Italy, Azerbaijan and Ireland off to a flying start

The FIP European Championships kicked off at the Villa a Sesta Polo Club in Italy on Thursday 20 September, with 10 teams travelling from the length and breadth of Europe to participate. Disappointingly, England is not represented in this event, with the HPA Chairman Stephen Hutchinson’s Ireland being the closest team for the home supporters to rally behind. With four matches on the first day, host country Italy, got off to a flying start on Thursday 20 September with a 7-5 victory against rivals Spain, swiftly followed by Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz favourites and strong outsiders Azerbaijan, who defeated The Netherlands 7-3. Germany completely outscored Switzerland in their debut match 13-4½ with France taking home the final win of the day 5-1½ against Slovakia. Following a rest day, play recommenced on Saturday 22 September with another four matches. Azerbaijan continued their winning streak against France 8-4, followed by Ireland’s debut match against The Netherlands, which they won narrowly 7½-7. Italy took home their second match of the competition 10-3½ against Austria in their tournament premier, and Spain finally turned their tables with a 9-7½ win against Switzerland.
On Sunday 23 September, the mounted teams paraded through local town Arezzo holding aloft their nations’ flag alongside a fleet of vintage cars to celebrate the Championships, with an official presentation in the town’s square.
Play continued yesterday, Monday 24 September, with Ireland defeating France 7-7½ followed by an Azerbaijani win over Slovakia 11-7. The Final is scheduled to take place on Sunday 30 September, and with the Ladies’ European Championships starting today, keep an eye on our social media platforms for updates or click here to find out more about the tournament.
The FIP European Championships Teams:
Azerbaijan (8): Fabian Bolanteiro (3), Elchi Jamalli (2), Rashad Hasanov (0) & Agustin Kronhaus (3)
Slovakia (7): Pepe Santamarina (3), Justo Santamarina (0) Felipe Kelly (4 – now injured and to be replaced) & Ivan Weiss (0)
Ireland (7): Creighton Boyd (0), Stephen Hutchinson (0), Mikey Henderson (4) & Max Hutchinson (3)
Germany (8): Niklas Steinle (1), Caspar Crasemann (3), Niclas Sandweg (1) & Caesar Crasemann (3)
Italy (8): Martin Joaquin (4), Edoardo Ferrari (3), Lucas Bertola (0) & Gualterio Gioro (1)
Switzerland (7): Sascha Pictet (1), Martin Lugin-Buhl (2), Simon Lugin-Buhl (2) & Tito Gaudenzi (2)
France (8): Ludovic Pailloncy (1), David Amar (1), Louis Jarrige (3) & Florent Garaud (3)
Austria (8): Diego Braun (4), Robert Kofler (1), Martin Bleier (2) & Walter Scherb (1)
The Netherlands (6): Maurice van Druten (2), Aki van Andel (2), Philip de Groot (1) & Philip van der Kloot Meyburg (1)
Spain (8): Xavier Cunill (0), Antonion Ayesa (3), Tuki Ruiz Guiñazú (4) & Alfonso Figar (1)
Photograph: On Sunday 23 September, the FIP European Championships teams paraded through local town Arezzo to mark the first weekend of the tournament. Courtesy of Villa a Sesta Polo Club