Shandur polo festival celebrated from July 7th to 9th, 2009, came to an end with a victory of the Chitral team by 2 to 10 goal scores. Both the teams of Gilgit and Chitral played a real professional polo to the cheers and appreciations of the spectators, who participated in a great number. This year the number of foreign participants was also encouraging. There were polo reporters, journalists, film crew and professional photographers from around the world.
This year, Chitral’s win with 2 to 10 margin has really been unusual. The point why this year’s final turned up to be one-sided is that the over the year the team of Gilgit has not been able to provide better alternative to the very professional free style polo players such as Arasto and Bulbul Jan, who retired. The junior players, who replaced them, have not shown performance worthy to ensure victory for Gilgit. Second and most important reason is the strength and stamina of horses playing during the festival at Shandur in thin oxygen. This time also the horses of Chitral side proved to be stronger. It must be noted that Chitral polo team has won the Shandur polo final for the four consecutive years this time. On Chitral side all the team members played really well. But the performance of Prince Sikander Ulmulk, Shah Ji and Israr was worth praising that led to the victory of Chitral team.
The history of the Shandur polo event dates back to 1920 when for the first time it was organized through the facilitation and participation of Col Evelyn Hey Cobb, himself a player, at the highest polo ground on earth. After 1980s the sports became more popular amongst the general public and the polo players and more focus diverted towards it.