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ONE CAN FULFILL THEIR PASSIONS AT ANY AGE!

I have always been the sporting sort and love adventure. I played tennis and squash for fitness, trained in F1 Racing in California, and sky diving in New York!

In 2009, I went to watch a Polo game with my close friend and had the best time. The feeling was unbelievable… super exciting and super fast... seemed very impossible to ever do it… the season lasted for a month and I went every day to watch the games. I just watched all the beautiful horses galloping and guys atop having a time of their life. Then after few months I thought of giving riding a shot... honestly I had never sat on a horse except when I was little so I did not know it was going to be fun or not… but my friend and I decided to do it together so I thought might as well give it a shot! Ha1 Ha! I have always loved horses and animals then after I become a member of the amateur riding school and started riding often since 2011 (though three falls took me a while to get back on the horse), I enrolled myself in the Santa Barbara Polo School in June for a week of training. 
 
I was back in form after the accidents and I decided that I had to work very hard and knew I can do this if I put my heart and soul into this. So, from August 2011 I started riding each morning at 6 a.m. I did one session in the mornings and one in the evenings at 6 p.m. I started riding every day, working hard and focusing on polo riding and drills... I had decided that unless I have a disciplined lifestyle I would not be able to achieve this. My inspiration was appreciating that it is a tough game and almost impossible to start at this age and almost impossible to actually play it! I love doing things that few people can do! I love challenges and they drive me to achieve … I was the first Indian shoe designer and eleven years back I felt the same. I got an opportunity to feel the same again and I grabbed it! I wanted to give my best shot before giving it up…. so in October I decided to take a trip to Argentina, which I did for 20 days of full-on practice... day and night… it was seriously the toughest twenty days of my life as I was not ready for it. Every day I took pain killers and pushed myself till the end. I instinctively knew that if I survived this period it will take me much closer to my goal... and I did... as soon as I got back I went the same day to Jodhpur and played my first game ever: The Beginners Cup. The feeling before the game was so scary and I felt that I would not be able to do it but I had to survive the entire game to build my confidence… and I did it… it felt so good! I do not think I played my best but being on the field feeling the adrenaline rush and surviving being in the game was what I needed to do in my first game!
 
I would say this is the beginning of the journey. I still have a long way to go to reach my goal and this year is dedicated to traveling to Thailand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, USA and London to travel and keep practicing. During my journey, I have been blessed to have few people who have made this happen… my close friend who took me for the first game and with whom I started riding… my mentor Suresh Tapuriah who let me ride his horses and believed I could do it... Swaroop, the trainer who pushed me after my third fall and without him, I would have never got rid of my fear! I travelled to Jaipur and trained with Vicki Nihalani who help me train for Argentina... and my friends and family who had confidence I could do it.
 
But I did lose closeness with a lot of family and friends during this period as I had no time to see them… my social life came to a standstill as I had to wake up at 6 a.m. every day and could not go for any event. Work suffered a bit too as I had to leave the workplace by 5.30 p.m. no matter what... so I decided to start an equestrian line called www.rinaldipolo.com that I would sell all over the world and could combine it with my Polo travels! I just did a show in Jodhpur and sold out… Polo being an expensive hobby I thought what better then combining work and play ;-) So everywhere I am going to travel playing Polo, I will also carry my line and do a show ... super excited … my lifestyle has changed drastically and I have to maintain eating healthy as this sport demands a lot of energy and stamina… I have to frequently visit a physio-therapist almost two times a week to keep my back strong. I also feel I could have done this being single and having no responsibility as it is very demanding especially when you are training... there is lots you have to sacrifice but it was all worth it to achieve something unique and tough. 
 
Polo has become a very important part of my life and hope it remains to be... it is a different sport in India especially when there are no women playing. It is a male dominated sport here in India so when you tell them you want to learn no one takes you seriously but you have to push your way and make it work. That said, people overall have been very supportive and helped me in someway or the other though I have to say it is easier out of India as there a lot of women playing this sport. My best experience was Argentina — for training and learning the sport and the last week of December in Jodhpur — you see great games and amazing parties all week! I also introduced my equestrian collection at the Lakme Fashion Week 2011 … and since then the collection has been selling all over on the website…
 
I am taking shows in the next few months to Thailand, Dubai and Abu Dhabi and with the British Polo Day. I also did shows in July 2011 at Cartier Cup and Cowdray Cup in London. I should be playing next in March 2012 during the Mumbai Polo season and this is something I am so looking forward to. One day I hope to have my string of horses and own a part of the Polo club somewhere in the world… I am a big believer that one can fulfill their passion at a any age… you just have to want it badly... nothing is impossible! This has opened doors to a lot of fun and exciting things and meeting new interesting people! I am finally living my dreams!
 
 
 
 
 
 
09-JANUARY-2012
 
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17 Comments
 
29-MARCH-2012 Ravi P Doshi
Have hardly met any girl as talented and go-getter like you, always appreciate it and fell pride in knowing you. All d best for your future endeavors.
 
 
29-MARCH-2012 Ankur Mishra
Rina, this is so awesome - you truly are an inspiration. You stood by the old wise saying of 'one can achieve anything if they want it enough' and are willing to work for it. Well done and good luck ahead!
 
 
25-JANUARY-2012 Lt Col J S Sandhu
A very meaningful statement and well told.
 
 
17-JANUARY-2012 Bhavin Parekh
Many ppl have dreams but only a handful few achieves.!!!!! Hats off ..to your passion n conviction.....n thinking about a tough n different sport !! Wow...
 
 
16-JANUARY-2012 Nihar Shah
Mind over body and a lot of hardwork will surely take you places!! All the best for the forthcoming season....go make us proud!!!
 
 
14-JANUARY-2012 Aaliya Jaffer
Hi Rina, I am so proud that you have achieved what you set your heart on. Very motivating to all of us. Lovely article!
 
 
14-JANUARY-2012 Hemal Shah
Rina, knowing you... am sure you will achieve what you've set out to...!! Truly insiring and I am sure you will be an idol for a lot of young polo players in india...
 
 
12-JANUARY-2012 Pes Dubash
If you persive DAILY You will do good In Polo
 
 
12-JANUARY-2012 Josephine
Inspirational
 
 
11-JANUARY-2012 BHANWAR VISHVENDRA RAJ SINGH RANAWAT, (MEWAR)
I like your profession
 
 
11-JANUARY-2012 Harshwardhan Singh Rathore
I alwys use to say "it's not the age....it's milage which matters" n u proved ma thoughts to be correct. gud keep goin on...
 
 
10-JANUARY-2012 Mandira Bedi
Way to go!
 
 
10-JANUARY-2012 aastha bedi
Proud of you, as an Indian woman
 
 
10-JANUARY-2012 Loveleen Sethi
lovely read.. can feel your passion in every sentence:)
 
 
10-JANUARY-2012 Aparna Sood
I saw your show during Lakme Fashion Week. Where do you retail from?
 
 
10-JANUARY-2012 Namrata Guha
It is very encouraging to read your experience and especially your positive attitude. Lovely read, Rina.
 
 
09-JANUARY-2012 Anjhula Mya Singh Bais
Rina, you make me so proud! Leave a trail where no one has gone before.. well done. I think we both agree that there's nothing like pushing the envelope ;-)
 
 
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