| Sufiyeh Hadian

Polo Gallops into Gstaad

Taking place on the Gstaad-Saanen airport field from 18-21 August, this year’s tournament will – for the first time ever – welcome a team from China. And to commemorate the occasion, the beautiful grounds of the airfield will not only be transformed into the hallowed polo pitch but will also follow a red and gold colour theme to honour the Middle Kingdom.

Team Hublot will be led by Mr Shilai Liu, owner of the Tang Polo Club in Beijing, who has accepted Pierre Genecand’s invitation to play in the Swiss Prealps. They’ll face stiff competition from Team Gstaad Palace – captained by Argentina’s Juan Pepa – Team Banque Eric Sturdza, led by Switzerland’s Cedric Schweri (SUI), and finally, Team Polo Friends. The latter is led by co-captains Piero Dillier (SUI) and Andy Bihrer (SUI).

Regardless of which team you’re rooting for, expect to see world class players such as Marcos di Paola (ARG) – who will be playing for Team Hublot with an impressive handicap of 8 – and Olavo Novaes. Boasting a handicap of 7, the Brazilian, will be playing for Team Banque Eric Sturdza.

The festivities begin this Thursday (18 August) at 11am with the official polo village opening, plus the action on pitch getting underway with the first two matches of the tournament being played. Meanwhile the spectacular Grand parade will take place on Gstaad Promenade on Friday 19 August at 4pm – and see the streets flooded with players and their horses, officials in carefully decorated horses-carriages and marching bands.

On Saturday 20 August matches will resume at 1.30pm where the horse and rider combinations will battle through the semi-final matches vying for a place in the prestigious final on Sunday 21 August. Aside from world-class polo, Sybarites attending the event will be treated to spectacular entertainment off the pitch too: guests can look forward to fantastic glider air show presented by Fly 7 ahead of the matches on Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 August at 1pm.

Bottom line? The Hublot Polo Gold Cup is hot to trot! For the full low-down, please visit www.polo-gstaad.ch.

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