Princes share The Jerudong Trophy

Having supported cousin Zara Phillips earlier in the week as she secured Olympic team silver in the Eventing, princes William and Harry took to the saddle themselves on Sunday (5 August) to play a charity polo match for the coveted Jerudong Trophy at Cirencester Park Polo Club. In aid of three of the Princes’ charities; Centrepoint, Well Child and Dolen Cymru, a great game, considering the very wet conditions, ran out a three all draw at the end of the final chukka.

Prince Harry was in the purple and white colours of Cirencester Park’s home team, playing alongside Top Raksriaksorn - son of the President of the Thai Polo Association - local professional Dave Allen and Argentine player Manolo Fernandez Llorente. The Duke of Cambridge donned the red colours of Tang Polo Club to play alongside Shilai Lia, owner and Chairman of the Tang Polo Club in Beijing. Also in the team was local player Tom Beim and New Zealand’s highest rated player; John Paul Clarkin.

Friendly banter and sibling rivalry were certainly the order of the day as the two teams took to the pitch, Princes William and Harry both opted for two grey ponies to begin the match in a rare spot of sunshine. Cirencester Park’s new Executive Polo Manager and umpire on the day Tim Keyte expressed “how great it is to see the princes enjoying themselves on the polo field, without loosing site of the real reason they are here at Cirencester, to support the charities which mean so much to them”.

Cirencester Park were first to open the scoring with front man Top Raksriaksorn finding the posts early in the first chukka. They did not retain the lead for long however as Tang Polo Club’s Shilai Lia soon found himself free of the Cirencester defence to level the score to one all. Just before the bell at the end of the first chukka a great pass found Prince Harry en route to goal, he carried the ball all the way taking a big hook virtually on the goal line before the ball made the distance through the goalmouth putting Cirencester back in the lead at the end of the first chukka.

Prince William was soon on the attack in the second taking the ball down the far side of the ground he eventually lost out against the cruel bounce of the wet field, team-mate Tom Beim was there however to pick the subsequent Cirencester back-hand out of the air and go on to finish with a great goal.
Clarkin took a big hit in off the back line later in the chukka and stormed down the field following it himself, he sent a big pass up the field to Lia who finished it in style, putting Tang Polo Club in the lead for the first time.

It was Raksriaksorn who was to score the third and final goal for the Cirencester team leaving them level; a spectacular one to finish, managing to control the bouncing ball he sent a massive under-the-neck shot high and on target.

Prince William mishit one ball during the game on the public side of the ground which took off at a tangent finding a spectator’s car with a bang! William apologised profusely and offered to fix it but the offer was declined, as they much preferred to keep the souvenir dent and a story to tell!

All the players won cufflinks from Patrick Mavros jewelers in London as well as crates of the aptly named Brothers Cider.

Posted: 06/08/2012 23:32:49



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