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Havin' a ball
July 26, 2014 6:01 AM   Subscribe

The 2014 edition of the quadrennial FEI World Equestrian Games will be taking place next month in Normandy, France. In addition to the game's 8 medal disciplines, there will be two demonstration sports. You're probably familiar with polo. But have you ever heard of horse-ball?

Horse-ball is related to a number of mounted team sports, including polo, the Central Asian buzkashi-type games, and Argentinean pato. It resembles the unmounted sports of basketball and rugby. Modern horse-ball got its start in France and currently 18 nations compete at the international level.

"But," you say, "can I make a pony request?" Granted!
posted by drlith (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
replace the ball with a dead goat or GTFO
posted by JPD at 6:53 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Wish I'd had this when I was failing at riding in the early 80s, because the idea of wild-eyed eight year olds playing netball on evil bitey Shetlands really appeals. As long as the horses are OK with it, it seems like a good sport.

Inevitably, in an Alan Partridge voice - "HORSEBAALLLLL!"
posted by ewok and chips at 6:56 AM on July 26


They practice by playing a one-on-one game made up of shooting difficult shots from different parts of the arena. If you missed the shot, you are given one letter of a five letter word, and the first person to spell the whole word loses. This game is called HUMAN.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:19 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


My pony and I would have loved this game!
posted by AllieTessKipp at 8:25 AM on July 26


Those -- are very very very good horses. I mean, yeah, the riders are good too, whatever, humans are great at coming up with all kinds of crazy competitive shit and learning to do it well, but imagine the degree of no-goddamned-sense-WHATSOEVER-making that this entire enterprise would have for horses, and yet they do it so well, with such grace and agility and cooperation. GOOD horses.
posted by Kat Allison at 8:28 AM on July 26


Those poor horses. All I can imagine is them thinking "Pass it to ME! I'm wide OPEN!" the entire time.
posted by orme at 8:49 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Horse-Ball? surely this should be called Horse-Quidditch
posted by Lanark at 9:27 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Oh oh. Nobody show this to my middle granddaughter. She and the youngest and I have been playing broom polo with a huge exercise ball (harder to hit, makes the kids trot as they can't go faster and hit it) So far it's me against the kids, but I'm about ready to go two against the middle one.

If she watches this, she's going to want to up the ante. After that, better hide your goats.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:40 PM on July 26


ewok and chips: 'Wish I'd had this when I was failing at riding in the early 80s, because the idea of wild-eyed eight year olds playing netball on evil bitey Shetlands really appeals.'

This seems to be the intended demographic: kids (including boys) who can't afford polo, but want to do something that more closely resembles your average team sport than some of the other equestrian disciplines (not that I'm hating on dressage, jumping, reining etc, but the clue is in the --BALL part).
posted by GeorgeBickham at 11:58 PM on July 26


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