May 26, 2014 (St. Ann, Jamaica) – Guests at the very first Chukka and Issa Foundation Challenge Cup were treated to not only outstanding polo but also a fairy tale high tea and a party to remember.
Over 300 guests arrived at Chukka Cove Farm on Saturday afternoon for what undoubtedly will turn into a must-attend event if this first year is any indication. Red Light , a delicious welcome drink made with Appleton Estate VX, awaited guests at the gate.
Before the low goal Charity Cup match between the Chukka and Couples teams, guests were invited to indulge in the decadent high tea prepared by Stefan Spath, Corporate Executive Chef of Couples Resorts, and his team led by Regional Pastry Chef Linval Greene and Pastry Team Leader Errol Sewell of Couples Tower Isles. The sumptuous menu included cupcakes, mousses, cakes, pies, cookies, French macaroons, loaves, scones and finger sandwiches.
The Charity Cup was quick paced and entertained the crowd. Couples scored the first two goals, but Chukka then took control of the game and eventually won 6 to 3. The cheering crowd was also kept entertained by DJ Mark Freize. A lovely tent, decorated by Tai Flora and Appleton Estates, provided shade and cover for guests.
The Challenge Cup followed the first match with Appleton Team in black and the Chukka Issa Foundation Team sporting white. Almost immediately in the first chukka, there was a tense moment as John Byles of the Chukka team took a nasty fall but to everyone’s relief remounted to continue play. The first goal was scored by Chukka, but the Appleton team were determined to take the cup and came back in the second chukka to take the lead – finally winning the match 4 to 1. Kurt Chin scored on an amazing cut shot that resulted in loud cheers.
One of the highlights of the event happened during the traditional half time divot stomping. While some guests headed for cover as a shower started, they were quickly lured back out to the field by a the team of stunning Percheron from Chukka Good Hope Estate pulling their carriage decked out in Appleton Estate décor and carrying delicious chilled Cinzao Prosecco . The brain child of event creator Raquel Parke, this stunning display and engaging activity was definitely the highlight and will be long remembered.
Issa Foundation Chairman Paul Issa made presentations to the victorious teams and announced Kurt Chin of Appleton team MVP and Tsunami as Best Playing Pony. Tsunami was ridden by Kurt Chin and owned by his brother Shane Chin. The gate prize of a weekend at Couples resort was won by a couple who were visiting Jamaica on their honeymoon.
In true polo fashion the party was just getting started. Daniel Melville Jr announced the arrival of DJ Bambino and invited guests and players alike to enjoy the music, drinks and delicious jerk provided by sponsor Scotchies. The dance floor was packed, the bar booming and music flowed out across the fields of Chukka Cove Farm, reminiscent of polo parties made famous during Chukka Chairman Danny Melville’s days. It was the wee hours of the morning before the party ended.
Custodes Sally Porteous from Manchester, Paul Muchette of Trelawny and the Mayor of St. Ann, Desmond Gilmore, were all in attendance.
The Chukka and Issa Foundation hosted the event and were supported by major sponsors Couples resorts, Chukka Tours, Appleton Estate, Campari, Cinzao Prosecco and Scotchies. In addition the event was supported by Bijoux who provided a stunning crystal Challenge Cup trophy; Outside the Cube who provided design and event management support; Walkerswood; Tai Flora; CPJ; Wisynco provided Coke and bottled WATA; and Fraser Fontaine & Kong and Click.