by Margit Kotrosits
Last but not least – the final polo tournament of the jubilee season will long remain in the spectators’ and players’ minds. The incomparable grounds of the Ebreichsdorf castle had once more witnessed turbulent emotions, deafening chants, nearly overwhelming euphoria dances of happiness and game scenarios that could only be written by fate, but also bitter disappointments caused by amiss decisions on the field.
After their long years of absence, president Richard Drasche-Wartinberg could once again welcome Team Bavaria with Cornelius and August Grupp, Christopher Kirsch and Juan M. Sarli on the club’s grounds. The amazing performance of the team in the first round paid off with a victory over the later winners of the Cup, the Black Team led by Santiago Marambio (6,5-6). Moreover, their match against Renate Seidler (Team RS) also ended with an overpowering result (9-4,5). Nevertheless, the lucky streak did not continue and the German team left Austria bitterly defeated, holding 5th place overall. Team Niederweiden with their biggest treasure, “Morocho” – Fernandez Llorente, surprisingly secured their bronze in the Round Robin, a system of games that decided places 3, 4 and 5. A confident, stable performance of the patron Gerhard Hermann, and players Dieter Ehart and Anthony Caine was crucial to win against Renate Seidler and Bavaria.
The impassioned final game took place between the “homies” with Santiago Marambio, Emil Kraus, the president’s Richard Drasche grandson, Konstantin Rhomberg and Helmut Wieser against the well experienced team of Christoph Kerres with his son Benjamin, Martin Magal and Felu Beguerie.
Felu Beguerie’s outstanding leadership skills that helped him lead the team seemed hardly beatable after the first three chukkers. The intermediate result (4:1) in the third chukker carried away all the hopes for the first victory of the young Emil Kraus. It took Santiago Marambio a few spectacularly long and precise hits in the third and fourth chukker to break the remarkable defence of Christoph Kerres. The truly grand catch-up hunt was crowned by Emil Kraus’ and Helmut Wieser’s goals; the emotions peaked when Santiago Marambio galloped through the entire field in the last minute of the game…and scored. Such an impressive and imposing act was generously applauded by the public.
The electrifying victory of the “homies”, or Team Black, had a special meaning for the polo club in Ebreichsdorf and its president, Richard Drasche-Wartinberg. Namely, it was a symbolic marking of presence of the new polo playing generation, represented by the young and competent Emil Kraus. This became one more reason to celebrate the final day of the last polo tournament of the year with champagne and Pimms in the brightly shining sun! This season will certainly not be easy to erase from our memories, not after the numerous important events that we witnessed!
Most valuable player: “Morocho” Fernandez Llorente
Fair play: Christoph Kerres
Best playing pony: Misteriosa (played and owned by Santiago Marambio)
Photos © Christian Prandl / perfectshot.at