CROZET, Va. (WVIR) – Some of central Virginia’s youngest riders are showcasing their polo skills at King Family Vineyards in Crozet.
Hanan Fadil says she has been riding horses her entire life, but only started playing polo when she became a teenager.
“The adrenaline, the horses, the teamwork. It’s the only sport with horses where you have a team, and I love teamwork,” the 17 year old said.
Liam Baldwin is 13, and started playing polo three years ago. Before that, he had never ridden a horse.
“You definitely need hand-eye coordination, but you can learn really fast,” Liam said. “As long as you keep practicing, you can get better.”
“It takes a lot of practice,” 18-year-old Brian Salmon said.
“I love that it’s super-fast paced. You’re going 35-40 miles per hour on a horse,” 17-year-old Noah Dabney said. “There’s nothing like it.”
These teens are among a handful of locals competing in the National Youth Tournament Series. The U.S. Polo Association games feature kids from 11-to-18 years old. The showcase at King Family Vineyards is one of many qualifying tournaments around the country.
Many of these teens learned the game at King Vineyards, taking lessons with Roseland Polo.
“I’m addicted, I couldn’t imagine my life without polo. It’s all consuming, and I love it so much,” Hanan said.