Imphal: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh opened the 10th international Manipur polo tournament, 2016 at the historic polo ground in the heart of Imphal city, the capital of border state Manipur on Tuesday evening.
This tournament, which includes teams from four overseas countries, is a part of the Sangai tourism festival which began on Monday.
The festival will conclude on November 30. Four overseas countries, Australia, United Kingdom, Kenya and the United States are participating along with two Indian teams in the polo tournament.
Declaring the tournament open, Ibobi said that the game will be played in the oldest polo ground in the world, Mapal Kangjeibung.
The ponies used in polo are found only in Manipur. This species is now listed in the endangered animals of the world.
Hardly 2000 ponies are said to be in existence in Manipur.
In the past foreign players used to bring horses from their countries to the tournament. However, it was learned the hard way that these well trained horses did not stand anywhere near the ponies.
The foreign players have stopped bringing their horses and are depending on the local ponies, thereby saving a huge amount of money.