Polo legend passes away
Yesterday, Thursday 18 March, it was announced that Lord Patrick Tristam de la Poer Beresford had passed away. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.Lord Patrick Beresford was a prominent figure in the UK polo community, whilst also achieving a decorated military career and was a keen amateur jockey.  His military career began at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where Lord Patrick Beresford earned the Sword of Honour as top cadet; he then served with the Royal Horse Guards (RHG) from 1952 and served with them for 11 years, a time which included overseas deployments to Cyprus (awarded the General Service Medal (GSM) in 1957) and as part of the British Army of the Rhine. In 1963 he transferred to the No 1 (Guards) Independent Parachute Company in 1963 and took part in the Coy deployments to Cyprus in 1963 and Borneo in 1964 (awarded the GSM).

Following this Lord Patrick joined R Squadron of 22 Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment and was part of overseas deployments to the Middle and Far East from 1966 to 1974. After leaving military service he remained an active member in the veterans’ community and was President of the Guards Parachute Association.  During his polo career, Lord Patrick Beresford’s reached 5 goals and won a number of notable UK tournaments including: Cowdray Park’s Gold Cup, Cowdray Park Challenge, Royal Windsor Cup, the County Cup, the Queen’s Cup, the Warwickshire Cup, Cowdray Park Challenge, Junior County Cup, the County Cup, the Smith-Ryland Cup, the Caterham Cup and the Westbury Cup. Further afield he won the South African Open Championship and in America won the Butler Handicap with a Cowdray Park team. Lord Patrick Beresford was also a member of the Commonwealth team that travelled to Buenos Aires in 1966 to compete in a 30 goal tournament against Argentina and the USA. In 2010 Lord Patrick was awarded the Hurlingham Polo Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at The Polo Awards. Aside from playing polo, Lord Patrick was Guards Polo Club’s first Polo Manager in 1955, Vice President of the England International Committee and a passionate polo pony welfare advocate. In later years he judged the polo pony sections at The Royal Windsor Horse Show.  Lord Patrick’s interest in equine sports wasn’t just limited to the world of polo, he was also a keen amateur jockey, enjoying his first win under National hunt rules in 1958 winning Sandown’s Past and Present Hunters’ Chase on Major Robert Collie’s horse Topper. His other notable racing achievements included wins at Sandown’s Past and Present Handicap Chase, Thomond Chase at Limerick and the Dunboyne Plate at Fairyhouse. He was also Chef d’équipe of the British Eventing Team 1985 – 1992.  A full obituary will be included in the next issue of Polo Times, paying testament to Lord Patrick Beresford’s interesting and varied life.  

Photograph: Lord Patrick Beresford was a keen polo player & supporter of the sport. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com

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