Freedom Farm, a therapeutic riding center operated by Susie Bjorklund and a staff of volunteers just west of the Twin Cities, near Winsted, held its annual fund-raiser polo match Saturday at BlackBerg Ranch near Watertown, also just west of the Twin Cities. Hundreds attended on a beautiful day to watch a closely contested match that was won in sudden death, 9-8, when Cargill bested riders from Northern Oil and Gas.
In the photo above, Argentinean Pedro Lara prepares to score the winning goal for Cargill with a Northern Oil and Gas rider in hot pursuit.
Opposing riders and their horses challenge one another for position on the ball.
Polo competitors might use five or more horses during a match, particularly on a day as hot as Saturday.
Riding ability, intense concentration and athleticism — both by rider and horse — are necessary to compete in polo.
During a break in the action, an auction was held with all proceeds going to Freedom Farm.
Susie Bjorklund began Freedom Farm more than a decade ago, hoping to help special needs children and others achieve freedom of movement and expression while horseback. In recent years, clients have also included women war veterans.