Country’s greatest players and patrons honour untiring contribution to the sport of royals Jaipur, Rajasthan: The much-awaited THE INDIAN POLO AWARDS (TIPA) successfully commenced with a grand ceremony on the 21st of February, 2021, at the City Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan. The event, which saw Polo’s greatest names coming together, started at Subrato Chowk, City Palace, followed by the awards presentation at Pritam Chowk, City Palace. A spectacular performance by Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor enthused the audience right at the start. Acclaimed performers Sharat Saxena and Sophie Chaudhay co-hosted the awards presentation, that began with JODHPUR THE LADY POLO PLAYER AWARD.
Khundongbam Habe Devi was presented the award by Chirag Parekh, renowned playing polo patron and Chairman and Managing Director, Acrysil Limited. BARODA THE TRADITIONAL POLO PLAYER AWARD was presented to Taorem Pradeep Kumar Singh by the Consulate General of Japan Michio Harada. Farah Khan and Simon Khan graced the stage to present KASHMIR THE ARMY POLO PLAYER award to Naik Ravindra Mang. The sport of Polo has been fastidiously nurtured by polo patrons and the event celebrated their contribution with JAIPUR THE POLO PATRON AWARD.
To present the award, the stage of The Indian Polo Awards had Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur, who gave the trophy to Rajnigandha Achievers, on behalf of which Vikram Singh Rathore took TIPA trophy. A major part of the sport of Polo is the pony and not every horse can become a polo pony. A lot of hard work and training goes behind-the-scenes. This process is possible only because of the trainers. TIPA awards had ALWAR THE POLO TRAINER AWARD in both the Army and Civil categories. Presenting the awards were Farah Khan and Simon Khan. In the Army category, the award was presented to Dfr Illyas Ali, while Mahmood Khan was awarded in the civil category. Polo awards ceremony is incomplete without recognising the contribution of polo ponies. Presenting GWALIOR THE BEST POLO PONY AWARD was Zoya Afroz who read out Blitz as the winner for the same. Receiving the award was Vikram Singh Rathore on behalf of the pony. Polo grounds are an essential part of the game. It is necessary for the ground to be maintained fittingly for the game. It was Jindal Panther Polo and Riding Club that won the BHOPAL PATAUDI THE BEST POLO GROUND award, presented by Lt Gen MKS Yadav.
Presenting THE BEST TEAM (LOW GOAL) was Princess Gauravi Kumari of Jaipur. Amongst some close competitors, it was the Army Service Corps that won the award. Lt Gen MKS Yadav, Col Nakul Yadav and Naik Ravindra Mang received the trophy on behalf of the team. Indian Polo stands at a great stature today because of the contribution and support of the army. TIPA presented the CONTRIBUTION TO POLO award for which Kushagra Bajaj awarded the Indian Army for the same. Rohit Dagar, Hony Secretary of Indian Polo Association and CO 61st Cavalry received the award on behalf of Chief Of Army Staff. Presenting the PATIALA THE INTERNATIONAL POLO PLAYER AWARD were Maninder S Sethi, Editor-in-Chief, La Polo and Chirag Parekh, Chairman and Managing Director, Acrysil Limited. The award was presented to Matthew Philip Perry who sent a video message thanking TIPA. Rhea Parekh, Founder Los Polistas and Actor Vaani Kapoor were on stage to present LOS POLISTAS THE YOUNG POLO PLAYER.
The award was won by the young HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur who has shown outstanding performance in the last few years. His Highness said: “It’s an honour to receive the award. This event would not have been possible without the effort of Mr Maninder Sethi and Mr Chirag Parekh who came together to recognise Polo. The groomers, ponies and a lot of it goes behind the game. It is important to recognize them all.” Ashley Parekh received the EMERGING LADY POLO PLAYER AWARD presented by HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur. Sanjiv Bali presented THE PROMISING POLO PLAYER AWARD to Siddhant Sharma. Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur presented THE MOST VALUABLE POLO PLAYER AWARD to the +6 handicap polo player, Arjuna Awardee, Simran Singh Shergill.
THE BEST TEAM (HIGH GOAL) was received by Vikram Singh Rathore on behalf of Rajnigandha Achievers, presented by Vaani Kapoor. The LA POLO LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD was presented to HH Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Jodhpur-Marwar for his tireless contribution and dedication to the sport. No mention of Indian Polo can be complete without the mention of the contribution of HH Maharaja Gaj Singh II. Maninder S Sethi, Editor-in-Chief, La Polo, presented the award to HH in honour of his lifelong contribution. On the occasion, in a video message, His Highness said: “I am completely overwhelmed with a surprise for the award you have honoured me with. I would like to thank LA POLO for such an initiative. Such awards are going to attract more young players and more sponsors for the future of the sport.” The awards night wound up with a fantastic musical performance by Manasi Scott who fired the celebration with her foot-tapping numbers.
Shivani Joshi from The Indian Polo Award comments: “The Indian Polo Awards have emerged from the vision to redefine and re-emphasize the entire gamut of the sport that respects the player and the horse, and the bond between the two. It is an event to honour the most illustrious contributions to the sport that has a heritage sprawling over 2,000 years. The awards honour the uncompromising spirit dedicated to Polo, by recognizing true sportsmanship, and people who have been unflinchingly and loyally contributed to its glory.”
Rhea Parekh, Founder, Los Polistas comments:“Los Polistas is grateful to be a proud sponsor of India’s first-ever polo awards-TIPA. Our brand name ‘Los Polistas’ literally means Polo players. This brand celebrates the skill and passion of polo players who put their heart and their lives on stake to play this majestic sport. TIPA shares the same sentiment by awarding these heroes for their efforts in the game, which is why this makes a perfect collaboration.” Maninder S Sethi, Editor-in-Chief, LA POLO comments:“Polo bestowed rewards and riches to many over the course of its history, but never before have we encountered anything remotely identical to The Indian Polo Awards. We at LA POLO, with our consortium to connect Polo, consider The Indian Polo Awards in the right direction to celebrate the champions within, the trailblazing stars who are pushing the benchmark every time. “ Mayank Soni from The House of MBJ:Mayank Soni has extensive knowledge of the finest handcrafted jewellery and modern productions techniques. The desire to go further in his tryst with jewellery as art has further added to his understanding of the market and its trends. It is his imagination and fervour for art and the sport of Polo that’s visible in the iconic trophy for the awards. About LA POLOLa Polo emerged as an International polo magazine with a vision to transform itself as the sole magnum opus for archiving the extremely rich tradition of polo. A repository to this royal sport, La Polo understands its sprawl both on and off the arena, thus presenting a prodigious mélange of the game and the bespoke luxury, aristocracy, fashion, and lifestyle surrounding it.