Prince Harry and top US amateur polo player Marc Ganzi led Sentebale Land Rover to a 4-3 victory over St. Regis in the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup on a rainy and chilly Wednesday in Greenwich, Connecticut.
With the Royal Standard and US flags flying above the scoreboard at the Greenwich Polo Club, the 28-year-old Prince Harry made his final US appearance on a polo field after a week-long trip with stops in Colorado, Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
Ganzi and six other polo players competed for four chukkas with Prince Harry in front of 400 invited guests including model and 8-goal polo player Nic Roldan of Wellington and designers Valentino and Jason Wu, to help raise $1 million for Sentebale, the Prince’s charity for underprivileged children in Lesotho.
Ganzi, longtime Audi team captain and 2009 US Open champion, played the No. 2 position and joined Prince Harry (1), team captain of Sentebale Land Rover, Michael Carrazza (4) and team captain, Royal Salute Ambassador Malcolm Borwick, an England national team member, playing the No. 3 position.
The St. Regis polo team was led by Argentine captain Nacho Figueras, the face of polo, playing at the No. 3 position.
Figueras was joined by teammates Peter Orthwein (1), chief executive of Thor Industries and founding member of the Greenwich Polo Club; Steve Lefkowitz (2) and Dawn Jones (4), wife of actor Tommy Lee Jones.
Prince Harry scored a game-tying goal (3-3) and assisted on another in the match. Ganzi led all scoring with two goals and Borwick added another.
Jones scored a goal for St. Regis and was named Most Valuable Player. Figueras and Lefkowitz each had a goal.
“I’m like a little Jack Russell terrier on crack, I like to go for the ball,” Jones told reporters about her style of polo.
During Prince Harry’s speech at the polo fundraiser he said, “This is the last day of my tour around the United States. Thank you for a wonderful week. I have witnessed the extraordinary generosity of the people of this great nation.”
Prince Harry then added “I’m hoping for a soft pitch so when I fall off my horse I won’t hurt my head.”
Despite not being on a horse for nearly a year because of his military duties in Afghanistan and royal duties, Prince Harry did well, working both sides of the horse with deft mallet play.
After his arrival at the Greenwich Polo Club, Prince Harry spent more than an hour in the clubhouse before heading across the field for the formal program that featured speeches and auction. Security was tight at the polo club.
“It is wonderful to be here at Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut for the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup 2013,” Prince Harry said.
“The success of our three previous polo events has helped Sentebale make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children in Lesotho, the Mountain Kingdom of southern Africa.”
During lunch, Prince Harry was seated between models Stephanie Seymour and Karolina Kurkova. Seymour is the wife of billionaire Peter Brant, founder of the polo club and host of the event.
Brant has hosted other British royals including the Duke and Duchess of York, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.
“It’s a great honor,” Brant said. “It’s great for polo.”
Guests enjoyed mini lobster rolls and crab cakes, filet of beef with spring vegetable salad, ricotta gnocchi with corn, mushrooms and English peas. Vanilla crème brulee, lemon curd tarts and mixed berry trifle was served for dessert.
Ganzi, coming off the high goal season with Audi, will now return home for the May 17-19 USPA Eastern Challenge spring tournament at his family’s Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington.
In July, Ganzi will rub elbows again with a few more members of the Royal Family when he heads the US team against England for the coveted Westchester Cup at Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park. The last time the two teams met in the UK in 1997, England won, 12-9. At the International Polo Club Palm Beach in 2009, when the Cup was last played, England won, 10-9.
Ganzi, CEO of Global Tower Partners, and his polo teams have won every major 20 and 26-goal polo tournament including the US Open, CV Whitney Cup and Piaget Gold Cup. This past November at Grand Champions, Ganzi’s Team USA defeated England, 8.5-6, in the International Cup.
Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of the Lesotho Royal family in 2006 in memory of their mothers to help ease the plight of the neediest and most vulnerable of Lesotho’s children, many of them the victims of poverty and Lesotho’s HIV/AIDs epidemic. Sentebale means “forget me not.”
“It just takes a single visit and you’re in love with Lesotho and its children,” Prince Harry said.
It is the third year Royal Salute has partnered with the charity. The UK hosted the annual flagship fundraising event in 2011 and Brazil hosted in 2012.
The polo field is a world away from the Afghanistan war zone where the British Army captain recently served 20 weeks in an attack helicopter. The polo match was Prince Harry’s 15th public event during his US visit.
The prince, son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, is third in line to the British throne, after his father and older brother, Prince William.