Sunshine, a summer breeze laced with the scent of wild roses and... polo! What more could you wish for?
The Tagmersheim Polo Cup was played out on 9th -11th June and I was able to chat to spectators between the games, some of them watching their first game of polo. They were enthralled by the intensity of this sport and fascinated by the agility of the ponies, having watched them being prepared for the game, standing quietly at the pony lines only to burst into action at the sound of the first chukker bell. There was big scoring too on the Saturday with Team Tagmersheim
(Annabel von Morgenstern, Sophie Jaenecke, Segundo Copello, Francisco Rattagan) defeating Team Oberbrunn (Richard Juls, Vincente Sarli, Felipe Dana, Nicanor Bruz) by 7 to 2 1/2. Annabel von Morgenstern was riding out on a bright-eyed little Dunn called Tee con Leche and quickly scored the first two goals for her team, going on to convert a penalty in the second chukker. Nicanor Bruz, the +4 player for Oberbrunn, tried to limit the damage using incredible physicality in his ride-offs, but was no match for the imposing combination of Copello and Rattagan.
Big scoring continued in the second game with Team Equicrown (Isabel von Morgenstern, Eva Brühl, Joaquin Copello, Benedikt Jaenecke) getting into the double figures 11goals to Team AHAA-Manufaktor (Coco Juls, Helwig Falch, Ismael Iraizoz, Raphael Oliveira) 5. Joaquin Copello created masses of space and set up Benedikt Jaenecke for thrilling runs to goal. Bene's a finisher - eagle-eyed with the pace to match. AHAA-Manufaktor looked a little untidy in the first two chukkers, but were building up nicely in the second half. They just needed a lot more goals and a bit more time.
Sunday, Crunch Day
The spectator area filled up quickly on the Sunday, everyone keen to get a spot field-side and sort themselves out with an Aperol or two before the games started. The intensity of the play was obvious by the number of polo mallets broken during both games.
In the first game between Equicrown and Oberbrunn, Joaquin Copello on Bruchita tore into the first chukker setting, the tone with his relentless performance and using his team's quality to overpower Oberbrunn 9 -31/2.
Now this game was good, but the crowd was ready for more. And they got it! The second game was the decider for the Tagmersheim Polo Cup 2023 and Team Tagmersheim, with two wins already, seemed on an unstoppable march towards victory. However, it was AHAA-Manufaktur that took the lead in the first chukker with Iraizoz and Oliveira tightening up their game and playing with the conviction needed to challenge Team Tagmersheim.
Always within a half goal of each other this game was intense! The crowd loved it. They were watching energy amplified, the players performing heroics, the quality of the incredible ponies and the speed, well, that was just off the scale! The final bell stopped the clock with Team Tagmersheim 8 to Team AHAA-Manukatur's 7 1/2. A cheering crowd greeted Team Tagmersheim as they left the field.
Team Tagmersheim - Annabel von Morgenstern, Sophia Jaenecke, Segundo Copello, Francisco Rattagan
Team Equicrown - Isabel von Morgenstern, Eva Brühl, Joaquin Copello, Benedikt Jaenecke
Team AHAA-Manufaktur - Coco Juls, Helwig Falch, Ismael Iraizoz, Raphael Oliveira
Team Oberbrunn - Richard Juls, Vincente Sarli, Felipe Dana, Nicanor Bruz
MVP Vincente Sarli
MVP Professional Francisco Rattagan
BPP Pampita played by Francisco Rattagan
Thank you, Tagmersheim. We'll all be back in September for the Oktoberfest Tournament.