Local Black Minstrels picked for International Test

23rd March 2017 8:00 AM
TOP HORSE: Horses Crystal and Kelly Anne with owner Louis Rateri. TOP HORSES: Horses Crystal and Kelly Anne with owner Louis Raiteri. The eight-year-old mares will play in the International Polocrosse Test Series between Australia and South Africa in April. Peter Carruthers

POLOCROSSE: Louis Raiteri is proud to announce his two Australian stock horses of the Star Black Minstrel blood line have been hand picked to make up a horse pool at the upcoming women's International Polocrosse Test Series between South Africa and Australia.

To make the competition even, no rider will ride their own horses but will ride horses from a particular pool. Teams will then swap horse pools to ensure all teams are on an even footing.

Raiteri, of Montrose Horses at Up River near Proserpine, said often North Queensland was overlooked in the world of competitive polocrosse and to have the horses selected was a feather in the cap of the North Queensland zone.

"It's very good, we up in the north here don't get much of a chance in the big league,” he said.

Raiteri's two horses, Crystal and Kelly Anne, will compete in the international tournament beginning on April 20.

The eight-year-old mares play with the Bowen Polocrosse Club and will play matches in Townsville and Bowen before their international debut in April.

Raiteri said it was important to have the horses in top physical shape ahead of the test series.

"Polocrosse is an extreme and very entertaining sport and takes a lot of skill from the rider and the horse,” he said.

"It's been very satisfying and we hope they perform very well to make us proud and we are thrilled to have them make the squad.”

Raiteri said the Star Back Minstrel blood line was well respected in the stock horse industry and he was very proud as a small stud in Proserpine to have two horses selected to compete in such a prestigious competition. "It's a thrill for our little stud,” he said.