02.27.14 11:30 AM ET
William and Harry's Polo Mentor Killed in Freak Accident
A reminder, if one were necessary, of the dangers ever present in the kingly game of polo: Carlos Gracida, a polo legend who taught princes William and Harry, has been killed after his horse fell on him during a match in Florida.
Carlos Gracida 53, was killed in a freak accident, after his horse was hit on the head by another player's mallet.
The animal reared up and threw Mr. Gracida before landing on top of him and killing him.
The accident happened on Tuesday, and Gracida, one of the most successful polo players the sport has ever known, died on Tuesday night.
The tragic accident took place during a match at the Everglades Polo club in Wellington in Palm Beach, the polo mecca where Mr Gracida lived.
Mr Gracida, who played several matches with Princes William and Harry as well as teaching them, once said of the pair:
“My experience with the Royal Family was really something very special because they are true princes. I remember an anecdote from a training session in which Prince William arrived four or five minutes late for a class and said sorry more than anyone I’ve ever met in my life.”
Recalling the day the Duke of Cambridge introduced him to Kate Middleton, he said: “Prince William told Kate, ‘This person is the best polo player ever, he’s a legend and he’s the best and my father thinks the same’.”