Nestled among the picture postcard hills, in the north of Switzerland, the final of the Zürich Championship Medium Goal took place at Polo Park Zürich. For the 14th year running, the tournament founded and sponsored by Equilibrium patron Daniel Aegerter for both professionals and amateur players alike, rallied a cheery crowd of polo enthusiasts to watch spectacular play.
The match for fifth and sixth place began promptly at 10am, like a reliable Swiss watch. Luck was in for Equilibrium, who have previously won the Championship title over a handful of times, as they won their match 7 – 3 against Wascosa landing them fifth place.
BIO-R took on Banque Havilland for third and fourth spots, and in a very close match, BIO-R secured their place against Banque Havilland 5 goals to 4.
After two surprisingly competitive matches, and with Los Lobos seeking to defend their 2018 title, the final was set to be a nail biting one!
The first chukka set off at an exploding pace, and despite many players testing their ponies jumping skill over the boards, play was forward, fast and action packed. Great defense came from Los Lobos, who were undoubtedly seeking another win. However, when 2 goaler Roberto Rochelle had his chance, he played a faultless nearside forehand off the sideboards, and with a gentle tap in the direction of home, he clinched the first goal for team Grāff Capital.
Confident from their first chukka, Grāff Capital landed themselves very close to goal within opening seconds of the second chukka, only to be defended by Sébastien Le Page, Los Lobos. Play picked up speed, and the first 60 yard penalty was given to Los Lobos, converting it to their first goal, bringing the score even against Grāff Capital.
After yet another brief pony exchange, with both teams ensuring to not overheat their ponies, the third chukka was well underway. During the third minute, a further penalty awarded to Los Lobos resulted in another goal, bringing the score to 2 – 1. Facundo Kelly gained full ownership of the ball, and at speeds of over 30mph, and team Grāff Capital too far behind, he granted himself the opportunity to score the third goal for Los Lobos, closing the chukka on 3 – 1.
In the opening of the last chukka, Roberto demonstrated yet again how to score, and with the help of father and son duo Markus and Thommy Grāff defending off Los Lobos, Roberto notched a further two goals for Grāff Capital, making the game even. The coveted Zurich Championship was all to play for! Los Lobos had yet another opportunity with a 60 yard penalty, and Pierandrea Müller secured a much needed fourth goal. In a last minute attempt, Thommy Grāff, ridden off fiercely by Martin Podesta, travelled full speed down the pitch in hope of success, but time was up for Grāff Capital, as Los Lobos defended their title, winning the game 4 – 3.
After an exceptionally hot day for the 14th edition of this tournament, the players celebrated in the usual fashion, with a champagne shower, and guests enjoyed an afternoon Asado, in the much-needed shade of the clubhouse.
by: Rebecca Ponzio
1st Los Lobos
2nd Grāff Capital
4th Banque Havilland
6th Wascosa Polo
Photo: Rebecca Ponzio