Sunday, 12 February 2017

Hildon Natural Mineral Water expands its involvement in polo with sponsorship of the UK’s leading 8-goal tournament

Guards Polo Club is delighted to announced that Hildon Natural Mineral Water, one of the Club’s long-standing Corporate Partners, will be sponsoring the Archie David Cup tournament from 2017. This prestigious tournament, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this season, is the UK’s leading 8-goal polo tournament and attracts an entry list of around 30 teams each year.
Hildon Natural Mineral Water, which was founded by the late Christian Heppe in 1989, is no stranger to either Guards Polo Club and polo. Mr Heppe was a life playing member of Guards Polo Club, playing high-goal with his BB’s team – winning the British Open in 1984 – and sponsoring the European Open at Smith’s Lawn in 2002.  A generous benefactor to the Club, he not only funded the construction of the world-famous Royal Box overlooking the Queen’s Ground in the 1980s, but sponsored the building of the current Box in 2002.

Guards Polo Club’s Chief Executive Neil Hobday said of this new agreement: “We are proud that Hildon is to continue its long association with Guards Polo Club through the sponsorship of the Hildon Archie David Cup. I was delighted to call Christian Heppe a friend and we have worked closely with the new team at Hildon to continue his legacy in a fitting way. The Archie David Cup is, without doubt, our most competitive tournament of the season, with some 30 teams battling to win this coveted trophy. Such is the strength and depth of talent among the teams that nobody can afford a poor game. So, we look forward to welcoming the team from Hildon to Guards Polo Club to watch the Hildon Archie David Cup Final on Sunday 2 July

James Burston, Sales and Marketing Director at Hildon Ltd commented that “We are very excited to be supporting the Archie David Cup in the honour of our Founder Mr Christian Heppe, a lifelong contributor to the sport. The Tournament completes our very exciting 2017 Marketing and Events calendar with the final on the 2nd July being a Hildon Flagship event.”

The Hildon Archie David Cup tournament takes place between Tuesday 6 June - Sunday 2 July. Due to the large number of teams that enter this 8-goal tournament, qualifying matches will be played at several clubs including Guards Polo Club. All quarter-finalists then head to Smith’s Lawn for the final stages of the competition, with finals day featuring both the Hildon Archie David Cup and the subsidiary Caterham Trophy. In addition, teams from Guards Polo Club which are knocked out in the early stages of the tournament have a chance to continue within the competition by playing for the Claude Pert Trophy.
Grandstand tickets and all-day hospitality packages for finals day will go on sale to non-members from early April. For more information please call the Club’s Ticket Office on 01784 437797 or email or go online at

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Commonwealth team wins epic battle against England in Royal Salute Coronation Cup

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and Royal Salute’s Peter Moore, Global Prestige Brand Director, presented the mighty Coronation Cup to Canadian big hitter Fred Mannix Jnr after the GT Bank Commonwealthteam narrowly defeated England 12-11in a thrilling game at Guards Polo Club on Saturday 23 July. This match has been theshowpiece game for the sport’s governing body, the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), since the 1970s, but such was the standard of play in this year’s match that Coronation Cup was said by many to be the best ever.

Theteams were level at half time in this six-chukka match, but England, led by James Beim, went ahead (8-7) for the first time in the fourth, thanks to goals from Jack Richardson and Beim. However, this just seemed to spur the Commonwealth team on further and goals from every member of this team, to only one in reply from Richardson, suddenly put some air in the scores and gave the Commonwealth a two-goal advantage (11-9).  This included a cheeky back shot to goal by Hissam Ali Hyder, the first player from Pakistan to compete in a Coronation Cup match. The Commonwealth’s success was also due to some brilliant defensive play from the young South African Chris Mackenzie, who was always there to stop an England attack. Not surprisingly, he was later named the Garrard Most Valuable Player.

So there was all to play for in the sixth and final chukka. Mannix successfully converted a penalty at the beginning of this chukka, but it wasEngland who dominated as the clock ticked down. Both Beim and James Harper, making his Coronation Cup debut, shot through a goal each to bring the home side back into contention. But time was against them and with the bell ringing out and the scoreboard reading 12-11, it was victory to the Commonwealth.

Stephen Hutchinson, Chairman of the HPA, said: “Congratulations to the GT Bank Commonwealth team for their victory here today. Fred Mannix Jnr and his fellow Commonwealth players provided us with an impressive display of teamwork and individual play and justly deserved to lift the very special Royal Salute Coronation Cup. Although it would have been nice to see an England victory in my first Royal Salute Coronation Cup as Chairman of the HPA, a good game is the aim of the day and the teams have certainly given us that. I would like to thank captains and the players, as well as both coaches and all those behind the scenes, for their contribution to this important day for English polo. It is clear that Royal Salute has firmly established a world-class platform on which polo can be promoted to an increasingly discerning audience.”

Complete story available on poloplus magazine.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

2016 Lagos Polo tournament: All Lagos affair

 photo credit: klearpics
The sprawling city of Lagos once again, lived up to its billings as mammoth crowd enveloped the Lagos Polo club, Ikoyi as the 2016 NPA Lagos international polo tournament was consummated on Sunday, 21st  February, 2014  after two weeks of exciting polo actions. It would be recalled that, the 2015 edition went moribund due to turnaround maintenances on the Ikoyi facility. However, the polo club resumed for action as Lagos socialites thronged into the Ikoyi facility to witness the 2016 edition of the tournament which was staged into 2 phase.
The first week of the tour saw polo teams from Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and nearby neighbour, Ibadan, all vying for Oba of Lagos cup, Dansa cup and Lagos open cup respectively.
The first stage of the 11-day tourney produced Kola Karim led shoreline as double champions as they clinged the Open Cup and Oba of Lagos Cup after beating Lagos Caverton and Lagos Ashbert respectively. In the Dansa Cup category, which produce fierce challenges, Lagos SAO Polo emerged the winner as they beat Lagos STL 5-41/2 in the finals. Ibadan Megamound and Lagos Ark Polo also win the Dansa and Open Subsidiary finals of the dual phase tournament sponsored mainly by GTBank and MTN.
The second phase which was the conclusive stage of the tourney came to an exciting end with Lagos Fifth Chukker winning the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup following a 15-7 victory over Lagos Ironclad/Trojan.
The day's other title clash in the 11-day tournament, mainly sonsored by MTN and GTBank, saw Lagos Aerovote defeated Lagos Zippy 5-3 to emerge champions of the Low Cup.
The Majek Cup played before a full crowd that include Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote, GTBank Managing Director, Segun Agbaje, among other dignitaries, saw Fifth Chukker (Adamu Atta, Babao Lawal, Manuel Crespo and Julio Nolito) opening the score through Crespo and he doubled the lead with a 10 yarder to close the chukka.
The second chukka was identical to the initial as a combination of poor finishing and desperate defending prevented further goals but it was Crespo, an eight goaler, again, who scored the games next two goals for a 4-0 lead.
Eduardo Menendez got Ironclad (completed by Tobi Edun, Kunle Tinubu and Frankie Menendez) off the mark with a 40 yarder right at the start of the third chukka but Crespo responded with another goal for a 5-1 lead. It was soon 6-1 as Crespo who was later named the MVP for the Majek Cup, scored a reverse shot to punish an uncleared ball by Ironclad. 
Eduardo scored to make the score 6-2 but Crespo was on hand to make it 8-2 with two more goals and it was 8-3 by the end of the fourth chukka as Eduardo scored a goal to keep his team on the game. The scoreline was 10-5 as Crespo and Eduardo and Tinubu scored in the fifth chukker. The last chukka witnessed more fireworks from Crespo, who spearheaded a magnificent display for a 15-7 triumph for Fifth Chukker.
With all the players fired up for glory, it was equally a great battle in the Low Cup between Aerovote  and Zippy.
Yerima Yusuf almost scored inside the opening 10 seconds but his long shot was cleared as Zippy held on to their two-goal handicap advantage.
With no field goal recorded in the opening chukka, the second chukka got off lively with Leroux Hendriks scoring to extend Zippy's lead but Martin Juaregi hits back for Aerovote taking the scores to 3-1. 
Amodu Umar finished a team play to reduce the deficit before Juaregi puts the ball over the line but the goal was not given due to an infringement on the line by the Argentine four-goaler.
Umar tied the match picking a long grounded pass from Juaregi and the match was delicately poise into the final chukka.
Juaregi, named MVP of the Low Cup, scored to keep Aerovote's nose in front for the first time in the match and he was on hand to widen the advantage for a 5-3 final score.
The first game of the day saw Team A (Tade Oyinlola, Adamu Yaro, Kenny and Ade Laoye - substituted by Lolu Agoro) beat Team B ( Muyiwa Shonubi, Seyi Oyinlola, Femi Oladele and Jamilu Umar) 4-3 for the Chagouri Bowl exhibition game sponsored by IHS.
The cup sponsors are Union Bank, Chapelhill Denhams, IHS, Arbico and Dansa.
The two-stage tournament was co sponsored by Interswitch, CS Clobal Partners, Eko Atlantic, Old Mutual, Samsung, Southern Sun, Veuve Cliquot, W8 Advisory, Lagos State Government, Pepsi, Brand Communication and Blowfish. Ebony TV and Hello Magazine are the media sponsors.

The complete story will be available in the fifth edition of poloplus magazine come April, 2016.
compiled by Christian Ogbonna and Lukmon Ologunro.

Monday, 15 February 2016

2016 NPA Lagos Intl' Polo: Shoreline, Sao Polo win Open, Dansa Cups

Lagos Shoreline defeated Lagos Caverton 9-8to emerge champions of the Open Cup while Lagos Sao Polo beat STL 5-4 1/2 to win the Dansa Cup as the first weekend of the Lagos International Polo Tournament came to a colourful end on Sunday.
Ibadan Megamound and Lagos Ark Polo also win the Dansa and Open Subsidiary finals of the dual phase tournament sponsored mainly by GTBank and MTN.
An ambiance of love marking the Valentine Day filled the air at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi as the Open Cup final began with Shoreline, who had a day earlier beaten Lagos Ashbert in the semifinal to clinch the Oba of Lagos Cup, falling behind as Bode Makanjoula 0 poached from close range to open scoring but Shoreline failed to draw level as Santiago "Chino" de Estrada, a six-goaler from Argentina, uncharacteristically made a faint connection with the ball to see his 40 yarded cleared in front of goal by South African Leroux Hendriks +5.
Moments later, he was to get another 40 yarded and despite a very strong hit, the ball was blocked by Englishman Jack Richardson +6  on the line
They continued to dominate play and were eventually rewarded with a goal by Juan Cruz +4 to make the score one-goal apiece at the end of the first chukka.
Hendriks scored to restore Caverton's advantage for 2-1 and Leroux blocked yet another 40 yarder with his pony but that did not deter Shoreline, who are also parading Tunde Karim +1and Kola Karim 0, scored back-to-back goals through Chino to take the lead for the first time as the chukka came to an end. 
Cruz broke away from his half and raced about 140 yards tapping the ball three times to score one of the best individual goal of the tournament. Chino, the MVP of the Open Cup, and Cruz then scored in succession as Shoreline took a commanding 6-2 lead heading to the penultimate chukka which saw Richardson pulled a goal back for Caverton off a pass from Rotimi Makanjoula +0 but Chino forced another goal to keep the four-goal lead as scores stood at 7-3. Richardson then scored for Caverton to keep their slim hope of turning the score in the last chukka.
Richardson's goal, a long range shot from about 70 yards set the game on a knife edge with about five minutes to play and when Hendrik's scored a 40 yarded for 7-6 it turned out to be anybody's game but Chino came with two moments of brilliance to stretch Scoreline's lead to 9-6.
The game eventually ended 9-8 with Richardson scoring two 40 yard goals for Caverton in the last minute.
The Dansa Cup final between the Lagos teams galloped-off with Abdulrahman Mohammed + 2 losing a 60 yarder for Sao Polo and Ibrahim "Dantala" Musa +1 took advantage off a lose ball by increasing STL lead  to 2 1/2 having started the match on 1 1/2 advantage due to their handicap inferiority but Bashir Ibrahim -1pulled a goal back just before the bell sound for the end of first chukka for 2 1/2 - 1 scoreline.
Abdulmumuni Musa +2 tapped in off a shot by Abdulrahman Mohammed +2 to keep Sao Polo a goal from taking the lead but there were no further goals before the end of the second chukka.
Dantala extend STL lead again in the third chukka but Musa was on hand again to score for Sao Polo. Another goal by Musa saw Sao Polo taking an advantage for the first time as they lead 4-3 1/2 but their joy was cut by Murtala Aliyu +1 who scored from close range.
Musa converted 40 yarder for Sao Plolo to regain the lead 5-4 1/2 and it turned to be the cup-winning goal.
Lagos Ark Polo were victorious in their Open Subsidiary final clash with Lagos Dantata.
Santiago Cernadas + 6 spearheaded Ark Polo dominant performance in their 11-4 1/2 win over Lagos Dangote Polo with David Bernal-Davydenko+3 and the Awogboro brothers Tayo +1 and Kayode +1 also playing big parts in the win against Dangote which featured Adamu Yaro +2, Mohammed Dangote +1, Bashir Dantata +3 and Babangida Hassan +3.
In the first match of the day, Ibadan Megamound defeated Lagos Bonham's 9-4 1/2 to claim the Dansa Subsidiary Cup.
Yusuf Katako +2 was the star-man scoring five of the Ibadan side which also have Adeoye Ajibade -1, Jude Odewale -1 and Saidu Umaru +2 while Neil Coventry -1, Yinka Alakija 0, Glory Ebano +2, and Sadiq Dantata 0 played for Bonhams.
The second and final phase of the tournament will commence on Tuesday with three matches in the Low Cup.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Shoreline win Oba of Lagos Cup ...STL, Sao Polo clash for Dansa Cup

Lagos Shoreline defeated Lagos Ashbert 7-4 to win the Oba of Lagos Cup as the 2016 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament hots up at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi. Also on Saturday, Lagos Caverton defeated Kano YY Sublime in the day's other Open Cup semifinal and there are also semifinal wins for Lagos STL and Lagos Sao Polo in the Dansa Cup after triumphs over Kano Titans and Kano Akasma respectively.
The match which was also a semifinal of the Open Cup saw Santiago "Chino" de Estrada puting up a star-man display by scoring four of Shoreline goals and setting up two others. Tunde and Kola Karim were also in the spotlight by playing one of their best games on recent years. The ageless Prince Albert Esiri and Habib Fasinro also put up courageous performance for Ashbert but the efficiency of their opponents proved to be the difference.
Earlier, Caverton secured an 8-5 win over Kano YY to set up a final match with Shoreline.
Parading Rotimi and Bode Makanjuola alongside Leroux Hendriks and Jack Richardson, the Lagos side trailed 2-1 going into the second chukka with goals by Manuel Crespo and Sulaiman Bello coming on either side of Leroux's goal.
Martin Juaregui extended YY' lead but Richardson converted a 30yard kick for 3-2. Crespo and Hendrik then traded goals to.end the third chukka 4-3 to the away team's advantage.
Jiaregui made it 5-3 but sooner, Hendriks was on hand to keep the deficit to a single goal after Richardson had fluffed a 60-yard shot.
The Makanjoula brothers scored within minutes of each other to give Caverton a 6-5 lead in the final chukka and by the time Hendriks picked up a long ball from Richardson which he converted majestically, the game has been won and lost. Bode then made the victory more colourful by scoring a back hand just before the bell.
A perfect day for Lagos which in turn was a one to forget in a hurry by Kano saw  STL defeated Titans 6-5 1/2 while Sao Polo edged Akasma 4-2.
The final of the Dansa Cup and Open Cup will hold on Sunday alongside the Dansa Subsidiary and Open Subsidiary finals.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Ark, Dangote, Megamound bounceback ...Shoreline, Ashbert battle for Oba of Lagos Cup.

Lagos Ark Polo and Lagos Dangote Polo both secured precious wins in the Open Cup on Friday in the 2016 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament. There are also wins for Ibadan Megamound and Lagos Bonhams in the Dansa Cup.
Dangote survived a late fightback by HST, who were still ahead less than two minutes to play but they were undone by late goals from Bashir Dantata and and Mohammed Baba Dangote to clinch a 9-7 1/2 win.
Dantata got the game's opening goal in about 12 seconds but Kwame Is a responded soon for HST.
Dantata scored three goals in the second chukka to extend Dangote's lead to 4-3 1/2 as Isa and Ali Berjawi also forced themselves in the scorers' sheet.
Babangida Hassan took the ball from his own half to score the only goal in the third chukka and another goal by Dantata opened the fourth chukka as Dangote stretched their lead to 6-3 1/2. 
However,  Abdulrahman Mohammed scored three successive goals, the second of which was a diagonal shot from the side which rolled to the goal much to the delight of the crowd as HST took the lead again.
Berjawi then made it 7 1/2- 6 but Dangote saved the best for the last as Babangida and Baba Dangote's goals sandwiched Dantata's goal which followed an improvisation as he flicked the ball off his pony and set himself up before finishing with a low shot.
The first Open Cup encounter saw a great performance by Ark Polo rewarded with an impressive 8- 4 1/2 win over Lagos Tavia/Ironclad as Santiago Cernadas had his play largely complimented by Tayo and Kayode Awogboro, with the former scoring the fastest goal so far recorded in the tournament after just nine seconds.
Ark were 2- 1/2 goal up inse the first minute as Roman scored off a three touch running over 80 yards.
Tayo and Cernadas, a six-goal player, each scored a goal in the second chukka which highlights had the Awogboro siblings comically missed their shots seconds apart as they attempt to score.
Ark continued their domination in the third chukka which ended at 7- 1 1/2.  Cernadas and David Bernal-Davydenko both exchanged goals but few minutes later, Ayo Olashoju fell heavily off his pony to end his participation in the match. 
The Lagos Polo Club captain, who soon became conscious and stable was replaced by Kanyisola Owoeye to team up with Bowale Jolaosho,  Chino 'Santi' de Estrada and Bernal-Davydenko.
A few goals in the final chukka by Tavia/Ironclad made the scoreline a bit decent.
In the Dansa Cup, Megamound defeated Powerhorse 11-8 1/2 while a day of mixed fortune for Ibadan teams saw Ibadan Jericho lost a 4- 1/2 first chukka lead against Lagos Bonham's who triumphed 7 1/2- 6.
Four matches are scheduled for Saturday among which will see Lagos Shoreline and Lagos Ashbert battle for the Oba of Lagos Cup.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

2016 NPA Lagos Intl' Polo: Kano teams shine on opening day

The 2016 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament galloped-off amid a scintillating atmosphere on Wednesday at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi with teams from Kano bagging wins over their Lagos counterparts.
Massive infrastructural upgrade of the venue notably of which was the field which is now lush-green necessitated the tournament to be put-off last year but polo faithful were made to savour the return of the top-rated tournament as they were treated to high-class actions.
The first match of the day between Lagos STL and Ibadan Megamound was postponed till Tuesday noon for technical reasons but it was fireworks from then on as Lagos Powerhorse and Kano Titans size-up to hit the ground running for the tournament which will hold in eleven days sreading across two weekends.
Powerhorse started the Dansa Cup match with a two-goal up due to their handicap inferiority but the Titans pecked them back with goals by Khalifa Ibrahim and Hassan Fayad, who replaced Gambo Usman. Abba Bashir Dantata shots Power horse to the lead once again not but the lead was wiped off in a jiffy by Khalifa, a +2 handicap to close score in the first of the five-chukka match  3-3.
Khalifa took a stranglehold on the match as he scored all the four goals of the second ckukka to give  the away team a commanding 7-4 lead. He continued to run the show scoring agoal each in the third and fourth chukkas. The final chuka saw fellow+2 handicap Cantata scored a brilliant individual goal for Powerhorse much to the delight of the neutrals but it was Khalifa who took the praises as he closed the game with a belly shot for a 12-4 win for the Titans.
A memorable day for Kano teams was completed by Kano YY Sublime, who defeated Lagos Tavia/Ironclad 12-4.5 goals in Match No 3. This time, it was Manuel Crespo show as the +7 handicap Argentine scored 10 of his side's goals in the Open Cup game.
Bowale Jolaosho hits a low follow-up shot for the opening goal of the match but it turns to be a goal that sparked YY's fury as Crespo converted two 60 yards kicks and topped it with a low shot just before the bell sounds for the end of the first chukka.
Martinez Jauregui, a +4 handicap, forced himself into the scorers list to register the away team's seventh goal after Crespo had scored three more goals in the second chukka.
The enormity of the task for Tavia/Ironclad was made Herculean as two more goals in the third chukka widens YY's lead with the most memorable action of the chukka saw Jauregui rode-off Marambio Cruz for Crespo to walk into the goal for the coolest of finishes for a 9-2.5 goal lead for the Kano side.
The last match of the day, which was also in the Open Cup  saw Caverton and Ark Polo going neck-and-neck with scores at 4-4 as at the fourth Chukka of the fourth match but Santiago Cernadas finished off a move which he initiated to give Ark a slim advantage heading to the fifth chukka of the all-Lagos encounter which ended in 6-6 to force sudden death.
Ark will considered theirselves unlucky as Kayode Awogboro shot just before the bell for what would have been the winning goal but it came off the goal post.
 That provided South African Enrique Leroux to ne the match winner as he converted a 40-yard 'golden goal' for Caverton.
Alongside the postponed STL and Megamound match, four matches are on the card on Thursday.
By Lukmon Ologunro