Manipur, India, 11th World Cup Results

Take a long step back into ancient history heading due east. Where current day India ends past Assam (renowned for Assam and Darjeeling tea), and Burma land of rubies and teak, now known as Mynmaar begins, lies the ancient kingdom of Manipur.

Abutting the Shan peoples and hills of Burma and possessing tremendous commonalities with them, Manipur converted to Hinduism in the 1600’s by royal decree. Today while it is 44% christian in denomination, and 2% mohammedan, the remaining 52% of the population are of the hindu faith. In hindu mythology it was Indra god of the heavens who gifted the winged horse to man, by slashing its wings to remain below. An offshoot of this legend is that of the Manipuri diety Marjing, the horse god who in turn was the inspiration behind the ruler of Manipur creating the sport for his troops. While many believe ancient Persia and Mongolia show evidence in even more ancient history of the sport being played, it certainly died out there to be played in the North West Frontier in Chitral (now with Pakistan), then across the border in India’s Kargil, Drass and Leh districts of Ladakh (in the state of Jammu & Kashmir).

But was here in Manipur that the British tea planters found the most sophisticated version of the sport being played. This year from 22nd Nov to 29th Nov 2017, the 11th Manipur International Polo Tournament took place.

Besides the Indian Polo Association (known as the India A) team, the local team of the MHRPA (known as India B), Morocco, England, USA, and Argentina were all represented.

Certainly the local team were favourites even though they had lost the finals in the previous two years, last year’s winners being Australia. While the US Team whose manager Ed Armstrong has been supporting the event and once again brought a talented and young team including the just turned eighteen Brennan Welles( 2 goals and whose mother Kelly Welles runs a polo school in Maryland),along with captain Jorge Vasquez (2), Nate Berube (2), Nick Johnson (3), Kegan Walsh (3), Team England had Captain George Shelton (1), Ben Eeley (2) Phil Seller (2) and Robin Ormerod (2) Team Morocco featured Bady Keb