Prince Harry has been cleared of any wrongdoing or cruelty to his polo pony after tabloid reports that the prince over-spurred his mount during a match.

The Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) has reviewed claims that the prince drew blood with his spurs during a match at Guards on 11 July and carried on playing.

Chairman of the HPA welfare committee David Morley told H&H that an independent vet examined the pony for the association on 4 September, after stories appeared in the national press.

“We took veterinary advice that if the pony had been gouged or stabbed by the spurs there would have been scar tissue or a bald patch,” said Mr Morley. “There was no sign of any such injury.”

The vet told the HPA that as the injury had been to one side of the pony only it was more probably caused by a collision rather than spurs.

“I think this was more a story about Prince Harry than his polo skills,” said Mr Morley

He said the HPA welfare committee had concluded that there was no wrongdoing involved in the incident, at a meeting on 4 September.