Horseback riders of all ages can play polocrosse, a sport invented in Australia in the 1930s. Think of the sport as a cross between polo and lacrosse, with players on horseback carrying rackets that resemble lacrosse sticks, scooping up the ball and passing it to their teammates – all while riding a horse. Sun photographer Karl Merton Ferron has more details.
“Polocrosse”? With a puzzled expression, I asked Baltimore Sun assignment editor Jeff Bill to repeat the word again, as he handed me the photo request to drive to southern Maryland.
I took some time just observing practice to understand the game and its strategy in order to photograph it better. When told the team would be in their uniforms the following week, I suggested we return to capture the players wearing something other than T-shirts.
The time slot was free the following week when the team met to practice, which helped me target better images. While I enjoy shooting backlit scenes, sometimes it’s better to have the setting sun behind a shoulder when covering equestrian events. The horses glisten as their coats become drenched with perspiration, which accentuates their muscular build.
A certain level of discomfort is understandable while among seven horses, especially when lying in the field with a fisheye lens. Imagine the startling sound of hooves from behind, only to see three more horses completely encircled you. Polocrosse is truly a unique sport to photograph.