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The Duke of Sussex took to the pitch on Thursday to take part in the yearly Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup. Riding a seven-year-old chestnut mare named Open Levita, Prince Harry played in the Sentebale Team alongside his long-time friend and professional player Nacho Figueras.
And they came out winners, retaining the title gained also last year, as their team triumphed in both the tournament’s matches.
During the first game, against US Polo Assn, Harry scored a hat-trick and helped the Sentebale Team to win 4-2.
The Duke also scored in the second game, this time played against Royal Salute, charging from one end of the pitch to the other to score.
This game ended 3-2 for Harry’s team.
One commentator praising his skills was heard saying: “He went coast to coast, like buttered toast.”
While the Duke was praised for his “superstar” play, the horse he rode during the first game was also awarded best playing pony of the competition, in an all-round triumph for Harry.
At the end of the games, the players were presented first individual prizes and later the official competition cup by All Blacks star Dan Carter.
The round robin tournament, first held in Barbados in 2010, took place for the second time in a row in Aspen, Colorado, and raised funds and awareness for Sentebale – the organisation founded by Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006.
The charity offers support to children in southern Africa whose lives have been affected by HIV and aims at providing them with the best chances to succeed when they grow up.
The organisation started his operations in the small kingdom of Lesotho but, after its first successful decade, it branched out in Botswana.
In 2019, as part of the Sussexes tour to South Africa, the Duke visited some of the children supported by Sentebale.
Much like last year, Harry’s wife Meghan Markle was not among the people watching the game.
Delfina Blaquier, a friend of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and wife of Mr Figueras, published on Instagram ahead of yesterday’s games a picture of herself hugging Harry while Meghan laughs on taken during the tournament held in the UK in 2018.
In the caption, she mentioned Meghan would be absent, as she wrote: “So excited for today!!
“Giving back, helping others, embracing friendships, and empowering our younger generations.
“I really encourage you to follow @sentebale – The Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup is held yearly and serves as the single largest fundraising moment for the charity to advance its mission on behalf of young people across Lesotho and Botswana. #SentebaleISPSPolo #PoloForGood – M will miss you today.”
Mr Figueras, who is an ambassador for Sentebale, praised Harry for his polo playing skills as well as being a good friend following the matches.
He said: “Being able to be here playing a sport that we love and that we share together as friends and teammates, while supporting a great cause like Sentebale, it’s a great thing.
“We’ve been friends for quite a long time now… he’s been rock solid from day one.
“I like everything about him. He is noble, he is a good friend (and) he’s a very good polo player.
“He’s a competitive person… he likes to win.”
The professional polo player also took to Instagram to celebrate the tournament’s victory and his friendship with the Duke.
Upon sharing a photo of himself and Harry in full polo gear shaking hands, Mr Figueras wrote: “What a blessing to be able to do what you love, with the people you love while helping others.
“Proud of the support we are able to give the young people of Lesotho and Botswana to feel empowered, healthy, resilient, and able to thrive.”
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