I was fortunate to be invited to the Land Rover Africa Cup Polo Tournament, for the past 2 years, and the 2016 tournament takes place on the weekend of 17 and 18 September.
One of the many highlights at this year’s tournament, will be the debut of Team Above and Beyond. The team consists of two polo veterans and two up-and-coming development players, and they will participate in a weekend of thrilling horsemanship.
Playing in their first international tournament are development players Thokosane Zondo and Lucky Nsingo. Both were in a selection of six players who were put through their paces at the Inanda Development Cup earlier this year. After demonstrating their talent on the field and passion for the sport, Thokosane and Lucky were voted as the most valuable players of the tournament. To further aid their development, Land Rover sponsored each of the MVPs with a full complement of new polo gear for the upcoming tournament.
Joining Thokosane and Lucky, are seasoned polo pros, Terence Spilsbury and Richard Pohl. Both have a love for the sport, and horses, and boast extensive playing experience. Additionally, Richard will contribute his valuable experience from successes he has had at local tournaments and representing South Africa at an international level.
“These aspiring polo aces have made it into Team Above and Beyond on their own merit, through hard work and dedication,” said Craig James, Polo Manager at the Inanda Club. “With Terence and Richard, Thokozane and Lucky will have superb teammates and mentors who will hopefully take them to success at the Land Rover Africa Cup.”
The Inanda Development Cup was formed to help give opportunities for those who are passionate about the Sport of Kings, but unable to afford playing on a regular basis. Those who participate are often involved in the polo community as polo grooms, caring for the horses, as well as instructing beginner players. Becoming professional players is not just a progression of their passion, but also opens up doors for them to make a living playing and becoming heroes in the community.
“We need to work hard to make sports more accessible, by backing talented players and giving them opportunities to show their mettle,” says Richard Gouverneur, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. “With our involvement in the Inanda Development Cup and sponsorship of the Land Rover Africa Cup, we’re doing just that. And we hope that the Team Above and Beyond will inspire young polo players across the country.”
The theme this year is ‘Quintessential Polo – Above & Beyond’, inspired by the Range Rover Evoque, it resonates the quality, class and a lifestyle appreciated by polo enthusiasts.
Fashion aficionados will enjoy a carefully curated experience as they gather on the scenic Inanda clubhouse terraces to witness quintessential spring trends created by top African fashion designers.
The tournament is great fun and is an ideal way to learn all about the Sport of Kings.
The 2016 Land Rover Africa Cup, starring Team Above and Beyond, will take place on the weekend of 17 – 18 September. Tickets are available at Ticketpro: www.ticketpros.co.za
Equestrian Club, R1 950 – per person
Polo Chic Picnic, R4 500 – Boxes of 10
Public Tickets, R200 – Per Person