The Guards Polo Club is celebrating it’s 63rd birthday today. The Club was founded on 25th January 1955 with HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as President. Originally named the Household Brigade Polo Club, the name was changed to its present form in 1969. Since inception the Club has grown considerably and it is now the largest polo club in Europe in terms of membership and number of grounds.
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. Around half of the playing members are professionals.
Within the Great Park at Windsor, the Club is set in the outstanding natural surroundings of Smith’s Lawn, which is thought to have been named after a game keeper at the time of the Restoration in the 17th century. Nearby are the renowned Savill and Valley Gardens.
On Smith’s Lawn, there is a Clubhouse incorporating offices for management and staff and a restaurant and bar for members and guests. The Club has around 12 full time employees. There are 10 grounds extending over an area of some 130 acres. At nearby Flemish Farm, the Club has two polo grounds, 120 stables and an all-weather exercise track.
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. In July each year, the Club is host to the Hurlingham Polo Association’s Coronation Cup Day- the great showpiece polo occasion of the year. The Club is also home to the Inter-Regimental in July, The Duke of Wellington and Duke of Cornwall Trophies in August. The Ladies’ Charity Polo Day is also played in August, while the Autumn Nations Cup has a September date.
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, and for Schools, Universities and young players from the Armed Forces. This includes the annual Varsity Day, featuring the best players from Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Save the Date:
Cartier Queen’s Cup 2018: Tuesday 22nd May – Sunday 17th June
The Cartier Queen’s Cup is one of the most important 22-goal polo tournaments in the world – attracting the world’s greatest players and their first-class string of ponies. Add to that Cartier’s impressive VIP guestlist, fabulous Clubhouse hospitality and the stunning backdrop of Windsor Great Park and the Cartier Queen’s Cup Final once again has all the hallmarks of being a key event in the English social season.
Grandstand and hospitality tickets for non-members will go on sale in the spring.