Jaipur today witnessed a unique polo match, one which also had ramp shows in the intervals. A display of polo shoes, handbags, pants, belts and jackets made the event a heady mix of horse, power, passion and fashion.
And all these because it was designer and polo player Rina Shah’s idea and sponsored tournament, the Rinaldi Polo Cup.
Rina is one of India’s first luxury shoe designers and now one of India’s first female polo players. Rina’s Rinaldi Polo Club organized the event at the Rambagh Polo Club on Sunday afternoon.
The aim of the tourney is to promote young players to take up this royal sports. A total of 12 teams participated in the event and at least 48 youth players got a chance to display their polo skills.
Incidentally, Rina first watched a polo match in 2011 and decided to take it up, enthused by its energy and spirit. But before that she had learn to ride a horse. It did not deter her as she always has striked out on her own, first as a shoe designer at the age of 25.
It took her a year after which went to Argentina and UK for polo’s basic training. She also spent sometime in Jaipur to learn the skills from the seasoned polo players here.
It has been two years that Rina has started playing polo but she thought owning a team would be ideal for her.
The Rinaldi team has played in the finals of the four goal tournament at the Amateur Riders’ Club, Mumbai last year. The squad, comprising polo’s best players Samir Suhag, Lt gen Arun Kumar Sahni, Jogi Shekhawat, Simran Shergil and Rina Shah herself, is a fulfillment of Shah’s passion for all things equestrian.
Rina had launched the Rinaldi Polo accessories collection in 2011 at Lakmé Fashion Week.
While it features belts and riding boots as well, it’s her bags where the mix of fashion and horses is most evident: They are all made of vintage equestrian scarves.
Rina says she is focusing all her energies on her own polo team now. She says, “We are a thrilling team of go-getting polo players that will travel across India and the world, making Rinaldi Polo a name to reckon with in fashion and sports circles.”
And that is what she did today in Jaipur. A polo punch in the polo city!