How the Amateur Riders’ Club successfully navigated Mumbai’s polo season

Sport was one of the first sectors to come back post the pandemic, albeit with proper restrictions and safety measures in place like no-spectator matches or reduced crowds. And it was no different for Mumbai’s polo season. After being abruptly put on hold last March, the season kicked off once in the last week of December, much to the delight of polo enthusiasts.

Amateur Riders’ Club (ARC) president Shyam Mehta told ET Panache “After the premature termination of the polo season in March, it was a pleasure to see the horses and players back on the field. It was challenging to hold the tournaments with restrictions but the response has been overwhelming. ”

Asked about preparing for the season in the midst of a pandemic, Mehta said, “It took us approximately 4-5 months to prepare and set up the season. Some challenges we faced were:


“The Indian Polo Association (IPA) has made changes to the field rules, and the manner of playing to ensure even lesser contact in the sport and overall safety,” said Shyam Mehta.

1. Our polo players needed to get their horses and themselves back in shape and ready for the intense matches that would follow. For this, we had self-sponsored practice arena matches and tournaments following up to the polo season for our local club players and altered diet along with special exercise routines for the horses.

2. Preparation of the ground: The soft soil left by the monsoons needs to be resurfaced and re-laid and the grass has to be groomed. However, due to the COVID situation, getting the manpower, the required fertilizer, etc., was difficult.

3. Movement of horses: Players get their horses from all over India hence obtaining inter-state travel permissions for the horses was challenging.

4. For our regular foreign players to come down to play, visas and travel was an obstruction. A lot of our umpires and players come from countries like the UK. and Argentina, but with the travel regulations in place, we had to source (some of) these locally. ”

Successfully navigating these hurdles, the ARC organized their first polo match post-Covid on December 29th with weekly tournaments scheduled for the rest of the season. In addition to the first Lawyers Cup, they also played host to the Aditya Birla Cup, the Silver Stick Cup, the Sternhagen Cup and the Maharaj Prem Singh Trophy.

Social distancing, please
Since polo is an open ground sport, the ARC ensured that anyone who came from outside was properly sanitized with the required temperature checks and that all the grooms and players tested negative before partaking in the sport. “The Indian Polo Association (IPA) has made changes to the field rules, and the manner of playing to ensure even lesser contact in the sport and overall safety,” Mehta said.

“As per precautions we also took care of social distancing, hand sanitizing, masks and all other required SOPs on-ground. No spectators were permitted; only friends and family of the players for whom we maintained a distance between the seats. The player and the spectator stands were on different sides of the wide polo field, thus further ensuring minimal contact, ”he added.

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Fashion Fest

Derby with wine, sunshine and a taste of royalty accurately define the Royal Ascot of the United Kingdom. The event, which has been an integral part of the royal family’s traditions since 1711, was an elegant and elated affair.

From dramatic, satin dresses to quirky hats, Uber-cool racegoers of the UK joined the royals for this five-day show, and donned the most-exquisite costumes from their closet.

Here’s a round-up of our fashion favorites from the 2019 Royal Ascot.


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