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"HRH Prince Charles honours Indian Patron 
in Red Lions - 15 Goal Cup win"

Source: European Asian Voice
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Gloucestershire, June, England 2003

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, honoured our young Indian aristocratic patron by playing in his Red Lions team last week as they fought hard to win The 15 Goal Chakravarty Cup at The Beaufort Club here in England, by the narrowest of half goal margins in front of the US and German Ambassadors and the world media.

The Prince who very rarely plays for private teams, accepted the invitation by Ajitsingh Medtia, the Indian property tycoon, in what was a star studded event. The Red Lion's team had the highest handicapped English player at present Henry Brett playing off an 8 Goal handicap at centre and one of the best 5 goal players in the world Oliver Taylor (5) jointly in midfield. Prince Charles played at Back in defence and Medtia the team Captain played number 1 at the front.
  
The Teams being introduced to the American Ambassador, (L-R) Ajit Medtia, HRH Prince Charles, Henry Brett, Oliver Taylor. Will Emerson charging to goal, with Prince Charles chasing.

Play began in earnest, with the strong opponents Zurich, fielding a team that included the dangerous 7 goal Argentine Pepe Araya, Anthony Fanshawe, Will Emerson and Simon Holland, scoring early on in the 1st chukka and by the end of that initial period the Red Lion's went in trailing.

The 2nd chukka, was a more balanced affair with tight marking and tactical team plays. The Zurich team marked the Red Lions danger men Brett and Taylor at every opportunity, and the play became tense and end to end. With both teams having narrow misses in the chukka, the brilliant Taylor and Brett both scored individual efforts and being matched equally by Fanshawe and Emerson at the other end.

Amidst the tension of a throw in and clashes of ponies in the dying seconds to half-time the Red Lions Team captain Medtia received a severe knock to the face, with blood pouring from his face unseen by the umpires, the game was halted by the Prince of Wales, whilst ambulance men then attended to the Red Lions captain.

Medtia recalls "I remember asking the Prince of Wales 'I think I'm bleeding Sir, is it bad?', to which His Royal Highness said 'Gosh..., its not that bad' calming me down, 'but you will need attention' and the play stopped and the half time chukka was called, with Red Lion's two goals behind.

After the interval, "I remember taking the field still a little dazed, and Prince Charles rode in with me and he said "Are you okay Ajit?, I told the rest of them it takes more than that to keep a good Rajput down" and with those words of confidence I played my heart out in the 2nd half".

With the partisan crowd now in sympathy and cheering the Red Lions on, the fight back had started in earnest, but once again the Zurich team cleverly won a foul and pushed to goal, and with a thrilling burst of speed there captain, millionaire Banker, Simon Holland converted with Henry Brett chasing hard.

With a three goal deficit it seemed the Red Lions were going to struggle to get their hands on another trophy, following on from their success of the Cirencester 40 Goal Open win last month.

But sure enough, the Red Lion stars were not going to fade on this most gracious of stages, as both the Prince of Wales and Medtia marked their men heavily leaving the park open for Brett and Taylor to dazzle the crowds with scintillating stick work, team play and shear horsemanship which was a delight to watch, as neck and neck action prevailed and the Red Lions pulled back the deficit, to within a goal.

"We were in the last few minutes, and I remember Henry and Olly giving me a hard time about marking my man, when we realised it was Prince Charles' marker who had just scored, .....and none of us were about to shout at the Heir to the Throne", Medtia laughed afterwards.

The Prince redeemed himself with an enormous 60 yard goal clearance to the boards, and as the players galloped to the grandstand the excitement and atmosphere were tense, as the scores were level at 8-8, but Zurich were given a 1/2 goal advantage on handicap, and Red Lion's had to score to win the Cup.

Once more tactical play and dribbling skills from Brett and the big hit from Taylor were enough to put Zurich under the most nail biting tension in defence and amidst the goal mouth stickwork of Medtia and Brett, Red Lions scored to the enormous cheers of the crowd!

Winning habit - Ajitsingh Medtia receives the Cup.

Discussing the match with the Prince of Wales, champagne celebrations for Red Lions as Ajit's son Vishverath Singh looks on.

"....it was simply an amazing experience, my parents had flown in from India to watch and my family and friends were also here, the Prince of Wales and Prince William met them all and spent alot of time with us all....sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe all these things happen!...", what next for our dashing Polo champion? ".....well we've qualified this week to Gaurds Polo Club, London, in the international 15 Goal Royal Windsor & Mountbatten Cup, which is the worlds best 15 goal tournament and we're keeping our fingers crossed, we've done well to reach the Quarter finals....."

His wife the Princess Shruti Kumari Medtia was on hand to assist with the Prizes as was His Excellancy the American Ambassador Wilf Farish to the United Kingdom. "...I think this will be one of the highlights in my husbands playing career, it was a great honour and Prince Charles is very charming and still a good player,.." she commented.

The Tournament raised over 100,000 for the Prince's Trust and various other charities. The Medtia Foundation was a major donor.

 

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