The History Of Polo In Katsina

Katsina Polo Tournament As Glamorous As Ever

The history of the Katsina Polo Club started from within the Royal House of Katsina after the then Emir of Katsina HRH Alhaji Muhammadu Dikko

The history of the Katsina Polo Club started from within the Royal House of Katsina after the then Emir of Katsina HRH Alhaji Muhammadu Dikko went to England and witnessed the game of Polo. On coming back he got his children and courtiers to start playing the game. The spearhead of this introduction was the then Prince and later Emir of Katsina HRH Alhaji (Sir) Usman Nagogo who started playing in 1939 and till date is the highest handicapped Nigerian player having attained a handicap of 7 goals. Nagogo had played internationally with his first game in Kirtlington, England.

Action from the just ended yearly MTN sponsored Polo tournament in Katsina State, recently.

The late Emir of Katsina, HRH Alhaji Kabir Usman also started playing the same year with HRH Alhaji (Sir) Usman Nagogo in 1939. Katsina is considered to be the home of polo as it is the birth of the Nigeria Polo Federation which was formed in 1920 under the leadership of HRH Alhaji Muhammadu Dikko. Polo became the traditional sport for the Princes and Emirs of Katsina up to the current Emir, HRH Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, CFR, who started playing polo in the early 1980’s.
Currently the game has wide spread participation and recognition by all and sundry in Katsina and environs and the polo club is led by Alhaji Lawal Kaita, himself  a Prince of the Katsina Emirate, according to the official website of the club.

An Illustration showing Katsina State

The prestigious Katsina international polo tournament is unique in the sense that it signals the commencement of the polo season of the country.
This year’s tournament which came to a close last week was as usual, glamorous; having over twenty two teams exhibiting high sense of horse riding and skills.
Most of the teams that took place in this year’s event were drawn from the host city, Katsina, Kaduna, Zaria, Minna, Bauchi, Yola , Port Harcourt , Sokoto and Abuja were they competed in four major trophies namely, the tournaments biggest honor which is the  Nigerian cup follows by General Hassan cup, the  Talba and Commassie cups.

Apart from these major cups there were also smaller prizes that were competed for during the fiesta, they included the Vice President Cup, the Governor Cup, Muhammadu Kabir Cup, Usman Nagogo Memorial Cup, Dikko Memorial Cup, Lawal Kaita Cup and Maidabino Cup. These cups provided a place to groom younger players who would eventually grow in later years to play in the major cups.
The games lived up to their expectations as high ranked players that included notable polo players like Bello Buba, Dahiru Bagiwa, Ibrahim Abba, Hamisu Buba, Suleiman Abubakar had time to showcase their talents to the admiration of hundreds of supporters who for ten days thronged Sir Usman Nagogo Polo Ground to watch the games.

The Katsina Polo club has over the year’s witness’s top players from Europe, South America and many from across the African continent to have played on its turf just as it has boost tourism in the state with tourist coming from all over the world to watch the games.
Hassan Usman Katsina

At the high tensed final of the tournament most prestigious cup, the Nigerian Cup, Abuja Guards Rubicon took home the coveted price as the defeat their fierce rival Kaduna Trappco by 5-3 in a thrilling game that was watch by a mammoth crowd.
This is their second win of the Nigerian cup in four years. They were defeated at the finals of last year by Katsina Max Air.
However the defending champions, Max Air did not take part in this year’s event because of several injuries that affected their two players, namely Muhammad Usman Sarki and Umar Kabir who were involved in a car accident ahead of the tournament.

Other results of this year’s tournament are, The Katsina Gobarau team defeated Yola Yalwa to clinch the Hassan Usman prize while Katsina Sultana farms took the Talba cup and the Coomassie trophy was won by Abuja Guard NSK Farm and the best player of the year is Ibrahim Usman Sarki who played for Katsina Gobarau. He received the emir of Daura’s ‘stick’, an award reserved for the tournament’s best, with Emir; Umar Faruk personally presenting the stick to the winner.
The tournament saw the games played on a well laid grass turf just as the players exhibited high sense of sportsmanship by adhering to laws and regulations of tournament.  The tournament also witnessed a robust security arrangement for the safety of players, spectators as well.
By and large, the tournament has come and gone but its lingering memories shall continue to be remembered on the minds of the teeming followership of the Kings game. The tournament has lived up to its expectation with spectacular displays, sportsmanship, most importantly signaling the commencement of the season that will go round the country.