When ladies cried “God!” for Harry – Sentebale commands the chukkas at Apes Hill Polo

Comments are way overdue for this massive event, and I have them in three categories for simplification…


Prince Harry’s Dismount” – Everyone talked about HRH Prince Harry falling, har de har hah – did anyone notice how lucky he was and skilled not to really bust himself up? Can you imagine what Barbados’ rep would have been if he had a serious injury? Overseas media would have blamed Bajan grass for the mare in slipping, I am sure! Of course Harry lost his temper afterwards, how would you feel if you popped your tail in front of a pile of strangers? I’d be fairly pissed too!

Harry's Intro courtesy Amorgrande Productions

Harry's Intro courtesy Amorgrande Productions

Media Accreditation – There should have been a form on the site with a cut off point. The deluge of Press was phenomenal, it led to one of the photographers from one of Barbados’ more popular polo magazines being horridly marginalised in favour of folk who will not be here until another planetary alignment or Royal Visit whichever’s first… I had applied since late December and no answer ’til early January and was only told a few days before the event (a month later) that they were over-subscribed… I e-mailed Apes Hill Polo Club, Quintessentially Events and the Assistant Press Secretary to the Duke & Duchess of Cornwall, still have the e-mails to show for it!

Sentebale Polo Cup <*******.bb>
toIan Bourne <ian.bourne@gmail.com>
dateWed, Jan 6, 2010 at 9:08 AM
subjectRe: Attn: Mrs Sara Dickson/Quintessentially Events, et al – Media Accrediatation, per Sentebale Cup
hide details Jan 6
Dear Ian,

Here are the details you wanted.

If you have any question please call me on my mobile – *** ****

Yours sincerely,
***** ***** *****

On 12/29/09 11:26 AM, “Ian Bourne” <ian.bourne@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear All;

I host a Web-Magazine (https://www.bajanreporter.com <https://www.bajanreporter.com/> ) which has polo among the sports which are examined. I would love to be able to cover the Sentebale Cup with HRH’s Seeiso and Harry come January 31, 2010 https://www.bajanreporter.com/?p=6817

What does one do to acquire proper accreditation for this event?

Kind Regards,

Did you see the dates? Plus? What was sent to me was the flyer for the match, not a form to fill out, sigh!

Oli Taylor chatting with a Sentebale Umpire at Half-Time

Oli Taylor chatting with a Sentebale Umpire at Half-Time

Stomping in Divots Contest – There was a chance for two Premium Economy Tickets to London from Richard Branson’s airline,Virgin (Jonathan Simpson’s slogan was an instant classic, They are more experienced than their name implies“) all you had to do was stomp in the divots which were not steaming and look for a silver airplane keyring… Can you believe a PILOT won? What gives? It was found so quickly too… Things which make you go, well, you know the rest, eh?


Harry can wuk-up, much to the pleasant surprise of Mac Fingall, my wife says he must have Caribbean pals to coach him, apparently he went on stage as a dare and if he did it would raise more funds for the Charity… Sentebale in Lesotho means “Forget me not,” and we will be having a follow up entry to see how much was raised from the inaugural Cup, we’ve sent an e-mail and await response – hopefully in this lifetime.

Bajan Alternative Band - INDICA

Bajan Alternative Band - INDICA

It was also great to have live entertainment after the games, there was a mechanical bull which Bajan model Sara Collins tried (not moi, not after my pitch down in March last year without any device), and the alternative band INDICA who kept the crowd entertained with their versions of U2, Sting and other classic rock hits. Look forward to checking other venues with them, hopefully doing their own songs?

Part of the massive crowd that famous day at Apes Hill

Part of the massive crowd that famous day at Apes Hill

Anyhow, I attended as a ‘mere mortal,’ so to speak – in actuality I ended up with the better seat, LOL! The VIP tents which folks had to fork out 500$ a tent barely saw any action yet me in the middle, next to the grandstand, caught lots of play and many a time the teams came close by the boards! Cosmic justice, I suppose – besides our Prime Minister in traditional Lesotho garb is not a way I’d willingly spend the afternoon, as he did not carry it off like a true Lesothan would have done.



Courtesy Amorgrande Productions

Mr Thompson obviously had more fun tossing in the ball for the Main Event, he was in a Mercedes no less! But that is getting ahead of myself… There was a preliminary match of Williams Industries (“Bizzy“) in green & white, versus CO Williams Construction, who donned patriotic yellow & blue shirts.


Team Williams Industries had a lesser handicap than Team CO Williams, so were given the vantage scoring of 1.5 from inception. By the end of the first chukka (like a basketball quarter, but of 7 mins and 30 secs), it was 3.5 to Nil against COW’s herd.


Not wanting to take this “horn” from COW, the Industry posse tried valiantly to rally around but by half-tine they only raked it up to 5.5 compared to COW’s 7! In the 3rd Chukka, things were quiet as COW were the matadors keeping Williams Industry from scoring – yet as the last/4th Chukka unfolded Industry could only scrape along to 6 compared to the Construction Crew’s whopping 8 and with under 2 minutes left, it quickly became 7 for Industry and 9 with Construction!


With about 1:11 left in the fourth and final chukka, it was COW’s Construction who steamrolled Industry with 10 over a still impressive 7.5! Then it was time for the match everyone was waiting for… Sentebale were against Almond Beach who in reality were the Tshwene Lodge Spoofers or the South African team who have been in Barbados for quite a few days now (Tshwene Lodge actually got its name from Chacma baboons  – Afrikaans: Tshwene, {tway-nay, ‘s’ is silent} Baboon – in the surrounding fauna, rather like how Apes Hill got its name from the green monkeys here in Barbados – rather like a Twinning, LOL)…

Sentebale_078The vantage score in this match went to Almond Beach, with 4:49 remaining the score was 1 to Sentebale and 2.5 for Almond but the numbers quickly changed due to the skills of one team over the next as it became 4 in Sentebale’s favour with a goal from UK’s HRH contributing the second goal of that chukka, as placed opposite Almond’s 2.5!

However, the Spoofers sought to respond and brought it to 3.5 to Sentebale’s 4 by the end of the 2nd chukka. In the 3rd chukka, Sentebale’s team may have started to nibble their hooves as the score suddenly levelled to 4 versus 4.5 as that chukka just commenced (7’06”).

Sentebale_132Almond’s cohesiveness paid off that round as the score only changed to 5 at Prince Harry’s court while Tshwene/Almond maintained 4.5, could they pull it off though?

Sentebale_176A penalty shot by 6:14 in the last chukka suddenly put paid to that dream – Sentebale with a victorious 6 to Almond’s 5.5 is what eventually held off, as the prize-giving ceremonies were simple in content yet elaborate in presentations and posings.

Sentebale_149Robert LeHunte of BNB appeared quite nervous when near the MVP’s – Most Valuable Ponies, these high-strung steeds obviously did not like a large crowd and preferred either a quiet stable or a good rush of a chukka! For the 1st match it was Roddy davis’ “Babybird” an all-Bajan pony and for the Sentebale title bout it was “Tommy” whose dam is from Argentina but his sire and his own birth remained here.

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3 Responses

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  1. Great shots of this event, Ian. You’re far heartier than I; even though I love a good polo match, there was no way I wanted to fight the crowds. I heard the event raised something like $1 million (US) for Lesotho …

  2. Ian,
    That was easy.
    You should try getting accredited to cover the Jazz Festivial. Then you would understand how hard it is for the press in this Island.

  3. It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing this.I may not agree with everything, but the topic is really exciting. Congratulations!


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