We have around eight to nine polo horse riders in the country and the number is certainly going to come up in the near future. The biggest challenge for women riders is to keep their fitness intact

Hyderabad: A mother of two and captain of Indian polo horse riding team, Monica Saxena feels the future of the sport in the country looks great. “We have around eight to nine polo horse riders in the country and the number is certainly going to come up in the near future. The biggest challenge for women riders is to keep their fitness intact,” the 43-year-old said on the sidelines of the Women’s Arena Polo Cup, a tri-nation challenge organised by Hyderabad Polo and Riding Club (HPRC).

“It also takes time to understand the horse. It is important to understand them and sometimes it can only take ten minutes while it may not be the same all the time. We don’t play this sport for money but because of sheer passion,” she added.

This is the first time India is hosting such an international event and it features the US, Egypt and India. Polo, being an equestrian sport where men and women play together is active in 76 countries from around the world.

Talking about the event, Chaitanya Kumar, president HPRC said the competition is a meeting of different cultures and gender-inclusive in nature. “Polo is widely known as a risky sport and we don’t have many women polo horse riders in the country. It is exciting that Monica Saxena, a mother of two and Hyderabad’s own Chaya Vaibase are participating in the event,” he added.

US team captain Carolyn Stimmel expressed satisfaction on the HPRC racecourse. “The setting is lovely. The game is all about playing from your heart with pride and dignity,” she added. Egypt skipper Farah Awadalla said she chose the sport because she felt excited about it and added that she will give her best in the tournament.

In addition to Women’s Arena CUP, HPRC will also organise an event called ‘Battle of Sexes’ where a group of the mixed team consisting of men and women players will be in action.

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