The third staging of the Scotia Private Client Group Jamaica Open Polo final on Sunday attracted a large and appreciative crowd at the Kingston Polo Club. Somehow, it appeared fitting that the Scotia team emerged champions.
The weather, which forced a postponement of the final on the previous Sunday, was kind on this occasion, not to mention cool.
Dennis Lalor, president of both the Jamaica Polo Association and Kingston Polo Club, said he was "extremely pleased" to see the level of support for this tournament.
"Polo is getting popular in Jamaica with each passing day and, providing corporate companies like Scotia Private Client step up to the plate with high-powered sponsorship, the sport will continue to grow significantly," he said.
Passion for polo
"For most of us, polo is a passionate pastime that combines a wonderful blend of physical and mental exercise. Like all sports, however, the expansion and development of polo among the young is crucial to the future and I commend and thank Scotia Private Client Group," he added.
Karen Kranenburg, the tournament's coordinator, who lives in Barbados and London at different times of the year, said she was extremely pleased with the response of polo fans.
"Given the postponement due to bad weather the week before, I was keeping my fingers crossed that play would progress under normal conditions. I could not have asked for better conditions," she explained.
"Promoted under the theme 'Taste of the Caribbean' (and) featuring visiting chefs from the Eastern Caribbean, the food and drinks were fabulous and I'm looking forward to next year to do it again," she added.
Lesley Fong Yee, captain for outgoing champions Bin 26, who placed third, also commended the Scotia Private Client Group for its top-line sponsorship.
"It was a great match between Scotia Private Client and the Audi team. There was tremendous crowd support and what I saw today tells me that polo is taking off in this country," said Fong Yee.
To many, the day's activities were more in keeping with a Ralph Lauren polo tournament in the Hamptons. It could be said it was a social occasion for grown-ups and kids alike.
Scotia Private Client, captained by Mitta Rousseau, defeated the Audi team 6-4 in the final, thanks to four goals from MVP Jorge Donovan.
- Orville Clarke