Will the Westchester Cup Go West at the Audi International?
Prince of Wales to present historic trophy at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park on Sunday 28 July 2013
LONDON, July 25, 2013: Britain's proudest new grandfather - Prince Charles - will be attending the Audi International at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park, on Sunday 28 July 2013, to present the famous Westchester Cup - one of polo's most prestigious trophies which has traditionally been fought for by England and the USA. It is also the first staging of the Westchester Cup in the UK in 16 years. Other VIPs due to attend the Audi International include Eddie Redmayne, Naomie Harris, Zoe Saldana, Angela Scanlon, Ophelia Lovibond, Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach.
Prince Charles will hope to avoid the fate of his great grandfather King George V, who handed over the Westchester Cup to the American polo team following its win against England in 1921. The attached photograph from that year shows the cup being taken under police protection to Buckingham Palace where it was delivered to the King to present to the Americans.
The USA's win in 1921 levelled the Westchester Cup series 4-4. Since then, the Americans have taken a 10-6 overall lead, though England have won the last two encounters in 1997 (when the Cup was last played on English soil) and 2009 (in Palm Beach, USA).
Older than tennis's Davis Cup by 14 years, and golf's Ryder cup by 40 years, the Westchester Cup has been contested between America and England 16 times since 1886.
Around 70 ponies, representing a total value of around £2.5 million, will be present for the game, some of which have been flown in especially from the US. The ponies are guaranteed to be the fastest things on display all afternoon, despite the presence of Audi, headline sponsor and supporter of the England polo team: the speed limit at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park, is a symbolic 38mph - the maximum speed of a horse. It is probably the only place where the 310 horsepower of the Audi A6 allroad might be bettered by the real thing!
The Audi International is a public event and one of the highlights of the summer season attracting large crowds. It will include a delicious food offering with quintessentially English afternoon tea, strawberries and cream and Pimms at the English Bar & Tea House, as well as steaks, burgers, hot dogs and root beer at the American Bar & BBQ for those rooting for the visiting team. There will also be a smart retail village with an impressive array of goods from fashion to fossils.