When Polo goes high!07.09.2022 Sports & Leisure
Gstaad is renowned for its prestigious sporting and cultural events. One of these events is particularly special: the Hublot Polo Gold Cup. Every year in August, sixteen of the world’s best polo players and their one hundred and twenty horses climb the mountain to compete in this highly coveted 4-day tournament. An enchanting event in a unique setting that took place from 18 – 21 August.
In the first game on Thursday, the team wearing the green colours of the new partner of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup, Kielder Agro, made an impressive entrance by dominating the Hublot team thanks to Bautista Beguerie, who seemed to be everywhere on the field. His five goals (top scorer of the day) gave his team a 7 1/2 goal lead at the end of the third chukker. Then Hublot caught up, proving that they still had a role to play in this tournament where anything is possible as all four teams would be semi-finalists on Saturday.
In the second game, Gstaad Palace held their own against a motivated Clinique La Prairie. But lack of success on the penalty shots of Brazilian Joao Novao and the intense pressure of opponents Raul Laplacette, and Lucas Labat, allowed Sébastien Le Page’s team to take off in the third period. A beautiful game, fluid and filled with spectacular “golassos” (goals) by Laplacette.
Friday was Parade Day – the traditional parade of the teams through Gstaad accompanied by the local folklore. A photo-friendly and popular moment for the onlookers to enjoy the spectacle up close on the Promenade. Saturday morning started gloomily with rain, but when the sun came out, and the teams played radiantly. It was two intense and competitive games – as it’s supposed to be when it’s the day of the semi-finals. In the end, it was the winners of Thursday’s games that came out on top and would face each other in Sunday’s final: Clinique La Prairie vs Kielder Agro Uruguay.
Shortly after lunch on Sunday, the battle for third and fourth place began. The game was very even and pleasant to watch, one goal immediately being countered with another, a duel between Argentines Pedro Fernandez-Llorente in purple and Dario Musso in red, the latter missing a 40-yard penalty in the last 30 seconds that would have allowed them to battle it out in overtime. And so the Hublot team left Gstaad with a victory over a solid playing Gstaad Palace team.
The crowd was ready for the final battle of the two teams, and what a game it was – a sensational final that decided its winner only in the last seconds. A breathtaking match that saw Clinique La Prairie win this 25th edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup, thanks to an imperial Raul Laplacette, who made sure his team remained calm and concentrated in the crucial final minutes when the game could still go either way. Clinique La Prairie won Kielder Agro Uruguay 9 to 7 ½ with less than a minute and a half on the clock. What a spectacular finals.
The Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad was once more a fantastic event, and the public, packed at the edge of the field, was thoroughly entertained by the intensity of the games. There is no doubt that they will come back next year, when the Saanen airfield once again will be the scene of highly competitive polo, right in the heart of the mountains. From August 17 to 20, 2023. www.pologstaad.ch
At the polo I noticed a young lady who posted some great black&white photos from the tournament on Instagram. She turned out to be a local, and her name is Aliya Diamante, from Gstaad.
Aliya started being serious about photography back in April 2022 when she was travelling in Canada. GstaadLife met her during this year’s polo event, and we liked her monochrome snapshots; the marvellous horses and hard-fighting riders look extra dramatic in black and white.
”It’s my passion, and it makes me feel like I can see things no one else can. Moments that are frozen in time and will be remembered forever. It is very special to me to be able to show these recollections and instants to other people, making them see life through my lens. It makes me very happy and that is why photography is my passion. I hope you will enjoy the photos.“
Check out more photos from Aliya on her Instagram