The Rundle Cup
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 then included 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.
The Inter-Regimental Trophy
The Inter-Regimental competition is the oldest polo tournaments in the world. PULU, Hindi for ‘willow root’ from which the balls were made, and now polo has its origins in South Asia and a form of the game was played on the plains of India. Cavalry Regiments were invited to partake with local Maharajas and saw its potential to improve riding skills and Cavalry Officers brought the game to the UK in 1869.
The first match was played between the 9th Lancers and the 10th Hussars at Hounslow (now runway No 1 of Heathrow) and featured 8 aside with no rules in 1871. Thereafter rules to make the game easier were introduced and sides reduced to 4 a side and the stick could only be held in the right hand and the ‘Hockey on Horseback’ description changed to Polo to reflect its origins. 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.