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Siraj Attari, former polo player


Polo | People


Polo sponsorship is getting better”: Siraj Attari




The player shares that cajoling and horse whispering should never be underestimated because horses are intelligent and tend to develop a defensive attitude towards threatening and violent humans.


Siraj Attari, celebrated Polo player, takes us to the lush green Polo fields of Hyderabad which are now on the verge of losing their glory, thanks to red-tapism and negligence. Among his contributions has been the revival of Polo through sponsorships, an alien idea at one time. He recalls how his privilege of being associated with the Police Commissioner of Hyderabad made him familiar with horses.

Riding horses at as early as five years, and then shifting to Hyderabad Public School which provided the comforts of horse riding led to his admission into the Hyderabad Riding Club. The rich history of Polo is intermingled with Hyderabadi culture. One of the oldest Polo centres lies in the city of Nizams where the first match was played circa 1875. There wasn’t a day when these grounds weren’t lit with the excitement of polo matches. Unfortunately, open grounds as those fell prey to government acquisition and construction of colonies, which is why Polo in Hyderabad suffered a setback during the 1950s to 1975.





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n an exclusive conversation with La Polo, he shares how Polo earlier was a restricted monopoly with no concept of sponsorship. In present times, not only the method of playing has changed vastly, to be more fierce, but the response for sponsorships has been welcoming. The dominating role of the army over Polo grounds has subsided and use of breeds have varied, from Marwadi and Kathiawadi to thoroughbreds. An amusing incident that he shares is regarding sponsorship for polo matches at Jaipur; while working with a tobacco company, the company granted Rs 75,000 for sponsoring an entire season for three years!





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Siraj goes by the acronym ‘Horse Whisperer’ because of his calm and conversant relationship with horses. He stresses on the importance of understanding the horses psychologically and physically and to treat them with affection. For better performance on ground, he believes that cajoling and horse whispering in Polo should never be underestimated because horses are intelligent and tend to develop a defensive attitude towards threatening and violent humans.





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Siraj goes by the acronym ‘Horse Whisperer’ because of his calm and conversant relationship with horses. He stresses on the importance of understanding the horses psychologically and physically and to treat them with affection. For better performance on ground, he believes that cajoling and horse whispering in Polo should never be underestimated because horses are intelligent and tend to develop a defensive attitude towards threatening and violent humans.





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“Polo is not a rich man’s game. If the interest for the sport is inculcated among children at schools since the very beginning, it will pass on like a baton,” he says. Encouraging sports editors to cover matches will go a long way in helping polo reach masses, he says.





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He is happy with the appreciable work done by a few clubs in Hyderabad like Hyderabad Polo and Riding Club in the promotion of the sport. However, he is saddened by the indifference of the Army in giving away their lands for polo matches.






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