A businessman from Rajasthan’s Pali has reportedly bought a Marwari horse for Rs 1.11 crore.
The deal has all the trappings of Rajput folklore that highlights the warrior clan’s fascination for horses but what has stunned people and made news headlines is the amount paid for the animal.
The buyer, Narayan Singh Akdawas, a real estate and mining mogul of Pali, about 370 km from Jaipur, bought the horse from Bhanwar Singh Rathore of the same city.
The indigenous Marwari horse, a shining dark bay stallion, tall and robust, with a gorgeous blaze and intelligent eyes, is called Prabhat.
Parallels have been drawn between Prabhat and Chetak, the horse of Maharana Pratap, the medieval Rajput king of Mewar region.
Not only has Akdawas hired Sandrina from France to train the horse but has built two stables and a swimming pool for the stallion that will have two mares for company.
Questions about the authenticity of the deal are being raised by horse enthusiasts.
A Facebook post by the former owner of Prabhat has started doing the rounds. In a post, Bhanwar wrote : “Real price 35,50,000”.
Earlier Bhanwar said that he had sold Prabhat for the amount that has been reported in the media.
Akdawas, however, has a totally different story to tell: “Prabhat was a gift, given to me by my cousin brother, Bhanwar Singh. I haven’t paid him anything and there has been no money transaction at all.”
Asked why the media is reporting that the horse was bought and not gifted, he said: “It’s true that the horse is an extremely prized stallion. There was a bidder from Punjab who bid for the horse with the amount being quoted in the media.”
A person, who knows both the men, said that a deal has taken place. “Prabhat was bought by Bhanwar for Rs 16 lakh, but I don’t know for what amount the horse was sold to Akdawas,” said the man, who did not wish to be named.
Raghuvendra Singh of Dundlod, Jhunjhunu, who heads the Indigenous Horse Society of India and owns more than 60 Marwari horses, said that it is a case of “false pricing to gain publicity”.
“The best Marwari horses fetch anything between Rs 5-7 lakh. An exceptionally good horse might get you Rs 10-12 lakh but anything over that doesn’t make sense,” he said.
“The cases of false pricing will set a dangerous trend. People will open stud farms, not knowing the ground realities.”
Colonel Sarpartap Singh, former secretary general of Equestrian Federation of India, said that thoroughbred horses that are sold by stud farms to race courses fetch between Rs 15 and 20 lakh.
“As for Marwari horses, there is no set rate,” he said.
“I have heard of Marwari horses being bought for Rs 20 lakh, or 25 lakh, but I don’t know how much truth there is to these deals. Only the buyer and the seller know the real price.”