WHEN Richard Thomas stood before the Queen at Chester Racecourse last June he couldn’t have dreamt that a married Prince William would be dropping in a year later.

But when the future king arrived at Chester Racecourse it was like a dream come true for the chief executive of Chester Race Company.

Once again the former royal marine played host, greeting Prince William for a prestigious charity fundraiser at The Roodee which included a showcase Polo match and presentation followed by a showbusiness extravaganza with A-list celebrities in tow.

Richard Thomas said: “I have never met him [Prince William] and I am incredibly excited and very proud.

“It’s a fantastic event for Chester Racecourse, Chester and for Polo.”

“It’s a very high profile event having him [Prince William] and that is also reflected in the celebrity guest list.

“The event will showcase Polo in Chester and the city itself.”

The icing on the cake for Mr Thomas was that Prince William had expressly requested to attend the event at Chester Racecourse.

Mr Thomas explained: “Prince William himself wanted to come to Chester as he has friends here.

“He wanted to have the event here for his charity.”

The chief executive said that he was proud and delighted that the royal family had bestowed a second seal of approval within one year.

The Queen visited Chester Racecourse on June 10 last year to present medals to 1 Battalion The Royal Welsh

He said: “It was great to have the Queen here. She thoroughly enjoyed herself it was a wonderful event.

“It is great to have William here it really puts Chester on the map.”

The polo match which included world class players flown in to participate in the event was followed by a presentation and evening of celebration and showbusiness.

Celebrity guests included musicians Duffy, Paloma Faith, Lemar, and comedians John Bishop, John Culshaw and celebrity chefs James Martin and Simon Rimmer.

The polo match promotes the Coutt’s International Polo Tournament taking place this weekend.

It also raised money for three charities:


Mountain Rescue England and Wales

English Schools Swimming Association.

Richard Thomas said: “The International Polo Tournament is now seven years old in Chester and we have Coutt’s who have played a part in the rise and stature of Polo at Chester Racecourse.”

Reflecting on yesterday’s event Richard Thomas said: “I am very proud of Chester - of course this has got to be a good event for the local economy for Chester Racecourse and for the City of Chester.”