SA polo to play India in Howick
LIONS River Polo Club in Howick will host its first international polo tournament on May 6, with South Africa playing India in the main match after three curtain-raisers.
Mark Davies, president of the South African Polo Association, announced this yesterday, saying: “We are delighted to be hosting the Indian team and have been overwhelmed at the level of interest from the public in this event.
“Both teams will be at the 15goal level and this balance in handicaps will ensure a very hardfought and closely contested match.”
The South African team will be selected after the East Griqualand Championships, which conclude on April 29.
The Indian side is captained by five-goal Colonel Ravi Rathore, who will be playing in the pivotal number three position. He is the only Indian player to have represented his country in five successive World Cups.
“The Indian Army consists of an incredible 1,4 million soldiers and the 61st Cavalry Regiment is one of the last fully mounted active fighting bodies in the world. Most Indian polo players learn their equestrian skills from this elite regiment, of which Colonel Rathore is commandant,” said Davies.
Gaurav Sahgal, a four-goal player, is at number one and threegoalers Salim Azmi and Siddhant Sharma, are at number two and four respectively.
The day starts at 10 am with a curtain-raiser between youngsters in the Elands & Bushbucks teams.
This will be followed at 11 am by a match between the Ngunis & Ankoles, and since the event takes place the day after the celebrated Hilton vs Michaelhouse rugby match, the final curtain-raiser at noon will be between teams from these schools, comprising a mix of current and old boys.
The international match will start at 1.30 pm.
A live band will add to the festivities and refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the day.
The cost of entry is R200 per car (children U12 are free), and members of the public can take their own refreshments and picnic baskets to the venue.