Letters

Letters 08-25-14

Save America

I read your paper because it’s free and I enjoy the ads. But I struggle through the left wing tripe that fills every page, from political cartoons to the vitriolic pen of Mr. Tuttle. What a shame this beautiful area of the state has such an abundance of Socialist/democrats. Or perhaps the silent majority chooses to stay silent...

Doom, Yet a Cup Half Full

In the news we are told of the civil unrest at Ferguson, Mo; ISIS war radicals in Iraq and Syria; the great corporate tax heist at home. You name it. Trouble, trouble, everywhere. It seems to me the U.S. Congress is partially to blame...

Uncomfortable Questions

defending the positions of the Israelis vs Hamas are far too narrow. Even Mr. Tuttle seems to have failed in looking deeply into the divide. American media is not biased against Israel, nor or are they pro Palestine or Hamas...

The Evolution of Man Revisited

As the expectations of manhood evolve, so too do the rules of love. In Mr. Holmes’s statement [from “Our Therapist Will See Us Now” in last week’s issue] he narrows the key to a successful relationship to the basic need to have your wants and needs understood, and it is on this point I expand...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Hockey on horseback
. . . .

Hockey on horseback

Kelsey Lauer - July 27th, 2009
Hockey on Horseback
Second annual polo match wraps up the Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian
Festival

By Kelsey Lauer 7/27/09

Hockey is a familiar sport, particularly in Northern Michigan; but what
about hockey on horseback?
“(Polo) is very similar to hockey,” says Horse Shows by the Bay co-founder
Alex Rheinheimer. “The game principles are the same, in the respect that
opponents are whacking a ball with a stick. Horses and riders check one
another. It’s very exciting; it’s fast-paced; it’s an aggressive sport.”
A little of that polo match excitement will be returning to the Traverse
City area, as the four-week Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival
offers its second annual Polo by the Bay Exhibition and Match in
Williamsburg on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. The event is open to the public.
“We were approached by the University of Michigan polo club in the spring
(of ’08) and we thought that since we feature all things equestrian it
would be a great addition to our festival,” Rheinheimer says. “Since we
had such a great turnout, we thought it would be great to do it again.”

POLO IN A NUTSHELL
One of the world’s oldest team sports, polo originated as a cavalry
training game. The object of the game is to use a wooden mallet to hit a
plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal.
Games are divided into periods of seven minutes, known as chukkers, and
riders usually switch mounts after every chukker.
Traditionally, polo is played outdoors on a large grassy surface measuring
160 by 300 yards—the length of three football fields, according to the
United States Polo Association.
Four players form each team, and the ball measures three to three and a
half inches in diameter. A game lasts for six chukkers.
Arena polo—which is the format of the Polo by the Bay Exhibition—takes
place on a regulation size 300 by 150 foot dirt surface, usually enclosed
by walls of at least four feet in height, according to the United States
Polo Association. It may be played indoors or outdoors, something that
allows for play at any time of the year.
Teams consist of three members; the game lasts for only four chukkers,
requiring riders to bring a smaller number of mounts. The ball is similar
to a mini soccer ball, softer than the hard plastic ball used in outdoor
polo.

THE TEAMS
Co-ed teams of three riders each will compete, wearing jerseys with the
logos and colors of the two sponsors, Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel and Team
Elmer’s.
“Horse Shows by the Bay has really helped our area by bringing new people
to the area and we like to support events that help our community like
that,” says Tonya Wildfong of Team Elmer’s. “It’s something new. We have
so many wonderful things to enjoy in our area, but you don’t necessarily
get to see a polo match.”
Because achieving even basic proficiency in playing polo can take as long
as three or four years, specially-trained horses and riders from the
Meadowview Farm Polo Club in Grand Rapids will travel up for the event.
Rheinheimer, who has been attending polo events since she was a child,
says that there’s an especially fun atmosphere at a polo match.
“There’s that ‘Pretty Woman’ experience that goes along with (polo), where
you want to dress up,” Rheinheimer says. “You can really get into the
social setting that polo provides.
“As a child, I used to attend the tournaments that took place at the Polo
Club in Potomac, Maryland. I grew up as a spectator and have always
enjoyed it.”
In recognition of the traditional polo match splendor, Horse Shows by the
Bay puts on a hat contest along with the polo match. Throughout the match,
judges will stroll through the crowd and evaluate spectators’ hats.
Categories include “most over the top,” “best team spirit” for both teams
and “silliest hats” as a children’s category. A $400
cash prize will be split among the winners of each category.

Tickets are $10 for general all-day admission and $25 for a reserved seat
in the Special Events tent. A special VIP ticket priced at $75 includes a
pre-match luncheon benefiting the Munson Hospital Foundation. To purchase
tickets and for more info, visit www.horseshowsbythebay.com or call
231.267.3700.


 
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