Polo In Patiala | The Western Command Polo Challenge
The Western Command Polo Challenge had Polo in Patiala in full swing. Here’s how the day looked like as Dr. Jaswant Singh Puri elaborates.
A lively, lovely and exciting Polo Match was played on 24th Nov, 2019, with The Western Command Polo Challenge to revive the spirit of the game among the citizens of Patiala and others. Patiala Raiders and Patiala Chargers participated in the match with full interest, and zest. Patiala Raiders were dressed in black colour as the Patiala Chargers were decked in red and orange. In this exciting and heart-throbbing match, Patiala Raiders were victorious with five goals while Patiala Chargers could score three goals.
Four Chukkars were played in all as the game demands. In the first Chukkar, Patiala Chargers overpowered the Patiala Raiders and scored two goals whereas Patiala Raiders could do only one goal. In the second Chukkar, the scoreboard showed the higher side of three goals for Patiala Chargers as compared to one goal by Patiala Raiders.
However, in the third Chukkar, the game took an exciting turn and both teams had a similar score of three goals each. With this the fourth and the final round of Chukkars turned out to be very exciting and heart throbbing for the audience as well as the two teams. As such, Patiala Raiders were able to score five goals in the Fourth and the Final Chukkar while Patiala Chargers were reduced to merely three goals.
At this, Patiala Raiders were declared victorious. However, both the teams played vigorously and in the spirit of sportsmanship. In fact, the match was played to revive the long cherished Polo Sports of Patiala as raised by Maharaja Rajinder Singh of Patiala in 1881. The Patiala Tigers had the distinction to include Major Jaswant Singh, Colonel, Joginder Singh, Capt. Thakur Singh and the legendary General Chanda Singh.
It is praiseworthy that Colonel Navjeet Singh Sandhu scored two goals for Patiala Chargers. He scored one goal in the First Chukkar and the second goal in the Third Chukkar. Captain Raghavraj Singh scored one goal in the third Chukkar.
Prize Distribution function was held after the match where Prizes were delivered to the members of the victorious team i.e. Patiala Raiders. Lieutenant General P.Singh, GOC-in-C Western Command was the Chief Guest on this auspicious occasion to give away the Prizes. Best Polo Pony Award was given to Pony named Messiah. Captain Malkiat Singh, Student of Capt.
Kamindra Singh, an ace flier Senior Instructor of Patiala Aviation Club was honored for displaying flying skills. Mr. Yogesh, Medical officer Patiala Aviation Club and Deputy Director Animal Husbandry were also honored with letters of appreciation for their distinguished services.
Prior to the playing of match, GOC 2 Corps arrived at Polo Ground and GOC – in –C Western Command also arrived at Aviation Lounge at 15:25 Hours. GOC-in-C Western Command departed for Polo Ground at 15:25 Hours and arrived at Polo Ground after four minutes. Patiala Aviation Club displayed Fly Past and aerobatic display from 15:30 to 15:45 Hours. Then the teams were introduced and the match started at 15:45 Hours. Skill Riding Display by61 Cav was displayed at 16:30 Hours.
Lt. Gen. T.S. Shergill, PVSM (Retd.) deserves appreciation for his passion to institute and nurture Patiala Polo and Riding Club that was established in 2004. Presently, he is the Senior Advisor to the Chief Minister of Punjab. He has been an outstanding Polo Player himself.
A mention about the story of Patiala Peg is also associated with the Polo team of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh. The Patiala hospitality was in display that contributed amply to the victories of Patiala teams. A special aspect of the hospitality was the large peg of the best scotch measuring around 120 ml. This is roughly four ‘smalls’ or two large drinks. So on the evening before, the match ‘the Viceroys Pride’ was entertained to double measure of whisky in every peg by telling them that they needed to drink more as their corn was less potent.