The weather has shaped up for a thrilling 2017 polo season at the Manyatta Polo Club in Gilgil with more focus placed on teenage players.
The polo fraternity was dispirited earlier in the month when the rain forecast was not assuring. But after rain started pouring a fortnight ago, the players and fans have cheered up and are on tenterhooks for a great season ahead after a five-month off-season break. The season begins today and runs to Sunday Manyatta. The second three-day showdown is slated for next weekend.
“The fields are now in good shape and we are looking to hosting successful tournaments over the two weekends,” said Pete Griffith, Manyatta Polo Club’s captain.
The nature of the game does not allow players and ponies to game on soggy or too dry fields in order to buffer against any form of injuries for both man and horse, and also to safeguard the condition of the pitch.
The Kenyan polo season runs from May to December and Manyatta has the delight of hosting six of the 14 tournaments. The other eight showpieces have been left for two other clubs, North Kenya and Nairobi to share equally.
The highlight of the 2017 polo calendar are the Kenyan boys and girls (teenagers) playing away to PAZ Schools of Zambia from August 18-20. The young polo players showed great potential in the last two years, attracting the Zambian Polo Association to request for a match with the Kenyan teenagers last August here in Kenya. Whereas Zambia fielded one team last year, Kenya drew up three.
“We are still negotiating on whether to send two teams to Zambia or one. We really want to give exposure to our boys and girls and we are doing everything possible to realise this,” said Gordon Millar, the Kenya Polo Association president.
On the same weekend the boys will be playing in Zambia, the Cavalry Cup will be staged in North Kenya Polo Club in Timau. Other high-water mark events are Mugs Mug Cup (the oldest polo tourney in Kenya) in Manyatta and Kenya International tournament in Nairobi.