The Inter-Regimental Polo Final – Sunday 15th July 2018
Some of us were not fortunate enough to have secured Men’s Finals tickets for Wimbledon, however a small group of us enjoyed a fabulous afternoon supporting the Irish Guards at the most prestigious Polo club in the world.
We gathered for drinks in the clubhouse on what must have been one of the hottest days since the summer of 76. A splendid lunch was served by Mossiman’s and afterwards the big match!
We were joined by the Master Cooper, The Master Tax Advisor, The Master Plumber, the Master Upholder, the Master Air Pilot and the Master Constructor with their consorts and a number of our faithful Liverymen and families.
The prize goes to Liveryman Mary-Ann Reynolds and her husband for travelling all the way from Switzerland to enjoy this very special event.
A note from Bernard Hornung who kindly organised this wonderful event for us: Six vintages of that sweet delicious wine from Portugal, which binds us together so tightly, gave me the strength to accept another challenge from the Master. An afternoon’s polo at Guards. What could be easier to arrange? My introduction to polo, 40 years previously, was attending the Young Officers Polo Course at Guards in April 1978. Fresh from fire-fighting in Central London during the firemen’s strike, learning how to play polo was a most welcome opportunity. We were stationed in Victoria Barracks, Windsor, and The Guards Polo Club is nearby. Lazy afternoons at Smith’s Lawn, with an audience of beautiful ladies, was an Ensign’s dream.
At the end of the two weeks our instructor, Patrick Beresford, asked me one simple question. “Bernard, do you think that there is another equestrian sport which you might enjoy more than polo?” Clearly I had failed the course, and this was perhaps the best way of telling me. Patrick was indeed right. I have no eye for a ball, and I would never make a good polo player. My eye was elsewhere.
Polo is the most ancient team sport in the world, and possibly one of the fastest and most demanding. Its brutal origins may be traced back to 600 BC in Persia. It is also a great spectator sport, and one in which I have taken considerable interest. Thanks to the inspiration of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, The Guards Polo Club was formed in 1955, has 14 match polo grounds and is now recognised as the leading polo club in the world.
That was certainly what we experienced on Sunday 15 July when Liverymen and their Guests enjoyed a delicious Sunday lunch provided by Mosiman’s at the Clubhouse. The Master generously took care of the wine, which we enjoyed in the brilliant sunshine.
The Finals of the Inter Regimental were played on The Duke’s Ground, adjacent to The Queen’s Ground and within easy walking distance from the clubhouse. The Foot Guards has 3 Irish Guards players, Lt Giles Bromley-Martin, Lt Billy Aprahamian, winner of the Gold Cup at the Grand Military at Sandown last March, and Capt Mossy Hamilton. The fourth player was Lt Jamie Drummond-Moray, Scots Guards. The Queens Royal Hussars were; Lt Jamie Fry, Lt Johnny Sleeman, Lt Col Nick Cowley, and Ct Henry Amor. The Foot Guards beat the Queens Royal Hussars 4.5 goals to 3, in an exciting and well played match.
My thanks to The Master and Liverymen. Those who wish to return in September, the Major General’s Cup is on Sunday 9, and if you email me before 27 August, I will be pleased to make the same arrangements. Lunch and polo for £95 per person, polo only at £25 per person, with the surplus generated being for the benefit of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors.