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 29 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.