Polo is one of the oldest and fastest team sports around.
The Malta Polo Club – the second oldest club in existence - older than the famous Hurlingham Club in the UK and with an even more historically prestigious membership list of British and European royalty. Founded in 1868, The Malta Polo Club is celebrating its 150th Anniversary this season from October 2017 to June 2018 and, within a glorious calendar of events and matches, one match will stand out.
Malta Polo Club vs Guards Polo Club
March 2018 will see the ‘Return Match’ against Guards Polo Club who will be visiting Malta to play Malta Polo Club’s highest handicapped playing members.
Guards Polo Club, of the famous Smith’s Lawn in Windsor Great Park, has been under the patronage of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh since it was founded in 1955. It is now the largest polo club in Europe in terms of membership and number of grounds. They currently have about 160 playing members, among whom are some of the highest rated players in the world.
A team from Guards Polo Club visited Malta for the first time in November 2015. This was in honour of the Queen’s visit as Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen, Prince Philip, Maltese President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and the Heads of the Commonwealth countries who were in Malta for the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting were all guests of the Malta Polo Club.
In 2018, the Guards’ team will be descending upon Malta, not just to celebrate this significant anniversary but also in support of their fellow club’s ambitious plans, which are nearing fruition. These are to upgrade the grounds to an international standard, turfed environment designed to attract polo players worldwide. This is a winning development as Malta Polo Club’s playing season continues to operate when nearly all European clubs are in the off season due to winter conditions.
Guards Polo Club will need to play for their reputation as Malta Polo Club are determined to be victorious on home ground in this significant year for the club. Narrowly beaten by the Guards’ team in 2016, when Malta Polo Club’s top players were invited to play in an inaugural match at Guards Polo Club’s newly regenerated “Flemish Farm” grounds in the shadow of Windsor Castle, Malta Polo Club will be ready for the fastest, hardest game of their lives. But polo is a team sport and, regardless of the result, a fabulous game and day is anticipated with superb entertainment and legendary Maltese hospitality to follow.
The Malta Polo Club vs Guards Polo Club match is sure to attract considerable international attention, not least from Guards’ President, the Duke of Edinburgh. It is anticipated that it will be attended by high profile dignitaries, polo players and aficionados from the U.K. and around the world.
The Cawnpore Cup
Thirteen cups are played for annually in the Malta Polo Club Season, culminating in the Cawnpore Cup for the 8 players with the highest handicaps.
This historic and priceless cup (raised in 1901, it is the very earliest of trophies for the then ‘newly born’ sport of polo) was brought to Malta by The Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900 - 1979) in 1947 from India during his role as Commander of the British Fleet in the Mediterranean, whereby he was stationed in Malta.
He leased Villa Guardamangia due to its proximity to Marsa’s polo and horse racing facilities and Queen Elizabeth II lived there before and after her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh from 1949 to 1951. Her Majesty is quoted saying her time in Malta was “the happiest time of my life” – and much of her time was spent watching her new husband play at Malta Polo Club supported by his fellow Royal Navy Officers.
The beautiful, solid silver Cawnpore Cup is the ultimate trophy for the final match of the playing Season, which will be held on June 9th, 2018 and will also be a fabulous social event. The Cawnpore Cup match is fiercely contested by two teams chosen from the highest handicapped playing members of the Club so we can all be sure of an exhilarating match and dramatic close to the season.
For more information about the Malta Polo Club, please visit www.maltapolo.com
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Published TEMPLE Magazine 2018
Copyright: Temple Concierge Ltd
Images Copyright: Malta Polo Club