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2019 GTBank Lagos Intl Polo: All Eyes on Majekodunmi Cup as second stage gallops-off

Fifth Chukker and Lagos Centaurs players jostle for the ball during the Majekodunmi Cup final.
Fifth Chukker and Lagos Centaurs players jostle for the ball during the Majekodunmi Cup final.

Lagos biggest polo prize, the Majekodunmi Cup will be the star attraction as the prestigious Lagos international polo extravaganza enters its grand finale this week at the legendary Ribadu Road polo arena in Ikoyi.

Ahead of the winners-takes-all final stages, aficionados and polo buffs are already salivating the chance of witnessing the crowning of the new champions of the highly revered 67-year-old prize as three teams square up for the crown the defending champions; Fifth Chukker team did not come to the party this year.

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Armed to the teeth with intimidating horse power and fortified with foreign professionals, the three contestants are the Bode Makanjuola led Lagos Centaurs who are making their second attempt at the top title; Seyi Tinubu’s STL warriors and the record setting Maurice Ekpenyong powered Almat Farmers from Abuja.

Horse for Horse, move for move, the trio are set for what would undoubtedly one of the most contested Majekodunmi Cup in years. Make no mistake, whoever survives the mayhem this weekend and clinch the title, should be ready to take as much as they give in this adrenalin rush face off.

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The crowded Lagos Low Cup that attracted fourteen ambitious and equally match teams with a handful of rookies from all the major polo centres across the country, promises to be another big spectacle  that is guaranteed to be muddle up till the last game, to separate the eventual winner.

Two big subsidiary cups, the Italian Ambassador’s Cup and the Kaiser Cup, now Independence Cup reputed as the oldest polo prize in Nigeria competed for by high-goal teams since early 1900s, would add to the glamour of this international fiesta.

Acting Lagos Polo Captain Rotimi Makanjuola confirmed to Polo Royals that second stage will run from March 20 through the weekend, with many Lagos’ teams and visiting teams battling for the Low Cup while three teams, from Abuja and Lagos, are gunning for the biggest and one of Africa’s the most wanted polo title.

For another year running, the competition will host a renowned and faithful collection of sponsors supporting this long-standing event. Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) lead the sponsor’ board, joining the other distinguished team sponsors BUA Group, WAPIC Insurance, Arbico, ChapelHill  Denhem and Verve Champagne, as well as a new additions, Shell, Coca-Cola welcoming  polo aficionados.

Elite, stylish and extravagant as usual, the social scene of this annual tournament is as much of a show as the game on the pitch, with loads of entertainment and a colourful crowd that include, Obas, Emirs, Business tycoons, and society affluence lapping up magic of the ancient  noble game that made an historic landfall way back in 1904.

The much-awaited first stage of the 2019 GTBank Lagos Polo International Tournament galloped off in an exhilarating fashion Wednesday with Lagos Machines and Kaduna Tila Farms commencing their Silver Cup adventures on winning notes.

The Machines defeated Kano Nakudu 8-4 while Tila Farms saw off Lagos Lameana in a 6-0 stomping defeat in their opening game, just Nigeria’s top rated Bello Buba, Chris Makenzie from South Africa and Argentine Andre Crespo were the star performers as Almat Farms and Kaduna Trappco top the chase in the Open Cup race.

Both Caverton Sao Polo and A+ Renmoney/Bluechip from Lagos, who could not get their Open Cup campaign on a positive start,   were still battling for the royal title of the glamorous Oba of Lagos Cup yesterday as Polo Royals went to bed.

Lagos Polo Club President, Ade Laoye who has participated in the tournament on many occasions, says the contest for the contest for the Majekodunmi Cup prize this year promises to be the most competitive and the most exciting in years.

He thumbs-up all the corporate sponsors for promoting polo and sports generally in Lagos and in Nigerian as a whole, noting that the relationship between Lagos polo and sponsors over the years has had a positive impact in the society.

 


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