The hugely successful Carnival polo tournament that hit Abuja with a bang came to a thrilling end last week, with Al Husna, DeeBee Farms and Sixty Yard teams writing their names in gold as proud winners of the 2019 edition of the prestigious polo carnival.
For the seven years running, the game of kings, polo was the biggest attraction of the annual festival that remains the biggest sports cum tourism event, attracting tourists and enthusiasts in their droves to the nation’s capital every year.
The prestigious fiesta that puts Abuja on the polo map as one of the polo-playing cities in the world saw Al Husna outpacing local rivals to finish tops, for their first major title in Abuja.
One of Nigeria’s most decorated polo teams, DeeBee Farms rallied past other contenders, to earn a deserved second-place finish.
That leaves Sixty Yard team that has been active throughout the season since their debut last year, to clinch the third-place title in a glamorous fiesta that pitched over six equally matched Abuja based teams playing with the full complement of their patrons and a discerning home crowd.
Polo Royals recalled that since its debut in 2012 with teams playing within the colours of the six geo-political zones of the country has grown in competition and excitement as one of the three major polo tournaments stages in the Federal Capital Territory.
However, the 2019 edition was hosted exclusively for only Abuja based teams and for playing members of Guards Brigade Polo Club, in what Polo Royals gathered was an attempt to shore up the competitiveness of the players ahead of the upcoming new season in January 2020.
Organized and hosted by the Guards Brigade Polo Club, the polo event that was staged as part of this year’s Abuja Carnival, became the talk of the carnival as thousands of Abuja residents thronged the serene polo arena in Asokoro.
“This is a historic event and we are privileged to always be part of it in the past three years. Watching high flying polo games in Abuja is a dream come true for most of us who used to drive for hours to Minna, Jos, Kaduna and Kano, to enjoy the exciting game of polo,” declared an Abuja based businessman, Austin Bala.
Chairman of the Tournament Committee, Musty Junaid who thanked the special guests and the crowd for being part of the fiesta, stated that the high profile event that has become an annual event has impacted positively on the tourism drive of Abuja and Nigeria generally.
“I want to thank all our patrons and sponsors for making this event a huge success. I also want to thank the players and members of the organizing committee who sacrificed their time and energy for this grand event,” Junaid declared.
“We are also happy to say that we have used this carnival polo tournament to let polo enthusiasts and the business communities know that the Nigerian capital city has a facility like the Guard Polo Club that can comfortably host an international polo tournament of any magnitude,” the Senator said.
Guards Polo Captain Nasiru Lukat, who described the tournament as a huge success, thanked all the players, guests and teeming polo buffs who arrived Abuja in their droves for the festival, for their support in making the fiesta a memorable one.
“On behalf of the Tournament Committee and the club management, let me assure all who made this event the highlight of the Abuja Carnival, that next year would be much bigger and more exciting,” Lukat added.
The Carnival Polo Tournament and the prestigious Unity Polo Festival, remain the two biggest sporting events that traditionally turn the serene Guards Polo Ground into the battlefield of high-end polo, attracting international VIPs and celebrities from far and wide.
Polo Royals checks reveal that other top Nigerian teams like Rubicon and Almat have won the carnival polo fiesta more than once in the last six years of competition. Other past winners include Dogonyaro Farms polo team, Katsina Max Air and ASI polo team from Abuja, among others.