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Gurgaon: Horses infected, Delhi polo spring season shifted to Jaipur

The Delhi government issued a notification banning movement of horses out of west Delhi on January 15.

gurgaon Updated: Jan 31, 2018 23:38 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
Delhi polo spring season,polo,horses infected
Around 40 horses in and around Delhi tested positive for glanders disease.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

A few games of the Delhi polo spring season, which starts in the first week of February, have been shifted to Jaipur because of the outbreak of glanders disease among horses in the national capital region, said players and officials.

Around 40 horses in and around Delhi tested positive for glanders disease.

The Delhi government issued a notification banning movement of horses out of west Delhi on January 15.

Digvijay Singh, secretary, Rajasthan Polo Club, said, “The Jaipur season has been extended because of the ban on movement of horses in Delhi. This will affect the professional players as well. Delhi has a very short spring season which starts in February first week and ends by mid-March. By the time the restriction on movement of horses is removed, the Delhi polo season would be over.”

The development is set to hurt the players a lot as they earn an average of ₹2 lakh per game.

“On an average, players earn ₹2 lakh,” Singh said.

A sizeable chunk of the money is spent on the upkeep of horses.

“Because of this ban, players will be unable to move their horses out of Delhi. This will affect their annual income by 25-30%,” said Deepak Udar, a polo player who also organises tournaments.

While there is no official notice regarding shifting of the season to Jaipur, sources said the prestigious Jiwaji Rao Scindia tournament has been shifted to Jaipur’s Rambagh Polo Ground.

The tournament is one of the highlights of the spring season.

A top Indian Polo Association (IPA) official said there was no need to panic and that such things have happened before. He confirmed that a few tournaments have been moved to Jaipur because of the ban on movement of horses.

“This is common; the cooling (quarantine) period is 91 days and things will be normal. Players understand the situation,” said Jai Shergill, a top polo player and member of the IPA.

The Haryana health department is collecting blood samples of horses to examine their health.

The disease can also affect humans if they come in contact with infected horses.

So far, Haryana has collected 250 samples since January 15 and sent them to a veterinary hospital in Rohtak.

The health department is planning to issue a notification to ban movement of horses from Delhi to Gurgaon.

“There have been no positive cases so far in the city. However, we have issued an order to all farmhouses and stables to submit health reports of their horses within a week,” Ram Prakash, in-charge, epidemic department, Gurgaon Civil Hospital, said.

The city has a total of 1,400 horses, as per the animal husbandry department.

“We are working in close association with the animal husbandry department to get details of all the horses in Gurgaon. Also, as the horses in Ghaziabad and Delhi were found infected, we will issue a notice next week to ban entry of horses in the city,” he said.

Dr Prakash said the disease is fatal to humans.

Dr SS Saroha, deputy civil surgeon, Civil Hospital, Gurgaon, said, “We are on alert and are taking precautions to avoid any casualty. We are also spreading awareness about the disease.”

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 23:18 IST