The closing ceremony of the 29th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament, 2019 and 18th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, 2019 was held at Imphal Polo ground of Manipur on Tuesday.
Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla, president H Deleep Singh of MHRPA and advisor S Buddhachandra Singh of MHRPA besides others attended the closing function.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Dr Najma Heptulla said the Manipuri pony is facing a serious challenge to its existence and it is very distressing to see the condition of the ponies standing on the roads without anybody looking after them.
Stating that food poisoning and road accidents are often found to be the main reasons for the death of pony, the Governor said, the concerted effort by all stakeholders is the need of the hour to save this breed.
Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association (MHRPA) organized the game to save Manipuri pony and to popularize the game of polo besides promoting tourism.
Manipur gave the world the popular indigenous game called ‘Sagol Kangjei’ which is now known as polo all over the world.
The Manipuri pony, a recognized breed of India though small, is sturdy and agile. There is an imminent threat to this rare Manipuri Pony breed and so also to the game of polo. The survival of this rare species is a serious question now as it is reported that the number of Manipuri Pony will decline to less than 500 in some years if the fast dwindling number is not checked on time. Human intrusion in their natural grazing fields has displaced the ponies, forcing them to come to the streets for their survival.
The Governor announced financial assistance of an amount of Rs 1 lakh from the Governor’s Discretionary Fund to the organizers.
Later, trophies and cash prizes were distributed to the winners and runners up of the tournament by the chief guest and dignitaries.
Winners and runners up of the 29th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament, 2019, received trophy and cash prize of Rs 50,000 and Rs 30,000 respectively, while, winners and runners up of the 18th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, 2019, received trophy and cash prize of Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively.