Aspen Valley Polo Club hosted the biggest event in club history Thursday, August 19, when the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup made its debut.
The Sentebale team of Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex, Nacho Figueras and siblings Riley and Grant Ganzi, won the special charity round robin event, 3-0, with Prince Harry scoring two goals.
The Duke of Sussex made his first public appearance since the birth of his daughter, Lilibet Diana in June. The event raised $3.5 million in funding to help vulnerable children in southern Africa affected by extreme poverty, inequality and the HIV/Aids epidemic.
The polo game, which was kept under wraps and not publicized for security reasons, featured three teams: Sentebale, Royal Salute and U.S. Polo Assn. U.S. Polo Assn., led by 8-goaler Alejandro Novillo Astrada, was runner-up and Royal Salute, led by 10-goaler Gonzalito Pieres was third.
The team rosters were:
Sentebale: Prince Harry, Riley Ganzi, Nacho Figueras, Grant Ganzi.
Royal Salute: Kevin Schmeits, Waqaas Al-Saddiq, Brian Boyd, Gonzalito Pieres.
U.S. Polo Assn: Sarah Siegel-Magness, Cable Magness, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Stewart Armstrong.
Figueras, the Sentebale Ambassador and friend of Prince Harry, said, “How lucky I am to be able to ride along with you in your mission of making the world a better place for people not as fortunate as us. It is your commitment and passion to give back that is my inspiration.”
Prince Harry also pledged $1.5 million from the proceeds of his upcoming book to Sentebale. The tell-all memoir is set to be released by Penguin Random House in 2022. Prince Harry said in a statement that his donation was one of several he planned to make to charitable organizations.
“Our refocused mission at Sentebale is about addressing the most-immediate needs of vulnerable children in southern Africa,” he said. “Helping them access vital health services, receive necessary care, and build skills to be more resilient and self-sufficient in the future.”
The Duke continued, “The Sentebale Polo Cup is critical to securing the funds needed to advance this important mission, and I’m thrilled to be able to support Sentebale, both in person and financially through a separate charitable donation to meet this immediate need,” he told spectators. “I’m grateful to be able to give back in this way for the children and communities who gravely need it.”
Prince Harry co-founded Sentebale in Lesotho in 2006 in memory of his late mother Princess Diana.