Horsing around

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polocrosse
Polocrosse runs in Katie Martin’s family. Interview: Frank Leggett; Photography: Renee Taylor, Ryella Photography

Polocrosse runs in the blood of Katie Martin VN of Moe Veterinary Centre in Victoria, which may have helped her selection in the Victorian Senior Women’s Team.

“I really had no choice but to play polocrosse. Both my grandfathers played, my father and mother both played, my older brother and his wife play, my husband Jared plays, and my two younger sisters have also played. The game runs in my family’s bloodstream. I started playing at the age of 12, however, there is a sub-junior level which covers ages ranging from around eight to 12.

“Most people don’t realise that polocrosse was developed in Australia in the 1930s. It’s now played all around the world including Ireland, the USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

“At present, I’m in the Victorian Senior Women’s Team and we competed in the bi-annual Australian Polocrosse Nationals in Ballarat this year. I’ve also competed in several national competitions for Victoria, the most recent being Albury in 2016 and Darwin in 2014. After Darwin I was selected in the Australian Women’s Squad. Unfortunately, I haven’t been selected to play for Australia—it’s extremely highly contested and they only choose four of the top women in Australia.

“Polocrosse is similar to lacrosse on horses. The field is large and divided into thirds. The object of the game is to pass the ball down to the shooter who then scores a goal. The other team defend and do everything in their power to stop your team from scoring. Most games are four by six-minute chukkas.

“It’s a fast and skilful game that relies heavily on the ability of your horse. I’ve had a couple of falls and a few concussions but no major injuries. When playing polocrosse at a higher level, the game flows nicely as every player is very experienced.

“There’s a great social aspect to the game and I met my husband through polocrosse. We often pack up the kids and head away for a weekend of polocrosse. There are no restrictions on men and women playing together at normal competition level so my husband and I are often on the same team. A lot of other players also have family so we all camp together and have a wonderful time. 

“Having grown up with horses, polocrosse is something I’ve always been very passionate about. I love being part of a team and all the camaraderie that goes with that. While it’s exciting to play at a high level, the best thing about the game is that I can do it with my family. It’s just great fun.”

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