Meet Kat Liner, a member of Carolina Polocrosse Club and one of sixteen players on the shortlist for the 2024 USA Polocrosse World Cup team. Kat has been involved in polocrosse for over ten years and is one of the highest rated players in the country (learn more about ratings here). She was the youngest member of the 2019 World Cup team and has also represented the USA at the 2013 U16 vs NSW, the 2014 U16 vs NSW, the 2015 Albury Jr Classic vs NSW, and the 2017 South African Quadrangular.Continue reading to learn more about this extraordinary player!
How did you start playing Polocrosse?
I first picked up a racquet when I was seven, but was eight at my first tournament.
Could you tell us about your current playing mount(s)? Are you bringing up any new horses?
My main horse, Keystone Playmate (full Australian Stock Horse), is an absolute pocket-rocket both on and off the field. She is so in-tune to the 3 position and makes playing so easy. Her daughter, Keystone Radiant Star, is a powerhouse of a horse that will drive to the goal posts like her life depends on it. She has played the last few seasons with some other really talented players, and it has been super validating to see her succeed on the field, and I’ve really enjoyed playing her this year. My third mare, Zuma (Australian Stock Horse/TB), is one that I’ve brought up most recently. She played her first full tournament late last year, and I could not have been more proud of how gracefully she handled playing each position. She’s somewhat petite in stature, but has an incredible handle to move around the field with ease.
What do you enjoy most about Polocrosse?
There’s so much to love, it’s hard to pick one thing! I must say that I really enjoy the balance of such a competitive sport with skillful riding. It’s truly the best of both worlds. Additionally, I absolutely love the connections that I have made with people, both in the United States and overseas. There aren’t many sports where you can call upon someone far away for a place to stay for a weekend or a horse to borrow for a tournament.
What was it like playing in the World Cup as a teenager?
It was such an incredible experience! It was awesome to have Rob, Braxton, and Megan who had all played in World Cups before for their tips and advice, as well as having Rahul and Sarah who are in my club for added familiarity. Even though being the baby on the squad often left me as the team’s verbal punching bag (in the best possible way), I really cannot express how much I gained from that extraordinary competition.
What have been some memorable moments in Polocrosse for you?
I would have to say going to play in the South African High Goal. I had been asked to fill in a spot 4 days before I had to be there, flew in, played with and against some of the most talented female players in such a strong pool of teams, and then flew home as soon as it was over. It was such a whirlwind adventure, and playing at that level immediately after the World Cup in an entirely different country with very different horses was honestly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What are your personal goals as an equestrian, in and out of Polocrosse?
I really strive to ride as well as I can. It kind of sounds like an obvious goal, but I think riding well makes a huge difference both in getting horses geared up to play and in the actual competition.
What is your advice for new players and for current players who want to move up in the sport?
ASK QUESTIONS! I really cannot stress that enough. There are so many talented riders and players in the states that can really elevate your game with just one tip or critique if you just ask them to help you with one thing. Along the same lines, I would say to watch upper levels at tournaments or videos of higher competitions on Youtube. It’s amazing how much you can pick up by just watching one player in particular.
Thank you, Kat, for participating in this interview! Kat is an APA Certified Instructor, if you are interested in having her teach a polocrosse clinic you can reach out to her through the clinician page.
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