Down to the Wire races to deliver the latest Equine and Equestrian news to Counter-Canter Culture
This month, Claudia is out riding the long trail home to Florida where she grew up. Until she settles down in her new paddock, new columns from her are temporarily out to pasture. In the meantime, enjoy these timely and timeless highlights from past stories.
Today, discover Horse-Ball or Horse Quidditch, as CNN dubbed it. This rising star of equestrian disciplines begins its exhibition tournament at the 2014 World Equestrian Games tomorrow.
“Horse Quidditch.” That is what CNN calls horseball in a story dated May 30th called ‘Horse quidditch’ seeks place in Olympics.
Actually a very adult game developed in France in the 70’s, horseball is played in teams of 6 with 4 horses per side at any time during a 20 minute game. It’s often described as a combination of rugby and basketball on horseback. Although the French have dominated horseball for decades there are now 18 countries involved in the sport and they hope to showcase it with a demonstration this August at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
The sport is rigorous and can be rough looking to spectators. According to CNN, “‘It looks a little bit violent, but it isn’t,’ says Frederico Cannas, the sport’s president, who began playing as a teenager in his native Portugal.
‘The horses are very well-prepared and there are rules to protect both the horse and the rider. It’s intensive, but it’s safe.’
As UK horseball pioneer Jim Copeland puts it: ‘People have a go at you, that you ‘shouldn’t be doing that with an animal,’ but we only have one horse — so we want to end up with it at the end of the game, in the condition it started in.’”
Horseball is unique in equestrian games as it is truly a team sport and men and women compete together on the same teams. Its fans hope that in 5 to 10 years it will be one of biggest equestrian sports.
See if you agree and read full story here.
To get an idea of the sport yourself, watch this video from FIHB the Federation Internationale Horse-Ball