Royal Ascot and Guards Polo Club: Equestrian Pursuits of Berkshire


For centuries, The area around Windsor Great Park has been renowned for every kind of horse-related activity.

Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse, six miles from Windsor Castle, was created by Queen Anne in 1711. Today, it holds 18 flat race meetings between May and October, the most famous of which is Royal Ascot (June 16-20, 2015). The highlight of the week is the Gold Cup, first staged in 1807. However, the most prestigious race of the year is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (July 26, 2015), the winner of which generally goes on to compete at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Guards Polo Club

Within Windsor Great Park, Smith’s Lawn is the home of the Guards Polo Club, which has 10 grounds over 130 acres, 120 stables and around 160 playing members, who include a majority of the world’s most highly ranked players, among them those from the United States. The season runs from April through September, with the premier tournament of the year being The Cartier Queen’s Cup (June 14, 2015), at which the trophy is presented by Queen Elizabeth.

This article appeared in the October 2014 print edition of Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report under the headline “Equestrian Pursuits."

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