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Junior plays polo with ponies

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Junior plays polo with ponies

McKenzie Dingman, Reporter

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Junior, Cassidy Allison, is an up and coming member of the pony polo world. Moving to her new barn on Spring Road in Carlisle sparked an interest in pony polo for Allison; the new barn needed someone to play and Allison’s willingness to learn made her the perfect candidate.

Pony polo is a combination of control, horsepower and athleticism, and is one of the oldest team sports. While on horseback, riding at speeds up to 35 mph, bamboo mallets are used to drive a ball through the opposing team’s goal posts. After four to six periods, also known as chukkers, the team with highest amount of points wins.

Most players have favorite horses to play with, and Allison’s is Mojito, an Argentine Polo Pony. Allison said, “We just clicked due to rough riding and I’ve been riding Mojito for close to four months.” Only a month and a half after Allison met Mojito, they were competing together in polo pony competitions.

Many hours in practice and preparation are involved when playing polo. Allison said, “I practice between one to two hours every day, depending on how many horses I have to work each day.” Different practices are used to prepare such as ponying and stick and ball.

Allison competes at the Lancaster Polo Club where a membership is required. Allison said she looks up to Phillip Miles because, “He built his way up in the polo community.” She said, “ Phillip Miles is the owner of Destiny Stable and has been playing polo for eleven years in Lancaster and Vero Beach, Florida.”

Allison said, “It was hard starting out. I wasn’t used to riding with one hand and holding a mallet with the other. It took a lot of hand eye coordination.” With the potential of earning scholarships due to playing, Allison plans to continue playing polo through high school and even after high school.

Allison said, “Pony polo is like aggressive field hockey on horseback. There are a lot of rules to keep riders and horses safe.” A tip for future polo pony riders is, “Do not rush, and to make sure your balance is good,” Allison said.

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