Rain didn’t dampen spirits, as Prince Harry rode onto the polo field at Valiente Polo Farm, for the sixth Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup in Palm Beach. Despite thunder and lightning over 300 guests attended the exclusive event, to watch Prince Harry raise money and awareness for his charity Sentebale that supports young people living with HIV/AIDS in Lesotho, Africa.
The second event of its kind to be held in the USA was a round robin tournament involving three teams and twelve polo players. The closely fought contest saw the Sentebale ISPS Handa win with six points, followed by the Royal Salute team with three. Sentebale ISPS Handa team captained by Prince Harry team took home the trophy – presented by Royal Salute guest of honour His Grace Torquhil Campbell, the 13th Duke of Argyll.
Distinguished guests from the world of sport and entertainment included Jodie Kidd and George the Poet, who watched on as Prince Harry and Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador Malcolm Borwick compete on the Sentebale ISPS Handa team for the trophy cup. While Sentebale ambassador Nacho Figueras competed on the Royal Salute team.
Following the tournament Sophie Gallois, Global Marketing Director of Chivas Brothers announced British luxury whisky Royal Salute will take its commitment of Sentebale beyond the polo field by directly supporting the Sentebale Care Giver Initiative. This invaluable programme, offers guidance to the carer givers of children living with HIV – often parents and grandparents – providing essential education and skills enabling them to support the youth and combatting the myths and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
The money and awareness raised from the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup will go towards sending 1,500 children and adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years old to Sentebale’s monthly clubs and five-day, residential camp at the newly opened ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre – if children with HIV are educated about the virus, they not only learn about their condition but also can educate their peers about the disease, enlightening a generation and leading the way to ending the AIDS epidemic.
Speaking at the post-tournament dinner held in the spectacular stables of Valiente Polo Farm Founding Patron of Sentebale, Prince Harry said “the Mamohato Children’s Centre in Lesotho which we opened last year, would not have been built without the generosity of Sentebale and its partners. Particularly the Sentebale Polo Cup. This year we will expand our camp programme into Botswana a country I have been visiting regularly for almost two decades and genuinely feel I need to give as much back as I can.” He also announced George Mpanga also known as George the Poet, a critically acclaimed recording artist and social commentator as the newest Sentebale Ambassador.
Sophie Gallois, Global Marketing Director, Chivas Brothers said “Royal Salute has been supporting Sentebale since 2011 and we are extremely proud of the annual polo cup and the money it has raised to date. This year we are delighted to announce additional support for the Sentebale Care Giver Initiative in Lesotho which gives vital help to the parents and grandparents of children living with HIV/AIDs.”
Cathy Ferrier, CEO of Sentebale said “The Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors. We are humbled that this year, Royal Salute has taken that commitment further by supporting our Care Givers in Lesotho who look after those children living with HIV. These family members play a pivotal role in ensuring children living with HIV receive the medication and care they need to lead healthy lives.”
The Sentebale Polo Cup is in its seventh year, and for the past six years Royal Salute has been the title sponsor. ISPS Handa, Valiente Polo Farm, American Airlines, USPA and Merchant Hub have been kind sponsors of this year’s event.