Cartier is thought to be considering halting its long sponsorship of polo’s glittering summer showpiece after this year, purportedly because the event is getting “too chavvy”.
Neither Guards Polo Club nor the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) would confirm that the jewellery giant has decided to stop sponsoring the Cartier International Polo tournament in Windsor Great Park.
But Cartier’s contract with Guards is up for renewal later this year and those in the know say Cartier executive chairman Arnaud Bamberger is unhappy about the eclectic celebrity guest list and that The Queen no longer attends.
The London Evening Standard also claimed Guards may pull the plug on the event due to the “low-brow” clientele.
But the club’s spokesman Diana Butler would only say: “We shall sit down [with Cartier] this summer to make a decision about the future of the event.
“Cartier has sponsored the tournament for 27 years and we hope it will continue to do so.”
David Woodd of the HPA said: “Cartier has been a wonderful sponsor for 27 years. We very much hope it will continue to be involved in the sport in Britain.”
Cartier did not reply to H&H’s enquiries.
The event hit the headlines in 2008 when there were three male streakers and glamour model Katie Price claimed she was turned away from an after-party hosted by London nightclub Chinawhite.
But alongside stars such as Baywatch’s David Hasselhoff, the event has played host to the likes of actors Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley and society names like the Bransons and the Rothschilds.
This year’s Cartier International Day (24 July), features the 100th anniversary of the Coronation Cup.
For tickets visit: www.guardspoloclub.com.
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (5 May, 2011)