Polo In The City That Never Sleeps: Amateur Riders’ Club
The honor of being the club’s first President was given to Sir John Beaumont while Sir Alexander Gray and Mr EB Ghaswalla were elected as the vice president of the club.
Started by the people who owned horses that were stabled at Governor’s bodyguard, the Amateur Riders’ Club was instituted in 1942. Now known as the Regional Transport Office, the Governor’s bodyguard stabled as many as 95 horses at Tardeo. Matheran witnessed the first mounted sports in the summer of 1943 and since then it has been constantly held in Mumbai every year along with Polo tournaments, Gymkhana races, and other equestrian activities. The honor of being the club’s first President was given to Sir John Beaumont while Sir Alexander Gray and Mr. EB Ghaswalla were elected as the vice president of the club. The club rented a stable complex from His Highness; The Maharaja of Gwalior post-1945. Acquiring 4 of its own horses, the club started providing equestrian facilities to its members from 1954. Being involved in training the students of Bombay Veterinary College, the club entered a new phase after Independence.
HH Maharaja Sir Jiwaji Scindia of Gwalior was involved in the improvement and wellness of the club. Sponsoring the buildings of extensive premises and stables on Gwalior property at Worli, the club was greatly benefited with the spontaneous support received from the Maharaja of Gwalior. The Hon’ble Late Shri Yeshawant Rao B Chavan and the Hon’ble Late Shri Morarjee Desai became the Patrons of the club in 1957. The club was built and maintained by a group of people who played an important role in the early history of the club to develop it the way it has. The group includes the late Maharaja of Gwalior, Mr. J Doongersey, Sir Nowrosjee Wadia, Mr. Homi Vakeel, Mr. Karl Khandalawala, Dr. S Captain, Mr. Byramji Tata, and the late Mr. CC Choksi.
During the 25 years of leadership of the late Mr. Jimmy Bharucha, who held the reins of the club in 1963, the club attained miraculous success in hosting various equestrian sports. Based on this remarkable feat, the club today proudly stables 30 horses of its own and 100 horses of its members and is amongst the most celebrated institutions of its kind in the country. The club today has the Honor of being the largest civilian equestrian body in India and prides itself of having a membership of around 1400. Maharaj Prem Singh, the famous international Polo player who introduced the game in the club as far back as 1950, is credited for his magnanimous efforts to bring Polo to the club. Providing good Polo ponies to the club, Maharaja Prem Singh not only guided the club but also supported it by his personal direction and efforts.