As an adolescent, he would accompany his late grandfather Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singhji of Jaipur to the polo grounds every season. “My grandfather used to host the Jaipur season at Rambagh Polo Club in January and September,” says 18-year old His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur, “So every day of those months, I would go watch Yuvraj Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur, Yuvraj Vikramaditya Singh of Kashmir, and international players on the field.” It was also the time he was introduced to the player he idolizes the most, Arjuna Award-winner and captain of the Indian polo team, Samir Suhag. Surrounded by polo, it was natural he would take up the sport, but the young maharaja has one regret. “My grandfather was always keen I start riding, and I regret the fact that I didn’t begin while he was alive.” It was only the week after he passed away in April 2011, that Padmanabh, upon returning to boarding school in India, Mayo College (he transferred to Millfield in the UK later), took up dressage and eventually picked up the mallet, competing in his first polo game in England at the age of 15.
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The Polo Prince
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