The Racing Gazette of November 19, 1921 was effusive in its praise of Maharaja Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla, more than 100 years ago, when he was still not 32 years of age. The Maharaja was a fine polo player and a world-famous racehorse owner. By then he had ruled for six years, and already won the Indian Derby in 1919 through his horse Tipster, and was still to win the Irish Derby in 1926 through Embargo, and the Epsom Derby of England in 1934 when his thoroughbred Windsor Lad finished first. He also formed the Rajpipla Polo Team in 1943 comprising himself and three of his sons Yuvraj Rajendrasinhji, Maharajkumar Pramodsinhji and Maharajkumar Indrajitsinhji. Here is what The Racing Gazette had to say in 1921:
The Racing Gazette
November 19, 1921 Vol. II No. 21
His Highness the Maharaja of Rajpipla
Near the confluence of the Rhine with the sparkling Moselle and opposite Coblenz, is the rock-fortress known as Ehrenbreistein, supposed to have been founded by the Romans under the Emperor Julian. “Every man’s character,” said a great Englishman, “must have its Ehrenbreistein – its broad stone of honour; down beneath all that is apparent or superficial must be a rock basis of integrity.”
Whether as the administrator of his State or as a very keen sportsman, one thing that the Maharaja impresses upon his observers is that he has an Ehrenbreistein which few others of his class have been blessed with.
To him Polo, Racing, and all other sports are amusements but they are fenced in with certain restrictive principles so that they may answer their highest ends. For example, the Maharaja finds rest in variety of activity connected, say, with Polo to him it is a recreation as a means to an end; to him it is a pastime which imparts a tone, higher and more refined; to him it is a high road in his onward march to a higher plane.
We have Rajas and Maharajas in plenty but Rajas and Maharaja of the above type are few and far between. The Maharaja of Rajpipla is a Maharaja as much by his noble birth as by the qualities of his head and heart. May he live long for the glory of our motherland.