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Pictures of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup 2019
Clinique La Prairie : victory of an open game
Sunday afternoon at the Saanen airfield the audience was treated to all the spoils of international polo. With perfect weather and breathtaking alpine views it was only fitting the Final be equally spectacular, and as expected, the teams boasting some of the world’s best didn’t disappoint. Today, rising to the occasion of the 24th Hublot Gold Cup Gstaad was none other than Team Clinique La Prairie.
True to the spirit of polo, the other teams joined in the celebration this afternoon. The best amateur player of the tournament, American Marco Elser, wore his trademarked grin while explaining that despite the clear defeat (10 – 5) there was no place for disappointment at the awards ceremony: “Being a finalist is already a great success in and of itself, and the winner was a beautiful team which produced a beautiful game with effective team organization and very good horses.”
Lucas Labat, handicap 6 and Clinique La Prairie’s backbone, admitted it wasn’t that difficult to win with a team which has both talent and chemistry, “I think this team is one of the best I’ve played with here in Europe, where I’ve been playing since 1998. The team worked together perfectly, the conditions were ideal, and the organization a well-oiled machine. For me, Gstaad is one of the best tournaments in Europe. This win wasn’t complicated because we decided to return the ball from the first shot and we didn’t waste time dribbling. As I have a strong enough swing, my job was to send the ball to my forwards who could then chain the goals. This is the type of polo I believe in, and I am convinced that in the future we must return to this kind of open game.”
It is also one of Lucas’ “forwards”, Juan Manuel Gonzales who was the best scorer of the tournament with 10 goals including 4 in this single final.
In the match for 3rd and 4th, Banque Eric Sturdza made good on their promise to try for the best result despite being dethroned of their title by Clinique La Prairie. In a much tighter game, they beat Gstaad Palace, where the highlight was when the extraordinary “golaso” Brazilian Joao Novaes registered a goal with a shot longer than 153 yards (beyond the middle of the field) and from the left side–an exceptional feat in polo! It was a rare moment that for most was never before seen, even in Argentina!
Rare like this incredible tournament in a mythic setting at more than 1,000 meters of elevation, 2020 is sure to be an even more beautiful edition as it will be its 25th anniversary. With Pierre Genecand and his teams at the helm, the quarter century celebration is sure to amaze all who gather in Gstaad from August 20th to the 23rd.
Progression Clinique la Prairie : 2 – 2 / 4- 3 / 7- 4 & 10 – 5
Clinique la Prairie : Piero Dillier (SUI, h0), Andreas Bihrer (SUI,h0), Bautista Beguerie (ARG, h4, 3 goals), Juan Manuel Gonzales (ARG, h4, 4 goals) and Lucas Labat (ARG, h6, 3 goals)
Hublot : Marco Elser (USA-ITA, h0, 1 goal), Marcos Antinori (ITA, h3, 2 goal), Nicola Antinori (ITA, h4) and Julio Novillo Astrada (ARG, h7, 2 goals)
BPP : Ceron played by Julio Novillo Astrada (Hublot)
Best amateur player : Marco Maximilian Elser (USA-ITA, h0)
Best scorer of the tournament: Juan Manuel Gonzales (ARG, h4, 10 goals)
The final will be Hublot against Clinique La Prairie!
It was a fierce battle of four teams today in Gstaad, and while Hublot and Clinique La Prairie came out on top in the semi-finals, the war is not yet won. Tomorrow’s final will determine the ultimate champions, and with both teams boasting world class athletes of horses and players alike the outcome is not easily predicted. One thing that is for sure is it will be a thrilling game.
The two teams that were victorious in Thursday’s qualifying matches affirmed their winning status today in front of almost 2,000 spectators who were gathered at the edge of the Gstaad Airfield. With ideal footing today, players (and especially their horses) were able to make bolder efforts on the field.
In the 1st semi-final, the Argentinian handicap 7, Julio Novillo Astrada, was the standout player, scoring 4 of the team’s 6 goals to the satisfaction of his American captain, Marco Elser. However, Gstaad Palace didn’t make things easy for Hublot especially in the second period, where they scored three consecutive goals and took the lead with 3-2. But Novillo Astrid, true to his handicap rank, took the game back for Hublot in the following period with long passes down the field and securing two more goals. He kept control of the match until the final shot (6-3).
The 2nd semi-final saw Clinique La Prairie determined to eliminate the two-time title winner, Banque Eric Sturdza. With strong organization from handicap 6 Lucas Labat, Clinique La Prairie dominated the game from start to finish.
Clinique La Prairie – Hublot, this will be the poster of the 24th final, with Sunday promising a crowd worthy of the match.
Progression Hublot : 2-0 / 2-3 / 5-3 & 6/3
Hublot : Marco Elser (ITA, h0), Marcos Antinori (ITA, h3, 1 goal), Nicola Antinori (ITA, h4, 1 goal) and Julio Novillo Astrada (ARG, h7, 4 goals)
Gstaad Palace : Gerardo Cosentino (LIE, h0), Ismael Iraizoz (ARG, h3), Santiago Schweizer (ARG, h5, 1 goal) and Franco Gai (ARG, h6, 2 goals)
Progression Clinique la Prairie : 2-1 ½ / 4-1 ½ / 5-2 ½ & 8-4 ½
Clinique la Prairie : Piero Dillier (SUI, h0), Andreas Bihrer (SUI, h0) Bautista Beguerie (ARG, h4, 3 goals), Juan Manuel Gonzales (ARG, h4, 3 goals) and Lucas Labat (ARG, h6, 2 goals)
Banque Eric Sturdza : Cedric Schweri (SUI, h0), Bautista Riglos (ARG, h3, 1 goal), Marcelo Pascual (ARG, h5, 1 goal) and Joan Novaes (BRE, h5, 2 goals)
Tournament opens with spectacular back to back games
The 24th Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad began with two qualification matches which enjoyed the ideal conditions of a warm sun and a fresh mountain breeze—perfect for the horses, and happy horses made for beautiful games.
Italy’s Nicolas Antonori scored the very first goal of the 2019 edition in which his team, Hublot, held a lead against defending champion Banque Eric Sturdza. Despite today’s result, Cedric Schweri and his teammates need not fret, for there is still a chance for them to return next Sunday for the final.
But to do that they will have to face the winner of today’s second game, Clinique la Prairie, where the three Argentineans made a considerable impression on the Saanen aerodrome green. Most notably was the 6-goaler Lucas Labat for his smart plays and skill in sending the ball down the field. Gstaad Palace managed to break Clinique la Prairie’s 5-2 lead in a burst of three goals, but after they leveled the playing field to 6-6 the men of Liechtenstein captain Gerardo Cosentino could not register any goals in the fourth period. They will face Hublot in the semi-final next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
This first day saw already an impressive public turnout, assurance that one can expect the final to be well attended! Tomorrow is rest day, or almost, for there will be a magnificent parade of the teams through the streets of Gstaad.
Progression Hublot : 2-2 ½ / 4-2 ½ /6-2 ½ ans 6-4 ½
Hublot : Marco Elser (ITA, h0), Marcos Antinori (ITA, h3), Nicolas Antinori (ITA, h4, 4 goals) and Julio Novillo Astrada (ARG, h7, 2 goals)
Banque Eric Sturdza : Cedric Schweri (SUI, h0), Bautista Riglos (ARG, h3, 1 goal), Marcelo Pascual (ARG, h5, 1 goal) and Joa0 Novaes (BRE, h5, 2 goals)
Clinique la Prairie : Piero Dillier (SUI, h0), Bautista Beguerie (ARG, h4, 3 goals), Juan Manuel Gonzales (ARG, h4, 3 goals) and Lucas Labat (ARG, h6, 3 goals)
Gstaad Palace : Gerardo Cosentino (LIE, h0), Ismael Iraizoz (ARG, h3, 4 goal), Santiago Schweizer (ARG, h5, 1 goals) and Franco Gai (ARG, h6, 1 goal)
Banque Eric Sturdza will open the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad 2019 against Hublot
At the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Captains’ meeting, held in the magnificent Gstaad Palace, a draw determined the opening two games of Thursday.
As per the will of the hat, the titleholder Banque Eric Sturdza, led by Cedric Schweri, will open this edition against Hublot at 1:30 p.m. Then, at 3:00 p.m., Gstaad Palace will face Clinique La Prairie. These two qualifying matches will decide which teams will play in the semi-finals on Saturday, which are also set to begin at 1:30 p.m.
On Friday, teams will meet in the heart of Gstaad for the traditional parade.
The “highest” tournament in Switzerland
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.
You can find the full digital version of the 2019 Magazine by clicking on this link
The 24th edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad presented during the Clinique La Prairie Garden Party
Last week, during the Clinique La Prairie Garden Party, Polo Club Gstaad President Pierre Genecand presented the 24th edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad in the presence of press and guests. The Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad will be played from August 22nd to the 25th. Following a welcome speech from Simone Gibertoni, CEO of Clinique La Prairie, Pierre Genecand presented the title partner, Hublot (whose sponsorship contract has just been extended by three years), as well as the three other team sponsors: Banque Eric Sturdza, Gstaad Palace and of course, Clinique La Prairie. You can download the press kit from this link.