The inspiration for Chukka sprang from its founder’s passion for polo. In the early 1980’s, Danny Melville hosted polo matches on Saturdays at his polo field in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. On Sundays, to help the horses relax, the polo players took the horses swimming in the clear saltwater of Mammee Bay. International polo players loved the tradition, as did Danny’s children. When Danny opened a polo and equestrian center for locals in 1983, he decided to complement it with an opportunity for tourists to encounter horses. The Horseback Ride ‘N’ Swim was born—the first adventure tour of its kind on Jamaica, and thirty years later, still our signature tour.
Danny named the company Chukka, which describes a seven-minute period of play in a polo match. Chukka captures the spirit of adventure and excitement inherent in the game of polo and the childlike wonder inspired by a swimming horse.