Press release

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

When an airport becomes a polo club

09 Aug 2018

The work to transform the new airport Gstaad-Saanen into a polo club is already in full swing and in a few days, everything will be ready to host the 23rd edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup which begins Thursday, August 16th and will end Sunday, August 19th.

 

It has been more than 20 years since the airport situated in the canton of Bern and the only flat space in the middle of the mountain, has been transformed for a few days, into a grass polo tournament, the most prestigious in Switzerland. The scenery offered by the Alps is not only beautiful, but also unusual for this sport that is more commonly played on large flat spaces. So to offer an unforgettable spectacle to visitors and impeccable conditions to the players and their horses, one needs to be able to … move mountains. And that is exactly what President Pierre Genecand, his organizing committee of 13 members and the 125 volunteers do.

 

For several days now, the teams have been working on assembling the stables and the exhibitors’ village, as well as preparing the grass field – which requires real expertise – on which the six matches will be played. Early next week, several trucks from across Europe will take the road to the mountain to bring the 120 horses of the 16 players and 2 referees of the tournament. In addition to the 120 boxes needed to house the four-legged athletes, tons of straw, hay, and oats are also needed. The 28.000 m2 space will also host 18 exhibitors stands, a children’s play area and an important VIP area where the Gstaad Palace team will serve a total of 1.500 meals during the VIP lunches and the Saturday’s Night Gala.

 

More than 7000 expected visitors will come to admire players from Argentina mostly, but also from Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and of course Switzerland. The four teams bearing the colours of sponsors Hublot, Bank Eric Sturdza, Gstaad Palace and Clinique La Prairie, will compete in the qualifying games on Thursday, followed by the semi-finals on Saturday and the finals on Sunday. On Friday, the polo atmosphere will come to the streets of Gstaad with the traditional parade. Accompanied by carriages and bell ringers, the players and their horses will come to salute the villagers.

 

It is therefore a real large-scale operation that began to turn the airport of Gstaad-Saanen into an international polo centre for four days of spectacular sport and festivities from August 16th to 19th.

Press Kit

09 Jul 2018

To view the latest Press Kit, click on the link below

Press Kit

An outstanding tournament

21 Jun 2018

The Hublot Polo Gold Cup holds its head high alongside the major European clubs which feature multiple canchas (polo fields). It is rightly proud of its unique difference, offering a high-level tournament in one of the most unusual and prestigious locations in the world. The four teams that have been invited have confirmed their attendance with, notably, some well-known players and major captains, with one new addition this year: a team from Abu Dhabi.

 

The setting is quite simply majestic: a green valley, nestled in the hillside some 1,000m above sea level at Saanen, the only flat area in Gstaad which can accommodate an aerodrome … and a polo field. Setting aside the famous tribal polo tournament which takes place at Shandur Top in the Hindu Kush region in the north of Pakistan at an altitude of 3,719m, Gstaad is certainly home to the highest summer polo tournament in the world: the Hublot Polo Gold Cup marks its 23rd edition this year. It is the place to be between 16 to 19 August this year. It is a tournament with a particular atmosphere where, between the comings and goings of the private jets, high-quality matches take place on a field which is standard in length but slightly narrower than usual, giving rise to a faster game which is easier for the public to follow.

The magnificently decorated village, featuring prestigious exhibitors such as Ferrari, the sponsors of the four teams and many others, is well worth a visit between the matches. Lunch receptions and gala evenings take place in a magnificent VIP area combining luxury and sophistication.

 

Sport: four serious candidates

Four teams will fight it out for the four Hublot watches offered to the players of the team which is victorious after their three matches: the qualifying rounds on Thursday, the semi-final on Saturday and the finals on Sunday. Last year, after several failed attempts at the title, the Swiss restaurant owner and company head Cedric Schweri finally won the coveted prize. He’s back this year as the big favourite with just as intense a desire to keep hold of this prestigious title with the Banque Eric Sturdza team. To achieve this goal, he has taken on two Argentineans and Brazil’s Joao Novaes (a five-goaler), a former winner of the French Open in Chantilly. The danger comes in the form of another Swiss captain, Matteo Beffa, who is striving to take the colours of the title partner, Hublot, to the top of the podium. To do so, he has called upon a big handicap”, Argentina’s Julio Novillo Astrada, who is a 7- goaler. His family is famous in Argentina: his cousins have notably won the most sought after professional tournament: the Argentinean Open.

The American Marco Maximilian Elser will sport the colours of the Gstaad Palace. He is counting notably on Argentina’s 5-goaler Pedro Fernandez Llorente.

 

For the first time in Gstaad, Faris Al Yabhouni’s Abu Dhabi team will sport the colours of the new team sponsor, the Clinique La Prairie. A high-performing team in Dubai, with as its cornerstone and polo manager, Argentina’s Hugo Barabucci. These last two teams have a slightly lower handicap than the others and will start their matches with a 1/2 goal.

 

Press contact

R&B Presse – Sophie Pailloncy & Pascal Renauldon

press@pologstaad.ch

+44 78 41 39 37 78 – +33 6 08 75 94 07

The four teams are known

27 Apr 2018

Four days of great sport and beautiful festivities, four highly competitive teams. From August 16th to 19th, the 23rd edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup will be held on the grounds of the airfield of Gstaad-Saanen. The alpine 14-goal tournament, the highest level played on grass in Switzerland, promises to be thrilling. This year, two new teams will join the party.

The first will be the one of Faris Al Yabhouni, owner and patron of the Abu Dhabi Polo Team. In Gstaad, he will wear the colours of team Clinique La Prairie, new sponsor of the event. The Emirati has been playing at high level for more than 10 years and had a very good 2017/2018 season: finalist of the Dubai Gold Cup (18-goal tournament) he had previously won the Emirates Polo Cup and the HH President Of UAE Polo Cup. These victories already position Faris Al Yabhouni as a serious candidate in this tournament he will discover for the first time this summer.

The other new personality will be Marco Elser, president of the Arquedotto Romano Polo Club. The Italian will also quickly find his marks on the field of Gstaad, since he has already played in all corners of the world: France and Spain, but also Shanghai, Singapore, the United States and many more. In Gstaad, Marco Elser will play for team Gstaad Palace.

Loyal friends and regulars of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup, the Swiss Piero Dilier and Andy Bihrer will alternately play under the colours of watchmaker Hublot, title sponsor of the event. The other Swiss now subscribed to this tournament is none other than the titleholder, Cédric Schweri, who will once again play for team Banque Eric Sturdza, which had brought him luck last year. After five inconclusive attempts, he had finally won the coveted trophy and this year he will certainly do anything to keep it.

The tournament will once again be very competitive. It will start on Thursday, August 16th with the qualifying matches and will continue Saturday, August 18th with the semi-finals and finish on Sunday, August 19th with the big final (and the subsidiary final). On Friday, August 17th, players will ride through the streets of Gstaad for the famous parade accompanied by fanfares and carriages. The second festive highlight of the weekend will be the Gala night that will take place on Saturday evening. The exhibitor village and the games will be accessible to everyone.

 

Press Contact

R&B Presse – Sophie Pailloncy & Pascal Renauldon

press@pologstaad.ch +44 78 41 39 37 78  +33 6 08 75 94 07

Polo Club Gstaad Contact: Solina Mobèche, info@pologstaad.ch +41 33 744 07 40

Cedric Schweri finally got his Hublot watch!

20 Aug 2017

Four times Cedric Schweri already tried to win the Gold Cup and the Hublot watch that goes with it. His father even said it might be easier to just buy one rather then try to win it playing the tournament. But Cedric knew the fifth time would be the right one. With his Team BANQUE ERIC STURDZA he finally won the trophy and therefore the most important summer tournament of Switzerland: The Hublot Polo Gold Cup of Gstaad.

Like most finals, today’s game was very tense. Pressure, stress, fear of loosing and like Marcos Riglos, MVP, pointed out : « The field was not easy to play on after five games. It was difficult to make the ball roll and to control it. It was not an easy polo to play, but we succeeded anyways. I am proud to have been nominated MVP but this victory truly was a team effort. I am here for the third time and it is an incredible place. The organization is perfect and the atmosphere great.”

In front of 4000 people, a rare number for European polo, the game took some time to get under its way. Multiple faults and time-outs and only 4 goals after two chukkers (2-2). With three goals, one of which by captain Cedric Schweri, BANQUE ERIC STURDZA managed to create a small gap during the third chukker but not for long as RIVA nearly closed it in the forth chukker being only one goal behind their rivals (6-5). The game was not yet settled, but in the last minutes Marcos Riglos and Nico Lopez Fuentes sealed the deal: 8-5.

Cedric Schweri could finally hold the coveted trophy, the big face of a Hublot watch: «  I am really happy because this is the result of a lot of work and a big organization. I want to thank Eric Sturdza who believed in us. It was hard. » The Swiss captain suffered from an injury during the game as a ball hit his elbow. « I applied some ice spray and could play again but it was really hurting. It was difficult to hold my mallet properly! » But the joy of victory rapidly made him forget the pain. « One thing is for sure, I will come back next year to defend my title! »

Team GSTAAD PALACE claims the third place defeating Team HUBLOT in the first game of the day. During the first three chukkers the teams were tied, but in the last chukker and within a few minutes GSTAAD PALACE scored three goals in a row, a gap HUBLOT could not fill, leaving the final score at 10-7.

Once again the tournament was a huge success and the weather had an important part in it. The sun was out every day driving a big number of people to this 22nd edition. A truly traditional tournament, the Hublot Polo Gold Cup is also one of the most beautiful ones of the European season.

Progression:

BANQUE ERIC STURZA: 1/2 – 2/2 – 5/3 et 8/6

BANQUE ERIC STURZA: Cédric Schweri (SUI, Cap h0, 1 goal), Joao Novaes (BRE, h5, 3 goals), Marcos Riglos (ARG, h5, 3 goals), Nico Lopez Fuentes (ARG, h4, 3 goals)

RIVA: Mohamed el Sewedy (EGY, Cap h1), Patricio Rattaghan (ARG, h3, 1 goal), Marcelo Pascual (ARG, h6, 3 goals), Silvestre Fanelli (ARG, h4, 4 goals)

Most valuable player: Marcos Riglos (BANQUE ERIC STURZA)

Best playing poney: Sanducero, hongre argentin monté par Nico Lopez Fuentes and owned by Gery de Cloedt

Best scorers of the tournament: Eduardo Menendez (HUBLOT) et Marcos Riglos (BANQUE ERIC STURZA), 13 goals each

RIVA and BANQUE ERIC STURDZA go to the final !

19 Aug 2017

Team RIVA and Team BANQUE ERIC STURDZA will face each other tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the 22nd final of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup in Gstaad. During their first game against each other on Thursday, BANQUE ERIC STURDZA came out victorious against RIVA but the game and the score were so tight that the final on Sunday promises to be exciting.

In the first semi-final BANQUE ERIC STURDZA defeated HUBLOT in a game that turned out to be quite…vigorous. The Menendez brothers were not willing to let go easily and the contacts were often rough. But the unshakable players from Team STURDZA took charge right from the beginning thanks to two goals by Brazilian Joao Novaes and one by Argentine Marcos Riglos. With 3-0 after the first chukker, the game became a race for Team HUBLOT who managed to come close to the score a few times though never really worrying their opponents: 11-6 was the final score. Marcos Riglos confirmed his talent as score keeper making 5 goals for his team. With 10 goals since Thursday, he is the best scorer of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup so far.

In the second game, newcomers RIVA were not necessarily the front-runners as they faced Team GSTAAD PALACE who dominated HUBLOT on the first day of the tournament (13-6). Although at the beginning the teams were tied (3-3 after the first two chukkers), RIVA took off after its captain, Egyptian Mohamed El Sewedy, scored a goal followed by another one from his Argentine pillar Marcelo Pascual. The team managed to keep this gap of two goals until the very end.

After last night’s storm, the day turned out to be beautiful as the sun unexpectedly came out inviting 4000 people to come to the semi-finals. Tomorrow will be another great day with the “small” final for the third place at 1.30 p.m. and the “big” final for the trophy at 3 p.m.

Raining goals !

17 Aug 2017

Under the magnificent sun of Gstaad the visitors of the 22nd edition of the tournament saw a rain of goals : 31 ! A first day that gives a good insight of the quality and the speed of the polo played on the « cancha » of the Saanen airfield.

Even though some rough battles were fought – the umpires had to use their whistles a few times and even pulled out two yellow cards – the games were mostly a demonstration of what beautiful polo looks like. A sport of contact, skill and speed and the two first games of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup certainly ticked all those boxes.

The first game saw the team of Egyptian captain Mohamed El Sewedy wearing the green colors of team RIVA face the team of Swiss captain Cedric Schweri wearing the bordeaux colors of BANQUE ERIC STURDZA. The latter saw its player Marcos Riglos, handicap 5, shine as he scored 5 out of the 7 goals and thereby completely turning around the dynamic of the game (RIVA was leading at half-time 3-1). The Argentine, who turned 50 today, was determined to celebrate his birthday with a victory for his team BANQUE ERIC STURDZA.

The second match was even more intense. Team HUBLOT of Italian captain Gualtiero Giori (playing with his father-in-law Riccardo Tattoni) faced team GSTAAD PALACE lead by Piero Dilier and Andy Bihrer. Their team saw two of its players truly stand out today: Argentine handicap 6 Lucas Labat who proved very resourceful and his young compatriot Gonzalo Bernal who scored 5 goals, 4 of which were penalties. The game was mainly a race as Team HUBLOT was chasing after their opponents almost equalizing the score in the fourth chukker (8-9). But captain Piero Dilier and then Juani Gonzales settled the score with two goals securing their victory against HUBLOT (final score 11-9).

After this very competitive first day, the horses will rest tomorrow as the players will participate in the traditional and very popular parade through the streets of Gstaad at 4 p.m. The games will resume on Saturday at 1.30 p.m. with two semi-finals that will be as intense as today’s games, if not more.

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