JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 29- Africa’s premier polo tournament Inanda Africa Cup gets underway Friday in a show of speed and skill from some of the best horsemen on the continent, featuring teams from Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa at the Inanda Club in Sandton, Johanesburg.
The ‘Sport of Kings’ event will see top honors put up for grabs as it enters its second years culminating into a luxury affair and high end polo competition.
Super Guavas team from South Africa return as the defending champions after beating Absa Wealth Team by five shots to three in last years final.
Following on the success of last year’s event, the 2011 Inanda Africa Cup polo tournament is not just a visual equestrian feast, it’s a lifestyle event from African high fashion to afro-fusion culinary delights, a host of luxury brands and treats await guests in Luxury Lane.
It’s also a day of splendour, extravagance and social indulgence, with the who’s who in Gauteng’s social, executive and equestrian circuits in attendance.
Phumi Dhlomo, regional director for Africa and the Middle East, South African Tourism said, “We are delighted to support the Inanda Africa Polo Cup for the first time this year. The event serves well our core strategy of promoting South Africa to our core and target markets in West Africa particularly in Nigeria and Ghana.
Dhlomo also added, “It is evidence of the variety of unique and exciting experiences destination South Africa offers.”
The event will also feature a groom’s race and the test of ‘horse power’ with thoroughbred ponies racing against high performance vehicles.
Another key feature of this year’s event will be a fund raising dinner, which will be held on July 30th with its aim to raise much-needed funds for charities that Inanda Club supports – Alexandra Aids Orphans and the Highveld Horse Care Unit.
“Already, there are a number of incredibly talented development players including Sbu Duma, Meshake Tshidiso and Tisetso Makenethe, to name a few, who are making headlines and becoming heroes in the polo world.
“The strong focus on developing players over the past five years has changed the face of polo from that of an elitist sport to that of sport for the people, and we’re proud that Inanda Club has been behind this transformation.
“We hope that spectators will join us on the day, with their glass of Veuve Cliquot in hand, in a celebratory toast of this glamorous occasion.”
Polo is a fast, risky sport, and the rules revolve around the safety of the horses and players. Each man and pony team has a distinctive role on the field of play. There are four players in each team, numbered one to four.