Letters

Letters 07-28-14

Worry About Legals

I can’t figure out what perplexes me more, the misinformation everywhere in the media or those who believe it to be true. Take the Hobby Lobby case; as a company that is primarily owned by a religious family, they felt their First Amendment rights were infringed upon by the “Affordable” Care Act...

Stop Labeling and Enjoy

I have been struggling to find a simple way of understanding for myself the concepts of conservative, liberal, and moderation as it relates to our social interactions with each other...

Proposal One & The Public Good

Are you kidding me? Another corporate giveaway with loopholes for large corporations who rule us? Hasn’t our corrupt and worthless governor done enough to raise taxes, provide corporate welfare, unjustly tax pensions, and shut down elected officials with his emergency manager racket...

The Truth About Road Workers

Apparently Mr. Kachadurian did not catch on to the fact that the MDOT Employee Memorial in Clare is a tribute to highway workers who lost their lives building our transportation systems. It was paid for by current and former MDOT employees who likely knew some of these people personally...

Idiotic and Misguided

As a seasonal resident, I always look forward to reading your paper, if only because of the idiotic letters to the editor and off the wall columns...


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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