A team sport played on horseback, the objective of polo is to
score goals against an opposing team. A score is made by swatting a small white plastic or wood ball with
a long-handled mallet, into the opposing teams' goal. The sport is played at speed on a grass field up to
three hundred yards in length. Each team consists of four players and their four mounts; however arena
polo only requires three members and is a slightly more athletic and gymnastic version with more
maneuvering and shorter plays. Horses are changes between periods, or chukkers, due to intensity and
speed. The rules are specifically designed to protect both horse and rider during play, including a rule
which states that no player can be left handed. Price William, the Duke of Cambridge, recently won a
charity game of Polo while on his honeymoon with Cate, Duchess of Cambridge.
2. Harness Racing
Harness racing is a race in which the
horse runs at a specific gait while usually pulling a two-wheeled cart called a sulky. They run at either
trotting or pacing; pacing constitutes 80-90% of the harness races conducted in North America. Race start most
commonly from behind a motorized starting gate, where the horses line up and are lead forward to the starting
line. The sulky, the two-wheeled cart used, is equipped with bicycle wheels and the driver carries a light whip
used for signaling the horse. Whip usage is strictly controlled and some venues, such as races in Norway,
forbid their use.
A working still turned competition, rodeo has
become a competitive sport based on the working practices of cattle herding. The competitions are based on the
skills necessary to do ranch work. These competitions are designed to test the skills and speed of the cowpokes
that participate. A rodeo generally includes tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc
riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding, and barrel racing, and are divided into either rough stock or timed
4. Tent Pegging
Tent pegging is an ancient calvary sport
that refers to a mounted game with ground targets which involves using weapons on horseback. It is also one of
the equestrian skill at arms games. A mounted horseman will ride at a gallop, during a game of tent pegging,
and use a sword or lance to pierce, pick up and carry a small ground target or series of ground targets. Ring
jousting, in which a rider passes the point of his weapon through a ring, lemon sticking, where a rider tries
to stab or slice a lemon, quintain tilting and mounted archery are all various forms of tent pegging that may
be seen at a competition.
5. Show Jumping
Also known as stadium jumping, opening
jumping and jumpers, show jumping is part of the English riding equestrian family which also includes dressage,
hunting, equitation, and eventing. Jumpers are held over a course of obstacles that includes verticals,
spreads, double and triple combinations, with many turns and changes in direction. The goal is to jump over a
set course within the time given without knocking anything down or suffering a refusal.
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