FIP Xl Polo World Championship Sydney 18-29 October 2017
Friday at FIP XI is Rodeo Day for the families
by Peter Hunter
On Friday there were showjumping and Sheepherding Trials followed by a 5 pm Rodeo for families, with a special entrance fee of $10 head. Several hundred spectators turned up to see Australia's best male and female riders compete in demonstrations of Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc, Bareback and Ladies Barrel Racing.
it was a great spectacle as the untamed bulls exploded out of their corrals with a cowboy hanging on and riding for dear life. Those of you who have ridden an electric Bull at a fair know how difficult and dangerous this is, with the Bull jumping, twisting and turning trying to get his mount onto the ground. Once he is thrown off there are 2 wranglers there to distract the bull out of the arena, whilst the rider scrambles to safety, hopefully only bruised by his tumble.
The England Team and Nick Parker, patron, watched from the wings and revealed they had changed their line up for Super Saturday, bringing in Ed Banner Eve in place of Josh Cork. Other teams remain unchanged, but India for instance has changed the way it lines up: see below for the official line ups for Saturday 28 Oct:
HOW THE DRAW WORKS
Two zones of 4 teams mean that each Country plays against the other 3 teams in its zone.
All 8 Teams play on Super Saturday and this leads to the 4 league winners playing in 2 finals on Sunday 29th October. You can lose a game and still get to the finals, possibly on goal difference.
I sat with Jane Makim ( elder daughter of the late Major Ronald Ferguson 5 goals) and she cast her expert eye over some of the 250 ponies brought in from as far as Perth in Western Australia and Queensland far to the North.
She recognised many of the ponies from Ellerston, Garangula and the generosity of the owners in lending their horses for free.
I was also lucky to meet the legendary Ronnie Wanless, now 76, generous lender ( like many others) of 9 great ponies to the Chilean Team . His career has been interesting having started off racing saloon sports cars and also setting the drag racing record for all Australia in the 70s. He then aged 50 took up polo and has successfully bred some outstanding ponies.