Shooting Polocrosse

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Laurie Olmstead, Photographer / Writer

This past summer I was invited out to watch a polocrosse game and take some photos. I am an avid horseman myself, having over 30 years of experience riding, teaching, training, and breeding, and my farrier, who was taking lessons to improve her game, invited me to watch a tournament.

Polocrosse is a fascinating sport, invented and developed in Australia and now enjoyed by players worldwide. Full of dynamic power, incredible speed and daunting prowess by both the riders and their horses, it is a cross between the sports of polo and lacrosse. It is not a sport for the faint of heart, and the hours of practice and conditioning necessary to develop the skill to compete at the highest level is clearly evident in the best teams on the field. For the avid photographer who enjoys taking action shots to capture those moments in time that almost defy reality, it provides an extreme and exhilarating opportunity to enjoy yourself and practice your craft at the same time.

The games were so chock full of danger, excitement, and speed that I quickly felt so engrossed in the passion of photographing those incredible moments that I forgot the time and found myself flitting to and fro like an obsessed butterfly in a field of tulips in Holland!

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Photo by Laurie Olmstead

I was surrounded by nearly continuous instances showcasing the heartwarming, indescribable bond between the individual riders and their horses. Add to that the incredible teamwork and strong bond between the riders on each team, and the camaraderie and sportsmanship evident even between opposing teams, several who were visiting from other countries, and it was a recipe for inspiration.

Only later did I realize I was burnt to a lobster-red crisp by the sun at high altitude here in Colorado. If you have never watched a game of polocrosse, I strongly suggest you check it out and try and find a tournament being held near you. It is an incredibly fun game to watch and shoot!

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