Rathore Band Galas
ORIGIN OF JODHPURS ( Riding Pants)
The history of jodhpurs is tied up with the history of the game of Polo. Polo was played more than 2500 years ago throughout Persia and Central Asia. The game had different names like Chaugan and Bushkazi and often didn't use a ball, perhaps an animal carcass but the players were always on horseback.
The game came down into India along with various Islamic invasions and was played particularly in the Northern area, which is now Rajasthan. The Rajputs are credited with establishing rules, a polo stick and use of a ball. Since the game required superbly trained and healthy horses, only nobles and aristocrats who could afford to maintain stables normally played it.
When the British took over India, one of the attractive things they appropriated was Polo. The first all-European club was founded in 1859. They even started playing back in England in 1871. From there it spread to the Americas particularly Argentina.
It has always been a rather rough game for men and horses and nowadays two-ambulance games are common and four-ambulance games not unknown. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, is an aficionado and plays regularly.
Around 1890 Maharaja Sir Pratap Singh of Jodhpur started wearing riding breeches tailored for the game. These were cut in a wing-shape and had leather patches between the knees. These became known as "Jodhpurs" and were worn by all polo players within a very short time.
The Jodhpur Polo team was invincible at the time. In the 1920's women adopted men's riding breeches and sat astride horses (and even played the occasional Polo game) and so wore Jodhpurs.
The Jodhpurs are now "de rigueur" riding garb. They are cut full at the hips, very tight fitting from knee to ankle, ending in a cuff with a strap under the instep.
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