By Victoria Elsbury-Legg
Driving up past the heather gardens in Windsor Great Park and emerging at the top of the hill where the ‘games of the day’ board marks the entrance to Guards Polo Club, there is little doubting all is well and truly coming together for the first Coronation Cup to be sponsored by Royal Salute, which will be played out on the Queen’s Ground this Saturday 25th July between two international teams, both with their eyes very firmly fixed on lifting the Coronation Cup, which his HRH The Prince of Wales will be presenting. It is sure to be a match that HRH will be interested to watch, having himself captained the England side from 1977 – 1993 (missing only two years – 1978 when he played for the Commonwealth and due to a fall in 1990).
Amongst the swath of green pitches that greet any visitor to the club (of which HRH’s father HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, is President) there is now a mass of white tents vying for space, waiting in anticipation for their visiting guests, whilst currently they are being filled with a multitude of stunning floral decorations ready for Saturday. Also jostling for the space that surrounds the emerald lawns are lengths of chrome fencing, in place to guide the expected crowds to their seats and parking space.
Last year it was Facundo Pieres and Adolfo Cambiaso who headed up the Argentine side who won the game 13-8 England. This year there will be only one Argentine player on the pitch as South America face England to determine the fate of the trophy this year. Captaining England for the first time in an International at Guards is James Beim (7) alongside Max Charlton (7), who is playing for England for the first time in a Coronation Cup match, and the Tomlinson brothers Luke (7) and Mark (6). Looking to defend the title currently held by a South American side will be – South America, captained by Brazilian, Rodrigo Andrade (9) fellow Brazilian, Jose Klabin (4) Chilean, Jaime Garcia Huidobro (8) and Argentine, Manuel Fernandez Llorente (8).
With many of the players having recently been taken part in both the Cartier Queen’s Cup and Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, it is certain that spectators will be in for some top international polo action at 3.30pm on the Queen’s Ground at Smith’s Lawn.
The Royal Salute Coronation Cup will be shown live on Saturday 25th July (UK time) 3.30pm on www.hurlinghampolo.com
The morning match
At 11am The Final of the British ten goal Championships will take place between Tempest – Ryan Pemble (5) Gustav Rausing (0) Faisal Al Rifai (1) and Adolfo Casabal (4) and Black Bears – Charlie Pidgley (1) Guy Schwarzenbach (1) Jack Berner (2) and Simon Keyte (6) as the morning game to the International at Guards Polo Club.