Punta Ala – the person who a few days ago became King Charles III of England, in the eighties united two great passions: Polo and Tuscany. He played future King Charles in Punta Ala, on a field back in the days when England mourned the disappearance of Queen Elizabeth once again in the marvelous Maremma fresco. From Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 September, Punta Ala, the “daughter” part of the municipality of Castiglione della Pescaia, will host the Punta alla Polo Cup, an event that represents a reboot of the great game of polo in a location that has its roots in the equestrian traditions and equestrian sports of our country. The Polo Cup will lead the way to the major event dedicated to FISE (Italian Federation of Equestrian Sports) by the International Polo Federation, the European Women’s Championship scheduled for next year in Punta Ala, where the Italian team takes over on the field. a hero.
The idea to give a new horizon to the wonderful game of polo in this jewel of Maremma came from Gaia Bulgari, President of the Organizing Committee of the Punta Ala Polo Cup, who combined her proactive spirit with her passion for sports and horses. I decided, 30 years after the last matches, to rebuild the historic polo stadium, to restore the Punta Ala Equestrian Club with valuable interventions and in line with the most stringent principles regarding biodiversity. Thanks to this exciting work of restoration, restoration and reconstruction, Gaia Bulgari gave new life to the camp – improving technical and structural solutions – which, in addition to the King of England, was once frequented by the legendary brothers Piero and Raimondo D’Inzeo, by the “fathers” of Argentine polo and players Greats from the old continent. “The passion is so strong, because here we have always considered horses a natural truth of tradition and love of the equestrian sport. Until 30 years ago, Centro Ippico Punta Ala was a reference point for polo in Italy, but in general for all riding – explains Bulgari -. The goal we have set ourselves since 2019, the year we started renovating the facility, is to return it to its old splendor, to bring it back to the Punta Ala community and to everyone who loves equestrianism as much as we do. Sports “.
Polo in Italy is on the rise, due to the fascination of the union between a horse and his rider or rider, but also because FISE, through various projects and initiatives, is guiding its re-launch, in places that promote nature, sustainability, biodiversity and of course sport. Still in the eyes of all is the success of the Italia Polo Challenge, a tour that took place between Cortina d’Ampezzo (Belluno Dolomites), Rome (Villa Borghese) and Arzachena (Sassari): a victory for world sport and a driver for the resumption of tourism two years after the pandemic. “Knowing that a historic place for the Italian pole such as Punta Ala will return to host events is extraordinary news – Alessandro Giacchetti, Coordinator of the FISE Polar Department – commented. With the Polo Arena, we set ourselves the goal of making this system known to both our youngest and those who may have never heard of polo, and the response has been phenomenal. With events like this one, built in the name of sustainability and immersion in nature, we set off on another great adventure like the one that happened in Euro 2023, where we will be able to defend the title at home. My thanks go to Gaia Bulgari and the entire Punta Ala Polo club for the passion and all the efforts they have put in in recent months.”
If the Italia Polo Challenge focused on the Arena Polo formula – a reduced stadium and three passengers per team instead of four – to allow training even in confined spaces like Villa Borghese Galoppatoio or the Abbiadori football stadium in Sardinia, it would be the traditional game of polo played in Punta Ala. So it will be a wonderful and amazing sight for those who have never attended a polo match and for those who love it. The teams will compete on a field measuring 260 meters long and 140 meters wide, which has been studied in detail even in the selection of turf. Designed by engineer Alejandro Battro, the world’s greatest expert in polo fields, the Punta Ala Polo Club grass, this week’s championship stage and also next year’s European Championships, has been made using paspalum, a genetically modified turf that is particularly resistant to lands where there is water level High salinity, such as that flowing in the Punta Ala region.
There will be four teams initially, formed with the same handicap coefficient (8) based on the list of players, from Argentina, the United States, France and Germany: US Polo Team US Polo, Podernovo Polo Team, Gallia Polo Team Hotel and Batistoni Polo Team.
The traditional show of troupes on horseback will open at Marina Punta alla Cup Punta alla Polo on Wednesday at 6 pm, with the participation of the Grosseto City Band and vintage cars.
Thursday, at 5 pm and 6 pm, the dates for the first matches in the tournament, which will determine the semi-final matches on Friday 16, have been scheduled.
The final match for third place will be held on Saturday at 5 pm, while the grand final will start at 6 pm.
Four Italians on the field: Riccardo Paganelli and Franco Mancini of the US Polo team, Giuffredo Cutinelli with Podernovo and Alexandre Agrave with Hotel Gallia.Mirabelle Hunt
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