cape town elite living africaAfrica Polo Open is a major highlight in Africa's sporting calendar. (Africa Polo Open)Africa’s grandest annual polo tournament will take place at the pristine Rosefield Polo Club on Sunday, 23rd September 2018

Africa’s grandest polo tournament is a prestigious continental polo tournament. It is the only continental tournament in Africa that pits the South African national polo team annually against another African country. The over 2,500 year-old sport is one of the fastest, roughest and most dangerous sport played today. A full match is typically an hour-and-a-half, divided into seven-minute time periods called chukkas. At the end of each chukka play continues for an additional 30 seconds or until a stoppage in play, whichever comes first. 

Polo is played in over 17 countries in Africa namely Gambia, Egypt, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Malawi, Benin, Botswana, Nigeria, Lesotho, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania Kenya, Sudan and Morocco. It is gaining increasing popularity as a premier spectator sport and can be an easy game to watch for the first-time spectators. Polo is a sport synonymous with luxury, but that doesn’t mean only the rich and famous love the game.

In 2017, an 11-goal South African team took on the Kenyan polo national team on a perfect day of African sunshine and blue skies at the scenic Rosefield Polo Club in Johannesburg. The expansive polo field overlooks the picturesque Magalies mountain, the oldest mountains in the world, almost 100 times older than Everest in the background. The day attracted fans of polo to those yearning to learn more about the sport of kings. 31 ponies were at hand to provide an evenly matched duel between the economic giants of the South and East Africa. It was a closely fought match with the lead changing hands several times with both teams squandering chances to seal the game. So tight a match it was that it was left to an extra time “sudden goal” from South Africa to clinch victory. The final score was 7-6 to South Africa. The Most Valuable Player award went to Tiva Gross who had a sterling game whilst the Best Playing Pony award was won by Davey Evens’ “Cartoon played by Jamie Murray. 

The polo tournament will attract polo fans, seasoned aficionados of the polo lifestyle, business people and newcomers looking to experience the sport of kings in a discerning African setting. The match will be history in the making as Africa’s giants are decided at the 12-handicap polo match.

The players – four per team – get three-minute breaks between chukkas and a 15 minute half-time and typically use two ponies each in a game. The objective is to put the ball between the goal posts using a mallet, which can be used only on the right side of the horse (sorry left-handers). Players have a handicap that indicates their ability, ranging from minus two (the lowest) up to a maximum best of ten. Games are played where both teams’ sum handicaps are weighed up against each other and the team with the lower handicap is given a few goals which will be calculated according to the number of chukkas being played.

For the first time ever, South Africa will duel continental rivals Nigeria in 2018. The selected teams will be announced on Saturday, 08 September 2018. Not to be outdone will be the ladies’ match featuring Neku Atawodi-Edun, a Nigerian professional polo player who is featured in this year’s Africa Polo Open advertising campaign. 

Neku was raised in a traditional family in Nigeria’s north, which has a history of polo and horse-riding. She was a teenager when she started riding horses and dreaming of playing polo. Neku started her polo career at age 21 and has travelled worldwide for more than eight years as a professional polo player. She was the country’s only female player and the face of Nigerian polo for a while and travelled extensively on the global circuit. She studied equestrian sport science in the United Kingdom. 

Match Day Information 

Teams: South Africa vs Nigeria

Date: Sunday, 23 September 2018

Time: 11:30 – 21:00

Venue: Rosefield Polo Club, Johannesburg. South Africa

The hospitality packages range from the +10 Club, +10 Lounge to +10 Picnic.  The +10 Club on the West Bank is the perfect setting for those wishing to enjoy a polo premium setting and is ideal for networking, entertaining clients or enjoying an elite polo experience with friends. The +10 Lounge that is also on the West Bank offers a vibrant and exciting day of polo in a lounge setting and the +10 Picnic is a casual viewing area on the East Bank of the playing field and is perfect for families and friends looking to enjoy a relaxed day at the polo. 

What makes the +10 Club special is that every year a different chef is selected to design a menu for the day to serve a lunch for the limited 300 guests that are accommodated. Last year, Chef Paulo Santo designed a menu inspired by the theme past, present and future. The food followed the format of nostalgia, something contemporary and ended with something that tomorrow in mind. The superb menu included a piece of history, “the now” and that which is yet to come. This year will be no different because a different chef will also be inspired to design a different menu. 

 

+10 Club  - West Bank R 60,000 per table (excluding VAT)

+10 Club on the West Bank is the perfect setting for those wishing to enjoy a polo premium setting and is ideal for networking, entertaining clients or enjoying an elite polo experience with friends. 

The +10 Club includes:

- A table for ten people in the West Bank marquee, with a prime view on the centre line of the playing field

- A three-course plated lunch created by a renowned chef

- Preferential parking 

- An invitation package including a gift for guests

- Access to the 9th Chukka after-party at +10 Lounge

 

Please note:

- The dress code for +10 Lounge is strictly smart

- Children under 12 years old enter free of charge

- No food or alcoholic beverages may be bought into the polo estate. 

- We use a cashless payment system, so no cash or cards will be accepted for food and alcohol purchases.

+10 Lounge – West Bank R 3,500 per person

+10 Lounge on the West Bank offers a vibrant and exciting day of polo in a lounge setting. 

The +10 Lounge package includes:

- Full-day +10 Lounge access from 11:30 to 21:00

- A prime view of the field under cover

- Scrumptious complementary canapes and bowl food served throughout the day

- Selected complementary local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages until 17:00

- Preferential parking

- Access to the 9th Chukka after-party

 

Please note:

- The dress code for +10 Lounge is strictly smart

- No persons under 21 are permitted

- We use a cashless payment system, so no cash or cards will be accepted for food and alcohol purchases. 

+10 Picnic – East Bank R 350.

+10 Picnic is a casual viewing area on the East Bank of the playing field and is perfect for families and friends looking to enjoy a relaxed day at the polo. 

The +10 Picnic includes:

Access from 11:30 to 18H00

Semi-furnished picnic area on the East Bank of the playing field

Safe parking provided

Access to cash bars and food trucks with a variety of delicious meals to purchase. 

Please note:

The dress code for +10 Lounge is strictly smart

Children under 12 years old enter free of charge

No food or alcoholic beverages may be bought into the polo estate. 

We use a cashless payment system, so no cash or cards will be accepted for food and alcohol purchases.