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.