The Queen’s Royal Hussars have proved best at Inter Regimental Polo for the second year in succession. This year they overwhelmed The Royal Air Force (RAF, rec 1 ½ goals) 8-1½ at Guards Polo Club to win the oldest polo trophy still played for in the UK.
The Hussars team delivered strong play throughout all four chukkas and some excellent team-work ensured they were 4-1½ up at half time. Brigadier Nick Cowley, the youngest Brigadier in the British Army, was always in the right place to push the Hussars team forward and some great runs from Capt Henry Amor ensured the Army team were in control from the first whistle. Such four-man play resulted in Capt Jamie Fry receiving the magnificent trophy, which was first played for in 1871, from Air Commodore Tim Brown, Director of the Armed Forces Polo Association.
The final score however does not do justice to the RAF team, who were making their debut in this Inter Regimental final. Officer Cadet Jonathan Perry, who was playing his own ponies, worked tirelessly under a scorching sun to keep the Air Force team in contention and all four RAF players continued to battle until the final whistle. Sadly luck was not on their side on Sunday on The Duke’s Ground. The RAF players did not go home empty handed though as the Pringle Cup, originally donated by Major Jack Pringle of the 8th Hussars who dedicated his life to military polo after serving in the Second World War, was presented to the RAF’s Wing Commander Ed Whitechurch.
The other trophy of this game was the Forbes-Cockell Award, for the unique moment of the match. Played in memory of Major Iain Forbes-Cockell, his daughters, Annabel and Emma, presented the prize, donated by La Martina. It went to the Hussars’ Lt The Hon William Cecil. Although he had a stand-out game, including scoring the final goal of the match, the Lieutenant’s unceremonious bucking off in front of the grandstand in the first 30 seconds of the match won him this trophy!
Earlier in the day a visiting US Military Team won the United Services Cup, played as part of the three-match Chapple Cup Series. Their opponents, the Armed Forces Polo Association might have lost the day at Guards Polo Club, but they won the Series, 2-1.
The Queen's Royal Hussars: Brigadier Nick Cowley (0); Lt The Hon William Cecil (0); Capt Jamie Fry (1); Capt Henry Armor (2). The Royal Air Force: Squadron Leader Ellie Hoogewerth (0); Wing Commander Vicky Woodhead (0); Officer Cadet Jonathan Perry (1); Wing Commander Ed Whitechurch (0).
US Military: Capt Byles (0); Lt Col Peterson (0); Petty Officer Jenkins (1); Private Coleman (1). Armed Forces Polo Association: Commodore Dean Bassett RN (0); Surgeon Commander Harry Rourke RNR (0); Major William Mawby RY (0); Lt Hector Fair KRH (1).