Summer Vibes and Surprises at Swiss Low Goal
Believe it or not, a low goal round robin tournament can produce really good vibes, a relaxed atmosphere and absorbing entertainment. The Swiss Low Goal held at Polo Bern was an example of this. Martin Fewster, the experienced umpire from the UK, commented on the smoothness of the organization, the hospitality and the interest shown by players in improving their performance. He felt that umpires now being permitted to talk to the players on the field with calls of "clear", "use it" or "melee" has made for a tidier, cleaner game flow. Martin was also available up on the deck in front of the club house after the games, for more information or explanation. This is what Low Goal Tournaments are all about: learning, developing, taking responsibility and making power plays.
From the start Polo Club Zug's teams of Aline Harry, Vivi Sauter, Andrew Drummond and Janik Örtli was tipped as the potential winner of this tournament. And so it was. They were threatened slightly by Largovia Polo Club's team of Nicolas and Gabriel Eckenstien, Lauren Gabrin and Dominik Velazques, but maintained their composure to come in as winners of the Swiss Low Goal 2022. Janik Örtli demonstrated persistence and drive as key player for Team Zug, especially confident on his favorite pony, Reina, the 16 year old pony which has been with him throughout his polo career. His team was well balanced, with Aline Haerry deserving a special mention for her consistent attacking play.
In Team Largovia, Dominik Velazques punched some big shots up the field, but failed to find that all important gap between the goal posts. Team Largovia could never stretch clear of Team Zug. Young Nicolas Eckenstien, snapping up loose balls and going for the ride offs, showed how he had developed over the last season.
Team Polo Bern with Ann-Kathrin Brändle, Marcel Lanz, Chris Kiesel and Jobst Wagner, knew they had a tough road ahead as the lowest handicapped team in the tournament, and that they'd have to dig deep to make an impact. Chris Kiesel was rock-solid as his team's motor, creating opportunities that just struggled to be capitalised on, with his team mates really only finding their rhythm on the Sunday. His pony, Minette, was on incredible form with Chris explaining that when she hears the umpire's whistle she "gets serious". Ann-Kathrin Brändle could be seen gaining confidence and taking the ball out of the danger zone for her team.
Rock and Country
Polo Bern's heartfelt hospitality was displayed on the Saturday night at the asado held on the club house deck. With a cool drink in hand we were all set to watch the sun go down when the band, Dunon Lane, sprang into action, giving us an evening of everyone's favorite rock and country sound. They upped the atmosphere and Polo Bern was rocking! Whoops and cheers urged the band on to a few more numbers after the set program was done.
On Sunday the players, their families and friends grouped together at the club house for the prize-giving.
Both Jobst Wagner, Polo Bern's president, and the club manager, Chris Kiesel, gave short speeches, thanking the teams and the grooms. Prizes were then given.
Team Polo Club Zug
Team Largovia Polo
Team Polo Bern
MVP Laurenz Gabrin
Highest Goal Scorer Janik Örtli
BPP Ladina owned and played by
There was time for a few empanadas, a glass of homemade lemonade, and goodbyes all round. Until the next tournament.
Thank you, Polo Bern
special photo credit to Martina Bigler