Hosts override Zimbabwe in polo encounter at Manyatta
FOOTBALL By By Oscar Pilipili | June 5th 2012
By Oscar Pilipili
Polo fraternity had a wonderful and exciting weekend with an international match happening at Manyatta Polo Club in Gilgil.
The Heritage Insurance sponsored Kenyan side of Mbugua Ngugu, Gideon Moi, Charlie McLellan and Devin Shretta beat the visiting Zimbabwean Invitational side of Brendon Butterworth, Smart Kuusawa, Ross Stodart and Paul Johnson 8 to 6 goals in a tense encounter.
Kenya’s McLellan was the man of the match with some incredible passes and precision goal scoring.
McLellan converted several crucial 60-yard penalty shots which ensured that the Kenyan side cruised to a convincing victory against Zimbabweans.
In the seniors division, three goal side of Keringet, comprising of Jamie Murray, Ashe Ahluwalia, Barry Gaymer and Suki Shretta emerged victorious after drawing with Liberty Life team of husband and wife, Pete and Sarah Griffiths, Aisha Gross and Australian visitors, Chloe and Witney Warren.
Keringet emerged victorious after two solid wins over Peroni and Heritage Insurance on Friday and Saturday. Superior captaincy and ball skills of skipper, four-goaler, Murray ensured that Keringet took home the Annesley trophy.
The junior division was won by Liberty (Pete and Megan Griffiths, Sabrina Robley and Lizzie Mckinell) who beat the teams of Reddds, Offbeat and Castle Milk Stout, in a three-day round robin encounter.
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Polo is arguably the oldest recorded team sport in known history, with the first matches having been played in Persia over 2,500 years ago.
Initially thought to have been created by competing tribes of Central Asia, it was quickly taken up as a training method for the King’s elite cavalry.
These matches could resemble a battle with up to 100 men to a side.
As mounted armies swept back and forth across this part of the world, conquering and re-conquering, polo was adopted as the most noble of pastimes by the Kings and Emperors, Shahs and Sultans, Khans and Caliphs of the ancient Persians, Arabs, Mughals, Mongols and Chinese.
It was for this reason it became known across the lands as “the game of kings”.
British officers themselves re-invented the game in 1862 after seeing a horsemanship exhibition in Manipur, India.
The sport was introduced into England in 1869, and seven years later sportsman James Gordon Bennett imported it to the United States.
After 1886, English and American teams occasionally met for the International Polo Challenge Cup. Polo was on several Olympic Games schedules, but was last an Olympic sport in 1936.
Polo continues, as it has done for so long, to represent the pinnacle of sport, and reaffirms the special bond between horse and rider.
The feeling of many of its players are epitomised by a famous verse inscribed on a stone tablet next to a polo ground in Gilgil, Pakistan: “Let others play at other things. The king of games is still the game of kings.”
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