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Zürich International Polo Ladies Cup

The winning team for Super League: Katja Grauwiler, Lucie Venot, Morgan Van Overbroek, Ann-Kathrin Brändle. © Nati Levi

The weather was perfect for celebrating our 25th anniversary in style. Despite a high number of accidents earlier in the season, leading to fewer participants, we were able to have games both days with two teams in each section, and the competition was intense.

On Saturday morning, the weather was dry as we kicked off with the high goal game, where Ursi Bettio and Ann-Kathrin Brändle made their debut at this level. The local team Los Lobos dominated the game against Polo Club Zug, with players covering each other and Ann-Kathrin Brändle making some impressive plays. In the challenge league, Hato St. Moritz, led by the Strub sisters, established dominance early on and maintained their lead against the team captained by Janique Spillmann.

It rained the entire Saturday afternoon, part of Sunday night, and at sunrise, drops were still falling from the sky. We knew we would play. We all had faith. We knew the field could handle it and let us play the final games just as they should, with strength and power.

45 minutes before the first game, the rain stopped. We gave an extra 30 minutes for the field to absorb the rain, and the challenge league got on their saddles, ready for the final.

In a much more disputed game, team Aegerter Wines, featuring two ladies with just a few months of polo experience, heartfully defended its ground, pushing the ball forward. Unfortunately, they couldn’t score enough goals and had to concede to the better-organized team HATO St. Moritz. Polo is a complete sport, and some lessons are harsh – and this may be why the after polo party is even better!

Time for the women of the Super League to mount up and get onto the polo field. The party has already started at the clubhouse, with many friends and family coming to watch and cheer for their favorite players. The teams in red and blue are facing off, ready to compete. The game starts with the throw-in, which ends up in the mallet of Sammy-Joe Strub. Her horse knows exactly what to do, and Sammy-Joe flies to score the first goal of the game, leaving Los Lobos completely surprised. The red team regains their fighting spirit, and despite a slow and disorganized first chukka, they manage to score 2 more goals. Fast runs and beautiful backhanders from Lucie Venot in defense, along with Katja Grauwiler‘s quick movements, keep the game moving forward. In the second chukka, Ursi Bettio grabs the ball and runs for the goal, hitting a long and transversal shot that impresses even her opponents.

However, the score continues to tilt in favor of Los Lobos, with Polo Club Zug suffering a bit of bad luck. Katja Grauwiler and Ann-Kathrin Brändle score one after the other, sealing the victory for their team. It was ultimately the teamwork that led Los Lobos to their win – an impeccable job executed with mastery, everyone holding their position and playing strong, physically and mentally. Although Polo Club Zug lost, their game was swift and the horses performed excellently. Aline Haerry‘s mare Cheta, 7 years old, won the award for Best Playing Pony. While Anja Gutbrot scored the last goal of the game with an impossible angle.

After 3 years, the trophy has returned to the local team, allowing all players to celebrate together the 25th anniversary of empowering women in polo.

Text by Polo Park Zürich
Pictures by Nati Levi

Winners Challenge League: Nadia Paneva, Claudia Ide, Shiva-Cosma Strub, Sue-Ann Strub. © Nati Levi
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