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Birthplace of Polo Donates Exhibit to Intl. Museum of the Horse

The gift represents new efforts in Manipur to protect the now-endangered native Manipuri Ponies.

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The International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington unveiled a new exhibit Nov. 16 chronicling the contributions of the people and ponies of Manipur. This Southeastern Himalayan kingdom, now a state in northeast India, introduced the sport of polo to the British in 1854.

"This unique new exhibit is a perfect complement to the popular displays already enjoyed by visitors to the Kentucky Horse Park and the International Museum of the Horse," Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said. "We’re grateful for this generous gift, which furthers the museum’s educational mission and helps tell the story of how cultures around the world share Kentuckians’ love of horses."

His Excellency Shri Gurbachan Jagat, the governor of Manipur, who made the generous gift of exhibit materials on behalf of the people of the Manipur, said, "Over the last century and a half, the sport of polo has become synonymous with British horsemanship. However, the story of how the British learned of the game, and of the people and ponies that first introduced it to them, has remained shrouded in history."

The exhibit in the "Horse in Sport gallery" features a traditional Manipuri polo saddle, braided bridle, braided leather whip, a full set of traditional polo player’s attire, two traditional polo mallets, a ball made of bamboo root, and a set of traditional equestrian darts designed and constructed by Meisnam Khelen of Imphal, former captain of the Manipur Polo

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