Photo: BTMI hosted a series of events at Greenwich Polo Club matches this summer, Credit: Brian Major
By: Brian Major
Source: Travel Weekly
Caribbean destinations have often sought to use island sporting events as another way to encourage North American travelers to visit. But the significant gap between Americans' sports preferences and their island counterparts has often hindered that.
This year, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) announced a partnership with the Greenwich Polo Club in Greenwich, Connecticut to sponsor a series of matches featuring many of the country’s best players and highlighting Barbados’ strong equestrian and sporting tradition.
“The sport of kings has a long heritage in Barbados, where it was first played in 1884 according to the historical record,” said Petra Roach, BTMI’s U.S. director. “We have an active season with several international teams visiting to play against local clubs.”
The island hosts a variety of events tied to the sport during January and May, said Roach, adding that matches “bring out the community along with society from around the world.”
Photo: Game in Action, Source: Apes Hill Polo Club
Barbados’ polo facilities include the 720-acre Apes Hill Polo Club, a full-sized field and practice facility which stables more than 100 horses and also features golf and tennis, plus luxury villas and concierge service.
Located in the upscale Holders Hill neighborhood, the Barbados Polo Club traces its roots back more than 130 years and features lush grounds and multiple events throughout the polo season. Affiliated with England’s Hurlingham Polo Association, the club also features easy access to shopping, luxury hotels and Bajan natural wonders.
This year’s Greenwich Polo Club season offered the additional distinction of featuring Shariah Harris, the first African-American woman to play in the country's top polo league. The Greenwich season and accompanying Barbados events conclude on September 10.
“We are proud of the partnership with a destination that is so synonymous with polo and which offers world class accommodations and easy access from the tri-state area,” said Mariana Castro, the Greenwich Polo Club’s director of marketing.
“This partnership is an exciting edition to Greenwich Polo Club’s 36th season and provides a delightful experience to our guests.”
Barbados’ equestrian tradition continues at the Garrison Savannah, which has hosted horse racing since 1845. The racetrack is just a few blocks away from Pebble Beach, where early-rising visitors can watch horses take daily, morning swims with their handlers. The salt water baths soothe pain from injuries and aid in the horses’ recovery.
BTMI’s partnership with the Greenwich Polo Club also coincides with Barbados’ Year of Sports, a BTMI promotion highlighting the country’s variety of sports-themed activities, which including polo, horse racing, cycling water sports and race-car driving.