Gripping and emotionally charged games of polo between women’s and men’s teams were played this past weekend at Wallerstein Castle, but the three women’s teams dominated from the start of the tournament and gave little chance to their respective male counterparts. At the end Team Tagmersheim with Lucy Taylor, Isabel Beyer von Morgenstern, Polina Nazarowa and Elya Duissemaliyev, which improved their team play from game to game, took first place. A close second place was taken by Team Prime Places with Eva Brühl, who dominated her games, despite heavy game inflicted bruises and a swollen lip. Third place went to “Girls Only”, the team of the host and her daughter.
Whilst the teams’ handicaps appeared quite balanced on paper, the women’s teams with the English players Sara Wiseman (+2), which played tactically clever on strong Tomlinson horses, Lucy Taylor (+1) and their German counterpart Eva Brühl (+2), had the strongest single players in their ranks and made life very hard for their male opponents. They coordinated the games, organized their teams, played tactically clever and in accordance to the rules. This time ladies didn’t play against each other – as so often in the Girls Only Cup Wallerstein – but against three men’s teams. “Our goal was to benchmark the level of the ladies’ polo in Wallerstein,” so Princess Anna Oettingen-Wallerstein, “but also to have fun and to promote the international polo network.”
Players arrived from India, England, Russia, Austria, Dubai, Singapore and Spain in Wallerstein. “,The Wallerstein’s’ set foot on new ground with this unique format and the euphoric mood on and next to the field gave them right,” said Sarah Wiseman. The expectations of the first “battle of the sexes” on the polo field have been met fully, if not exceeded, so that all female players want to come again next year. “If the male teams want to compete again is still questionable,” Prince Carl-Eugen says with a grin.
The referee from England, Col. Justin Stanhope-White (Chairman HPA coaching Committee) led the games with much skill, experience and sense of humour, keeping emotions at bay. On Saturday evening, a magnificent dinner on the castle grounds was held for all players, grooms and guests. Sitting at the fireplace with a glass of red wine, tempers calmed down quickly and there was still hope on the men’s side to turn the tables on the last tournament day.
One of the most exciting games on the final Sunday was the game between “Girls Only” and “Boys Only”. An open and fast game, in which the lead changed back and forth, but in the end the men’s team won – are rare victory that weekend. “Most games were really fascinating for the spectators” says Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein, “but the game against my wife and daughter made me anxious. I didn’t want to lose face not too much, thus I’m glad we managed to ride off the pitch as winners with quite some relief,” he adds with a smile.
Jan Kiesel (New Zealand) accompanied the games as a commentator with expertise, but above all with a lot of wit, on the final Sunday. “If women compete against men in such a tournament it’s already enough material for entertainment suspense. But when couples compete against one another, or father against daughter, it is easy for me as a commentator to inspire the spectators.”
MVP was jointly awarded to three players: Lucy Taylor, Sarah Wiseman and Eva Brühl, since these women were the driving forces and architect of the three dominant women’s teams. Thus clearly demonstrating what level ladies’ polo has reached in Wallerstein. Eva Brühl’s mare, “Jessica”, was awarded Best Playing Pony.
Further tournaments in Wallerstein:
Princess Delia Cup, 6 – 8 June 2014
Wallerstein Cup, 18 – 20 July 2014
Fürst Wallerstein Beer Cup, 26 -28 September 2014
1st Tagmersheim (-1)
Elya Duissemaliyeva (-1)
Isabel Beyer von Morgenstern (-1)
Polina Nazarowa (0)
Lucy Taylor (+1)
2nd Prime Places (+1)
Dr. Sabine Schaffer (-1)
Barbara Huber (0)
Prof. Claudia Zeisberger (0)
Eva Brühl (+2)
3rd Girls Only (0)
Yoanna Otto (-1)
Anna Oettingen-Wallerstein (-1)
Christine Thomé (0)
Sarah Wiseman (+2)
4th Boys Only (-1)
Don Cristobal Mendez de Vigo (-2)
Prof. Dr. Ingo Beyer von Morgenstern (0)
Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein (0)
Tom Small (+1)
5th La Sophia (+1)
Bernhard Schurzmann (0)
Dr. Philipp Kampshoff (0)
Sunjay Kapur (0)
Joachim Feller (+1)
6th Cobra (0)
Kim Grabosch (-1)
Joe Reinhard (0)
Reinhold Hofmann (0)
Jürgen Kager (+1)