Press release

WHEN POLO GOES HIGH!

27 Jul 2022

Gstaad is renowned for its prestigious sporting and cultural events. One of these events is particularly special: the Hublot Polo Gold Cup. Every year in August, sixteen of the world’s best polo players and their one hundred and twenty horses climb to the famous glamorous alpine resort to compete in this highly coveted tournament in a unique setting during their season. An enchanting event.

The Saanen airport was chosen as the venue for this event because of the flat space it offers in the middle of the mountains. For four days, the grassy area around the runway is transformed into a competition field, which the eyes of the polo world are focused on. But this sport is not only for the initiated: it is spectacular, easy to follow and fascinating. The horses’ beauty amazes, the skill of the players leaves one speechless. And the public quickly becomes passionate and takes up the cause of one of the four teams that battle it out on the field. Six games in all, two per day, on Thursday 18th, Saturday 20th and the final on Sunday 21st.

After the games, life doesn’t stop: you can visit the village with its magnificent stands, have something to eat, meet the players and a huge playground awaits the younger ones.

From 18 August onwards, the Hublot Polo Gold Cup will certainly be the Alpine event not to be missed.

Portrait of a professional player: Dario Musso

28 Jun 2022

Winner of the HUBLOT POLO GOLD CUP in 2018, Zurich businessman Cedric Schweri returns to Gstaad for the eighth time with the intention of reclaiming the title he lost in 2019, the year of the last edition of the tournament. While renewing his confidence in the Brazilian Joao Novaes, this year he has called on an Argentine ace, Dario Musso, 44 years old, winner of the Gold Cup in Deauville as well as three times winner of the French Open in Chantilly, he also has three consecutive victories in St. Moritz, St. Tropez and one in the prestigious Copa Remonta Veterinaria in Buenos Aires… to name a few.


Of course, Dario was born into polo, in General Levalle, in the province of Cordoba. There, together with his father Jorge and his younger brother Claudio, he trains young horses in polo, “a family passion“, he emphasizes. His talent was soon spotted by professional players, such as Francisco Braun, who put him on the circuit, especially in Europe where he was pushed by Patrick Guerrand-Hermés and really began his international career in 1995 at the Chantilly Polo Club after a first tournament in Colombia in 1994. From there, he travelled to tournaments in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain (where he started his 2022 season), Germany, India, China and played ten seasons in Thailand: “In fact, I only never went to the United States and England, but thanks to polo, I was able to make all these other great trips.
 
Playing all over the world requires an enormous amount of organization, especially when you need to have good horses: “It starts at home, in Levalle, with our breeding. Three people are in charge of breaking in the young horses, then we train them ourselves. We then select the horses for sale and those that are suitable for me to play. We have about 100 horses in Argentina. The best ones are sent to Europe: at the moment, we have sixteen here, so I always have at least six or eight very good ones to play with!
 
With Dario, Cedric Schweri is doing a “good deal”, because the Argentinean, who has been a 7 goaler*, is now a 5 goaler as he had not been able to play before Covid due to two big leg fractures: “But the pandemic has allowed me to recover and I think I am getting back to my best level of play.” Twenty-four years later, he will therefore be back in Gstaad for the second time in his career: “It’s a beautiful place, the tournament is always very competitive, there are always big teams.” The truth is that it was Joao Novaes who asked him to join Cedric Schweri’s GSTAAD PALACE team this year: “I already had the opportunity to play against them in St. Moritz and St. Tropez, I have a good feeling with them and I’m convinced that the team will perform well, everyone should find their position and Tomas Astelarra, the fourth man, is a very good player. So yes, we come to Gstaad with motivation and I hope we will have a good tournament. Winning? Yes, that’s our goal. We have to reach the final first and I hope that that is what will happen on Sunday.


The first game of the HUBLOT POLO GOLD CUP will be played on Thursday, August 18th at 1:30 pm, the second at 3:00 pm. The second day will be dedicated to the parade of the teams through the streets of Gstaad, a magnificent meeting of polo and Swiss mountain traditions. Same schedule as Thursday for the semi-finals on Saturday while the final will be played on Sunday at 3:00 pm after the game for the third place. The village will open its doors each day at 11:00 am.

 
* The handicap corresponds to the level of the polo player (it varies between -2 and +10). The handicap evolves according to the performance of the player during the games and the progress recorded during the year. The highest handicap in Europe is 7 (England). The very rare handicap 10 is currently held by 9 Argentinians and one Uruguayan.

A unique world polo experience!

10 May 2022

At last! After a two-year hiatus due to the health crisis, polo is back in Gstaad, at the Saanen airport, from August 18 to 21 for four glamorous days dedicated to the oldest of team sports: the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad!

The magnificent resort town of Gstaad and its sublime mountain environment are indeed glamorous. But on the field, it’s all about sport and high-level equestrianism, as the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad demands it to be. The players are both horsemen and sportsmen who follow an extremely rigorous physical and technical training. But the real stars of this sport are the horses. They are the first polo athletes, bred and selected since the beginning of the last century (mainly in Argentina) to become the best partners, the “legs” of their riders even. Lively, intelligent, playful, fast, tough, brave, these four-legged rugby players are very endearing horses. As soon as the player has thought of an action, his horse responds and sometimes even anticipates because it knows the game and its rider so well. They are also sometimes called “ponies” and adapt to all conditions and therefore to the altitude of 1100 m, making this the highest summer tournament in the world.

There will be about one hundred and twenty of these little horses setting up camp for a week on the grounds of the Saanen airport to accompany the sixteen players of the four teams who are dreaming of winning this coveted trophy of the international circuit. Three teams, GSTAAD PALACE, HUBLOT and newcomer KIELDER AGRO, will try to topple title holders CLINIQUE LA PRAIRIE, which will be led this year by the Frenchman from Zurich, Sébastien Le Page. The “boss” of Polo Park Zurich has built a very competitive team around the Argentinean handicap* 6, Raul Laplacette, winner of last year’s Pakistan Open. KIELDER AGRO is a new team and will be led by the Swiss Fabio Meier who has entered a 7-goal player, the Argentine Ezequiel Martinez-Ferrario, who is used to playing the high-goal season in Palm Beach where he won the famous Whitney Cup and who also won the Silver Cup in Dubai.

Dario Musso has spent most of his career in France, where he has won the Silver and Gold Cups in Deauville and the French Open in Chantilly, among others. Together with the Brazilian Joao Novaes – a Gstaad devotee and former winner of the French Open – they will be a strong support for the Swiss Cedric Schweriwearing the colors of the GSTAAD PALACE. This captain, loyal to Gstaad, will be more than motivated to renew the victory he celebrated in 2018.

Finally, the HUBLOT team, led by the American Marco Elser, finalist of the last edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup, will be able to count on the Argentinean handicaps 5 Teo von Neufforge and Pedro Fernandez Llorente.

Beyond this absolutely exciting sport – and all the more spectacular in Gstaad because the public can watch the games right from the border of the field – the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad is a unique experience in Switzerland. It goes beyond the simple sporting competition: an incredible green setting, on an airport surrounded by majestic Alpine peaks, transformed into a polo club for the duration of four days, on a quality ground that has been “worked” and maintained for many months before the tournament. This polofield allows a rare proximity with the players and the horses, and is surrounded by a VIP village and exhibitors with original luxury products to discover, a resolutely friendly atmosphere, a catering area for the public and a playground for children. Another tradition of this unique tournament is the parade of the teams on Friday, a picturesque event in the streets of Gstaad. A different way of experiencing high-level polo, unique to the Hublot Polo Gold Cup!

* The handicap corresponds to the level of the polo player (it varies between -2 and +10). The handicap evolves according to the player’s performance in games and the progress made during the year. The highest handicap in Europe is 7 (England). The very rare handicap 10 is currently held by 9 Argentinians and one Uruguayan.

The Hublot Polo Gold Cup 2021 is cancelled

10 May 2021
With great regret we had to make the decision to cancel the Hublot Polo Gold Cup 2021 again due to the Covid 19 virus.
Please find below the official announcement.
We hope to see you next summer for the 25th edition from August 18-21, 2022.

The health of our athletes, visitors and partners comes first

30 Mar 2020

Originally planned from August 20th to 23rd, the organizers of the 25th edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup have announced today the cancellation of the 2020 event.

The singular sport of kings’ competition, held on an airfield, will not take place this year in the exclusive Swiss Alps resort of Gstaad.

As the world moves to contain the COVID-19 virus, we witness a remarkable collaboration between nations, states, regions, public health and medical professionals around the globe, working together to try to treat the COVID-19 as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Pierre E. Genecand, President of the Organizing Committee commented on the decision: “we are living in unprecedented times, never in modern history has the entire world had to face such a brake through in such a short period of time. As Organizers, we each need to shoulder our responsibilities. In the actual situation and existing terms, it was impossible for us to maintain the event in the best conditions while insuring everyone’s safety. It was not an option to postpone it at a later date because of the airport’s activity, that has been making great efforts to welcome the competition year after year, which is why we have been obliged to cancel, with much regret”.

The duration of this unprecedented pandemic is unpredictable, which is why the Organizing Committee had to make an operational decision to protect all of its visitors and partners from today and in the future.

Therefore, after discussing with the Swiss Polo Association, having the support of Title Sponsor Hublot and long-term partners Clinique La Prairie and The Gstaad Palace, as well as the trustworthy sponsors Ferrari and Dassault Aviation, Gemeinde Saanen and the whole family of partners they all agreed it was the best and only outcome for this year’s tournament.

You can review all the previous editions on the official Youtube channel and website.

For now, our best thoughts go to you and your relatives, stay safe and in good health.

The 25th edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup will be held from August 19th to 22nd 2021 and we are all looking forward to welcoming you back at this occasion.

Gstaad, the 30th of March 2020

Clinique La Prairie : victory of an open game

25 Aug 2019

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!

24 Aug 2019

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), Andres 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

23 Aug 2019

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 Joao Novaes (BRE, h5, 2 goals)

Progression Clinique la Prairie : 2-1/ 5-2 / 6-6 and 9/6
 
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

22 Aug 2019

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

12 Aug 2019

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.

 

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