The Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad is undeniably the highlight of the international polo season. Simply put, it is because it is the best tournament the country has to offer, but for two more reasons at least–
Altitude: you can look far and wide, but you won’t find a “higher” tournament than the one played on the the Gstaad/Saanen field, for with an altitude of 1,000 meters the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad is the pinnacle of European field polo.
The field of all trades: another singularity of this tournament is the venue’s unique ability to transform from an airport to a polo club in the span of one weekend!
The level of sport: It’s measured by the “handicap”, a value attributed to players by their clubs and federations. These handicaps range from -2 (a beginner in Europe) to +10 (the upper echelon of athlete. Currently, it has only been attained by eight Argentinian players and one Uruguayan). The level of a tournament is measured by the four team members combined handicap totals.
The Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad presents a “14 goal” tournament. These 14 goals are the added total of each player’s handicaps. For example: 7 + 4 + 3 +0 = 14. This allows the teams competing at Gstaad to consist of seasoned professionals (such as handicap 7 Julio Novillo Astrada of Argentina in Gstaad) with those who’ve not yet achieved the same level score.
Though not to be misunderstood, 0 or 1 is already an honorable handicap, especially for amateur players like team captains. It requires a mastery of riding, an understanding of the game, a sense of play i.e., ball striking, and excellent physical conditional. These players are often set in the crucial defense position, a demanding role which requires the utmost preparation!
14 goals at 1,000 meters, there is nowhere better to experience top sport in Switzerland than the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad.