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Polo | Tournaments


Time Travel to Calcutta Polo Club and the birth of Ezra Cup



08 January 2018 | Calcutta


Astonished by this distinctiveness, the pair of soldiers made current this sport to their peers in Calcutta and thus in 1862, the Calcutta Polo Club was born with revamping the old game and introducing the new format


Who knew a mere polo ground could be the bower of bliss for the beautiful and the legendary socialite Gayatri Devi, the princess of Cooch Behar and Maj. Gen. Maharaja Sir Sawai Man Singh II, the last ruling Maharaja of Jaipur State and the celebrated polo player. Beguilingly, Calcutta Polo Club is the world’s oldest polo club completing its 156 years flamboyantly.

The birth of polo has its own history to be unveiled; the two British soldiers Robert Stewart and Joe Shearer watched a game “Sagol Kangjei” which was played on horse by the Manipuri locals. Astonished by this distinctiveness, the pair of soldiers made current this sport to their peers in Calcutta and thus in 1862, the Calcutta Polo Club was born with revamping the old game and introducing the new format. The biggest share of the credit goes to ‘Bobbie hills’, one of the merchant who was very popular in the middle of 19th century. The original club team of Calcutta Polo club included: Colin Smith, Duncan Stewart, R.E. Godden, D.G. Landale, R.S. Hills, George Miller, Elliott Angelo, John Thomas, Capt. Showers A.D.S., W.Blandford, Montague Champneys, Lewis Pugh Evans and Capt. Gross (52nd Regiment).

The 1892 saw the formation of Indian Polo Association aligned with Calcutta Polo club leading. At the end of 1899, the stars for the club shone brighter with the then honorary secretary, Mr JD West and Mr EC Apostolides. The lion’s share of credit goes to them that the club got the world’s best polo ground and attracted all the famous teams in India.

During 1998, The Calcutta Polo Club lay dormant by the army due to inattentiveness. Then there came a hint of resurgence in the year 2006. "Our vision is to keep the heritage of Calcutta Polo Club alive and encourage youngsters and Polo enthusiasts to take up the sport by making it more accessible” quoted Keshav Bangur, CPC's current president.

What could be the best ground for Ezra Cup if not Calcutta Polo ground, the oldest polo ground in the world which is still persistent, as mentioned by Pat Williamson. Named after David Elias Ezra, the leading Jewish business tycoon in Calcutta who patronized the sport in the city, Ezra Cup became the first ever polo trophy in the world and the first Ezra Cup tournament was held in 1880.

The club announced its first Ezra Season which will take place outside Calcutta on the occasion of its 135th year with the aim to take the trophy to top 5 Polo Centres at the global level. This will indeed be a wonderful experience to connect and be a part of the chivalric polo tournament. Calcutta Polo Club is all set to turn a new leaf in the second chapter of Ezra after the launch of Ezra Global Tour in Singapore this year successfully.

LA POLO is the official media partner for Ezra Tour. Stay tuned for more updates.




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