POLO TALES FROM THE XXTH JODHPUR POLO SEASON

From the paleolithic paintings of the Chauvet cave to Tolkein’s shadow fax, horses have played a central role in mankind’s legends, cultures and myths. Whether it is the story of ‘Uchchaihshravas’, the wondrous king of horses that rose from legendary churning of the sea by the gods and demons. Allegorically, in the Hindu scriptures the symbol of the Horse is often used to represent a force that carries another force, as the Horse supports its riders. Human fascination with horses dates back to our cavemen ancestors or maybe even beyond. From the first horse that laboured for man to the most precise event winner, the loyalty, power and strength of character have the Horse ranking high marks of honour and admiration with man.  And with our annual Jodhpur Polo Season under the aegis of HH Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II, ponies and polo have become a staple for the year end.  

ARENA POLO MATCHES

HERMES CUP, Arena Polo (2 Goals)

25th November – 29th November 2019

The Season began with the Hermes Cup. The Finals for the coveted Cup played in the Arena Polo format- was battled out between Hermes Cubs dressed in orange jerseys and Hermes Colts dressed in black jerseys.  The Event was elegantly graced with the performance of the Mehrangarh Fort Band, cheerfully welcoming the crowd.

Mr. Pep Singh and Bh. Raghvendra Singh were the umpires and Col. Umaid Singh was the referee for the match. Th. Abhijeet Singh Rohet was the commentator for the Day.

The Team composition of the finalists was-

HERMES COLTS

Vinay Mewara-2
R.K. Kartikeya Singh+1
R.K. Janmejai Singh+1
Kr. Dhananjay Singh Rathore+2

HERMES CUBS

Sharwan Singh-2
Bh. Nikhlendra Singh±0
Bh. Hemendra Singh±0
Nicholas Scortichini+3

The Finals for Hermes Arena Polo had the young guns sport put up a magnificent spectacle for all to watch. The Match started with a 0.5 goal advantage for Hermes Cubs, but it was R.K Kartikeya Singh playing for Colts who controlled the narrative of the Match as he registered two goals for his team in the first chukker. Matching the aggression was Bh. Hemendra Singh for Cubs as he scored a single, soon followed by another single by Nicholas Schortichini. The first chukker closed with a narrow margin with Colts at 2 and Cubs at 2.5.

Hermes Cubs widened the lead as the brother duo of Bh. Hemendra and Bh. Nikhlendra added three goals to the total, placing the Cubs at 5.5 goals as the Colts remained stationary at 2 goals at the end of the second chukker.  

The third chukker had the Colts pick up momentum as R.K Kartikeya Singh converted two delightful passes forwarded by the elder brother R.K. Janmejai Singh into goals as Mr. Vinay Mewara added another running goal to close the gap for the Colts. Cubs were unable to score in the third chukker.

Chukker 3- Hermes Colts- 5 Vs Hermes Cubs– 5.5

The deciding chukker of the match, started with Sharwan Singh scoring a single for Cubs as Bh. Hemendra Singh added two magnificent goals taking his team to a clear victory. The Final scores settled Hermes Colts- 5 Vs Hermes Cubs– 8.5 Olaf Gurrand Hermes with his family and H.H. Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II of Jodhpur graced the felicitations to award the trophy and prizes to the winning and runner up teams.

JODHPUR POLO CUP (4 Goals)

30th November – 4th December 2019

There were six teams (Jodhpur Cubs, Jodhpur Tigers, Balsamand, Mehrangarh, Mayo and Gohilwad) that threw in their hat for the title of the winners of Jodhpur Polo Cup, Arena Polo. The finals however were played amongst Team Mehrangarh and Team Mayo.   

Playing with a .5 lead, Team Mehrangarh scored a total of 10.5 goals as opposed to 2 goals by Team Mayo.

Playing for Team Mehrangarh, R.K Janmejai Singh was the top scorer for the team as he registered a total of 6 goals, maintaining the pressure on the opponent team.

UMAID BHAWAN PALACE CUP (4 Goals)

5th December – 9th December 2019

The Finals of the Umaid Bhawan Palace Cup was played between Umaid Bhawan Palace and Mayo College at Maharaja Gaj Singh Sports Foundation Polo Ground, Jodhpur as the Mehrangarh Band welcomed the audience belting out melodious music. The players were introduced by Mr. Ankur Mishra, the commentator for the match as Mayo College in yellow jerseys were ready to take on Umaid Bhawan Palace in orange jerseys.

MAYO COLLEGE

Mr. Heervijay Singh/ Mr. Kushraj Singh-2
Mr. Pep Singh±0
Kr. Vishwaraj Singh Bhati+1

UMAID BHAWAN PALACE

Mr. Vinay Mewara/ Mr. Sharwan Singh-2
Bh. Hemendra Singh± 0
R.K. Janmejai Singh+1

The Finals for the cup was a one-sided match tilting in favour of Team Umaid Bhawan Palace from the get go. The first chukker opened with Bh. Hemendra Singh scoring within the first few minutes and R.K Janmejai Singh adding a hat-trick.  Kr. Vishwaraj Singh from Team Mayo tackled through to score the opening goal for Mayo College. The first chukker scorecard stood at- Umaid Bhawan Palace- 4 vs Mayo College – 1.

R.K Janmejai Singh, scored another hat-trick in the second chukker as he widened the lead between the teams.  For Mayo College, Vishwaraj Singhscored a hat-trick as he added to the scorecard. At the close of the second chukker the scores were-  Umaid Bhawan Palace- 7 vs Mayo College – 4.

The third chukker and the fourth chukker was dominated by Team Umaid Bhawan Palace as, Vinay Mewara playing as a substitution for Sharwan Singh and scored two goals and Bh. Hemendra Singh displaying aggressive game play went on to score six goals converting accurate pass shot pass shots by R.K Janmejai Singh.  Keeping the fight alive was Vishwaraj Singh as he scored one goal for Mayo College winding the third chukker at the score Umaid Bhawan Palace- 15 vs Mayo College – 5.

R.K Janmejai Singh started off the fourth and final chukker with a early goal and went on to score three more goals as the chukker progressed. Heervijay Singh the young Mayoite scored an elegant goal for his team with Pep Singh adding another one for Mayo College. The final scoreboard was: Chukker 4 Umaid Bhawan Palace- 19 Vs Mayo College – 7.

H.H. Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II of Jodhpur and Mr. Melvyn Saldanha, GM Umaid Bhawan Palace, graced the post-match presentation ceremony and awarded the Trophy and prizes to the Winners and the Runners’ Up Team.

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EXHIBITION MATCHES

MAJ. TH. SARDAR SINGH JASOL MEMORIAL CUP (ARENA POLO) EXHIBITION MATCH

8th December 2019

Maj. Th. Sardar Singhji Jasol Memorial Cup Arena Polo was played as a one-day exhibition match at Maharaja Gaj Singh Sports Foundation Polo Ground, Jodhpur. Apji Vijai Singh, the commentator for the match introduced Mayo College in yellow jerseys taking on Gohilwad in violet.

Mayo College

Heervijay Singh/ Mr. Kushraj Singh-2
Pep Singh±0
Kr. Vishwaraj Singh Bhati+1

Gohilwad

Mehmud Ali Khan-2
Bh. Nikhlendra Singh±0
Jaiveer Sinh Gohil±0

The Match started with a +0.5-handicap lead for Gohilwad. Bh. Nikhlendra Singh started the chukker in style for Gohilwad as he scored a hattrick aptly supported by Jaiveer Sinh Gohil as he added his single to the tally. Keeping the competition alive for Mayo was Pep Singh and Heervijay as they added single’s each winding the first chukker at – Mayo College- 2 Vs Gohilwad- 4.5

The second chukker was wound down with both the teams only adding single to their respective totals.  Chukker 2 Mayo College- 3 Vs Gohilwad- 5.5

The pace of the Game picked up in the third and the fourth chukker as Bh. Nikhlendra Singh scored another hat-trick with Mehmud Ali adding one to the lead. Not to be left far behind Kr. Vishwaraj Singh two goals in the third chukker and adding another two in the final chukker. He was enthusiastically supported by team mate Pep Singh as he added two goals to the scorecard.

 But Gohilwad had their eyes set on the final trophy as Bh.Nikhlendra Singh and Jaiveer Sinh Gohil both scored one goal each to set up the victory for Gohilwad as the final scores had Gohilwad overpowering Mayo College by 11.5 goals to 9 to claim the Maj. Th. Sardar Singhji Memorial Cup Arena Polo. The final scoreboard was: Chukker 4 Mayo College- 9 Vs Gohilwad- 11.5.

H.H. Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II of Jodhpur graced the post-match presentation ceremony and awarded the trophy and prizes to the Winners and the Runners’ Up Team.

ARMY COMMANDER’S CUP

16th December 2019

The Army Commander’s Cup was played between Teams Jodhpur Central Academy and SUJAN

Team Jodhpur Central Academy was represented on the field by

Shubham Gupta-2
R.K. Janmejai Singh+1
Syed Basheer Ali+4
Dhruvpal Godara+5

 As Team SUJAN comprised

Akash Tibrewal-2
Dhananjay Chaudhary+1
Brad Mallet+3
Simran Singh Shergill+6

The all-star match was perfect in its recipe of providing the most scintillating match of the day. The very first chukker set the tone of the match as the Teams refused to allow each other a considerable head start. The scores till the 3rd chukker were just one goal apart, with SUJAN at 4 goals and Jodhpur Central Academy at 3. The clincher for the coveted cup was scored by Dhananjay Choudhary as he scored two goals in the third chukker and adding another single in the fourth chukker as Brad Mallet scored a single translating it to a win for Team SUJAN    

 The final scoreboard was: Chukker 4 Jodhpur Central Academy- 6 Vs SUJAN-8 Lt. Gen. S.K. Saini, AVSM, YSM, VSM, GOC-in-C, Southern Command, Jodhpur Sub Area and H.H. Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II of Jodhpur graced the presentation ceremony and awarded the Army Commander’s Cup to the winning Team SUJAN and prizes to the runner up team.

THE ABU SEIR CUP

22nd December 2019

 The Abu Seir Cup, Exhibition Match was played between Abu Seir Colts and Abu Seir Cubs at the Maharaja Gaj Singh Sports Foundation Polo Ground, Jodhpur. Presented by Farouk Younes, F.I.P. Ambassador of Egypt, the Cup draws huge attraction from the players and spectators alike.

Dressed in yellow jerseys Abu Seir Colts comprised- Kr. Vikramaditya Singh Barkana ±0, Jaiveer Sinh Gohil ±0, Syed Basheer Ali +4, Abhimanyu Pathak +5

 As Abu Seir Cubs donned white jerseys and played with – Lokendra Singh ±0 Syed Hurr Ali ±0, Kuldeep Singh +2,  Dhruvpal Godara +5

The match started with a +1.5-handicap lead for Abu Seir Cubs and Colts found it difficult to overcome the difference till the very end. Both the teams displayed an excellent attacking game till the last chukker.

Dhruvpal Godara’s brace in the fourth and the final chukker sealed the match in favour of Team Abu Seir Cubs.

The final scoreboard was: Abu Seir Colts- 6 Vs Abu Seir Cubs- 6.5.

H.H. Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II of Jodhpur graced the post-match presentation ceremony and awarded the trophy and prizes to the Winners and the Runners’ Up Team.

POLO WITH A DIFFERENCE!

H.H MAHARAJA HANWANT SINGH CYCLE POLO

24th December – 25th December 2019

HH Maharaja Hanwant Singh Cycle Polo made Christmas Day merrier as the Teams Warriors and Knights put up a unique exhibition match.

Donning white, Warriors were represented by- Deepak Kumar, Vijai Kant Nayak, Pramod Kumar and Pep Singh. While Knights in black jerseys were represented by – Mahendra Nayak, Dhiraj Nayak, Jeetu and R.K. Kartikeya Singh.

The unique and entertaining exhibition match was won by Warriors as they established a wide lead from the first chukker with Vijai Kant Nayak scoring a hattrick and Pramod Kumar adding a brace taking the scores to 5 goals to a nil by Knights.

As the third chukker came around Warriors had added two more goals to the tally and Dhiraj Nayak and Jeetu opened the scoreboard for Knights and placed the Team at 3 goals Vs 7 by Warriors.  

 The fourth and final chukker had R.K. Kartikeya Singh scoring one goal for the Knights as the match wound down with Warriors victorious. HH Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II of Jodhpur and Col. Umaid Singh, Hony. Secretary, Jodhpur Polo & Equestrian Club Institution, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur presented the awards and trophy to the winning and runners’ up teams.

BHANWAR BAIJILAL VAARA RAJYE POLO CUP

25th December 2019

The second exhibition match Bhanwar Baijilal Vaara Rajye Polo Cup was battled between The Power Puffs and Frozen Blues.

Representing The Power Puffs were H.H. Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur +3, Emilio Urra Kirby +4, Abhimanyu Pathak +5, Gerardo Mazzini +6 and Frozen Blues played with Angad Kalaan +3, Siddhant Sharma +4, Daniel Otamendi +5,  Dhruvpal Godara +5.

The Match was rolled into play by the Princess of Jodhpur Bhanwar Baijilal Vaare Rajye and with HH Jaipur Padmanabh Singh Ji initiating the scoreboard for Power Puffs. Adding to it was Gerardo Mazzini as he scored the second by converting a 30 yard penalty by a direct hit as Pacho added the third one for their team. Frozen Blues remained goalless at the end of the first chukker. 

Gerrado Mazzini started the second chukker with a goal scored through a direct shot from an acute angle from the goal post. Frozen Blues managed to wring in two goals as Dhruvpal Godara converted a 30-yard penalty and Angad Kalan adding his single to the tally.  Chukker 2 The Power Puffs- 4 Vs Frozen Blues- 2.

Team Frozen Blues managed to shrink the lead of the opponents in the third chukker as Angad Kalan, Sidhant Sharma and Dhruvpal Godara scored one goal each. The third chukker ended with Team Frozen Blue deficit of one goal.   

The last chukker of the match had both the Teams on equal footing as Dhruvpal Godara scored an equalizer for Frozen Blues, but HH Maharaja of Jaipur Padmanabh Singh Ji turned the match in favour of his Team The Power Puffs as he scored a goal to lead his team to victory. The final scores were- The Power Puffs at 8 and the Frozen Blues at 6.

LADIES POLO CUP

29th December – 30th December 2019

Jodhpur International Ladies Polo Cup Exhibition Match was played between the Jodhpur Blues in bright blue jerseys and Pink Beret in pink jerseys.

JODHPUR BLUES played with

Ms. Divyakriti Singh-2
Ms. Raya Sidorenko-1
Ms. Delfino Balsano+1
Mr. Gerado Mazzini+6

PINK BERET played with

Ms. Lisa Franziska-2
Ms. Sanya Suhag-1
Ms. Clara Casino+2
Mr. Samir Suhag+5

The Match was played with an intensity that was interesting to watch. Both the teams were determined win the coveted cup. While Team Pink Beret enjoyed a lead of two goals till the third chukker, a brace by Delfina Balsano in the last chukker, equalized the scoring for the teams, ending the match in a draw with 5 all.

HH Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II graced the occasion and felicitated the joint winners. Ms Clara Casino was awarded the Best lady Player of the Season and was gifted the Frederique Constant’s timepiece.

HIGH GOAL MATCHES

HH MAHARAJA OF JODHPUR CUP (8 Goals)

13th December- 18th December 2019

The High Goal HH Maharaja of Jodhpur Cup Tournament saw participation from 7 Teams, but it was Teams Rajnigandha Achievers and SUJAN battling it out in the Finals. Rajnigandha Achievers and SUJAN were welcomed on the field by melodious performance by Mehrangarh Band.

Rajnigandha Achievers were represented by- Sangram Singh -2, Kuldeep Singh +2 , H.H. Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur +3, Daniel Otamendi +5.

SUJAN fielded- Akash Tibrewal-2, Dhananjay Chaudhary +1, Brad Mallet +3 , Simran Singh Shergill +6

The finals for the tournament cup was a one-sided match tilting in favour of Rajnigandha Achievers as they dominated the scoreboard till the second chukker. Daniel Otamendi and Pacho kept adding to the tally, and it was only in the second chukker when Simran Shergill opened the scoring for SUJAN.

Scores at the end of the second chukker were-Rajnigandha Achievers- 4 and SUJAN- 1.  Rajnigandha Achievers went on a scoring spree in the third chukker as Kuldeep Singh scored two goals and Pacho and Daniel Otamendi added one goal each, taking the final scores to 8 goals for Achievers. The play finesse by Achievers proved difficult for SUJAN to get in there and score as the scoreboard for them remained stationary at 1 goal.  

The last and the Final Chukker remained goalless for both the Teams, but Achievers enjoying a substantial lead claimed victory. The final scoreboard was:  Rajnigandha Achievers- 8 Vs SUJAN- 1

HH Maharaja Gajsingh Ji II of Jodhpur and Maharaja Daivat Singh of Sirohi, presented the Trophy and prizes to the Winning and the Runners’ Up Teams.

RAJPUTANA & CENTRAL INDIA CUP (10 Goals)

19th December- 24th December 2019

The Rajputana & Central India Cup (10 Goals) sponsored by Cello World was played from 19th December to 24th  December. The Tournament commenced with the Mehrangarh Band welcoming the spectators and teams with the classic melody Padharo Mhare Desh. There were six teams in the fray but it was Sahara Warriors and SUJAN that played in the grand finals.

Dressed in white Sahara Warriors played with Amer Randhawa -2, Kuldeep Singh +2, Syed Basheer Ali +4, Daniel Otamendi +5 and SUJAN fielded Bh. Nikhlendra Singh ±0 Mr. Dhananjay Chaudhary +1, Brad Mallet +3, Simran Singh Shergill +6, dressed in blue jerseys.

The Match started with a +0.5-goal advantage for Sahara Warriors as Lt. Gen. V.S Sreenivas, VSM BAR GOC HQ 12 CORPS threw in the ball to start the match.  Promising to be an enthralling match the first chukker started with Daniel Otamendi scoring the opener for the Warriors.

The first chukker set the pace of the Match as Daniel Otamendi scored the opener for the Team and soon after converting a 30-yard penalty awarded to Warriors in the wake of a foul by Team SUJAN.  Brad Mallet from Team SUJAN opened the scoring for the team as the scores at the end of the first chukker were.  SUJAN- 1 Vs Sahara Warriors – 2.5.

The second chukker saw both the teams scoring equally. Simran Singh Shergill and Brad Mallet scored for SUJAN while Daniel Otamendi and youngster Amer Randhawa scored for Warriors.

Chukker 2 SUJAN- 3 Vs Sahara Warriors – 4.5

Mrs. Rathore, sponsor of Cello World opened the third chukker with throwing in the ball. Taking command of the field, Simran Singh Shergill converted a 60 yard penalty with a long and direct hit, following it up with a magnificent acute angle shot scoring a second goal. Shergill completed his Hattrick as he scored a third goal of the chukker, placing the team in the lead.

The decider chukker for the match was truly nail biting as Kuldeep Singh and Simran Singh Shergill both scored for Team SUJAN, but Daniel Otamendi from Team Sahara refused to give up till he last minute as scored right before the hooter went off.

The crowd was delighted to witness an enthralling match and applauded both the teams for putting on their A-game with Warriors surmounting SUJAN at a final score of 7.5 goals to 7 claiming the trophy. The final scoreboard was: SUJAN- 7 Vs Sahara Warriors – 7.5

Lt. Gen. V.S. Sreenivas, VSM GOC HQ 12 Corps, Mrs. Rathore and Mrs. Bhachoo, Cello World Sponsors and HH Maharaja Gaj Singh Ji II of Jodhpur were the eminent guests for the day and magnified the felicitation ceremony by awarding the winning trophy and prizes to the winning team, runner up team the umpires, referee and the commentators for the match.

The never-ending influence the horse bestows upon the world’s cultures leaves man with feelings of respect, value and affection. The Polo Season’s across the country and especially Jodhpur Polo Season is a testament to the celebration of the bond that the rider and the pony enjoy. The victories are as much a part of the rider’s history as that of the pony. We applaud the loyal beast for giving us these moments to cherish and enjoy.

Photo Credit: Mr. Naresh Lotay, Yanshu Panwar

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