KING-SIZE POLO: JAIPUR POLO SEASON SPRING 2020

(Parul Srikanth)

Jaipur Spring Season 2020 opened its doors to a season of many ‘Firsts’. The brand-new year promised a glorious spring season as it hosted 10 women polo players for its very first Ladies Polo Match. Another ‘first’ was the participation of several high handicap international players from Colombia and Argentina. The ‘Season’ also saw introduction of professional foreign umpires to ensure that the matches are conducted in a fair and equal manner.  

However, the year suddenly changed its course and it was curtains for the season within a short span of time, as news of the virus and the virus itself started making its presence known in the Pink City. Keeping up with the government efforts to contain the Coronavirus outbreak Rajasthan Polo Club decided to curtail all matches till the situation improved  but not before hosting the better part of the Season’s matches. 


SMS GOLD VASE CUP (8 Goals)

31st December 2019- 5th January 2020

Heralding the Jaipur Polo Spring Season was the 8 goal SMS Gold Vase Cup. Spread over six day , with six teams in the fray, it was however Ragnigandha Achievers and Chandna Group capturing the attention of the spectators at the RPC Grounds, Jaipur for the Finals of Cup.

The Team composition was-

RAJNIGANDHA ACHIEVERS

Mayurdhwaj-2
Kuldeep  Rathore2
Daniel Otamendi5
Sawai Padmanabh Singh3

CHANDNA GROUP

Akarsh Tibrewal-2
Ashok Chandna0
Basheer Ali4
Gerrado Mazzini6

The Match came into play with the Umpire Jason Dixon releasing the ball signaling for the battle to begin.

The first chukker saw Rajnigandha Achievers in the lead, with Daniel Otamendi scoring both the goals for the Team. Chandna Group remained goalless at the end of the first chukker.  

The Final Chukker of the SMS Gold Vase Cup, saw magnificent play by Daniel Otamendi as he scored two goals guiding the team towards a win. In a last-minute bid to close the gap in the scores, Basheer Ali and Ashok Chandna score singles for Chandna Group as the final hooter signaled the end of the match.

The final scores of the match were – 7-4 The final match for SMS Gold Vase Tournament had Rajnigandha Achievers winning against Chandna Group. Score- 7-4

HH RAJMATA PADMINI DEVI JI OF JAIPUR INTERNATIONAL SHEILD

4th January 2020

H.H RAJMATA PADMINI DEVI JI OF JAIPUR INTERNATIONAL SHIELD witnessed a great match with some renowned polo players. The game started with the Army band playing some melodic tunes as the players introduced themselves to the crowd.

The match was graced by HH Rajmata Padmini Devi Ji of Jaipur as the Chief Guest and Mr. Raj Kumar Tongya was the Guest of Honour.

The two teams (RPC- INDIA and ZAMBIA- ARGENTINA) comprised-

RPC- INDIA

HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh3
Samsheer Ali5
Abhimanyu Pathak5
Col Ravi Rathore VSM5

Zambia- Argentina

Shaun Davey1
Eric Staubs5
Daniel Otamendi5
Manuel F Llorente6

The ceremonial roll- in was done by the Guest of Honor- Raj Kumar Tongya and the match began with Abhimanyu Pathak taking charge of the ball, albeit short lived as he lost it Eric Staub.  A few dribbles and missed shots later, the chukker witnessed its first goal by ‘Pacho’ HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur for India- RPC. The first chukker ended with Team Zambia remaining goalless.

The adrenaline packed third chukker witnessed ‘Pacho’ bag three goals for the team, as Shamsheer Ali and Abhimanyu Pathak added to the total taking the scores to 8 goals. Daniel Otamendi and Manuel Llorente were the contributors for Team Zambia- Argentina as they each scored a single placing the team at 4 goals.

It was decisive win for Team India- RPC at 8 goals vs 4 goals by Team Zambia-Argentina.

PRINCESS DIYA KUMARI CUP (8 Goals)

6th January -12th January, 2020

The warm winter afternoon welcomed the battle for Princess Diya Kumari Cup, between Teams Sahara Warriors and 61 Cavalry at the RPC Grounds, Jaipur.

The team composition for Sahara Warriors and 61 Cavalry was-

SAHARA WARRIORS

Mayurdhwaj Singh-2
Kuldeep Rathore2
Daniel Otamendi5
Padmanabh Singh3

61 CAVALRY

Ranshay Purohit-1
Anant Raj/ Hurr Ali0
Samsheer Ali5
Lt. Col Vishal Chauhan4

The finals for the cup started with Team 61 Cavalry leading the match till the third chukker as Ranshay Purohit, Anant Raj and Shamsheer Ali added their singles establishing a lead of three goals. At the end of the third chukker, 61 Cavalry was comfortably placed at 4 goals as opposed to a single goal by Team Sahara Warriors bagged by Daniel Otamendi in the first chukker.

Samsheer Ali equalized the scores as the final chukker came into play. But lady luck had already decided to go along with Sahara Warriors as Daniel Otamendi scored a single etching the win, seconds before the final hooter signaled the close of the match.

The scoreboard clearly announced the victory in the name for Sahara Warriors. Chukker 4 Sahara Warriors- 6 Vs 61 Cavalry- 5 

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THE MATHURA DAS MATHUR MEMORIAL CUP

11th January 2020

The Mathura Das Mathur Memorial Cup 2020 was hosted at the RPC Ground and gracing the occasion was, Shri Ashok Gehlot, The Chief Minister of Rajasthan. The Chief Guest for the event was Mr. Rajat Sharma, Chairman, India T.V and the Guest of Honour was Mr. M.S Bitta, Chairman- Anti- Terrorism Front. Also attending the event were Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor – Celebrity Chef and Promoter FOOD FOOD CHANNEL and Ms. Shivani Jadhav, Femina Miss India Grand 2020.

The match was played between Team Umang and Team UG. Dressed in yellow Team Umang comprised

The exhilarating match saw Team Umang emerge as the winners, as they registered 5 goals as opposed to 3 goals by Team VG.

Shri Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan presented the winners with the prized trophy.

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SWISS KOTA CUP

12th January, 2020

Jaipur Spring Season showcased The Swiss Kota Cup for 2020 at the RPC Ground. The match had Teams Eviva St Moritz facing Dupont Budapest in an engaging match.

Brightening the day with yellow jersey Eviva St Moritz played with Dupont Budapest in white.

Team Dupont Budapest led the way to victory, defeating Eviva St Moritz with 5 goals against 3.

HH RAJMATA GAYATRI DEVI MEMORIAL CUP

13th January – 19th January, 2020

The Finals of HH RAJMATA GAYATRI DEVI MEMORIAL CUP was played between Chandna Sphiro and Sahara Warriors. The Army Band provided an immaculate background score as players introduced themselves to the cheering crowd.

The teams fielded-

CHANDNA SPHIRO

Ranshay Purohit-1
Ashok Chandna0
Dhruvpal Godhra5
Gerardo Mazzini6

SAHARA WARRIORS

Shubham Gupta-2
Sidhant Sharma4
Daniel Otamendi6
Padmanabh Singh3

The first goal for the maiden chukker was bagged by Gerrado Mazzini for Chandna Sphiro, and equally soon nullified by ‘Pacho’ as he scored a single for his team, Sahara Warriors. Determined to establish a lead, Gerrado Mazzini scored another single taking the score to 2 goals for Chandna Sphiro as Sahara Warriors remained at 1 goals just as the first chukker ended.  

Sahara Warriors won with a score of 7 goals to 5.

MAHARAJ PRITHI SINGH BARIA CUP 2020

18th January, 2020

The Rajasthan Polo Club Ground witnessed the action packed MAHARAJ PRITHI SINGH BARIA CUP, as Shri Vaibhav Gehlot, graced the occasion as Chief Guest for the event.

The match was between Teams Baria and BMW.

BARIA

Sidhant Singh-2
Kuldeep Singh Thakur2
Abhimanyu Pathak5
Padmanabh Singh3

BMW

Ashwini Sharma0
Satinder Garcha2
Dhananjay Singh2
Lt. Col. Vishal Chauhan5

As the Chief Guest Shri Vaibhav Gehlot rolled the ball for play, Team Baria made clear its intent of winning the match. The first chukker saw HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh Ji of Jaipur scoring the opener for his team, which was soon followed by Danile Otamendi adding his single to the tally. Ashwini Sharma playing for Team BMW scored the single for his team in the first chukker. At the end of the chukker Team Baria maintained a lead with 2 goals in their kitty and Team BMW trailed with 1.

Dhananjay Singh bags a single for his Team BMW in the final chukker,  closing the gap, but another goal by ‘Pacho’ in last chukker took Team Baria towards the momentous win. The final scores for the match- Baria – 6 Vs BMW – 3 
 

HH MAHARAJA SAWAI BHAWANI SINGH CUP (12 Goals)

20th January- 26th January 2020

The highly coveted 12 goal trophy for HH MAHARAJA SAWAI BHAWANI SINGH CUP saw Teams Chandna Sphiro and Garcha Hotels in the finals of the cup. The occasion was graced by LT. Gen Alok Singh Kler, VSM, GOC IN C, HEADQUARTERS, SOUTH WESTERN COMMAND as chief guest of the event and Ms  Meenakshi  Joshi, DIRECTOR- MANSION ROYALE was the Guest of Honour.

CHANDNA SPHIRO played with

Ashok Chandna0
Raghav Rao1
Dhruvpal Godara5
Gerrado Mazzini6

GARCHA HOTEL played with

Dhananjay Singh1
Angad Kalan3
Satinder Garcha2
Manuel Fernandez

A thrilling match till the very end, witnessed both the teams trying hard to establish a considerable lead and maintaining it. However as both the teams were fielding experienced players the scores were marginally apart. The first chukker had Chandna Sphiro in the lead with 2 goals as Garcha Hotel managed to add only a single in the first chukker.

The final chukker was witness to some excellent polo skills by Gerarrdo Mazzini and Manuel Llorente as Mazzini scored a double overtaking Garcha Hotel, though Manuel Llorente scored a single closing the gap but last minute goal by Mazzini sealed the deal in favour of Chandna Sphiro.

Chandna Sphiro beats Garcha Hotel by 7 goals to 6. Chandna Sphiro – 7 Vs Garcha Hotel – 6 

PDKF USPA SEPHORA LADIES POLO CUP

25th January 2020

The match for the PDKF USPA SEPHORA LADIES CUP opened to a packed stand on a bright and sunny winter afternoon. Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur also graced the occasion as the Chief Guest for event encouraging the players to give their best to the match.

The final chukker, opened with Ploy scoring yet again, aided by teammate Mriganka as added two more goals to the total. Olivia Kate Lamphee scored for Team Sephora as the final hooter sounded signaling the close of the match.


Team USPA beat Sephora by 6 goals to 4. Chukker 4 USPA – 6 Vs Sephora – 4 

SHREE CEMENT SIRMUR CUP (14 Goals)

27th January – 2nd February 2020

The high goal match for the coveted trophy was played amongst 4 teams (Garcha Hotel, El Dragon Cavalry, Sahara Warriors and Chandna Sphiro).

The finals for the match was played between Sahara Warriors and Chandna Sphiro.

An intense match enthused for the Cup and it was Sahara Warriors that walked away with the trophy. Winning the match with just a single goal, the packed grandstand was treated to an exhilarating match. The top scorers for Team Sahara Warriors were Sidhant Sharma as he scored two goals for the team, Daniel Otamendi and Pacho scored a hatrick each taking the total to 8 goals.

Satinder Garcha and Angad Kalan scored a single and a brace respectively for Team Garcha, but it was resounding 4 goal addition by Manuel Llorente that closed the gap between the scores.

 Sahara Warriors- 8 Goals Vs Garcha Hotels – 7 Goals.

ASIA CUP (Exhibition MATCH)

1st February 2020

The Exhibition match for ASIA CUP was played between Singapore Colts and Jaipur.

After four engaging chukkers it was Team Jaipur winning the exhibition match with 7 goals to 3.

Vikramaditya Singh Barkna playing for Team Jaipur scored 2 goals as teammates Pratap Kanota and ‘Pacho’ added 2 and 3 goals respectively enabling the team to sail through to victory.

RAGHU SINGH MALA MATHUR MEMORIAL CUP

1st February 2020

The battle for the Memorial Cup was fought between Team RPC and Team Malarpan.

Team RPC- Siddhant Singh, Dhananjay Singh, Abhimanyu Pathak, HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur

Team MALARPAN- Ashwini Sharma, Rao Himmat Singh Bedla, Gaurav Sahgal, Col Ravi Rathore VSM

The event was graced by Lt Gen KK Repswal, SM, VSM, COS, South Western Command as Chief Guest.

Team Malarpan donning pink jerseys were the winners of the Raghu Singh Mala Mathur Memorial Cup as they registered 6 goals as opposed to 3 goals by Team RPC.

BM BIRLA CUP (Out of the Hat) (4 Goals)

11th March – 15th March 2020

The BM Birla Cup (Out of the Hat) was organized during the Jaipur Polo Season to provide exposure and experience to the young players. There were six competing teams divided into two pools. Central Academy, Cavaliers, Jaipur formed Pool A and Chandna Group, Kanota and 61 Cavalry formed pool B.

After competing for 4 days, 61 Cavalry and Central Academy faced off in the finals.

61 Cavalry

Shubham Gupta-2
Akarsh Tibrewal-2
Maj Aman Singh+1
Col Ravi Rathore VSM+5

Team Central Academy emerged victorious scoring 7 goals as 61 Cavalry managed to register only 2.

RPC CUP (4 Goals)

16th March – 22nd March 2020

RPC Cup had Chandna Group, Central Academy, Chunda Polo Team, Jaipur and Naila Heirloom playing for the cup.

Match for day 1 was scheduled to be played between Chunda Polo Team and Naila Heirloom Textiles on March 16th. The Team composition for both the teams was-

Chunda Polo Team

Rajveer Singh Jhala-2
Veeram Dev Singh Thana0
Vishwaraj Singh Bhatti1
Lance Watson5

Naila Heirloom Textiles

Shubham Gupta-2
Kr Yogeshwar Singh1
Kr Pratap Singh Kanota2
Pranav Kapoor2

The match started with Team Naila Heirloom Textiles being awarded an advantage of 0.5 goals. However, picking up the pace of the match was Vishwaraj and Veeram Dev as they opened the scoring for Chunda Polo Team, Naila Heirloom Textiles also managed to score a single as the first chukker wound down. It was only in the third and fourth chukkers that Team Naila Heirlooms scored beyond 2.5 goals, as Yogeshwar Singh and Pranav scored a single each in third and fourth chukkers respectively. However, maintaining  considerable lead was Team Chunda Polo as they emerged victorious with a score of 4.5-8 Chunda Polo Team – 8 Naila Heirloom Textiles – 4.5

 Day 2- 17 March 2020 Match 1

Day 2 of the Cup witnessed Chandna Group and Central Academy locking horns. The team composition for them was

Chandna Group

Lokendra Singh0
Ashok Chandna0
Dhananjay Singh1
Vicky Nihlani2

Central Academy

Malik0
Raghav Rao1
Vikramaditya Singh Barkana0
Padmanabh Singh3

Team Chandna was awarded an advantage of 0.5. After a considerable tussle, and intense game play, it was Central Academy that won the match with 4 goals to a 3.5  goals by Chandna Group. The scorers for Team Central Academy were, Raghav Rao, HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur and Malik.

Day 2, Match 2

The second match for the day was played between-

Chunda Polo Team

Rajveer Singh Jhala-2
Veeram Dev Singh Thana0
Vishwaraj Singh1
Lance Watson5

Jaipur

Major Aman Singh1
Maharaj Narendra Singh0
Kr Dhananjai Singh Rathore2
RK Janmejai Singh Jodhpur1

The match tilted in favour of Chunda Polo Team from the very beginning as Veeram Dev, Vishwaraj Singh and Lance Watson for Chunda Polo Team were relentless in their scoring and sheer determination to win. Major Aman Singh and RK Janmejai Singh were the scorers for Jaipur.
The final hooter sounded signaling the win for Chunda Polo Team with the scores of 7-3. Chunda Polo Team – 7 Jaipur – 3

The matches and the Season came to an abrupt standstill as the Country and City started gearing up for the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic.  Across the world the sporting calendars drew a blank as all the events got cancelled or were postponed indefinitely. However, as a silver lining RPC Club could conduct most of the matches, barring the finals for RPC Cup. We close with the hope that the Polo Seasons come safe and soon.

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