St Moritz â€“ Wonderful polo for a worthy cause
With the finalists for the 26th St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow already decided from Fridayâ€™s results, day three of the tournament on Saturday provided the opportunity for teams to try out new tactics and pony combinations ahead of Sundayâ€™s two big showdowns.
In Saturdayâ€™s opening game, the main beneficiaries of the sidesâ€™ new approaches was certainly the two patrons. Maseratiâ€™s Philipp Maeder and Brioniâ€™s Amr Zedan scored six of the gameâ€™s 12 goals between them, including a number of excellent individual goals and well-taken penalties that their professionals would have been proud of. Brioni won 7-5, but Maeder was in buoyant mood after the match. â€œI had a lot of fun out there!â€ he declared over lunch in the VIP marquee, where he lapped up the plaudits of the appreciative Swiss crowd.
The dayâ€™s second game was also a treat for the spectators, as the two contenders for this yearâ€™s Mallet dâ€™Or trophy met for a dress rehearsal of Sundayâ€™s main event. Anxious not to exhaust their horses by playing them on the lake any longer than was necessary, they played out the tournamentâ€™s highest-scoring and most open encounter so far. With the pressure off, some of the gameâ€™s best players demonstrated their whole range of skills as Cartier snuck a narrow 8-7 victory. The stage is set for a thrilling finale.
Further interest was added for the spectators by the announcement early in the game that every Julius Baer goal would raise 1,000 Swiss Francs for The James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Fund, a charity set up by Clare Milford Haven and her ex-husband Nick Wentworth-Stanley following the sudden and untimely death of their son James in December 2006. The total raised was then boosted after the game, when a generous Julius Baer client agreed to double their total. Julius Baer scored seven goals (including two from Clareâ€™s husband George), raising CHF 14,000 in total for the worthy cause and giving plenty of reason to celebrate for the Julius Baer camp despite defeat.