An Airport in the Swiss Alps Is Transformed Into a Polo Extravaganza
Friday, August 10, 2018
The work to transform the new airport Gstaad-Saanen, Switzerland into a polo club is in full swing. In a few days, everything will be ready to host the 23rd edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup, Thursday, August 16th and will end Sunday, August 19th.
It has been more than 20 years since the airport situated in the canton of Bern the only flat space in the middle of the mountain, has been transformed into another use. For four days the most prestigious polo event in Switzerland with provide an unforgettable spectacle for visitors with impeccable conditions for international polo players and their horses.
The scenery offered by the Alps is not only beautiful, but also unusual for this sport that is more commonly played on large flat spaces, and the team of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup has appeared to move mountains.
President Pierre Genecand, his organizing committee of 13 members and the 125 volunteers have been working on assembling the stables and the exhibitors’ village. Preparing the grass field requires real expertise where the six matches will be played.
Several trucks from across Europe will take the road to the mountain to bring the 120 horses of the 16 players and 2 referees of the tournament. Stabling for 120 horses, as well as accommodations for tons of straw, hay, and oats are o needed.
The 28.000 m2 space will also host 18 exhibitors stands, a children’s play area and an important VIP area where the Gstaad Palace team will serve a total of 1.500 meals during the VIP lunches and the Saturday’s Night Gala.
More than 7000 visitors will come to admire players from Argentina Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland. The four teams bearing the colours of sponsors Hublot, Bank Eric Sturdza, Gstaad Palace and Clinique La Prairie, will compete in the qualifying games on Thursday, followed by the semi-finals on Saturday and the finals on Sunday.
On Friday, the polo atmosphere will come to the streets of Gstaad with the traditional parade. Accompanied by carriages and bell ringers, the players and their horses will come to salute the villagers.
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