Winning Team: Bentley Wien: Santiago Marambio, Marcelo Caivano, Mani Boni und Robert Kofler.
The day of the finals reached its first highlight with the matches for places 3, 4, and 5, played off between the teams of Szigeti, Wyhnalek, and Hämmerle. Wyhnalek, as always brilliantly led by Horacio F. Llorente, was permanently challenged to ward off Martin Magal’s attacks and break through Hämmerle patron Christoph Kerres’s effective defence – to no avail. Hämmerle remained unimperiled and, bursting with energy after its deserved victory over Wyhnalek, also managed to prevail over Szigeti and secure third place, in spite of Szigeti’s excellently playing pros Fernando Mino and Edgardo Llambi.
The highly anticipated final between Bentley Wien (Santiago Marambio, Robert Kofler, Marcelo Caivano, Mani Boni) and Happy Horse (Renate Seidler, Ignacio Brunetti, Bautisty Bayugar, Dieter Ehart) held the promise of a tremendously exciting duel between the experienced pro Santi Marambio and the 20-year-old Bautista Bayugar, a highly talented rising star.
However, with the rain becoming harder and harder, the tournament organisers unfortunately saw themselves forced to cancel the match and determine the winner in a penalty shoot-out (30 and 40 yards). It was a decision rightly taken for the benefit of the safety of both ponies and players.
Now it was a matter of keeping their cool for the two patrons of the respective teams, Robert Kofler and Manu Boni (Bentley Wien) on the one hand, and Renate Seidler and Dieter Ehart (Happy Horse) on the other. Under lout shouts of encouragement, Bentley Wien succeeded in clinching the coveted title, which they subsequently celebrated fittingly with a champagne shower. Robert Kofler emerged as Best Amateur Player, and the prize for Best Playing Pony, taken by Santi Marambio’s “Complot”, also went to Bentley Wien.
Photo credit: Christian Prandl