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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Horse football craze gallops into Gretna equestrian centre

When you get hacked off with the World Cup why not mount up for a kick around with a difference?

Horse football photo
Left to right, Sheena Little on Tiny, Isobel Ireland on Flash and Katy Little on Topaz

The players are four-legged, do not demand multi-million pound pay packets and rather than celebrating victory with a bottle of Champagne, they’d be happy with a bale of hay.

Horse football could be the latest craze to gallop into the region and it’s kicking off at a new equestrian centre in Gretna.

Sheena Little and Isobel Ireland discovered the sport online and decided to import it from the US to Graitney Equestrian.

Sheena said: “Horse soccer is something that’s very big in America - it’s a four foot high football.

“It’s good exercise and a lot of fun. The horses take about half a day to get used to the ball - it will take a bit longer to learn the offside rule.

“We’re hoping to get a football team going and who knows, maybe a league.”

The ball is specially designed to withstand being bitten and stamped upon. It has an internal inflatable bladder that will deflate slowly rather than burst with a loud bang.

Playing football helps to train the horses against spooking, said Isobel.

She added: “I was a bit sceptical about horse football at first but they seem to really love it and enjoy a kick about.”

There are 14 livery stables and an Olympic-sized arena at the centre, which is having an open day on June 19 when anyone can come and watch a match.

Have your say

I have been playing Horse Ball with my Shire horses since late last year and they love it. I am trying to incourage others to do it so I can play a match.

Posted by Lisa Hartley on 13 June 2010 at 21:58

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