LILYFONTEIN Grade 12 pupil, Tara Rutherford, has been selected as a reserve for the U21 national polocrosse team set to compete against Ireland at the end of the month.
Rutherford, who started horse riding when she was two years old, has been playing polocrosse since she was in Grade 4. She is one of 24 members at the East London Polocrosse Club.
Coming from a family of polocrosse enthusiasts, Rutherford’s parents have both played polocrosse internationally, with her dad also being an international umpire.
“Polocrosse is basically like lacrosse, but on a horse. There are four members in a team and you have to work with your horse, while focusing on the stick work as well, so it can get tricky at times.”
After playing in a series of tournaments, Rutherford’s skills in each of the three polocrosse positions on the field bagged her a spot as a reserve on the U21 side.
Rutherford was one of three players chosen from the Eastern Cape. Joining her are Tayla Mansfield and Brian Cooper from Port Elizabeth.
“I’m excited, but I’m going to be playing out of my age group so I’m a bit nervous too.”
The week long tournament, starting on March 30, will see the players train and ride with different horses.
“The Irish team can’t bring their horses here to South Africa, so we will not be able to ride our own.“It makes it difficult because we have a limited amount of time to learn how to work with the horses,” Rutherford said.