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Indo/US Army Exchange Polo Match in Great Meadows, Virginia, USA

by Shivina Kumari

As the sun set and the dusk rolled out over Great Meadows Polo Club on the 31st of August, the stage was set for an event that promised to be both exciting and entertaining. The event had a commemorative theme, remembering the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War, recognizing India's contribution to the United Nations forces during war.

The sponsor for the event was Capital Surini Group International; Inc. represented by their executive vice president, Dr. Shivraj Singh, in the absence of Mr. Raj Shah, president of CGSI. Dr. Vinton Cerf, senior vice president of Advanced Internet Technology and Architecture for MCI and widely known as a "Father of the Internet," who co-designed the TCP/IP protocol, was the chief guest along with his charming wife, Sigrid Cerf.

The Indian Army Team, making its fifth appearance in the US since 1993, was led by international polo star Colonel Bhawani Singh with team members Major SS Kashyap and Lieutenant Ravi Rathore. The US Army Polo Club team called "The Blue Devils", was led by Mark Gillespie with team members Kurt Schlichting and Tareq Salahi who substituted Dr.Matt Richardson.

The Polo Match started with "The Blue Devils" getting a 3 goal handicap on the board. They scored 2 more goals to give them 5-2 lead in the 1st chukkar.  The Indian Army quickly pulled their game together and finished the second chukkar a few goals ahead of the Americans with remarkable plays from young Lieutenant Ravi Rathore and Major SS Kashap. The Americans fought back in the third chukkar and by the midpoint in the fourth and last chukkar had clawed their way to within one goal of catching their opponents. However, Colonel Bhawani Singh, one of India's top players, demonstrated his outstanding abilities in horsemanship and strategy by not only holding steady on defense, but scoring two more goals in the waning minutes of the last chukkar to seal the Indian victory. The final score was 12 goals to 9 goals.

The USO Show Troupe of Metropolitan New York, consisting of winners of various beauty pageants, put on a spirited musical performance after the match and received a standing ovation. The Show Troupe has performed in the Washington DC, Metro area on many occasions, including the recent birthday celebration of the U.S. Army and the dedication of the USO corridor in the Pentagon.

Amidst popping of champagne, Dr. Vinton Cerf and Miss USO 2001 presented individual momentos to two teams and the Most Valuable Player of the match to Col. Bhawani Singh, who scored 10 out of 12 goals. Dr. Shivraj Singh of CGSI presented a momento to Sigrid Cerf and thanked the Cerf's for gracing the event. 


CSGI Inc. Sponsor of Polo Match
Army USA Team vs. Indian Army Team
Friday August 31, 2001

Round Army USA Indian Army
1st Chukker 2 + 3 (Handicap Advantage) 2
2nd Chukker 0 5
3rd Chukker 2 2
4th Chukker 2 3
Total 9 12 (Winner)


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