The highly successful equestrian program at New England Girls’ School recently expanded to offer campdrafting and polocrosse academies. 

Story by Ken Eastwood

For years New England Girls’ School (NEGS) in Armidale, NSW, has had a gold-star reputation for its equestrian program. It boasts two undercover arenas and a one-star cross-country course, as well as plenty of paddocks and stable space, so it’s no real surprise that about a third of the 320 girls enrolled at the school are involved in riding programs, including eventing, dressage and showjumping.

But at the beginning of last year the school made a bit of a sideways move with its equestrian program, launching both a campdrafting and polocrosse academy. “We’re branching out from the traditional equestrian areas, into the areas that country kids have more contact with,” says Rochelle Tubb, marketing coordinator for NEGS Equestrian. “It’s an opportunity to give the girls a leg up in these areas – some are traditionally quite male dominated.”

The polocrosse team had almost instant success, in 2015 winning the North West Equestrian Expo against an all-boys team from Wee Waa, NSW, that had won the competition the previous nine years, and triumphing again in 2016. 

Five girls have gone on to represent state polocrosse sides (either New South Wales or Queensland), and two represented Australia in July in a mixed-gender polocrosse test series in South Africa. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #110

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2017