatoes along a structured course. Team-based events had no defined course, and were notable for their violence. Players were permitted almost every possible tactic for interfering with the opposing team, including dragging other riders off their horses.
Potato races, both on-foot and mounted, are occasionally still held at local gatherings or riding competitions today, although the violent mounted version has died out.Quidditch (sport)
Quidditch is a sport of two teams of seven players each mounted on broomsticks played on a hockey rink-sized pitch. It is based on a fictional game of the same name invented by author J. K. Rowling, which is featured in the Harry Potter series of novels and related media. The game is also sometimes referred to as muggle quidditch to distinguish it from the fictional game, which involves magical elements such as flying broomsticks and enchanted balls. In the Harry Potter universe, a "muggle" is a person without the power to use magic.
The pitch is rectangular with rounded corners 55 meters (60 yards) by 33 meters (36 yards) with three hoops of varying heights at either end. The sport was created in 2005 and is therefore still quite young. However, quidditch is played around the world and actively growing. The ultimate goal is to have more points than the other team by the time the snitch, a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow, is caught. Rules of the sport are governed by the International Quidditch Association, or the IQA, and events are sanctioned by either the IQA or that nation's governing body.
To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball, into one of three of the opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points. To impede the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing chasers and keepers at the same time as beaters using their bludgers—dodgeballs—to take out opposing players. Once a player is hit by an opposing bludger, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball being held, and return to and touch their hoops before being allowed back into play. The game is ended once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, awarding that team 30 points.A team consists of minimum seven (maximum 21) players, of which six are always on the pitch, those being the three chasers, one keeper, and two beaters. Besides the seeker who is off-pitch, the six players are required to abide by the gender rule, which states that a team may have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender, making quidditch one of the few sports that not only offers a co-ed environment but an open community to those who do not identify with the gender binary. Matches or games often run about 30 to 40 minutes but tend to be subject to varying lengths of time due to the unpredictable nature of the snitch catch. If the score at the end of the match including the 30 point snitch catch is tied (such that the team that caught the snitch was 30 points behind the other), the game moves to overtime where the snitch is constrained to the pitch's dimensions and the game ends after five minutes or when the snitch is legally caught.Scurry driving
Scurry driving is a fast-paced equestrian sport in which a pair of ponies pull a carriage around a course of cones in an attempt to get the fastest time. The full name of the sport is Double Harness Scurry Driving.Shadbelly
A shadbelly (North American English) is a type of riding coat worn in certain equestrian situations by fox hunting members, dressage riders, eventers (in the dressage phase of the higher levels), and occasionally by other hunt seat riders. Shadbellies are also standard attire for the show hack classes at certain breed shows in the United States and Canada.
This coat is considered an element of very formal riding attire, and its use is therefore reserved for the most formal forms of equestrianism. When used in the classic hunt, they should not be worn by youth riders, despite any trend or availability.
|FEI disciplines, Olympic|
|FEI disciplines, non-Olympic|
|Games with horses|
|Working stock sports|
|Horse show and|
|Stick and ball sports|