In a sport like polo, where there can only be one winner, you’d think being on the losing team would mean going home despondent and empty-handed. Not so for the team that were beaten to the Royal Windsor Cup at Guards Polo Club on 24 June — the UK’s premier medium-goal tournament.
Andrey Borodin’s defending Park Place side may have lost 11-7 to La Dolfina on the field after a hard-fought match but thanks to the generous tournament sponsors, Japanese company Out-Sourcing! Inc, each of the Park Place players went home having won a two-night trip to Paris — talk about sweetening the blow. They also received a hand-made Kabuto helmet each, traditionally worn by ancient Japanese warriors, including the Samurai.
Of course for the winning team, which consisted of young British players Josh Cork and Kian Hall, plus world number one Adolfo Cambiaso and his 12-year-son Adolfo ‘Poroto’ Cambiaso Jr, the prizes were even better.
As well as lifting the magnificent Royal Windsor Cup — Guards Polo Club’s oldest piece of silverware — each won a four-night trip to Japan, as well as diamond jewellery and pearl suit pins, and larger versions of the Kabuto helmet, while Poroto, who was named most valuable player, was also presented with a traditionally-made miniature set of ancient Japanese warrior armour. His father had his hands full after the presentation too — he received a traditional Japanese horse stature after his seven-year-old mare Cruiser was named best playing pony.
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As well as the fantastic prizes, Out-Sourcing! Inc brought another novel aspect to the finals day too, making it the first time a polo match commentary has been translated into sign language on the big screen and live stream, to mark the work the company is doing to promote sign language as an international language.
Pictures by imagesofpolo.com