THE Inter-Regimental competition is one of the oldest polo tournaments in the world. It was cavalry regiments, based at the cavalry school at Netheravon (six miles west of Tidworth in Wiltshire), who played polo when it was first introduced to this country in 1871. In those days the grounds were rough and uneven, unlike the beautiful lawns Tidworth has today. In 1922 a concerted effort was made to provide proper playing fields within the grounds of the Tedworth House Estate in Tidworth. The Brigade Commander of the day, Brigadier Bertie Fisher, with the help of the 12th Royal Lancers, 14th/20th King’s Hussars, 15th/19th King’s Royal Hussars and the 17th/21st Lancers built the main polo ground.
CSPA Cups and Past Winners
THE annual Navy and Army Cup was first played in Malta in 1909. It was instigated by Sir Leslie Rundle, Governor of Malta, and supported by the then Prince George of Wales, later to become King George VI. The Royal Navy won the first cup and the Army won the last time the match was played in Malta back in 1966. The Navy won the first recorded match in the UK in 1976; the team thenincluded Lt HRH The Prince of Wales. Outstanding scores include a hat-trick by the Navy in 1994–96, but the honours are now about even.
EVERY year the CSPA competes in a three-match test series for the Chapple Cup usually against a touring overseas team, including the USA, Pakistan and AbuDhabi. The first game is for the Sudan Cup at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the second for the Indian Cavalry Officers’ Association Trophy at Tidworth Polo Club and the final match for theUnited Services Cup at Guards Polo Club. Two points are awarded for a win and one point for a draw. In the event of a tie, the last match will decide the result. The Chapple Cup was first awarded in 1998 in recognition of Field Marshal Sir John Chapple’s contribution to Services’ Polo as the CSPA President.
UNITED SERVICES CUP
THIS cup has been around since 1906 although nobody is quite sure what it was originally presented for. In recent years it was given to the winner of the final played between Inter-Regimental Germany and Inter-Regimental UK. When this ceased to exist – after the Inter-Regimental Germany died out – the United Services Cup was re-designated as the first trophy of the Chapple Cup Series (played between the CSPA and the annual visiting touring team). As a matter of interest this is the CSPA’s most valuable cup and, if you look carefully, this most beautiful rosebowl is almost identical to the cup given to the winner of the men’s Australian Tennis Open.
INDIAN CAVALRY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION TROPHY
IN 1988, at their annual dinner at the Cavalry and Guards Club, a silver statuette of a mounted Indian Cavalryman was presented by the Indian Cavalry Officers’ Association to guest of honour Lieutenant Colonel S. Jameson, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, chairman of Tidworth Polo Club. It was agreed that this trophy would be contested each year on Rundle Cup at Tidworth by a visiting international team against a Combined Services Polo Association team.
CAPTAINS AND SUBALTERNS CUP
The Aldershot Cup is at Tidworth Polo Club on loan from CSPA and is used for internal Club Tournaments.
THE much-coveted PQ Saddle award. It is presented to a member of the Combined Services who has significantly contributed to the work of the CSPA.
THE Pringle Trophy is awarded to the player from either team in the Inter-Regimental Final who plays best to his handicap. It is named after Major Jack Pringle 8th KRIH and IH in recognition of his great contribution to Army polo, in particular for encouraging young players into the sport.