May 30, 2023

East Valley Times

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Elizabeth II’s death: Her close relationship with Argentine polo players and her unorthodox attitude horrified the British press

For decades it was a classic in every sense Queen’s CupOne of the most prestigious polo tournaments in the world, it is held annually at Cards Polo Club within Windsor Castle. Queen Isabel II, who had a passion for horses, He arrived in the middle of the decisive match, he was in the official box with his entourage, and after the match, he entered the field for the awards ceremony. A very special moment for the protagonists and assistants. Because the Queen didn’t just hand out the trophy in question: He loved talking to the polo players About the game, but especially about Horses.

“He always seemed to me to be a very down-to-earth, very down-to-earth person. I had the satisfaction of winning the Queen’s Cup ten times, so I saw it many times, even at charity fairs. He loved horses. fanatic. He asked you about the origin they played in, if they were in Argentina or England or New Zealand. He enjoyed learning about their bloodline.. The speech was short, but always very interesting. A huge fan of the game. He played polo incredibly well. The Queen’s Cup has always been very popular with himFor participating in the award ceremony”, he says Adolfo Cambiaso, the world’s greatest polo playerA regular on stages across the planet and has been performing in British seasons for 31 years.

In 2005, Dubai with: Ryan Pemble, Alejandro Diaz Alberti, Queen Elizabeth II, Ali Alberti and Adolfo Cambiaso (H.)

Player of La Dolfina and 17-time champion Palermo Open, Ellerston, Keypung, Dubai, RH Polo and Next Generation, and Cambiaso is one of the most frequent patrons of Queen Isabel II, the teams he joins with other Argentine and foreign polo players. Even in June 2018, Adolfo, Together with his son Porodo, they also won the Royal Windsor Cup, also a 12-year-old youngsterReceived the award from Elizabeth II.

The British polo season takes place each year outside London, between late May and mid-July. Two of his most important skills British Open for Queen’s Cup and Gold Cup, It is played in Cowdrey. Competitions are also held in Cirencester. And they have the participation of a large number of Argentine crackers who work professionally with the teams’ sponsors, along with the so-called “hosts”. Entrepreneurs and tycoons who have the luxury of sharing a team with the best polo players in the world. Like when they play doubles with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic or Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson.

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We are talking about matches with 22 handicap goals for 10 to 15 teams, which means a lower value than a pole that usually happens in the Argentine Triple Crown, where the formats are usually higher. Over 30 goals, perfect score: 40 handicap. But despite their lesser handicap, they are tournaments that have a great tradition and immense value to the teams’ owners. Especially in tournaments like the Copa de la Reina, a system method It was an honor to be on stage with Queen Elizabeth II and receive the trophy from her hands in addition to the traditional photograph.

Photo that rocked the British press: Salute "Out of the norm"From Facundo Pieres to Queen Elizabeth II
Photo that scandalized British press: Facundo Pieres’ “out of code” greeting to Queen Elizabeth II

Another one of the many winners of the Queen’s Cup, five to be exact Facundo Pierce. He was crowned with Ellerston, La Indiana, Jacara and King Power Fox. But 2014 was the year with the biggest impact on local journalism, if not so much because of politics. Ellerstina’s crack after winning the final is one particular gesture that is most memorable Jagara, Pearce was a part of alongside Lyndon Lea, Gonzalo Deltour and Matt Perry. Then, in the middle of the award ceremony, Piers patted Queen Elizabeth II on the back, breaks all norms. This happened precisely at the moment when the prize for best horse in the final was awarded to his Open Galactica.

The case caused a stir in the British tabloid media, some of whom were “appalled” by the Argentine’s attitude. A more brotherly greeting, this time, from Pierce, who was far from wanting to cause an unpleasant situation. Some called it “an inappropriate gesture of inappropriateness”. What did Facundo talk to you about at that time? Horses, obviously. Open Galactica with closed.

Facu Pieres and photo "Out of the norm" With Elizabeth II
“Out of Code” photo with Facu Pieres and Elizabeth II

A very interesting thing happened in 2019. Because the champions of the Queen’s Cup, with Scone, It was Nicholas PearceFacundo’s younger brother. And during the ceremony, Pearce did the same as his brother when he reluctantly congratulated Queen Elizabeth II… “It was a very special moment for everyone because he was the last to present the trophy. A good moment, it stays there. Unique. I accidentally touched her back during the photo. It can not and his assistant He took me out half furiously. But it was a good moment,” he recalled. Nicholas Pearce with the nation.

Nico Pearce, in 2019, champion with Scone: he also broke the rules.  This was Isabel II's last award ceremony
Nico Pearce, in 2019, champion with Scone: he also broke the rules. This was Isabel II’s last award ceremony@nicobears

The best Argentine polo players and even many with medium and low handicaps have interacted with Queen Elizabeth II during those magical minutes of every award ceremony at Windsor. A very close bond. And photos shared with royalty are protected like a treasure. The Queen’s Cup, since 1960, has had several Argentine champions, including Eduardo “Cordo” Moore, Hector Barentes, Daniel González, Cambiaso, Gonzalo, Facundo, Gonzalito, Nicolas Pearce and Polito Pearce; Sebastian and Pied Merlos; Bautista, Nachi, Pepe Heguy and Cruz Heguy; Pablo Mac Donough, Milo Fernández Araujo, Juan Martín Nero, and Bartolome, Camilo and Bartolome (h.) Castagnola.

La Indiana, Queen Elizabeth II with: Facundo Pearce, Nick Roldan, Michael Pickford and Alec White
La Indiana, Queen Elizabeth II with: Facundo Pearce, Nick Roldan, Michael Pickford and Alec White@imagesofpolo

The Queen’s relationship with the Argentine polo players had a very unique episode in May 2019. A new season was approaching and there was a restriction from the government to extend temporary visas for athletes or sports related personnel. It completely affected our nation’s polo players and their teams of pediceros, vets and assistants. What did the queen do? He attacked the Ministry of Interior to approve 500-year visas for Argentine and Australian athletes. With that, they can participate in regular competitions.

Poroto Cambiaso, when he won the Royal Windsor Cup in 2018: He was with Queen Elizabeth II
Poroto Cambiaso, when he won the Royal Windsor Cup in 2018: He was with Queen Elizabeth IIDolphina

He met Minister Rudd in person at Sandringham Palace in Norfolk. In advance of the matches he sent his concern and concern about the final control to the polo players and the organization of the work and obtained permission. Somehow, Queen Elizabeth II “saved” the season. A coincidence that changed the mood of some people. What if he had made that move for a different sport? Perhaps another discipline related to turf or horses. Others, it’s hard to know.

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Passion for Horses: Origins

however, Where did Queen Elizabeth II’s obsession with polo and horses come from? His first contact with horses occurred when he was 3 years old. His parents, George VI and Isabelle Bowes Lyon, owned around 500 horses throughout their lives, so the family pedigree is unmistakable. And gradually she developed a particular fondness for horses and became an expert horsewoman. But it went beyond the act of riding: he was interested in precisely what Cambiaso pointed out. That is, knowing origin, blood, origin. Not just polo, but horses in general. Transcendence.

That’s why his photos with horses are so common, when walking together With Prince Philip (another fan of horses…and sweet buns), with Princess Anne, or attending famous turf events such as the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot. Even on the occasion of arrival from Ronald Reagan As President of the United States, they shared a parade through Windsor Great Park in June 1982. Elizabeth II herself was interested in knowing the names of the copies they used at the time: in the case of Regan and Birman it was the centenary.

United States President Ronald Reagan rides a Burmese horse on the grounds of Windsor Castle in 1982 and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II rides and rides
United States President Ronald Reagan rides a Burmese horse on the grounds of Windsor Castle in 1982 and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II rides and ridesBob Daugherty – AB

Queen Elizabeth II’s obsession with horses certainly had side effects. One of his weaknesses was raising SPC, which is why he loved few things more than attending the London Turf Classics. “She likes raising racehorses. The whole of British business is very fortunate to have a patron like the Queen,” said John Warren, his racing adviser, a few years ago. In fact, Ascot Racecourse is linked to the Royal Family as it is owned by the British Crown. It is located about 10 kilometers from Windsor Castle.

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The ritual of Queen Elizabeth II attending the polo finals was cut short a few seasons ago, due to the pandemic and her health. In the last competition, Great Oak Les Lions won, in which Argentine players performed John Martin Nero (from La Dolfina) and Cruz Hegui, Did not participate. “I don’t know if there will be a queen. I hope so, because it would be nice to have a photo with her. But hey, it’s understandable that he’s not gone; It is already big and I hope it will be,” said the son of the Russian Héguin as an expression of desire. Somehow, his image keeps doing the rounds at every awards ceremony held at the Guards Polo Club. Always.