horseball ready to go

just like polo, horseball is a demonstration sport here at the alltech fei world equestrian games 2014 in normandy. this team sport was created in france and has grown in popularity since the late 1970s.  the horseball competition will take place before a packed house at the centre for the promotion of horse breeding located in saint-lô, the capital of horseball. four countries including spain, italy, belgium and france will take part in the mixed and women's events.  for romain depons, captain of the french pro elite team, the tournament is more than just a demonstration.

horseball ready to go
© horse-ball m³

three questions for romain depons, captain of the french co-ed team:

being french, what does this exhibition tournament mean to you?

"for us, it is an incredible opportunity to play such an important role in promoting the sport. in the horse world, there is no brighter spotlight under which to promote a young sport like horseball than the alltech fei world equestrian games 2014 in normandy. we're in france and this sport was created in france. a tremendous effort has been made in saint-lô to ensure the discipline gets maximum visibility."

it might be billed as an "exhibition" but the action will be exciting…

"for the competitors, this tournament is a real competition. the world equestrian games mean a lot to us. we've been preparing for the event just as we would the european championships or the world championships, even there is no title on the line. fat chance we'll just roll over (laughing). we're still super competitive.  no team wants to lose. obviously, we're going to put on a clean and elegant performance but it will still be quite competitive."

who will be your toughest competitor?           

"in the latest international competitions, spain has given us fits. and then there is belgium, too. although, being an unofficial event, we'll wait and see who will be participating.  the list of players varies from one year to the next. italy is also gradually making inroads."

wednesday's action:

6pm: opening ceremony
presentation of players and horses and national records
opening match: shetland
7:10pm france/spain women's match
7:55pm: italy/belgium women's match
8:35pm break (resurfacing)
9:05pm: spain/france mixed match
9:50pm: italy/belgium mixed match 

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