The Kingston Polo Club Season
The Kingston Polo Club offers a wonderful alternative activity for persons looking for something to do on a Sunday. An amazing ambiance just 20 minutes outside Kingston the Club is a relaxing environment for both adults and children. Food and drink are available on all match Sundays so anyone looking for a change should come and join us.
The highlight of the Kingston Polo Club season is the KPC League which runs over 12 rounds between January and the end of April. Round 1 of our League is also the day on which teams play for Doc Masterton Trophy. Dr. John Masterton remains the most famous and definitely one of the best Jamaican players ever and he has been a foundation stone in the Kingston Polo club for over 60 years.
The KPC League continues until the last Sunday in April at which time the player who has amassed the most points by playing on the most winning teams over the 12 weeks is awarder the coveted KPC League Trophy. These Sundays are a great opportunity for polo enthusiasts to come and spend a day at the club watching polo, eating lunch and having a drink or two with family, friends and the players in a very special environment at Caymanas Estates.
Polo in Kingston usually takes a break in May which usually coincides with the rainy period and gives the horses a little holiday to recharge their batteries for the second half of the season in June and July. The highlights of our summer calendar are the Players Championship and the Dennis Lalor Trophy.
The Dennis Lalor Trophy is usually played on the second Sunday in June and, like the Doc Masterton, the Dennis Lalor Trophy celebrates the work of the other Foundation stone of the Modern Day Kingston Polo Club. Dennis Lalor is the longest serving President in the clubs history and has ensured the clubs survival and revival over the last 25 years.
The season also usually includes the visits of at least a couple visiting teams including an annual visit from Newport, RI. In 2015 & 2016 we were very happy to entertain a number of visitors from the Denver Polo Club who chose to give up snow for the sun and fun of polo in Jamaica all the way through February and March and look forward to hosting them again next year.
The Players Championship is a Pro Am Tournament in which the club brings in 4 higher handicapped players from overseas to play with 3 club members each. This higher handicapped polo is very exciting and makes for a great final day culminating with a great after party as this Trophy brings to an end our season in terms of competitive polo.
The Kingston Polo Club Facebook page usually carries the current details of matches and results, along with other activities taking place at the Club.
Kingston Polo Club has remained the premier polo club in Jamaica for many years and is the oldest of the local clubs as while the game was introduced to Jamaica by the British army in 1882 it was not played by civilians until 1886 when the club was formed. The club has the proud record of having in 1906 been the first to win the “SENIOR CUP” the most coveted trophy in Jamaica’s polo. The Club went on to win the trophy five times in a row and has been victorious than any other club in its history. It is the only club to have had a Governor of Jamaica as its President and an active member of the team. Much of the history of the Club is associated with thoroughbred horse racing as its first three homes were located on the infields of the Capital’s race courses, namely Kingston Race Course-now National Heroes Circle, Knutsford Park Race course, now transformed into High Rise Commercial and Hotel activity, followed in 1959 to Caymanas Park Race Course and finally in 1974 to Caymanas Estates where it now resides and at the of which hosted a team from Nigeria led by the Emir of Kaduna General Katsina.
In 1938 the English Hurlingham Club sent a team with 28 ponies under the captaincy of Lord Louis Mountbatten and shortly thereafter came the outbreak of World War 2. The big “country clubs” practically closed shop but Kingston kept the game alive throughout the duration. After the war, the players from the country clubs having been given the opportunity to play in Kingston repaid the compliment by dominating the competitions with Kingston experiencing some lean years. Fortunately, a great polo enthusiast, Sir Hugh Foote had returned to Jamaica as Governor having some ten years previously served as Colonial Secretary. On being elected President, he stated his intention to see the Senior Cup brought back to Kingston and he made good his promise as the Club was victorious in 1955 during the first year of his Presidency and a member of the team. The club has had its ups and downs commencing with the massive migration from Jamaica which occurred during the 1970’s.The club retained the Cup for the next 5 years and has won it on 39 occasions since. Today there are more playing members than ever before with a collection of horseflesh superior to any of the past. In addition to polo the club has facilitated the creation of an Equestrian facility comprising a Dressage and Show Jumping facility which hosts local and international events. The club’s history is replete with the names of the great and good who have left us a treasure trove of memories and a legacy for which our members are truly thankful. Our plan is to ensure that our successors and polo aficionados continue to enjoy the privilege and pleasure of another century, at the least, of polo and equestrian friendship.