British Polo Day India Celebrates Rajasthan’s Finest Heritage Under the High Patronage of the Royal Families of Jaipur and Jodhpur
20th December 2015 – British Polo Day – presented by Royal Salute – marked a significant year in British-Indian relations with its inaugural Jaipur event taking place from 10th to 12th December and 5th Anniversary Jodhpur event, taking place from 16th to 18th December.
British Polo Day marked its fifth event with a preceding itinerary in Jaipur, where The British Army and Jaipur Polo Team played an inaugural match on 12th December. A drinks reception hosted by fine jewellers Amrapali at 1135 AD (on top of the Amber Fort) and a Royal Gala Dinner at the City Palace hosted by Princess Diya and Maharaj Narendra Singh – with a Royal Salute Toast were two highly memorable evenings. Following their time in Jaipur, guests then embarked on Rajasthani expedition, with a two-night stay at the enchanting lakeside camp, Chhatra Sagar before arriving at the resplendent Umaid Bhawan Palace.
His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur personally hosted the likes of His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh, Maharaj Narendra Singh, Colonel Umaid Singh, The 13th Duke of Argyll, Helen Bromovsky, The Honorable Geraldine Harmsworth, Satindar Garcha, Ron Wahid, Vinod Kumar, Marc de Panafieu and Princess Alexandra Cantacuzene Count Speransky, for a three-day celebration of sport and creativity.
In the heart of ‘the blue city’, some of the most notable polo players from the two nations took to the field for three days of fast-paced polo. The British Army took on home side The President’s Bodyguard in the opening Jaeger-LeCoultre Umaid Bahwan Palace Cup, followed by the closely-fought Jodhpur versus Mundota Fort & Palace, Jaipur in the Royal Salute Marwar Trophy and, on the final day, the hotly-anticipated Eton versus Mayo: the The RJI Capital Yuvraj Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur Plate. Players also saddled up for two quintessential games of Brompton bike polo, as the Hackett British Exiles took on Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur, the latter winning 4-2 whereas the Harrods Cavalry were beaten 3-2 by the Jaeger-LeCoultre Guards, whilst guests delighted in having their caricatures taken in the Harrods Garden Party.
Evenings were spent in the company of the Indian Royal Family, with spectacular cocktail receptions and private dinners at the Umaid Bhawan Palace and Mehrangarh Fort. A specially-curated Royal Salute ‘Birds of Chandrapore’ evening – inspired by EM Forster’s classic ‘Passage To India’ – used food, art, poetry and literature to celebrate the mysterious dialogue between British and Indian culture. An exclusive ‘Olfactory Studio’ by star nose Barnabé Fillion, Royal Salute’s first Product Creative Advisor took guests on a journey through the senses blending exquisite single malts that form the main chord of Royal Salute 21 Year Old.
A reception, fashion show and live auction in the majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace drew British Polo Day India 2016 to a close on the final evening. With lots including exclusive stays at Marrakech’s Royal Mansour, the Inner Way Retreat at Ranvas Nagaur, The Six Senses Laamu in The Maldives, Lotus Ruby & Diamond earrings from Amrapali, a last of its kind bottle of Royal Salute 38 year old and an iconic Reverso watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre (fittingly celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Reverso), the evening raised a worthy US$41,150 for The Head Injury Foundation and Head Injury Through Sport. Models, wearing signature magnificent pieces from fine jewellers Amrapali, then took to the catwalk to showcase The Ottoman Collection, by Helen Bromovsky, against a palatial backdrop of stunning proportion.
Ed Olver, Co-Founder and CEO of British Polo Day says: “We were truly delighted to be back in India for our inaugural Jaipur event and 5th anniversary of our Jodhpur event- these two princely states famous for their bejewelled treasures as well as leading the renaissance of polo in India. The connection between the two houses was reinforced on the second day of British Polo Day India 2015 when the Jodhpur Polo Team played Mundota Fort & Palace, Jaipur. It was an unbelievable honour for the British Polo Day guests to be hosted by the Royal families in both Jaipur and Jodhpur we look forward to the years ahead and these relationships to grow ever-stronger in a shared love of tradition, craft and heritage.”
Vadim Grigorian, Royal Salute Global Brand Director added: “Thanks to British Polo Day we visited the spectacular city of Jodhpur and held a series of events at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, home to His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur. The palace provided perfect context for the Royal Salute Birds of Chandrapore, which while giving the tribute to British and Indian cultures created a conversation about bridging different cultures, east and west, north and south, me and the other.”
MATCH REPORTS AND PRIZEGIVING RESULTS
The British Army vs Jaipur Polo Team: The Jaipur Cup
The experienced Jaipur Team contested strongly from the throw-in, with the British Army coming back strongly after half time with increasing skill to win the final two chukkas, leaving the score 5-4 to the Jaeger LeCoultre Jaipur Polo Team.
Meanwhile, the stylish Priya Kapoor picked up The Ottoman Collection ‘Best Dressed’ prize from Helen Bromovsky whilst Rishi Ahluwalia picked up the Holland & Holland ‘Shot of the Day’, presented by Princess Diya Kumari.
Maharaj Narendra Singh lifted the Jaipur cup for the winning Jaeger LeCoultre Jaipur Polo Team, again presented by Princess Diya Kumari.
The British Army vs The President’s Bodyguard: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Umaid Bhawan Palace Cup
This fast and superlative match was closely fought, often with only half a goal between them, with all players competing well above their handicap. The match closed at 6- 4.5 to the President’s Bodyguard, retaining the Jaeger LeCoutre Umaid Bhawan Palace Cup for the 5th year running.
His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II Of Marwar-Jodhpur presented the Jaeger-LeCoultre Umaid Bhawan Palace Cup to Rajat Rai Khatri and Samir Suhag, jointly.
Suman Solanki picked up The Ottoman Collection’s ‘Best Dressed’ prize presented by Helen Bromovsky.
Jopdhur vs Mundota Fort & Palace, Jaipur: The Royal Salute Marwar Trophy
The Jodhpur Polo team steamed ahead in the first and second chukkas, while Nacho Gonzalez spearheaded a comeback with 4 goals in the 3rd chukka. Maharaj Narendra Singh played proudly alongside his son, His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh. The final score was 9.5 to 4 to the Jodhpur Polo Team.
Meanwhile, The Harrods Luck of the Draw was presented to Alexandra de Panafieu whilst Helen Bromovsky presented Shweta Rathore with The Ottoman Collection’s ‘Best Dressed’ Prize.
The Royal Salute Marwar Trophy was presented to R.K.K.V Singh by His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II Of Marwar-Jodhpur.
Dhananjay Singh was awarded the Royal Salute ‘Most Valuable player’ for the Jodhpur Polo Team, whilst Maharaj Narendra Singh of Jaipur lifted it for The Mundota Fort & Palace team. Both were presented by The 13th Duke of Argyll.
The RJI Capital Eton College vs Umaid Bhawan Palace Mayo College: The RJI Capital Yuvraj Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur Plate
The third and final day of polo was held between the two renowned schools of their respective countries – Eton College vs. Mayo College. The highly skilled game saw intense marking and a lot of play in the middle of the pitch, resulting in excellent defensive play keeping the score low. The game finished 2.5-2, to Eton College.
Ron Wahid presented The RJI Capital Yuvraj Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur Plate to His Highness Maharajah Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur from the winning Eton College side and The Ottoman Collection ‘Best Dressed’ prize went to Veronique Yousef.
Nikhilendra Singh presented the Holland & Holland ‘Shot of the day’ to Alex de Lisle for a cunning drive shot in the second chukka.
The 13th Duke of Argyll presented Royal Salute’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ to Michael Mylonas for Eton, and to Vishwaraj Bhati for Mayo.
Finally, The Jaeger-LeCoultre ‘Best Playing Pony’ was awarded by Marc de Panafieu to His Highness Maharajah Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur’s pony from the 3rd chukka.
British Polo Day India took place on the 12th December at the Rajasthan Polo Club, Jaipur and 16th, 17th and 18th December 2015 at the Jodhpur Polo and Equestrian Institute, Jodhpur.
The events were partnered with Royal Salute, RJI Capital, Hackett London, Harrods, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Charles Russell Speechlys, Justerini & Brooks, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Amrapali, Rolls-Royce, Clinova, Holland & Holland, The Ottoman Collection, British Silverware, Global Partnership Family Offices, Charles McDowell Properties, Brompton, Great British Racing International, Bonas MacFarlane Education, Billionaire.com, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Abercrombie & Kent, Taylor Morris Eyewear, D.R Harris & Co, Cassabo, Paul A Young Fine Chocolates, Floris, Rani Handicrafts, The Grosvenor Stationery Company, East Imperial and The Head Injury Foundation and Head Injury Through Sport.