All photos by Tony Ramirez/Worldpolo.
Team CBC Sport/Elite Horse & Polo Club (Baku, Azerbaijan) has won the arena polo final in Baku by defeating Team Azersun/Evviva Polo Club (St. Moritz, Switzerland) with a very clear and deserved result of 11,5 – 5.
It was a rush of a final at the 5th CBC Sport Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan at the Elite Horse & Polo Club in Baku. The teams played in front of an enthusiastic crowd that enjoyed an awesome polo weekend. Fast and clever polo, thrilling matches and with Elchin Jamalli (+4) a captain of the winning team, who is not only the heroe of the day but was also awarded “Most Valuable Player” of the tournament.
The two finalists had both won their first encounters of the tournament on Friday. Saturday they met again, and the Azeri local Team CBC Sport emerged already victorious with 7,5 – 4.
In the subsidiary final for the third place Team Improtex Motors/Grand Champions Polo Club (Palm Beach, USA) met Team Pasha Private Banking/Monte-Carlo Polo Team (Monte-Carlo, Monaco). Both teams featured a competitive encounter.
Finally the Americans from Improtex Motors were able to take their chances and end up with 6,5 – 3 against the English with Teamcaptain Rommy Gianni.
2017 the CBC Sport Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan entered the stage in a new appearance as the organisers Bahruz Nabiyev of the Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan Republic (ARAF) and Reto Gaudenzi and his team of Worldpolo presented the tournament with a significant bigger VIP area and glamorous new look.
With CBC Sport a great title sponsor features the polo venue and provides a live coverage of all the matches on the Azeri TV with millions of viewers. Official Supplier is again the world-renowned polo fashion brand La Martina from Argentina.
As in 2016, the glamorous „Baku Moritz Night“ at the Elite Horse & Polo Club Event Hall on Saturday night, featured an impressive range of artists, the Symphonic Orchestra of Azerbaijan and a unique cooperation with the legendary Badrutt’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz and the local catering of the Elite Horse & Polo Club Bina.
General Elcin Guliyev, President of the ARAF was very delighted to welcome the international polo community for the fifth time in the vibrant city of Baku. The tournament, which was launched to be held under the motto “polo is coming home” in 2013 is now at a point of huge international interest and awareness.
“Due to the fact, that Azerbaijan State and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, have paid great attention to the development of sports in our country, we are now facing a formation of fertile conditions – also for the sport of polo.
The victory of the Azeri team at the Arena Polo Championship in 2015 was the first continental championship in the sports history of Azerbaijan. I would like to express my deep gratitude to all sponsors and organizational staff, who supported the tournament and worked with great energy and competence in order to present the competition on the highest level.”
Organizer Reto Gaudenzi from World Polo considers the recent issue of the CBC Sport Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan as „the best ever“. Polo nation Azerbaijan is about to become a „new polo force in Europe“. „We are very much looking forward to the next year’s issue of the CBC Sport Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan and are excited to host the European Polo Championship on grass in 2020.“
About polo in Azerbaijan
In 2013 the unique sport of polo was brought back to Azerbaijan, as one of its origin countries, where the traditional polo version Shovgan was played over the centuries. Since 2013 Bahruz Nabijev of the Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan Republic (ARAF) together with World Polo of Reto Gaudenzi and his team create and set up this highly successful arena polo tournament. Thanks to General Elcin Gulijev, President of ARAF, and his visionaries of a new polo era in his country, the modern sport of polo was raised from zero to a remarkable international level in Azerbaijan during the last five years. After hosting the first ever FIP Arena Polo European Championship in 2015, the ARAF-Elite Horse & Polo Club now presents the 5. CBC Sport Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan. Following the huge success of the tournament, the vibrant city of Baku has been awarded for the FIP Grass Polo European Championship in 2020. Therefore two full-size grass polo fields have been built in Azerbaijan.