News story

Prince Harry helps Army win polo event

Captain Harry Wales helped the British Army polo team to victory in this year's Rundle Cup, the traditionally hard-fought polo match between the Royal Navy and the Army, on Saturday 9 July 2011.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
His Royal Highness Prince Harry, wearing the No 2 shirt, in the thick of the match [Picture: Graham Harrison, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

Prince Harry, wearing the No 2 shirt, in the thick of the match

The glamorous Rundle Cup Day, which takes place in the grounds of Tedworth House at Tidworth Garrison, combines the dramatic speed and skill of two top class polo matches and the light-hearted good humour of well-known celebrities attempting to play polo - both on bicycles and horses - in a charity match.

The beautiful setting of Tedworth House, now a Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centre for sick, injured and wounded servicemen, is an ideal backdrop for the day, which has steadily grown in popularity over the years and now attracts over 4,000 spectators.

The main event, the Rundle Cup polo match sponsored by Hackett, had the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats, as Prince Harry scored the first goal less than two minutes after the start.

Despite some strong play by the Navy, particularly from their up and coming star Sub-Lieutenant Hiro Suzuki, and veteran player Commander Richard Mason, the Army team, led by Lieutenant Colonel Nick Hunter, pulled ahead and won with a final score of eight to five-and-a-half.

The win was all the more satisfying for the Army, as the Navy, who won the match last year, had started with a one-and-a-half point handicap lead.

In another match on the day, the Combined Services team scraped a victory over the visiting United States (Eastern Circuit) in the Indian Cavalry Officers Polo Trophy match.

And, in a complete contrast, glamour model Katie Price took part in the fun celebrities polo match in aid of INSPIRE, the Salisbury-based charity which fights the effects of spinal cord injury by researching the latest medical and mechanical technology.

Also taking part in the three-chukka match, which included one of bicycle polo, was her partner Leandro Penna, Silent Witness actor Tom Ward, and jockeys Richard Johnson and Andrew Thornton. Ms Price’s team won by five goals to three.

Tidworth Polo Club was founded at Tidworth Barracks in 1907, when cavalry regiments based on and around Salisbury Plain needed somewhere to develop polo playing skills picked up during postings to India.

In those days the grounds were rough and uneven, but fifteen years later the Brigade Commander, Brigadier Bertie Fisher, built the main polo ground - now called the Fisher Ground - which is where the Rundle Cup is held today.

With the help of officers and men in the garrison, Brigadier Fisher organised tons of soil to be dug and wheeled over the road to the grounds of Tedworth House. The polo playing fields constructed then provided the basis for the immaculate lawns Tidworth has now.

Published 11 July 2011