Story by Aryana Mohmood Photographs by Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club and RK Polo Photos
In just 6 months, the newly established Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club is said to be taking India by storm. As the largest private equestrian club in Northern India, it has been showcasing the incredible skills of polo ponies and players through its many polo events. Offering world-class facilities and professional instructors, the Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club is providing people in India with a chance to play India’s traditional sport of polo, again.
Colonel Tarun Sirohi, founder and chief executive of Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club is a successful well known polo Captain. He joined the army at 18 years of age and spent 26 years in the force before deciding to initiate the Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club earlier this year.
The Colonel's aim was to provide wholesome entertainment through a polo club with facilities that cater for every member of the family. He said, "If the kids want to ride, their dad can play golf, mum can swim or anything she wishes." Col. Sirohi states that, 'his club is a location where you can have golf, polo, riding and other sports, all played together. The symbiosis of the sports being played simultaneously is perfect and attracts many players and families for a day out.'
The club has a picturesque, must see, location occupying 300 acres of land situated within the foothills of the Arravalis. In addition to this, the club includes a golf course known as the Golden Greens spreading across another 275 acres of land.
Col. Sirohi attributes the clubs’ success to the innovation and creativity that is provided. 'By running the club professionally and hiring the best instructors', he believes that, 'this has allowed members to gain the best experience out of polo’.
Colonel Tarun Sirohi claims that “the response to the club has been overwhelming,” with over 100 people riding and learning polo within 6 months. Currently, he is teaching 16 students polo on the polo ponies belonging to the club and this number is increasing as more and more people take on the sport.
Col. Sirohi stated that, 'Everything he has in terms of fame and money all came through this wonderful sport and he is obliged to return the favour and give something back to polo.' ”By the Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club hosting polo classes at nominal rates and providing people with better access to ponies, this will be accomplished and in time polo will naturally spread", he said.
According the Colonel, "The GPEC Polo Day in February 2016 marked the official openning of the club's polo field. This most successful polo event was attended by thousands of people." He adds that, 'this was also helped by the fact Indian movie star Randeep Hooda, plays within the club. Randeep Hooda is the star from the movie, The Highway, and also a member of the popular Royal Roosters polo team.
Together Randeep Hooda and Colonel Tarun Sirohi, have led to successes within the club. Sirohi notes that, 'his proudest moment was his qualification for the Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Cup in Argentina 2011. A competition played by polo teams around the world including Australia, South Africa, Malaysia and Pakistan.
Team India, lead by Sirohi won their first international polo title and advanced to the FIP championships. "We were the first Indian team in 50 years to be undefeated in such a tournament and indeed represent our country so well', he said.
"Behind every such success there is effort and behind every effort is passion" he states. The Colonel's passion derives from, 'the sport itself and the history of his forefathers'. Tarun Sirohi’s father Prem Sirohi was also a polo player. Tarun’s childhood is filled with memories of his father playing polo with a handicap of 4. “Thus it was natural for me to follow my fathers’ footsteps,” he says. Now he passes on these skills and values to his children, Shefali 15 years old and Shamsher 10 years old, who are also learning the sport.
The game of Polo has a special place in Mr Sirohi’s heart. He says, “horse riding has made me a better person overall.” He continues, “there is a lot of empathy from the horse, something very important in today’s age.”
Mr Sirohi is happy with his club stating, “it is not only in a beautiful place, but there is good support from media, public and the teams involved.” He has plans to build more polo clubs in the next couple of years,"Two next year, and three following that,' he announces, " with the aim of teaching India through higher participation in the sport of polo, the lessons he was taught".
For the future he hopes to create a stronger link between polo playing countries and India, to allow overseas polo players to travel and play in India and vice versa. This is his future goal, 'a goal that will benefit society and maintain the culture of polo within India'.
Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club
Golden Green Golf Club Sector - 79 Gurgaon, India
Picture 1: Occupying 275 acres of land and situated within the foothills of the Arravalis, Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club is a picturesque location that people must see.
Picture 2: Founder of the Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club, Colonel Tarun Sirohi.
Picture 3: Indian movie star Randeep Hooda riding on the grounds of the Gurgaon Polo and Equestrian Club.
Picture 4: The team of five – Major Vishal Chauhan (2), Major Ravi Rathore (3), Mr. Samir Suhag (5), Mr. Simran Shergill (4), led by team captain Col. Tarun Sirohi (3), successfully qualified for the 2011 FIP World Championships.