Kitzbuhel, Austria – Jan. 15, 2018 – On a day of historical firsts, Bendura Bank won the 16th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbuhel 2018 with an impressive 10-6.5 victory over Engel & Volkers on Sunday.
In front of a packed house, the talented trio (Melissa Ganzi, 1, Tito Gaudenzi, 3, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8) won their Kitzbuhel debut tournament. Trailing 6.5-6 after three chukkers, Bendura Bank scored four goals in the final chukker to knock off Engel & Volkers (Kutlay Yaprak, 0, Augustin Kronhaus, 7, Adrian Laplacette Jr., 6).
Ganzi, president of Grand Champions Polo Club and USPA Florida Circuit Governor, made snow polo history for the second time in three years as the first woman to win the Kitzbuhel tournament. In 2016, she was the first woman to compete in the St. Moritz Snow Polo World Cup and first to make the 2017 final. She is also the first woman to win the St. Regis Snow Polo World Cup Aspen title as team captain of Flexjet.
“What a weekend we have had,” Ganzi said. “This win really tops it off. Following our loss to Engel & Volkers on opening day, we worked on our team skills, got to know the horses and honed our game plan. The hard work really paid off today. We can’t wait to take this perfect trio to St. Moritz next.”
Ganzi will return to the 34th St. Moritz Snow Polo World Cup for the third consecutive year on Jan. 26-28 along with Gaudenzi, Novillo Astrada and fourth player to be determined.
For Tito Gaudenzi, it was the second time he has been on the winning team in his seventh championship appearance in 16 years.
“What an amazing win with my amazing teammates,” said Gaudenzi, the event organizer. “We did it. The ground played amazingly well today. We knew we had a chance to reach the final. We went out and crushed it.”
After losing to Engel & Volkers in a close decision 6.5-6 on Day One, Bendura Bank rebounded with a big 10-4.5 win over Maserati on Day Two and earned a trip to the final.
In the subsidiary Kitzbuhel Country Club Cup, 2007 champions Corum ( Philip Sommer, 3, Lukas Sdrenka, 3, Patrick Maleitzke, 4) edged Maserati (Marc Aberle, 0, Caspar Crasemann, 4, Thomas Winter, 5.) for a thrilling 10.5-9 victory.