Press release

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.

 

Media Kit 2019

02 Jul 2019

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.

Media kit English

Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad, a unique polo experience!

16 May 2019

The ‘‘Sport of the Kings and King of Sports’’ is back in Gstaad, at Saanen Airport, from August 22nd to 25th for four glamorous days dedicated to the oldest team sport: the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad!

Today, the ‘‘kings’’ of this sport, are not the English princes or maharajas anymore, but real athletes, mostly Argentineans, who go through a rigorous physical and technical training in order to play a high-level polo tournament like the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad. But aren’t the real kings of this sport actually the horses? They are the first polo athletes, raised and selected since the beginning of the last century (still in Argentina) to become the best accomplices, even the ‘‘legs’’ of their riders. Lively, intelligent, playful, fast, tough, brave, these equine “rugby players” are very endearing horses. The player has hardly thought of an action that his horse answers and sometimes even anticipates as it knows perfectly the game and its rider. Sometimes also called ‘‘ponies’’, they adapt to all the conditions and therefore to the altitude of 1000m of this highest summer tournament in the world.

Almost a hundred of these little horses will establish their camp for a week on the grounds of Saanen airport to help the sixteen players of the four teams who dream of winning this coveted trophy of the international polo circuit. Three teams, Clinique La Prairie, Gstaad Palace and Hublot will try to overthrow the one of Banque Eric Sturdza and his Swiss captain, Cedric Schweri, unbeatable since he won his first title in 2017: ‘‘Well, I wouldn’t say that the Hublot Polo Gold Cup is my only goal of the season, but it’s one of my favourite tournaments since it’s the most important one in Switzerland and, of course, as a Swiss player, I am honoured to be a participant. I’m as ready as I can be, I mean it would be amazing to win for the third time”. He will count this year on the Brazilian Novaes brothers to win a new victory in this 2019 edition.

Remembering the final 2018 won on a knife edge by the team Banque Eric Sturdza after an incredible ‘‘remontada’’ when Cedric Schweri and his team were led by three goals, it looks like, once again, it will not be easy for the Swiss captain even though his combativeness got the upper hand. The competition will be strong. The Swiss captains of Clinique La Prairie, Piero Dillier and Andy Bihrer, for example, have called on Lucas Labat, the Argentinian handicap 6 player, who is playing at the highest level on all continents. Julio Novillo Astrada (h7), who is said in his country that he is certainly the strongest player of this renowned family who won the prestigious Argentinean Open, will return to Gstaad for Team Hublot and American Captain Marco Maximilian Elser. As for the captain of the Gstaad Palace team, Gerardo Cosentino of Liechtenstein, he will introduce three new Argentinean players to the cosmopolitan public of Gstaad, including handicap 6 Franco Gai.

Beyond this thrilling sport – and all the more spectacular in Gstaad on a field close to the public – the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad is a unique experience in the Swiss sports calendar that goes beyond the competition: a stunning setting of greenery, on an by alpine peaks surrounded airport that becomes a polo club for a single weekend, a rare proximity with players and horses, a VIP village and exhibitors with original luxury products to discover, a friendly atmosphere, a public dining area, a playground for children and, on Friday, a picturesque animation in the streets of Gstaad with the parade of teams. A different way to live high level polo!

* The handicap corresponds to the level of the polo player (it oscillates between -2 and +10). Handicaps evolve according to the performances of the player during the games and the progress recorded during year. The highest handicap in Europe is 7 (England). The handicap 10 is currently held by 9 Argentines and an Uruguayan.

Press Release, Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Cedric Schweri and Banque Eric Sturdza keep their title!

20 Aug 2018

What a finale! Probably the most beautiful in twenty-three editions of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad. Incredibly intense to the point that the audience (2000 spectators again) completely got caught up in game and greatly cheered from the sidelines. Although Cedric Schweri and his teammates of Banque Eric Sturdza were able to raise the trophy for the second year in a row, they truly had to fight for it.

It was more than a fight, it was a battle! Clinique La Prairie attacked very strongly to the point where one could wonder if the game was not going to be one-sided: “In the beginning of the game, we did not really play well, concedes the happy captain of Banque Eric SturdzaThe other team started the game off very strongly and it began to look bad for us. But our team is like a good Swiss clock, it takes time to adjust, but once it runs, it runs with great regularity.”In short, in the score, this resulted in a severe 4-1 after the first chukker with two goals scored by the one who would be crowned the tournament’s top scorer, the Argentine Agustin Canale (15 goals in the end, 5 average per game). Things got better in the second period, when Banque Eric Sturdza came back to 7-5. “We then started to speed up our game”, says Schweri. Notably thanks to Marcelo Pascual, author of lightning accelerations, brilliantly organizing the game of his team and scoring the two goals that would put the two teams to a tie in the last chukker. All there was left to do for Brazilian Joao Novaes was to conclude by scoring a 30-yard penalty giving Banque Eric Sturdzatheir second title: “Two successive titles in five finals, it’s true that it’s great, but I promise you that I will come back for a third conquest! These victories are the most beautiful because they are at home!”   The final, which will be remembered as one of the greatest of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad was preceded by the game for the third place easily won by team Gstaad Palace defeating team Hublot, 8-4. Pedro Fernandez Llorente scored four goals for the victorious team, while in the other team only Julio Novillo Astrada managed to score … But, unlike the hardly fought final, this subsidiary final was more of a friendly game. Friendship is also the hallmark of this tournament, which has been presided for thirteen years now by Pierre Genecand who managed to turn it into a huge event, supported by renowned sponsors – including Hublot, Gstaad Palace, Clinique la Prairie, Banque Eric Sturdza and Ferrai among others – while keeping a friendly atmosphere and bringing together a nice audience. We are already looking forward to next year’s edition from August 22 to 25, 2019!

Cedric Schweri and Banque Eric Sturdza will defend their title

18 Aug 2018

What incredible semi-finals! The suspense lasted right until the end. Although it will finally be the two favourite teams of the first day that will play the big final tomorrow at 3 p.m., things were not that simple for Clinique La Prairie and Banque Eric Sturdza.

 

In both games, a minute and a half from the end, it was impossible to know who was going to win. The suspense was perfect for the 2000 spectators who had gathered along the 275 meters of the field under a beautiful sun, which was this afternoon’s surprise guest contradicting all the weather forecasts.

 

In the first semi-final, Hublot started the game with a half goal advance because of its weaker handicap. Nico Lopez Fuentes scored the first goal of the match for Banque Eric Sturdza and indeed the team of Cedric Schweri was not too worried during the second and third chukkers. But it was not counting on Hublot‘s burst and the energy of Julio Novillo Astrada who scored three goals allowing his team to narrow the gap by one and a half goals just minutes from the end, but Marcelo Pascual annihilated the last hopes of Hublot scoring a decisive goal: “The game was very tight, admits the Argentinean 5-goaler, even tighter than the score shows. They came back very strong at the end of the game but fortunately we were able to regain control at the right moment.” The advantage of this team was perhaps due to the fact that it counts three professionals players in its ranks whereas their opponents only have two: “Of course that makes a difference, but today we could build a strong team game because we know each other better. We really played together” and they together reached the final that already seems very undecided against Clinique La Prairie.

 

The latter had even more trouble getting a ticket to the final. The battle fought against Gstaad Palace was even harder, especially in the last two chukkers. Hugo Barabucci, the back of Clinique La Prairie, opened the score in the first period but Gstaad Palace always stayed close. Although Clinique La Prairie took a small lead in the second period, Gstaad Palace never gave up, even taking the lead in the third chukker. At 90 seconds from the end of the game, everything was still possible for the latter especially as a 30 yards penalty hit by Pedro Llorente allowed them to get the advantage at 5 ½ to 5! A minute and a half in which Agustin Canale was also transforming a 30 yards and where captain Faris Al Yabhouni scored his second goal of the game in the ultimate second! For his first participation in the Hublot Gold Cup in Gstaad, the captain from the United Arab Emirates will play his first Swiss final. But not without cold sweats as explained by back and polo manager Hugo Barabucci: “To be honest, Gstaad Palace is a fantastic team and very well organized and we noticed it from the first day. We are happy to have been able to win this game. We expected a difficult game which ended in a beautiful and competitive meeting that could not have been possible without the quality of our opponent.” If, in the end, Clinique La Prairie had the last word, the Argentinian player gives it above all … to luck: “Yes, we were a little luckier than them, this is polo and we are happy to play the final tomorrow. Again, this is going to be a very tough game but what we want above all is to offer a beautiful final to this fantastic public of Gstaad.”

 

An audience that will be spoiled again tomorrow with two promising games since before the big final between Clinique La Prairie and Banque Eric Sturdza (3 p.m.), Gstaad Palace and Hublot will face each other at 1.30 p.m. in the subsidiary final for the third place.

 

Progression Banque Eric Sturdza : 2/2 ½ – 4/2 ½ – 7/3 ½ – 9/6 ½

 

Progression Clinique La Prairie : 2/2 ½ – 4/2 ½ – 4/4 ½ – 7/5 ½

 

Best scorers of the day: Agustin Canale (ARG, H6), Pedro Llorente (ARG, H5), Nico Lopez Fiente (ARG, H5) et Julio Novillo Astrada (ARG H7), 4 goals chacun

 

Best scorer of the tournament: Agustin Canale (ARG, H6), 12 goals

The battle for the Hublot Polo Gold Cup has begun

16 Aug 2018

Two games and two completely different scenarios marked the sunny opening of the 23rd edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup in Gstaad. In the first game, Faris Al Yabhouni, the captain of team Clinique La Prairie, did not have to suffer too much to win whilst Cedric Schweri and his team Banque Eric Sturdza had to fight a more complicated battle to start their way towards the final.

 

For Faris Al Yabhouni it was the first time in Gstaad: “It is a nice place: the surroundings, the people who are welcoming us here, everything is perfect. It is of course great to have won this first game especially as the teammates did not know each other yet nor did we know our horses that we rented from Saint-Tropez. The first two chukkers were pretty tight, but then we started to get to know and understand each other and the last two periods were easier and we managed to take the lead.” They defeated team Hublot, led by Swiss Captain Matteo Beffa: 13 to 6 ½.

 

It is this last team that the titleholder, Cedric Schweri, will face in the semi-final next Saturday, his game of the day was already quite difficult: “Actually, it was very “hard” for a first game, confirms the captain of Banque Eric Sturdza. The problem is that it was the first time we played together and we needed some time to really hit it off. When the team knows each other, it is easier.” Cedric contributed to the victory with an incredible golazo (Argentinian, meaning a beautiful goal) in the second chukker at the end of a beautiful solo run: “It is always nice to score a goal like that. In general, we the patrons, are there to defend, but scoring a goal is good.” And an important one as well as the team only won by a half-goal: “But this victory makes us confident for the rest of this Hublot Gold Cup, I think we will go to the finals, and after…”!

 

But before that, they will have to pass the semi-finals, which promise to be open. They will be played on Saturday at 1.30 p.m. and 3 p.m. In the meantime, the teams will parade tomorrow through the streets of Gstaad, a nice tradition that brings polo closer to the public.

 

Progression Clinique La Prairie: (0 / 1,5) – 3 / 3,5 – 6 / 4,5 – 9 / 5.5 and 13 / 6.5

Progression Banque Eric Sturdza: (0 / 0,5) 1 / 1,5 – 2 / 2,5 – 4 / 3,5 and 5 / 4,5

 

Best scorer of the day: Agustin Canale (ARG, h6) – 8 goals

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