Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad – Thursday 14 August 2013

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The 18th edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup began today in superb sunshine, played out on the Gstaad Saanen airport field of the Polo Club Gstaad and the breathtaking alpine scenery that surrounds it. In the inaugural qualifying match, Team Star Design took victory over Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza by 9 goals to 8, whilst Team Gstaad Palace were victors in the second, winning 9-6 against Team Hublot.

The opening game between Team Star Design and Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza was a closely fought, high-energy affair with the tie needing a golden-goal extra chukka to separate the two teams. Beginning at a great pace, Team Star Design twice went ahead only for Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza to strike back almost immediately from the put in, finally taking the lead themselves with a well-taken goal from Argentine Juan de Ezcurra after he went clear, ending the chukka 3-2 up.

The intensity of play continued in the second and third chukkas, Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza opening up a two point lead at 7-5 going into the fourth with another score from de Ezcurra, two from Marcos Riglos and one for Martin Riglos. It was then that the Star Design team stepped it up a gear, winning the final chukka in normal time, 3 goals to 1 – Brazilian 8 goaler, Olavo Novaes claiming a brace alongside one for Nicolas Ruiz Guinazu – to finish 8 all. Thus, a golden-goal chukka ensued and a penalty score from Novaes gave him his fourth of the match and his Team Star Design the win.

The second of the two matches was another tight competition as Team Gstaad Palace and Team Hublot took to the field. A quiet start to the first chukka culminated with a flurry of scores – Team Hublot’s Argentine 6-goaler, Francisco Fucci opening the scoring only for his compatriots on the opposition side, Eduardo Menendez and Santi Cernadas grabbing a quick-fire point apiece for a 2-1 lead. The second chukka ended as the first did with the only difference being that the other Fucci, Gonzalo was the Team Hublot scorer, consequently putting Team Gstaad Palace in front by 4 goals to 2 as spectators walked onto the field for halftime.

The third chukka saw a revived Team Hublot drag themselves back into the game thanks to one goal each from the Fuccis’, only for the outstanding Cernadas to give his team back its lead going into the closing chukka. As both teams eyed victory, play swung from end-to-end, Team Gstaad Palace’s Cernadas claiming a hat-trick which included a superb 60-yard penalty high into the goal, alongside one for Italian Gualtiero Giori. Scores from Team Hublot’s Salvatore Jauretche and an incredible solo effort from Francisco Fucci were not enough for the game to end 9-6 to Team Gstaad Palace.

A grand parade of the players and horses down Gstaad’s world-renowned promenade follows tomorrow, Friday 16 August, from 16:00, with matches resuming the following day.

On Saturday 17 August, the tournament’s Polo Village – featuring an array of top brands including Hublot, Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza SA, Gstaad Palace & Star Design – will open at 11:00 followed by the first of the second round of matches at 13:30, the second match beginning at 15:00, and a prize giving ceremony preceding this. In the evening an exclusive Polo Night will be hosted within the tournament’s VIP tent, with guests treated to a host of fantastic cuisine and top entertainment throughout the night including international vocalist Tara McDonald who has been confirmed alongside Australian comedian, Rob Spence.

Quotes
Allegra Nasi, Captain Team Star Design, winner of the first match against Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza SA “This is really a super event. The organisation is great and the ground is very good. It is a pleasure. We played to win, not just to warm up.”

Ricardo Tattoni, Team Gstaad Palace, winner of the 2nd match said, “It was a smooth match but engrossed and sporty. It was a good match to enter the competition with and there was no aggressiveness from either side – above all Fair Play prevailed.”

Pierre Genecand, President of the tournament said: “It was a fantastic 1st day, with a very high level of competition. The quality of players and horses is exceptional. I am also very pleased with the quality of the field.”

1st Qualifying Match Scores by Chukka
1st Chukka
Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza 3 -2 Team Star Design

2nd Chukka
Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza 2 -1 Team Star Design

3rd Chukka
Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza 2 -2 Team Star Design

4th & 5th Chukka
Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza 3 -2 Team Star Design

2nd Qualifying Match Scores by Chukka
1st Chukka
Team Gstaad Palace 2 - 1 Team Hublot

2nd Chukka
Team Gstaad Palace 2 - 1 Team Hublot

3rd Chukka
Team Gstaad Palace 1 -2 Team Hublot

4th Chukka
Team Gstaad Palace 4 -2 Team Hublot

Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad Teams
Team Banque Baring Brothers
Cedric Schweri (SUI; Hcp. 0)
Martin Riglos (ARG; Hcp, 4)
Marcos Riglos (ARG; Hcp 5)
Juan de Ezcurra (ARG; Hcp 5)

Team Star Design
Allegra Nasi (ITA; Hcp 0)
Nicolas Ruiz Guinazu (ARG; Hcp 3)
Aki Van Andel (NED; Hcp 3)
Olava Novaes (BRA; Hcp 8)

Team Gstaad Palace
Gualtiero Giori (ITA; Hcp 1)
Riccardo Tattoni (ITA; Hcp 0)
Eduardo Menendez (ARG; Hcp 7)
Santi Cernadas (ARG; Hcp 6)

Team Hublot
Daniel Aegerter (SUI; Hcp 0)
Francisco Fucci (ARG; Hcp 6)
Gonzalo Fucci (ARG; Hcp 6)
Salvatore Jauretche (ARG; Hcp 2)

Fixtures – Saturday 17 August 2013
Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza SA vs. Team Gstaad Palace
Team Hublot vx. Team Star Design




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