A Giant Leap To Help Polo Prosper In Gujarat
Representing Team Gujarat as the captain in the match against Team Rajasthan at the Surat Horse Show, Jayvir Gohil was the hero of the local crowd
The Surat Horse Show 2019 evolved as an arena full of surprises and action-packed moments with the display of some fine equestrian display by the students along with the riders and the organisers hosting some distinct and innovative horse activities for the active crowd of almost 5 thousand people which included people coming from different cities and districts to support the equine spirit in the city. The 2-day event witnessed people crowding on the highway just to get a glimpse of the sport. Although some of them didn’t know much about the sport, the zeal to learn and know more about the sport was inculcated in them through the Horse Show. Polo was played for the first time after 70 years in Surat all because of the efforts of Mr. Jayvir Gohil, a Polo Player and a club owner from Gujarat. Representing Team Gujarat as the captain in the match against Team Rajasthan at the Surat Horse Show, Jayvir Gohil was the hero of the local crowd as well as the students and riders in the state. From organizing the match to playing with dedication and putting in efforts to help his team fight against the odds and win the practice match, Jayvir was all over the field and showcased his Polo spirit and got the crowd excited for the match. The proud owner of the pony Martini, which was ridden by Argentine Legend Eduardo Novillo Astrada on his visit to India, Jayvir told LA POLO everything about his dream, the future prospect of Polo in the state and the way he takes care of his ponies. In a few casual conversations and a formal interview with LA POLO, Jayvir talked about the art of the sport, the people who supported him with his decision to bring back Polo to the state, the injury that forced him to remain out of the Polo field for an year, his association with Mr. Chirag Parekh at the Bhavnagar Polo Club and his newly developed Polo club, Gohilwad Polo Club.
A 0-handicapped Polo player from Bhavnagar, Jayvir Gohil has stunned the people of not only Gujarat with his skills but has showcased his exceptional performances throughout the country in the Indian Polo Season as well. His Polo career started in 2011 at the Bhavnagar Polo Club and before that Jayvir Gohil was a horse rider, a show jumper and a dressage player. Overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the crowd and the numbers in which they appeared to watch Polo at the Horse Show, Jayvir Gohil said, “Polo was played for the first time in 70 years in the city of Surat and people turned in so large numbers just for the exhibition arena Polo match. The agile crowd and their willingness to participate in the game shows how much the people of Surat love equine sports. This has compelled us to organize the event more vividly for the next year and the kind of response the Polo match was quite overwhelming and it felt like the purpose of the 2019 Horse Show was fulfilled.” Talking about the Polo Champions league that was hosted and organized by Mr. Chirag Parekh at the Bhavnagar Polo Club 2 years back, Jayvir said, “I want to host something similar for the people of Surat. The league witnessed a large crowd of 10-15 thousand people 2 years back which influenced me to organize something similar for the people of Surat. I am definitely planning for a league of Polo for the local crowd of Surat and wish to bring in players from all over the country to participate in it.”
Moving ahead with his dream of organizing a Polo league in the state, we asked him about the present state of the sport in Surat, to which he answered, “Most of the people here are just influenced by the fact that something would happen for the first time. They have no proper knowledge about the sport and some of them don’t even know what we players do riding on the horseback. This event was organized to give a glimpse of the sport to the crowd so they are influenced by it.” Inner happiness reflected on his face when he told us about his dream, “I’ve always dreamt of organizing a proper Polo event in my home state. The Polo seasons that take place in Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai, I want to organize something similar for my people. Our community, that comprises of Narendra Singh and Mr. Vijay, wants to organize Polo on a large scale in the state. We’ve made a proper plan for it and we wish to work accordingly by next year or so.
Discussing his dream of Gujarat Polo Season with LA POLO, with a smile on his Jayvir adjusted his moustache and said, “We want to start with a 1 or 2 week season in Gujarat either at the Gohilwad Polo Club or the Bhavnagar Polo Club. We want to introduce a proper cup in the season and wish to bring in the best players from not only India but also abroad to introduce them with our hospitality and take them on a tour of this beautiful city.” Sharing his experiences with us, Jayvir explained how Polo is different in the state of Rajasthan than in Gujarat. “Polo is limited to the elite in Rajasthan and Delhi while in Gujarat, people come in masses and love to enjoy the spirit of the game. The morale of the players and the horses is also boosted when a crowd of thousands cheer for them and it drives them to give their best.” Telling us about his horses and their care, Jayvir mentioned, “I love to take care of my horses personally. I don’t like to depend on others to take care of my horses. I feel that if I’m not taking care of them personally, they’ll lose the personal touch and I won’t be able to interact with them the way I do normally.” Telling us about his equestrian experience and his journey, Jayvir narrated some fascinating anecdotes from his life, “I was fascinated by the idea of riding on horseback and wanted to try it from a very tender age. I got the chance of riding in 2004 and used to train under Mr. JP Gohil, a national showjumping player. The first time I participated in any tournament or riding event was in 2006.”
Boasting about his horses and the way they are taken care of, Jayvir Gohil said, “I’ve provided the best facilities to my horses and I’ve hired the best professionals for my horses, be it the farrier or the physiotherapist. We make sure that are horses are provided with everything and in the proper amount.” Sharing his childhood memories with LA POLO, Jayvir said, “I had been playing for 6-7 years when the first Polo match took place at the mounted Police ground of Bhavnagar Polo Club. At that time no one knew that there is a Polo player from the state of Gujarat who plays Polo professionally in tournaments up to 10-Goal all over India. I was playing for RK Resorts and we were in the finals against Chirag Parekh’s team, Carysil. I was playing alongside Dhruvpal Godara and Mitesh Mehta. Team Carysil was comprised of Chirag Parekh, Samir Suhag and Sunny Patel. I scored three goals in the finals and was applauded for my play and my efforts to take my team towards the victory. It was one of the best Polo matches of my life and the moment to cherish for. It was a moment of pride for me as people got to know about me and winning in front of my people was great.” Talking about his injury, Jayvir said, “People gave me the name ‘The Horse Rider’ at a young age because I could control any horse easily and I was able to interact with them. I became confident that I can ride any horse but this confidence led to a great fall in the Jaipur Polo Season last year when I fell from the horse and the horse lost its balance and slipped on my forearm. My arm was dislocated and I was forced to remain out of the Polo field for a year but now I’m back with more strength and zeal to take forward the legacy of the sport in my state.”