Australia last weekend regained its title as ‘Best in the World’ at the Adina 2019 Polocrosse World Cup, defeating current world champions South Africa 34 to 21 in a hard-fought battle at Warwick’s Morgan Park last Sunday 28 April.
Australia entered the Championship Final undefeated, having outplayed Zimbabwe 24 v 11, the USA 29 v 14, Zambia 25 v 8, and NZ 29 v 15.
According to two-time Australian World Cup coach Ross Shepherd, the dominance of the Australian women was a highlight of the game.
“They did it and they did it well,” Ross said.
“The dominance of the Australian women was the highlight of the game and the event – they played perfect polocrosse.”
Ross made special mention of how exceptional the purpose-bred Australian Stock Horses performed at this elite level.
“The success of the Berragoon Stud horses at this event shows how important it is that we continue to breed purpose-bred polocrosse horses,” he said.
“These horses competed incredibly well on the world stage.”
Organisers said with record crowds, the 2019 World Cup was the largest international sporting event ever to be held in rural Australia, according to Marketing and Sponsorship manager Linda Tillman.
Despite being one of Australia’s most underrated – yet thrilling – sports, the crowd numbers at the World Cup Finals on Sunday exceeded those that attended the Cowboys vs Bulldogs NRL game at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday 27 April,” Linda said.
“Taking place in Warwick from 22 to 28 April, the event attracted over 50,000 spectators from all over Australia – the other seven competing countries of USA, UK, Ireland, NZ, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and other countries including Mexico, Canada, Norway and Holland.
“For a town of 15,000 that has been struggling with drought for many years, the flow-on impact of the event for Warwick has been significant.
“It is estimated that the economic impact of the event on the region will exceed $5 million.
“Accommodation was at capacity for the week of the event, and businesses have reported record trading and an electric atmosphere around the central business district due to the international visitors.”
Trade sites at Morgan Park recorded record trading over the week, including rural small business Cannard Hats, which was on the verge of closing due to the struggle of drought.
Chris Cannard said the event injected the necessary cash and confidence he needed to get the business back on track.
“The last six months in business has been tough with the drought,” he said.
“This event has given me the confidence in my hats, and the ability to invest the necessary funds back into the business.
Linda Tillman said the event’s live stream provided those that could not attend with a piece of the action, with 1050 viewers from more than 15 countries – Australia, UK, South Africa, NZ, USA, Ireland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain) – 32,000 views and 12,000 hours of viewing.
“Generous horse owners loaned 150 of Australia’s best mares and geldings to the event for players to compete on, resulting in one of the largest horse recruitment drives in Australia’s peace-time history,” Linda said.
“It was not uncommon for the volunteer horse support crew, who looked after the horses during the event, to walk 20-30km a day running horses to and from stables, stretching the horses out sunrise and sunset and general stable and feed duties.
“Over 300 volunteers and community groups supported the event in a variety of roles, from the committed organising committee, which has contributed thousands of hours to the event over the past two years, to the gate staff, canteen and bar staff, car parking, horse handlers, photographers, operations and rubbish management.”
Final championship placings –
• World Cup Champions: Australia
• Second: South Africa
• Third: New Zealand
• Fourth: Zambia
• Fifth: United Kingdom
• Sixth: Ireland
• Seventh: Zimbabwe
• Eighth: United States
• Australia v South Africa. Final score – Australia 34 defeated South Africa 21.
• Male Player of the Match (sponsored by Carroll Truck Sales): Lance Anderson (AUS)
• Female Player of the Match (sponsored by Carroll Truck Sales): Suzette Thomas (AUS)
• Men’s Horse of the Match (sponsored by Black Toyota): Berragoon Beaches (#110)
• Women’s Horse of the Match (sponsored by IOR Petroleum): Sailor Moon (#93)
• Overall Champion Male Player (sponsored by Carroll Truck Sales): Jim Grills (AUS)
• Overall Champion Female Player (sponsored by Carroll Truck Sales): Lucy Grills (AUS)
• Overall Champion Men’s Horse (sponsored by Black Toyota): Berragoon Beaches (#110)
• Overall Champion Women’s Horse (sponsored by IOR Petroleum): Action Man (#84)
• Champion Men’s Australian Stock Horse (sponsored by Australian Stock Horse Society): Berragoon Shifty (#117)
• Champion Women’s Australian Stock Horse (sponsored by Australian Stock Horse Society): Sailor Moon (#93)