The Kenya International Polo tournament came to a close on Sunday with White Cap emerging champions after they outclassed Samurai 11-5 at Jamuhuri Park Showground.
The White Cap team led with 28.5 goals followed by White Cap Lite with 23&1/4 goals while Samurai and Toyota teams tied at third place with 21 goals each.
Three-time winners, Samurai, were handed a thrilling showdown from the White Cap team lead by Casimir Gross who scored two goals in the first chukker while his teammates, Tarquin Gross and Ben Stonewigg added one goal each to wrap the first seven minutes round.
Samurai’s lead handicap player and South Africa’s Polo captain Tom de Bruin endured a difficult afternoon as he struggled with his horsemanship skills and backhand swings causing his team to easily lose three chukkers to White Cap team.
“Unlike most games, Polo is unpredictable and our poor start in our first chukker pulled back our game. But we still enjoyed every moment and hope to come back for next years’ tourney,” said De Bruis.
Toyota team consisting of Guy Watson, Jamie Murray, Craig Millar and Joss Craig also thrashed White Cap Lite 10-6 in the first match of the day earning themselves a four-goal difference win compared to Saturday where they painfully lost with a five-goal difference to White Cap team.
“Saturday’s match was tough for us but we took it as a lesson and cleaned up our weaknesses to get victory in our last match. Our opponents put up a good fight and we are glad to be part of the experience,” said Guy Watson.
The White Cap Lite team seemed more relaxed after their Saturday win as they had at least 23 faults and two missed goals between the second and fifth chukkers. One of Kenya’s best female players, Izzy Parsons held the team together as she scored two goals in the third and fifth chukkers closely followed by Duncan Watson and Archie Voorspuy who both dominated the second and third chukkers each scoring two goals.
Kenya Polo Association Vice Chairman Raphael Nzomo said the tournament was a success and hopes that more sponsors will support next years’ tournament to boost public awareness of the game.
“Polo needs as much support and publicity as any other sport in the country and we hope to get to stadium-filling levels just like the overseas tournaments,” said Nzomo who revealed plans are underway to form a solid polo team for the country.
The tournament, played over two weekends, was sponsored by White Cap lager and saw Tanzanian and South African polo players come in to boost the game.