by Margit Kotrosits

The Poloclub Schloss Ebreichsdorf celebrated its 25th anniversary with a high goal and high-end tournament. The Austrian Polo Open, a sporting and social highlight of the Austrian polo season, has well earned its legendary reputation not only as a high class tournament on international scale but also for its prime supporting programme.

High-class games in the extreme summer temperatures, the constantly intertwining good and bad luck, passionate tango dancers, sophisticated Lusitan riders as well as clowns from the CliniClowns who looked after the children’s smiles, shaped the successful final day in the elegant parks of the castle in Ebreichsdorf. The players’ parade was led by adequately suitable and impressive vehicles of the main sponsor, Bentley Wien, which has always been one of the highlights for the spectators and players themselves.

During the match for the 5th and 6th place between the teams Heldwein and Happy Horse, it soon became apparent that notwithstanding the excellent efforts of Nacho Brunetti and the captain Renate Seidler, the victory was going to belong to the Happy Horse team, 10-4. However, a far better result could have been possible for the Happy Horse team had they been more lucky in the preliminary rounds.

An exceptionally exciting game between the teams Glenfarclas and Tilman Kraus was to come for the numerous spectators – members of the former team included the polo manager Santiago Marambio, and highly experienced players: Robert Kofler and Farid Rifaat who replaced an injured player, Koko Kofler; starring in the latter team was the young and talented Emil Kraus, grandson of Baron Richard Drasche-Wartinberg, President of the Poloclub Schloss Ebreichsdorf. After the two immensely effort-taking and fair first chukkas, only the third revealed the winner. Santiago Marambio, Tete Storni and their no.1 Robert Kofler successfully scored four consecutive times. Although the spectators cheered deafeningly, Felix Beguerie and Agustin Maiquez from team Tilman Kraus did not manage to escape their fate.

After the long awaited, passionate performance of Argentine tango, the best was still to come – the final game of the Austrian Polo Open between the favourites, Bentley Wien and Power Horse. Walter Scherb’s and Octavio Olmedo’s superb defence could hardly be broken until the third chukka. Finally, the uniform efforts on the incredibly high level on the side of both teams weighed towards the 8-6 victory for the Bentley Wien team.

Once this emotional and high-level game had finished, Robert Szücs with his team repeated their last year’s achievement celebrating their success in the Austrian Polo Open with a thorough champagne shower for all. Moreover, the social aspect also came into the game and a generous donation was given to CliniClowns.

A tournament to celebrate the 25th anniversary which could not have turned out better. Dr Piero Dillier commented: “We are grateful for the past 25 years of the unwearied and passionate engagement in Austrian polo. We hope and wish the club, and above all, Baron Richard Drasche-Wartinberg, even more successful tournaments here in this wonderful polo club, which has earned its good name not only in Europe but also beyond its borders.”

Most Valuable Player: Walter Scherb (Power Horse)
Fair Play: Leon Hauptmann (Power Horse)
Best Playing Pony: Melon, geritten von Bautista Bayugar (Besitzer Robert Szücs, Bentley Wien)

Ranking:
#1 Bentley Wien (+12)
Robert Szücs (0)
Brad Rainford-Blackett (+2)
Fernando Miño (+4)
Bautista Bayugar (+6)

#2 Power Horse (+10)
Walter Scherb (+1)
Leon Hauptmann (0)
Octavio Olmedo (+3)
Joaquin Maíquez (+6)

#3 Glenfarclas (+12)
Robert Kofler (+1)
Farid Rifaat (0)
Juan J. Storni (+5)
Santiago C. Marambio (+6)

#4 Tilman Kraus (+12)
Emil Kraus (0)
Martin Magal (+1)
Felix Beguerie (+5)
Agustin Maíquez (+6)

#5 Happy Horse (+10)
Piero Dillier (0)
Andy Bihrer (0)
Juan I. Gonzales (+4)
Lucas Labat (+6)

#6 Heldwein (+10)
Renate Seidler (0)
Eugen Snachez (+1)
Ignacio Brunetto (+3)
Horacio F. Llorente (h) (+6)

Gallery:
Fotos © Christian Prandl/Perfectshot.at, designfunktion/photonews.at