Team Bendura Bank take the prize at Snow Polo World Cup 2018 in Kitzbühel
Snow exciting! Team Bendura Bank takes win the Snow Polo World Cup 2018 in Kitzbühel
The Sport of Kings was cooler than ever at the 16th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel event that ran on Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 January. Expert players were on fine form at the prestigious polo competition, which livened up the snow-covered pitch with a line up of thunderous matched across the weekend.
Snow polo is identical in teams and rules to traditional lawn polo – the differences lie in the specially bred horses, slightly larger balls, and the dangerous icy surface on which it is played. Usually on the frozen lakes of European destinations such as Kitzbühel and St Moritz, the extreme sport is a thrilling way to add colour to the already high-octane game. >>
This year's cup saw the the return of long-standing sponsors as well as new teams entering the fray. 2017 winning team Corum were back to defend their title – with the same line up and support of Swiss watchmakers Corum – while luxury design firm Bernd Gruber entered a team of their own for the ninth year running. Their competitors included Engel & Völkers, Polo Club Kitzbühel and Maserati, while host sponsors Bendura Bank fought their way to the top spot, winning the 2018 trophy.
Event organiser and Bendura Bank team player Tito Gaudenzi said, “Each year this tournament gets better and better, with both the calibre of the players and the ponies improving year on year. With the addition of the Bendura Bank team to this year’s competition, it is set to be the best Snow Polo World Cup yet and we can’t wait to get started.”
One of the stars of the show was Polo Club Kitzbühel player Valentin Novillo Astrada, who said: “The plan for every match is to win – to keep the play open and free, as Steffi Von Pock, Eduardo Anca and Marty van Scherpenzeel are really strong opponents.” Snow polo launched in 1985 at the world premiere of a polo tournament on snow on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. What began on the snow of St. Moritz more than 30 years ago sparked a worldwide trend; today, snow polo is played all over world including Aspen, Cortina in Italy and even Tianjin in China. During these intense matches, total concentration, dexterity, courage and endurance are all elements required from the players just as much as from their horses.