15 June 2017 | England
The Guards Polo Club, an English polo club in Windsor, Berkshire is most closely associated with the British Royal Family. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has been President of the club since its formation on 25 January 1955 and Queen Elizabeth II is the patron.
The Club is based at Smiths Lawn, in Windsor Great Park, which is thought to have been named after a game keeper at the time of the Restoration in the 17th century. The Club has ten polo pitches on 53 hectares (130 acres), stables, paddocks and training facilities four miles away at Flemish Farm. The Queen and Prince Philip have also opened a new, purpose-built clubhouse and Royal box in front of a selection of club members at the Smiths Lawn.
Under the 25-year stewardship of Commander of the Household Cavalry Colonel William Gerard Leigh (1915 - 2008) as both player and from 1955, Chairman, the Household Brigade Polo Club changed its name in 1969 to the Guards Polo Club.
The Club's playing season starts in April and finishes in mid September. The premier official tournaments are the Queen's Cup (high goal), Royal Windsor (medium goal) and the Archie David (low goal), all of which take place in June. The Club is also home to the Inter-Regimental in July, The Duke of Wellington Trophy in August and the Nations Cup in September, at which the Club's 1st V successfully competes. The Club has been in the forefront of supporting polo for the young. Through the season it holds representative matches and tournaments for the Pony Club, for Schools, Universities and young players from the Armed Forces.
The best-known day on the Guards Polo Club's calendar is the Hurlingham Polo Association's International Day (formerly known for sponsorship reasons as the Cartier International). Always held at the end of July, it has in the past attracted crowds of over 30,000 people.
A leading magazine has also called it the "most prestigious club" in the world.
There are currently about 1,000 non-playing members and about 160 playing members, among whom are some of the highest rated players in the world. Approximately 25 per cent of the players are overseas visitors from Europe, the Middle and Far East, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand and around half of the playing members are professionals.
Guards Polo Club hold it's important place in the world of Polo since it was established. For decades it has been entertaining the spectators and has produced fine Polo players .