The third edition of the La Polo Indian Polo Awards was held recently at the most iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. The event was a great success as many national and internationally renowned personalities in Polo came together. The event was graced by the presence of Mr Naveen Jindal and his wife, Mrs Shallu Jindal- Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Chancellor of O. P. Jindal Global University; H.E. Hiroshi Suzuki- Ambassador of Japan; Mr Mudit Paliwal-CEO, Delta Corp, Dr Aishwarya Paliwal, Chairperson, Delta Polo Foundation; Mr Taljinder Singh, Senior Vice President and Brand Custodian IHCL; Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Singh Yadav, AVSM, SM (retd); Lt Gen Preet Mohindera Singh, VSM, Director General of Supplies and Transport; Rear Admiral Manish Chadha, Flag Officer Commanding, Maharashtra Naval Area; Mrs Parul Rai, Patron for Rajnigandha Achievers; Mr Vikram Rathore, Patron for Rajnigandha Achievers; Mr Shishir Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Foundation; Mr Ravindra Singhal, IPS, Additional Director General Police Maharashtra; Mr Dattatraya Karale, IPS, Joint Police Commissioner; Mr Vijay Suryavanshi, IAS, Maharashtra Excise Commissioner; Vinita Singhal,IAS, Chief Secretary, Maharashtra; Shikha Durlabhji Founder, Code Silver; Pavan Ananad, Jewellery Designer (PAFJ). The event also saw the top players – Simran Singh Shergill, Christopher Mackenzie, Abhimanyu Pathak, Gerardo Mazzini, Phil Seller, Siddhant Sharma, Dinyar Madon and many more.
The red carpet event was followed by an evening of fraternizing where the whole polo fraternity and community united to celebrate the best of polo. The award ceremony began with thunderous applause for the evening’s hosts, Bollywood actress Zoya Afroz and polo commentator Sharad Saxena. The award ceremony had 21 categories, and the beautiful trophy crafted by Code Silver in the shape of ‘The Gateway of India’ woven with the Indian Polo Awards logo was presented to the winners. Lenskart was the gifting partner, and an equine-inspired coffee table book by Nilanjan Das was also presented. The culmination of the ceremony was followed by dinner and drinks, after which a live band was played, which all the guests enjoyed.
The Indian Polo Awards
The Indian Polo Awards is a one-of-a-kind featurette, it honours the two-thousand-year-old heritage of the sport, highlighting its contribution to the sporting world. Acknowledging the relentless work on and off the pitch, these awards are a token of appreciation for the continuing efforts of people from different walks of life, from prodigious players to meticulous, stable keepers. Keeping with the tradition of celebrating the timeless elan and the undaunted spirit of skilled sportsmanship, this year’s edition focuses on the calibre and the dedication innate to the polo sportsperson’s persona.
This year, an additional 3 categories, ‘Polo Commentator of the Season’, ‘Emerging Patron’ and ‘Polo Club of the Season’ were introduced. After meticulously keeping a record of each match and chukker in the 2022-2023 season, the team at La Polo carefully selected the winners on a merit basis, backed by statistics. The player’s handicap, performance ratio, goals per match, match wins, and tournament wins were the criteria upon which the winners were announced. Here are the winners whose remarkable performances in the 2022-2023 season made a memorable mark on the Indian polo universe:
- Baroda Traditional Polo Player: Mohammad Abiddin
- Alwar The Polo Trainer (Civil): Mr Angad Singh
- Alwar The Polo Trainer (Army): Nk Irfan Khan of Arty
- The Polo Groom: Havaldar
- Gwalior The Best Polo Pony: Rapper
- Bhopal Pataudi The Best Polo Ground: Jindal Polo Club
- Polo Club of the Season: Amateur Riding Club
- Emerging Lady Polo Player: Shivangi Jai Singh
- The Emerging Polo Player: Savir Mehraj Godara
- Emerging Patron: DELTA Corp
- Polo Commentator of the Season: Shailendra Singh
- Jammu & Kashmir The Army Polo Player: Maj Mrityunjay Singh Chouhan
- The Young Polo Player: Vishwarupe Bajaj
- Patiala The International Polo Player: Christopher Mackenzie
- Jaipur The Polo Patron: Rajnigandha Achievers
- The Promising Polo Player: Dino Dhankhar
- The Best Team (Low Goal): Army Service Corps
- The Best Team (High Goal): Rajnigandha Achievers
- Contribution to Polo: Suresh Tapuriah
- La Polo Lifetime Achievement Award: Naveen Jindal
- Jindal Panther The Most valuable Player: Syed Shamsheer Ali
Acknowledging the romance of the sport, the Indian Polo Awards aims to shine a light on the most fundamental characteristic the sport nurtures, which is romancing the sport. This love affair lasts a lifetime. The annual polo fete deeply believes in fostering these values that inspire an exquisite and purpose-driven life. With this belief at heart, the event convenes to honour the brilliance and flair of people who have carved a distinctive niche for themselves in this mesmerizing sport.
Maninder Sethi, Editor-in-Chief, LA POLO said, “The third edition of LA POLO The Indian Polo Awards stands on the firm resolve of making polo sing through the chapters of history and honouring its present and past custodians who have made the sport a legacy of dedication, resilience and diligence as these champions stand in unity to take polo further into a glorious future.”
Preeti Singh, Events and Marketing Head, LA POLO said, “The Indian Polo Awards stand not just as a celebration of excellence within the polo community but as a testament to the enduring legacy of a sport that has gracefully transcended time. It has been a privilege to curate an event that not only honours the outstanding achievements within the polo arena but also weaves seamlessly into the fabric of a legacy that spans generations.”
The event was powered by Jindal Panther Polo and co-powered by Delta Corp, along with associate partners Wedding Asia and Code Silver. The gifting partner was Lenskart, while paintings by Nilanjan Das graced the event. Studio Exponent was the on-ground partner as all the organizers mentioned above tuned up the energy of this edition as the whole polo fraternity stood in unity to celebrate the legacy and unity of polo.