Prince Harry falls from his polo pony during charity match


Prince Harry has had a dramatic fall from his polo pony as he played in a South African fundraising match - then lost his seating a second time as the event came to an end.

Harry's first tumble saw him fly over the top of his animal's head as he captained a team in the event staged near Cape Town.

The prince had pulled his pony up but it appeared to stop more suddenly then he expected and he fell head first at the ground but put his hands out to break his fall.

He was left on his knees and looked around as he got up apparently unhurt and play was stopped for a few moments as he changed ponies.

As the match, staged in aid of Harry's charity Sentebale, came to an end as he fell to the ground again this time tumbling between two other players.

Harry is an accomplished polo player like his father, the Prince of Wales, and grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, and regularly plays in competitive and charity matches.

The royal first staged a fundraising polo match in aid of Sentebale in 2010 and the event, which has been staged in the UK, America, Brazil, Barbados and Abu Dhabi, has raised more than £3 million.

The prince fell in the inaugural polo match in aid of his charity staged in Barbados and, like this occasion, escaped unhurt.

Sentebale works to help the impoverished youngsters of Lesotho. 

The prince told backers of the match that their support is "vital" in helping vulnerable children who have lost their parents to Aids. 

Writing a message in the match's official programme with Sentebale co-founder Lesotho's Prince Seeiso, the two men said: "It is wonderful to be here in South Africa, at the Val de Vie estate, for the 2015 Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup. 

"The success of our previous five polo events has helped Sentebale make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children in Lesotho. We have no doubt that this year's event will be even more successful.

"Your support is vital. The situation in Lesotho remains critical and every day children continue to lose their parents to the HIV/Aids epidemic. Sentebale works to protect and support these children providing them with basic necessities we take for granted: food, shelter, care and access to education."

The prince arrived at the exclusive residential estate hosting the polo event in the Western Cape province looking relaxed and wearing white trousers, a blue shirt and with his ginger beard looking noticeably less bushy then his last public appearance in the UK.

He led the Sentebale team against Argentinian Nacho Figueras, a professional polo player, Ralph Lauren model and Sentebale ambassador, who captained the opposing players.

The event was hosted at the exclusive Val de Vie Estate near Cape Town - a leading polo, lifestyle and residential estate.

Among the guests was actress Laura Main, a star of the popular BBC series Call The Midwife, South African former Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Ryk Neethling, and South African celebrity TV presenter Minnie Dlaminie.

She said: "I'm so excited to be here, I love the fact it's in aid of charity - Sentebale. Big significant people have come to Africa and are using their platform to make a difference.

"It's so inspiring to come out and support them."