Dennis Anderson

Dennis Anderson has been a Star Tribune outdoors columnist since 1993, before which, for 13 years, he held the same position at the Pioneer Press. He enjoys casting and shooting. Dogs, too, and horses. Also kids and, occasionally, crusading in his column for improved conservation.

Polo match benefits riders with heart

Posted by: Dennis Anderson Updated: July 15, 2012 - 3:32 PM

 

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.

 

 
Women in summer finery relaxed comfortably during the awards ceremony that followed the match.
 
 

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.

 

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