South Coast sisters gearing up for High Goal polocrosse competition

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South Africa’s top-ranked polocrosse players are stepping up their pace in their training for the second Land Rover Durban High Goal, taking place at the Durban Shongweni Club from 23-25 June.

Among the star-studded field are sisters Amber and Paige Pretorius (pictured) from Paddock Polocrosse Club, who will represent the Rhinos.

“Land Rover Durban is once again extremely proud to be associated with the most exciting Polocrosse tournament of the year, the Land Rover Durban High Goal,” said Andre Schrenk, dealer principal of Jaguar Land Rover Durban.

“This tournament attracts all the top men’s and ladies teams from across the country to compete at an international level, whilst providing spectators and supporters a weekend of fast-paced excitement and world-class skills levels,” he added.

The event will run each day between 8am and 4pm, boasting the talents of some of the country’s highest rated polocrosse players. There will be four matches daily, two ladies and two men’s, where world-class equestrian’s displays can be expected from national, as well as international players.

“There will be eight teams, four men’s and four ladies, competing for the top spot in the competition. Each team consists of six highly ranked players,” explained Sam Heynes, Shongweni Polocrosse Committee member.

Heynes added that each player is given a handicap, indicating his or her skills level, ranging between 0 (beginner) to 10 (highest ranking).

In a high goal competition, the team’s total combined handicap must average at 45 for men and 26 for ladies.

Both categories will include a surprise element of wildcard players. This year’s wildcards are all of South Africa’s top-ranked players, creating much hype and mystery, especially around the final matches.

According to Heynes, wildcard players will be auctioned off at a gala dinner on 22nd June, where the eight teams will have the opportunity to bid for a wildcard each.

Event organiser and chairman of the Shongweni Polocrosse Club, Brent Von Benecke said, “Spectators can expect World Cup quality play. This is a fast-paced, action-packed sport which definitely will not disappoint the crowds.”

He added that the wildcard element ensured that winners could not be predicted, leaving both spectators and players in suspense.

The men’s wildcards are as follows:

Jannie Steenkamp (Unicorns, Western Province) 10

Attie van Wyk (Arnot, Mpumalanga) 9

Nico van Wyk (Arnot, Mpumalanga) 8

Stefan Harris (Unicorns, Western Province) 8

Ladies wildcards:

Jean Hackland (Bishopstowe, Pietermaritzburg) 6

Celicia Jacobs (Arnot, Mpumalanga) 6

Caley Higgs (Richmond) 6

Natalie Maclarty (Nyati, Ladysmith) 6

Land Rover Durban will be sponsoring a team in both men’s and ladies categories. The men’s teams are as follows:

Land Rover Men

Andrew Heynes (Shongweni)

Lance Anderson (Australia)

Damien Harris (Zambia)

George Schabourt (Unicorns, Western Province)

Will Weston (Australia)

Rudi Voster (Nyati, Ladysmith)

Team B&G

Glen Haldane (Bishopstowe, Pietermaritzburg)

Retief Steenkamp (Unicorns, Western Province)

Charl du Plessis  (Unicorns, Western Province)

Luke Rauch (Saldanha, Western Province)

Michael Krynauw (Zambia)

Ross Odell (Hilton, KZN)

Rokwil

James Hackland (Bishopstowe, Pietemaritzburg)

Gordon Shaw (Bishopstowe, Pietermaritzburg)

Gavin Cocker (Shongweni)

Ross Beukes (Walkerville, Gauteng)

John Rae (Shongweni)

Braxton Hamlin (USA)

Unnamed  (awaiting sponsor)

James Kent (Mooi River)

James Rae (Shongweni)

Scott Hosking (Walkerville)

Ryan Hosking (Walkerville)

Patrick O’ Sullivan (Umvoti, Bishopstowe)

Chris Anderson (Australia)

The ladies teams are as follows:

Land Rover Evoque

Leigh Higgs (Richmond)

Charlotte Pykett (Nyati, Ladysmith)

Camilla Harris (Unicorns, Western Province)

Tarryn Higgs (Richmond)

Karen Cocker (Shongweni)

Samantha Hewitson (Shongweni)

Team B&M

Taylor Mansfield (Port Elizabeth)

Hazel Stanley (Nyati, Ladysmith)

Debbie Dick (Bishopstowe, Pietermaritzburg)

Ashleigh Shaw (Bishopstowe, Pietermaritzburg)

Nikki Crook (Port Elizabeth)

Courtney Odell (Hilton, KZN)

Team Rhinos

Caroline Minnaar (Umvoti, Greytown)

Jacqui Minnaar (Umvoti, Greytown)

Elri Van Der Merwe (Bethal, Mpumalanga)

Paula Maclarty (Nyati, Ladysmith)

Amber Pretorius (Paddock)

Paige Pretorius (Paddock)

Team Marriott

Juli Santini (Nyati, Ladysmith)

Jossie Spilsbury (Nyati, Ladysmith)

Julia Pilbeam (Unicorns, Western Province)

Ashley Cooper (Port Elizabeth)

Anneli Van Jaarsveld (Port Elizabeth)

Dawnay Jacobs (Arnot, Mpumalanga)

The Land Rover Durban High Goal is an event perfect for the entire family. Be sure not to miss out on this action-packed event.  For more information, visit the Facebook page, Land Rover Durban High Goal Polocrosse 2017.

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