BRITISH POLO DAY
Sir Winston Churchill very aptly once said, “A polo handicap is a passport to the world”, and British Polo Day is a testament to the statement. The history of the game is as enthralling as the game itself. Known to have originated in Persia and re-discovered in Manipur ‘India’ and interestingly reintroduced by the British to the world.
The event is a celebration of the history and the heritage that the game carries within its folds. British Polo day is presently played in 16 countries and 5 continents. The ‘invitation only’ event, is as much a celebration of the game as it is the celebration of the players and the network that it encompasses. The event brings with itself a sense of adventure and exploration as the players are invited to idyllic locales from all over the world.
Returning to the Marwar dunes of Jodhpur for its 9th year, the exhibition matches promised to regale the spectators and players with ‘world-class’ polo action.
The first exhibition match under the umbrella of British Polo Day and 20th Jodhpur Polo Season was played between Teams Mayo and BPD I. Manifesting the vibe for an extraordinary day was the Welcome Band performance and the ever awe inspiring Vintage Car display. The sporting side started with the players being introduced by Mr. Simon Ledger, commentator of the match.
Players for BPD I sported black jerseys and the Team fielded – Stefan Sund ±0, The Marques de Sardanola Jose Luis Trenor +2, Eddie Horsewell +1, Malcolm Borwick +5, as
Team MAYO took them on donning the dapper Marwari Pachranga (five colours) jersey and played with- Bh. Hemendra Singh ±0 Kr. Yogeshwar Singh +1 Kr. Pratap Singh Kanota +2 Mr. Brad Millet +3
The match started with a +1.5 lead for Team Mayo, and both the Teams were determined to give it their best defense. Each and every attempt at scoring from either side was thwarted, as the teams displayed great defense. The first chukker ended with a nil for BPD I and Mayo enjoying the +1.5 lead due to the uneven handicap.
The second chukker however had the Teams focusing on attacks as BPD I registered two goals on the scoreboard with Marques de Sardanola Jose Luis Trenor and Stefan Stud scoring a single each for the team. Displaying extreme finesse was Kr. Yogeshwar Singh and Kr. Pratap Singh Kanota as they scored 3 goals among them (single for Kr. Yogeshwar and a double for Kr. Pratap), establishing a 2goal lead for Team Mayo.
Chukker 2 BPD I- 2 Vs Mayo- 4.5
The third chukker, proved extremely scoring for Team Mayo as Bh. Hemendra Singh, Kr. Yogeshwar Singh and Kr. Pratap Singh scored a single each taking the lead further for the team. Registering a single goal for BPD I was Eddie Horsewell as the chukker settled at the scores- BPD I- 3 Vs Mayo- 7.5
The last chukker of the match had Eddie Horsewell and The Marques de Sardanola Jose Luis Trenor adding a single goal each to reduce the lead for Mayo, but a single by Bh. Hemendra Singh for Team Mayo, paved the way for a spectacular win by Team Mayo. The final scores were BPD I- 5 Vs Mayo- 8.5 H.H. Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur, His Grace of Duke Argyll and Lady Katherine, Chelsea magnified the post-match presentation ceremony and awarded the trophy and prizes to the winners and the runner up team.
British Polo Day is a very sought-after and elite event, and the popularity is largely through word of mouth. The event all over the world brings together people from all walks of life, key figures from the government, diplomats, military, actors and people who live and breathe the sport. It is no surprise then that the residual of such an event is a gigantic philanthropic effort. Through these events, BPD has been successful in raising funds for many a charities, that British Polo Day likes to support.
Day 2, Match 2
The second exhibition match enthused between Teams Jodhpur II and BPD II.
Jodhpur II donning black jersey’s played with
|Kr. Vikramditya Singh||±0|
|R.K. Janmejai Singh||+1|
BPD II donning peacock blue jersey’s fielded
BPD II lead the scores with +2 handicap as the match started. Kuldeep Singh playing for Jodhpur II scpred for the Team as the first chukker closed in. The scores at the end of the first chukker was Jodhpur II – 1 and BPD II- 2.
The second chukker was somewhat a similar story as the only goal that came was from the mallet of RK Janmejai Singh, equalizing the scores for the Teams. Chukker 2 Jodhpur II- 2 Vs BPD II- 2
The third chukker started with Jodhpur II taking the lead with Kr. Vikramditya scoring one goal and Kuldeep Singh adding two more goals. Mr. George Cadogen scored the first goal of the match for BPD II winding the third chukker scores at: Chukker 3 Jodhpur II- 5 Vs BPD II- 3 The only goal of the fourth and final chukker came from Mr. Will Emerson for BPD II.
It was Team Jodhpur II all the way at the second exhibition match under British Polo Day as Jodhpur II scored 5 goals to 4 goals by BPD II. Jodhpur II got better of BPD II by 5 goals to 4 to wind up the second day. Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II of Jodhpur graced the post- match presentation ceremony and awarded the trophy and prizes to the winners and the runner up team.
The ‘invitation only’ event is curated over months. Painstaking planning of the invitees and the exciting array of matches and locales is done over several brainstorming sessions. It is of utmost importance for the organisers to cater a relaxed atmosphere for their patrons, with the only criteria for consideration is the passion for the sport and a sense of adventure. The idea is to attract extraordinary people that actively want to enjoy the sport and partake in the activities that the event encompasses. Till we meet again!
Photo Credit: Sam Churchill , Naresh Lotay