The 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup got underway this morning, with eight teams of 24 players atop 120 ponies all ready and raring for the off.
With the VIP tent buzzing with avid polo guests, some new to the sport and some having supported the event from its first instalment in 2003, organisers couldn’t have asked for a better start to this year’s tournament.
The first match of the tournament saw the might of the boys in yellow, Corum, up against Bernd Gruber. The talent and unmistakable team power of Corum was a tough challenge to overcome for the newly formed Bernd Gruber side, with Corum’s number two Patrick Maleitzke playing here, there and everywhere and helping his team secure a 10½-5 win at the final bell. It was the perfect way to start their 2020 tournament.
With the sun still shining bright, the second match got underway. Two thousand nineteen champions Sebastian Schneberger and Valentin Novillo Astrada took to the ground for Laurent-Perrier, alongside new teammate Phillip de Groot, but the mighty Brazilians in the form of team GP Mobility were a force to be reckoned with.
Though more stilted than the first match, as play went into the third chukka, GP Mobility number three Guilhermo Lins came into his own, securing a multitude of goals and ultimately taking home the win 8½-5.
The VIP tent buzzing with excited spectators and the clinking of champagne glasses signalled the beginning of the third match of the day; Intocast, with Kitzbühel’s own Matthias Normann at the helm, versus 2018 winners Bendura Bank.
This was going to be an exciting match, as Melissa Ganzi led her strong Bendura side, once again looking to win big, but the surprise of the day was by far Martin Jauregui, the five-goal Argentine, who controlled the play from the word, “Go”!
Governing a significant amount of the play, he challenged eight goaler Alejandro Novillo Astrada at every turn and ensured the Intocast team made it through to the next round with a convincing 7½-5 win.
To end the first thrilling day of play, with hot chocolates and glühwein steaming in the hands of the avid spectators on the sidelines, the red devils, Engel & Völkers took to the field against a new addition for the 2020 tournament, World Polo League.
The Americans, keen to show their power in this electrifying tournament, came firing out of the first line-out, with American number one Nic Roldan, powering shots upfield, time and time again.
It wasn’t long before the World Polo League were ahead, but Engel & Völkers were not far behind. With passion evident on the faces of all six players, it took a final goal from young Juan Bautista Peluso who signed on the dotted line for World Polo League, making the final score 8-6 ½.
Read more about the 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel 2020 here.