by Mag. Margit Kotrosits
Magnificent scenery with a castle bathed in sunlight, fields that could not have been prepared better, exemplary Austrian hospitality with a romantic bonfire within the boundaries of the colonnaded temple in the park; all this followed by a traditional Austrian barbecue featuring brass music and most importantly, the exciting polo games with players and ponies in their top form – this is what characterises the Summer Cup in Ebreichsdorf. A traditional tournament that takes place in the first two weeks of July has long established its position in the calendar; with eight teams competing every year, it has again proven its unbreakable popularity.
The prosperous Summer Cup found its winner after a heart-stopping final game – Julia Hiebeler and her team H3 Polo Passion confirmed their position as top players after a match against Renate Seidler’s team. An encounter that had taken place for the second time – on the first day of the qualifications, Renate Seidler’s triumph was clear, yet the day of the final game, and indeed the last minutes, brought about a change in fate – a happy ending for the German team.
The final day was also the day of an accordant end for the Power Horse team whose captain, Walter Scherb, gained valuable experience through playing with Robert Kofler and Martin Bleier – a preparation for the upcoming European Championships. The third place in the Subsidiary Cup against the Slovakia team was of least concern (8:4,5); however, this was an example of significantly better teamwork in the game.
Eva Brühl, one of the first members of the Polo Club Schloss in Ebreichsdorf went back to her roots, as it was here where her passion for polo started. One witnessed her very emotional reunion with the host and president Richard Drasche, who drew everybody’s attention to the remarkable level she achieved meanwhile – this could be seen in her final game of the Subsidiary Cup alongside Eva Marquard, Jürgen Kargen and Pedro Fernandez Llorente. The team from Niederweiden Polo Club had to acknowledge themselves beaten by the Los Doctores team (4,5:7).
Leon Hauptmann, one of the talented young players from the Ebreichsdorf Polo Club missed his entry to the finals only by a narrow margin due to an unfavourable difference in the number of goals against Renate Seidler’s team. Also the game for the third place could be singled out for its emotional and thrilling value. The team from Ebreichsdorf led by unparalleled Santiago Marambio only lost in the last twenty seconds of the closing chukker when Abel Flamenco scored the ultimate goal – (5:6); Chateau Nine Peaks were on a streak that day.
An extraordinary final was awaited, and indeed, the high class, electrifying game met everyone’s expectations. Federico Rooney from H3 Polo Passion was outstandingly effective from the first minute, similarly to Julia Hiebeler, who impressively outperformed her -1 handicap. Felu Beguerie with his ‘Best Playing Pony’ named Chocolate, Nacho Brunetti, Joe Reinhard and the team captain, Renate Seidler fought unbroken. The excitement in the air was nearly tangible. The last minutes seemed to have stretched endlessly. It was precisely the extraordinary intensity and speed present in the game that fascinates people and continues to draw crowds.
With the final result of 8:7,5, H3 Polo Passion became the victors of the Summer Cup. Renate Seidler, a proud finalist, was awarded the title of “Fair Player”, while the title of “Most Valuable Player” added icing to Julia Hiebeler’s already considerable achievement.