INTRODUCTION: The World's first camel-polo match has been played in Jaipur, India. A massive crowd?
INTRODUCTION: The World's first camel-polo match has been played in Jaipur, India. A massive crowd of fifty thousand people turned out to watch, as befits a world premiere for a new sport.
SYNOPSIS: To the camels at first it must have seemed like a pleasant break from their normal load-carrying lives. Maybe a week's training had given them some inkling of what to expect, but for the most part they remained aloof from the proceedings, despite the festive atmosphere. Last year elephant polo was played for the first time on Jaipur's Ram Bagh Palace grounds.
The intrepid Desert Foxes rode onto the pitch to match their skills against the Desert Hawks - led by Colonel Bhawani Singh, the former Maharaja of Jaipur. Efforts to play polo on camels were also made a long time ago by the Maharaja of Bikaner and his friends. They were not successful.
And nor to any great extent was this latest effort. According to a local newspaper the spectacle was made all the more thrilling because the haughty and probably thoroughly indignant beasts would neither obey their riders nor accelerate to keep up with the game.
As a result the players, wielding 6-and-a-half-foot long (two metres) mallets, missed the ball more often than they hit it. Which might go towards proving that if you can't get a camel through the eye of a needle you can't get it to sacrifice its dignity either...
Eventually the game ended with the Desert Hawks as winners, after a solitary first chukker goal in the two-chukker match, which was scored by Colonel Bhawani Singh.