UK-MONGOLIAN POLO TEAMS BOUND FOR ANNUAL MATCH

/Ulaanbaatar, 13.09.16/ The British and Mongolian army polo teams will mount for the second annual friendly match on 17th Saturday at the Khaan Polo Club, in Ulaanbaatar’s sub district area Gachuurt.

Originally, when Mongol warriors tested their horsemanship during the time of Chinggis Khan’s conquests, the game was played with a sheep head with unlimited players on each side. It is believed around the early 13th century the game found its way to Persia during the proliferation of the Ilkhanate dynasty and it was later taken to India following the Moghul invasions in the 15th century, where it was refined further as a recreation sport. History reveals to us that it was only in the 1860s that the British Indian Cavalry Regiments discovered the game while it was being played at Manipur on 12 hand ponies.

The British Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, as the co-organiser of the annual match, highlights that the joint army exercises in polo sport is a token of sincere appreciation for UK and Mongolia relations, as well as an expression of interest to deepen ties in military, culture and tourism.

The British Army Polo Team led by Simon Ledger, a polo commentator and the Director of the Army Polo Association, arrived in Mongolia yesterday as part of an ongoing training programme devised by the British army team coach Gaston Devrient.

The Mongolian polo team members were introduced to their British counterparts in 2015 at their first training session, held at the military base in Khentii province under the patronage of the Ministry of Defense in Mongolia. The second joint training session was hosted last year at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, after which the teams held their first match at the renowned Guards’ Polo Club.

This weekend’s match is expected to be attended by government officials, horse trainers, commercial partners and Members of the general public are welcome.