The Cartier Queen’s Cup polo tournament has for decades, been the glittering jewel in the ‘sport of king’s’ calendar. Established in 1960, the 22-goal tournament is held on Smith’s Lawn at the Guards Polo Club, in Windsor-Europe’s largest polo club.
This year, Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed Al Maktoum’s UAE team rode to as exhilarating victory against firm favourites to win- Scone Polo in an exciting six chukka final. Having transported several horses for the UAE team, the final match was all the more special for the Equitrans team in Dubai.
Sheikha Maitha’s win was all the more remarkable given Scone Polo is led by the world’s number one player Adolfo Cambiaso playing alongside his 15-year-old son Adolfo Cambiaso Junior. Yet it was impressive play from the UAE Polo Team’s Tomy Beresford, Polito Pieres and Tomas Panelo that ensured victory for 2021 went to the UAE.
Since the year of Equitran’s inception, we have been instrumental in getting horses belonging to some of the sport’s biggest names to the prestigious Cartier Queen’s Cup. Over the years we have transported more than 120 horses for this tournament alone, including horses for: Cambiaso, the Pieres’s, Mcdonaugh, Araya, Nero, Stirling, Castagnola, Sola and many more.
And it’s not just the Queen’s Cup, many of the world’s top players continue to trust Equitrans with ensuring their prized polo ponies arrive from Argentina, Spain and the USA to the globe’s biggest World Polo Tours.
Given each player can use anything between four and eight horses per match and team can often have strings up to 34 plus animals, Equitrans has shipped many hundreds of polo horses over the past two decades.
For me, polo ponies are a fascinating breed, created by mixing Thoroughbreds with South American native horses called the Criolla or the Quarter horse, they are phenomenally fast and agile athletes that have the ability to have quick bursts of speed.
In themselves, ‘polo ponies’ are a unique ‘type’ to handle and transport. Throughout their careers they are trained, handled and moved together as a herd, and therefore travel better when they can see, hear and feel each other.
Keeping this in mind, the Equitrans team has continued to develop and fine tune our Standard Operating Procedures for polo movements, ensuring they arrive calm, settled and ready to play. Interestingly, this ‘type’ can be real biters and we do need to muzzle quite a few before handling.
As a long-time admirer of the sport, to be involved in moving polo ponies for the world’s best players to prestigious events, is a privilege and really means a lot. I love the game both to play and watch, although it’s been a while since I have picked up a stick. I actually most enjoy hacking out on polo ponies as they are so responsive and agile.