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T H E E X C L U S I V E M O N T H LY P U B L I C AT I O N A B O U T T H E G O O D L I F E I N G S TA A D Friday 27 August 2010 Page 1

Friday 27 August 2010 - Issue 7 - CHF 3.50 excl VAT

IN-DEPTH ARTICLE

Progress at the Grand Hotel Alpina

MAGAZINE

Exclusively Yours

LOCAL PERSONALITY

Pierre E. Genecand ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

· Saanen Village, History continues to unfold · Chalberhöni update · Interview with

Equestrio/Caterina Vagnozzi

Pierre Yves Blatt of the Grand Hotel Park · Exclusive products from the Saanenland feature · Bushido


16406_206x289_Gstaad_Life_touG_e.indd 1

30.06.10 14:21


Friday 27 August 2010 Page 3

Contents Letter from the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 In-depth article Update on the development of the Grand Hotel Alpina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Feature Fine antiques contemporary art & design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Molkerei Gstaad-Saanen. . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Staub home and intérieur Gstaad . . . . .7 Creamy Alpine Milk Ices for refreshing summer treats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Local News Homemade from Rougemont . . . . . . . .8 Rotary Club Gstaad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Mountain water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 “IG Reitwege” in search of new bridle paths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Across the desk with Toni Knecht It’s all Greek to me! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Information on the construction of the Chalberhönistrasse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Events Events calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Local News 4th GYC Classic car rally & yachting 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Saanen, the history continues . . . . . . . .13 Column Gstaad Les Bains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Local Personality A lifetime of equestrian commitment . . .15

UPFRONT GSTAADLIFE IS AVAILABLE IN THESE HOTELS ***** GSTAAD PALACE: +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE: +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL PARK: +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch ***** WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL ERMITAGE-GOLF: +41 (0)33 748 60 60, ermitagegolf@ermitage-gstaad.ch **** HOTEL ALPENROSE: +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch **** GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD: +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch **** GRAND CHALET: +41 (0)33 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL: +41 (0)33 748 43 43, www.arc-en-ciel.ch

Letter from the Editor - Horse-trading The face of Switzerland’s federal government is set for change in the coming autumn with the resignation of two cabinet members. Political campaigning has already begun for the two vacant positions, which are both expected to open up in October. Social democrat cabinet minister Moritz Leuenberger announced recently that he would be stepping down earlier than he initially announced. His move coincides with that of finance minister Hans–Rudolf Merz a member of the radical party, who has decided to retire. At issue is the balance of power in the cabinet, which has so far resisted tilting towards the camp of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP). The SVP, which has promoted anti-foreigner policies, commands the most seats in parliament but only one of its members - defence minister Ueli Maurer - is in the seven-seat government. The party is clamouring to secure another seat after its

leader, billionaire businessman Christoph Blocher, failed to win election in 2007. Moderates, including Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, currently justice minister, left the SVP to form the Conservative Democratic Party - after the SVP moved further to the right. Widmer-Schlumpf’s fledgling party lost cabinet representation when Samuel Schmid resigned in 2008, to be replaced by the SVP’s Maurer, and it does not have the wide base of support enjoyed by other mainstream parties. The Socialists currently have two seats in the cabinet, along with the Radicals, while the SVP, Conservative Democrats and the Christian Democrats each have one. Merz received praise for his stewardship of government finances, overseeing a small budget surplus last year despite the recession. However he came under fire in 2009, when he was Swiss president, for his handling of ties with Libya. The Socialists are keen on replacing Leuenberger with one

of their own. Leuenberger has been a member of the cabinet for 15 years and was set to become president for the third time in 2011. In addition to the ambitions of the SVP, the Green party, which made advances in the last parliamentary elections, also aims at seizing a seat from the socialists. Analysts believe the socialist party will remain in the driver’s seat if a replacement for Leuenberger is voted for first because he has more seniority than Merz. It appeared that Merz’s plan to resign in October, ahead of Leuenberger, was a bid to seek advantage for his party. The situation reflects the balance of power jostling between the major parties that has traditionally kept the Swiss government system of consensual decisionmaking in place. Now the political horse-trading begins in earnest.

**** HOTEL BERNERHOF.: +41 (0)33 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch **** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA: +41 (0)33 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch **** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, gstaaderhof@gstaad.ch **** CHALET HOTEL HORNBERG: +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch **** HOTEL OLDEN: +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com **** HOTEL STEIGENBERGER: +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch *** HOTEL ALPENLAND: +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch *** HOTEL ALPHORN: +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@gstaad-alphorn.ch *** HOTEL ALPINE LODGE: +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch *** HOTEL BELLERIVE: +41 (0)33 748 88 33, bellerive-gstaad@bluewin.ch *** HOTEL KERNEN: +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch *** HOTEL LANDHAUS: +41 (0)33 748 40 40, landhaus-saanen@bluewin.ch *** HOTEL SAANERHOF: +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch *** HOTEL SOLSANA: +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch *** HOTEL SPITZHORN: +41 (0)33 748 41 41, hotel@spitzhorn.ch *** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI: +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA: +41 (0)33 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch *** Z'LOFT HOTEL: +41 (0)33 744 69 69, info@zloft.ch

Best wishes Peter Sonnekus-Williams Editor in Chief

GSTAAD LIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, E-Mail: info@gstaadlife.ch, Website: www.gstaadlife.ch Management Board: Frank Müller, Peter Sonnekus-Williams Publisher: Frank Müller frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch; Editor in Chief: Peter Sonnekus-Williams peter.sonnekus@gstaadlife.ch; Project Management and content coordination: Sanet Sonnekus-Williams Columnist: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos Translations: Michele Hoffman Editorial: Anita Moser, Martin Hefti, Peter Sonnekus-Williams Polygraph Team: Sven Köhler and Jonas Bach Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider peter.kuntze@gstaadlife.ch, phone 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Fabienne Koitka tel. 033 748 88 74

HOTEL BÄREN: +41 (0)33 755 10 33, hotel@baerengsteig.ch HOTEL GELTENHORN: +41 (0)33 765 30 22, F: +41 (0)33 765 32 31 HOTEL SANETSCH: +41 (0)33 755 10 10, F: +41 (0)33 755 18 11 HOTEL VIKTORIA: +41 (0)33 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch HOTEL WILDHORN: +41 (0)33 765 30 12, hotel@wildhorn.ch


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Friday 27 August 2010 Page 5

IN-DEPTH ARTICLE

BY PETER SONNEKUS-WILLIAMS

The 20,000 m2 building site for the five-star hotel The Grand Hotel Alpina, which will have 120 beds and 11 condominiums, aimed at the topluxury segment of the market and is well underway. This hotel complex together with three separate chalets comprising of an apartment building with three luxury apartments and two detached single-family houses, make up the entire construction exercise. Marcel says, “The chalets will all have the option of the hotel facilities and services. This delivers a level of exclusivity and privacy, with the added benefits of a world-class service. There are an increasing number of stars, celebrities and high-income people that favor such privacy with service ethic. A lot of new high end hotel projects in the world are configuring their offer in this way now.” “The construction of the Grand Hotel Alpina is probably the biggest project the Saanenland has ever seen. On average, 110 people work daily at the construction site. During the ex-

pansion phase in 2011 this number will increase to 400,” says Marcel. “A smooth work process is assured by the five-member project management team, Andreas von Grünigen and Cornelia Beyer (Chaletbau Matti), Elisabeth Wampfler and Urs Kunz (Jaggi & Partners AG), and Michael Zwygart (Egger Ingenieure AG.) who form the project management team. Together with myself, this is the core of the more than 30-member project team,” adds Marcel. Regarding the new owners to come Marcel says, “The two family houses have been sold, as well as many of the apartments in the hotel. Still to be decided is who the hotels management operator will be.“ Being an exclusive top luxury segment hotel means that there is only a small number of candidates suitable for this prestigious task. Further the planned ambiance of a cozy top luxury alpine hotel will not be compromised and this makes it even more special. This further shortens the list of possible operators. We are considering our options in this regard and will choose very carefully. “ Completion still set for summer 2012. Early this year in January, the concrete shell structure installations in the basement and the ground floor commenced. Urs Kunz says,”The construction work for the hotel will certainly continue through September / October 2010. Around the end of October the hotel should be fully erected and by November 2010 the roof finished and in place.” “The roof structures are actually built on the ground, then raised by crane and put in place,” adds Kunz. “This is a slow

Ms. Elisabeth Wampfler: Project Manager, Co-ordination Hotel and Mr. Urs Kunz: Project Manager, Construction Hotel Photos: Jaggi und Partner AG

According to Marcel Bach, the development of the SFr 300m Grand Hotel Alpina, a project initiated by French businessman Jean - Claude Mimran and himself, is progressing according to plan. There has been no set backs due to the erratic weather that has made up the summer weather pattern so far. Marcel and his partner, suppliers and all those involved in the project are looking forward to this coming November, when the roof of the hotel will be fitted. At this time neighbors and the general public will be invited to the site to share in the celebration of the occasion.

Photo: Sanet Sonnekus-Williams

Update on the development of the Grand Hotel Alpina

and delicate process, where good weather is essential. Rain is ok, but early snow would cause complications,” Kunz concludes. “In 2011 the interior will follow. If everything continues to go according to plan,” says Elisabeth Wampfler. “The hotel rooms are between 40 and 60 m2 in size, and most of the suites are 100 m2. The luxurious spa area in the first basement covers a total area of 2’000 m2. There is a steady engagement with spa and hotel development specialists on the project who are monitoring the progress and collaborating to determine the ideal outcome,” adds Wampfler. An underground world below the hotel and an earthquake considerate construction. “The Alpina area is being developed with an underground traffic plan. There won’t be any above-ground

parking and no car will be visible on the area,” informs Marcel. “The two underground garages will offer 180 parking spaces - one for the hotel and one for the private homeowners. The entire underground infrastructure features two traffic circles, one leading to the private chalets and one to delivery – and is accessible for cars and trucks. This is something unique and will be a first for the Saanenland,” says Marcel. Unpleasant surprises have not occurred on the Alpina site so far. “The soil is good, nothing unforeseen has been revealed,” says Michael Zwygart. But there are plenty of challenges for the engineers considering the size, height and utilization. “The Alpina project exists since 1996. In 2003 the Bernese Oberland was zoned into the second highest earthquake zone. This means that houses and hotels have to be built earthquake proof,” says Zwygart.


FEATURE

Friday 27 August 2010 Page 6

FINE ANTIQUES, CONTEMPORARY ART AND DESIGN Urs von Unger, antiquaire and decorator, has transformed his store into a mecca for lovers of selected antiques from the 17th to 20th century as well as of exclusive contemporary furniture. Selected Antiques In the era of 17th to 19th century original mirrors, the store is one of the best addresses in Switzerland. Collectors of fine 18th and 19th century furniture will find rare unique pieces at Urs von Unger’s. The palette is topped off by selected objects from the 1920s to the 1970s. The oldest objects in the shop are a collection of petrified wood, millions of years old, that can be used as side tables or stools. Unique design The captivatingly beautiful candle-

sticks made of rock crystal are a superb match to the interior of a chalet. The concrete consoles and coffee tables can be customized in size and colour at the client’s desire. Side tables, commodes and consoles from the most diverse materials like steel, brass, bronze and selected timber, processed in combination with parchment, leather, slate and cast resin let the imagination run free.

in the historical “Kleines Landhaus”, the gallery will be closed. For further information do not hesitate to contact Urs von Unger.

Urs von Unger Kleines Landhaus, Hauptstrasse 71 Saanen/Gstaad phone +41 (0)33 744 44 11

With its pristine flavour it gains big sales all over Switzerland and across the border. Its little brothers and sisters with the unique tart herb crust are enjoyed more and more by our customers.

What we do for you? The dairy Gstaad-Saanen focuses on the future and strives continuously to realize new ideas in order to offer its customers (almost) unlimited possibilities!

Customized interior solutions Urs von Unger’s longstanding experience, professionalism as well as his sophisticated sense of detail and his exquisite taste in the conception of overall interior solutions, are highly appreciated by his international clientele. In the coming months, due to the completion of the restoration works

Molkerei Gstaad-Saanen Who are we? We are an innovative, motivated manufacturer seeking to produce a regional “Pure Natural” product with our Saanen Premium Ice Creams. Our products are preservative free. We offer our customers a wide selection of exquisite Saanen Premium Ice Creams. Have you tasted our famous “Saanenmüntschi”? If not, it’s worth the sin! The ice cream is made exclusively with local products as well as certified mountain milk. The fresh milk is delivered to us daily from the local farmers. Their cows live in a happy environment and eat juicy, herbrich, aromatic grass in the Alps or in the valley of the Saanenland. The milk is therefore “fresh from the cow” and will be processed immediately at the operation site in Saanan after delivery from the farm.

The dairy Gstaad-Saanen is particularly proud of the expansion of its offerings: in the coming season we will be offering new lactose-free ice creams. What else do we offer? Our mountain milk is not only milk! The discerning clientele appreciates the regional pasteurized milk because it is healthy and good! Our home made yoghurts are becoming more and more popular amongst our clientele. In the Gstaad dairy at 1’050 meters above sea level the Gstaad mountain cheese is made every day - a real rustic cheese - made with fresh mountain milk without silage. The cheese is winning popularity every day thanks to its unmistakable character. With age, its aroma becomes more divine.


Friday 27 August 2010 Page 7

FEATURE

Staub home and intérieur Gstaad The famous MERIDIANI brand is stocked at Staub Intérieur in Gstaad, which is known for a wide variety of beautiful and high quality furniture for your home in Gstaad and the Saanenland. MERIDIANI was established in 1996 from a simple yet passionate idea of Laura Ferraro Crosti, wife

of Renato Crosti, owner of the company. The mission was to conceive, design, and distribute a new home collection distinguished by exquisite style.

pieces that can be placed near other design and ethnic artefacts or antiques. It is a timeless collection, yet it is always up-to-date.

Meridiani interprets classic themes and tradition with contemporary style. www.staub-gstaad.ch

MERIDIANI is a certified, 100 percent made in Italy collection, characterized by a recognizable lifestyle; it offers versatile single

A distinguished style and identity, an inspiring new classic that leaves space for personal interpretation without giving in to short-lived trends.

The simple and pure lines, the constant research for new textures and finishes suggest a new idea of luxury, a sophisticated yet natural and relaxed way of living everyday life

Mountain Ice Cream: Creamy Alpine Milk Ices for refreshing summer treats Fantastic flavors from the Gstaad region: Mountain ice cream - made with pure and unadulterated milk from grass-fed cows in the GstaadSaanenland region, according to traditional methods by gifted ice cream manufacturer Beat Locher. He has already made a name for himself with his mouth-watering ices and sorbets and devised roughly 140 recipes.

Delicious organic ice cream needs no additives: Alpine milk, butter, yoghurt and cream from local dairy farmers are use to make this premium ice cream. Only organic fruit purees and flavors are added to make the refreshing sorbets. A satisfactory shelf life can be achieved even without preservatives. In our opinion, the only foods that improve with age are wine and cheese. Setting new trends: Beat Locher is a creative genius who constantly comes up with new and even daring flavors, sometimes in collaboration with star chefs in the region. They range from Dandelion & Lime sorbet to Violet and even Foie Gras ice cream. This year alone,

the Mountain Ice Cream Company has already added thirteen new flavors to its product range. They include delicious Italian flavors such as Pistachio Deluxe from Sicily and Torrone, as well as Mojito Sorbet, a marriage of fresh mint and fruity lime aromas. The saying ‘sour makes your

taste buds crave for more’ was the raison d’être behind the bold Rhubarb & Ginger ice. Available at hotels, restaurants and local food stores, including Pernet Comestibles, World of Fine Food. Distribution and contact Mountain Ice Cream: www.mountainicecream.ch.


LOCAL NEWS

Friday 27 August 2010 Page 8

Homemade from Rougemont

Rotary Club Gstaad: Ernst Niederhauser is new President

ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE IN GSTAADLIFE.COM for a dinner party. Add your own garnishes and a few side dishes and enjoy!

PRESS RELEASE: AVS 16.07.2010 On July 5th, Ruedi Minnig from Zweisimmen, handed the presidency of the local Rotary Club over to Ernst Niederhauser from Gstaad. He looks back with both joy and sorrow on a busy club year, with weekly meetings on diverse topics and other successful activities.

Owner André Reichenbach and his wife Birgitta stocks mouth-watering dishes in their freezer at their butchery in Rougemont. A favorite is the poulet à l’orange, which only needs to be put in the oven for 90 minutes, is excellent and even fit

Photo: zVg

Tired of cooking? Looking for something homemade, fresh and delicious? Visit André’s butchery in Rougemont.

More than SFr 40’000 were raised and distributed for direct emergency assistance, support of cultural events and concerts to promote young people in our region (Paysd’Enhaut , Saanenland & Upper Simmental), as well as for international causes (PolioPlus, Earth-quake relief in Haiti, Mine-ex). The development of acquaintance within the club and

Other delicious dishes include salmon & spinach lasagne, a great potato gratin, real Swedish-style meatballs (a favor amongst children!) and an exquisite delicately spiced lamb curry. Stock-up your freezer with yummy and nutritious meals from André’s.

Mountain water

Rot. Ernst Niederhauser, President 2010-11 (left) and Rot. Ruedi Minnig, Past President of the Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland with numerous international guests did not come short. The local jodel group “Goldbächli” from Boltigen, opened the new Rotary year with beautiful songs. Ernst Niederhauser, the new president, intends to run the club in the same manner, based on the Rotarian four-question test and the renewed club rules.

“IG Reitwege” in search of new bridle paths

ADAPTED & TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTILCE BY MARTIN HEFTI, AVS 23.07.2010

Photo: © fotolia.com

Photo: zVg

ADAPTED & TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 30.07.2010 SFr 250’000 is available to the Horse Riding and Driving Association for the creation of bridle paths. The association “IG Reitwege” will deal with the project.

The project “Baergwasser” is alive! Over a dozen restaurants in the Saanenland have their own facility to enrich the water with carbon dioxide. Instead of driving sparkling water across Switzerland, it makes sense for them to use their own tap water. It has the same quality as any official sparkling water and can be won virtually CO2-neutral. The Gelten hut SAC was also equipped with such a facility this summer. The mineral water no longer needs to be

flown in, but is produced directly in the hut. The first-class spring water obtained from the Gelten makes it possible. The Gelten hut is the first SAC hut in Switzerland, which doesn‘t need a mineral water delivery anymore. Accordingly, the water can be offered at a more favorable price compared to those products flown in (Coke, Lemonade etc.). The SAC district Oldenhorn is proud to be able to apply their project “Baergwasser” in their own hut. This way we can actively pursue environmental protection and promote a regional product.

The municipal assembly Saanen allocated SFr 800’000 of community contribution towards the infrastructure of riders; SFr 550’000 for the construction of the Gstaad indoor arena and SFr 250’000 for the creation of bridle paths. The members of “IG Reitwege” Beatrice Hauswirth, Anita Krebs, Mirjam Welten and Renate Schwizgebel - are the brainstorming team that will establish how and where possible new bridle paths can be built or expanded, and in

due course submit their new ideas, projects and costs thereof to the municipality. 50 years Horse Riding and Driving Association. The Horse Riding and Driving Association Gstaad-Saanen was founded on December 12 1960. The fiftieth anniversary will be celebrated this year. Where and how is still in the open.


Friday 27 August 2010 Page 9

LOCAL NEWS

It’s all Greek to me! ACROSS THE DESK WITH TONI KNECHT

In our view, the crisis in the European banking industry is likely to continue. Why? The potential writedowns on national debts are being added in the banking industry’s balance sheets to the already existing problems. One has to remark that in the banking stress test of CEBS, only partial Government Securities have been implemented in its scenario. One has to bear in mind that only the trading book of the banks have been integrated in the numbers, but not the total value of Government Holdings in the Bank’s

balance sheets. We also would like to point out that the stress tests seem, in our view, to have been politically guided. China’s stress test of banks will assess the risk of a possible slump in its local real estate market of 60 %. Based on that, one would wonder why CEBS did not at least test a possible scenario of a default of Greece in its stress test. Being an observer of Credit Default Swap-Spreads for 5 Years Government Bonds of Greece, they are still traded with a probability of 57 % of a default of Greece. But the European banking stress test did not even imply a possible restructuring of the debts of Greece. The consolidated Greek foreign claims of reporting banks on an immediate basis shows that, of the total foreign claims of EURO 236 bn, more than 50 % has been borrowed by French and German banks. Greece was able to violate the agreed-upon 3 % cap on EU member’s deficits, abetted by generous capital markets and the failure to enforce the limit, and was engaged in financial transactions designed to hide its growing debt. It bears, noting that much of what is true today about Greece has been true for years. But people did not understand its significance to the

extent they do today or did not find it worrisome, and short-term-oriented politicians had every incentive to ignore the problem rather than to confront it and to admit that their noble experiment was fraying. In Spain, as we all know by now, the current problems are by no means the public sector debts, but the debts of the private sector. Assumptions of a further double digit drop in the Spanish real estate market have not been integrated in the stress test neither. The consequences of a further severe drop in the real estate market in Spain would most probably channel into a bailout of Spanish banks by the government. Once again, one has to consider that German, French and British banks would hold over EURO 850 bn worth of government bonds of the so-called “PIIGS” countries. It goes without saying that a PIIGS bailout would be equivalent to another banking bailout in Europe. Bottom line, the risk of a similar banks’ liquidity crisis we have been witnessing by the end of 2008, would most likely occur in Europe again. At this point, we also have to admit that the two dominant Swiss banks

Photo: Sanet Sonnekus-Williams

The results of the European Banks’ stress tests have been widely anticipated. However, it appears to be very little consensus about the raise of fresh capital for the banking industry towards the end of the year 2010. The “Committee of European Banking Supervisors” (CEBS) would quantify in its survey the amount of capital to be raised by the end of the year 2010 in the banking industry by EURO 38 bn. Having said that, the “International Monetary Fund” (IMF), on the other hand, is stating the need of fresh capital for the same industry as EURO 220 bn. It goes without saying that this is a tremendous gap in those expectations.

Toni Knecht, Head of Private Banking at Saanen Bank are still representing a potential risk toward the Swiss economy, bearing in mind their 4,4 % quota of the Swiss GDP. The importance of the banking sector for the Swiss economy was the key factor behind the government and central bank’s decision to extend their support at the end of 2008. According to the SNB’s Financial Stability Report as per the end of the year 2009, the banking sector’s total assets stood at more than CHF 3’574 bn or almost 700 % of the Swiss total GDP in 2009. In this context, one would most probably understand the point of Mr Philipp Hilde-brand (President of the Swiss National Bank), arguing with Swiss Banking regulator authorities to implement more severe funding requirements for the Swiss banks.

Information on construction progress of the new Chalberhönistrasse TRANSLATED FROM A PRESS RELEASE: MUNICIPALITY OF SAANEN: AVS 17.08.2010 The new Chalberhöni road is opening soon. This will once more provide the residents of Chalberhöni with a direct link to Saanen. On Monday August 16, the high bridge Chalberhöni had to be demolished. The foundations of the bridge had been undermined by the event on July 10 and were practically non-existent. There was a great danger for the bridge to collapse. Such an event would have not only endanger human lives, but

the debris could have also blocked the stream and triggered uncontrollable tributaries. The dramatically deteriorating condition of the foundation with the recent rain called for immediate action. The public could therefore not be informed prior to the start of the road works. The road was already closed to traffic and pedestrians after the event on July 10. Recently the temporary bridge was completed and an emergency cycling

and pedestrians route was opened to the residents of the Chalberhöni. On Friday August 27, the newly created road link and the temporary bridge over the Chalberhöni river should open again. From this point onwards the new Chalberhöni road will be open for private traffic at the following times: Monday-Saturday until 07h00 12h00-13h15 from 18h00 Sunday all day

Access for authorized traffic is still available via the Eggli detour. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the road works at the Chalberhöni. All parties are working hard on the completion of the new road as well as on the planning and realization of the hydraulic engineering measures. Building Authorities Saanen


EVENTS

Friday 27 August 2010 Page 10

Events Calendar

Friday August 27 2010 until Friday September 24 2010

■ FRIDAY, AUGUST 27

■ FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

■ SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

19h30: Menuhin Festival: The English

19h30: Menuhin Festival: festival tent

09h00: Gstaad-Schönried Rellerli Alp

Nightingale at the Saanen Church. SFr 40

Gstaad. Soirée Slave. Orchestra concert.

swing. Alp swing is a typical Swiss sport, which

Glacier Days: To pass a day at 3000

Rate: SFr 65 – SFr 160. Reservation possible,

will take place on the Rellerli. Rate: SFr 12.

meters is a splendid experience! Special

to SFr 125. Contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

■ SATURDAY, AUGUST 28 10h30: Menuhin Festival Gstaad – Milos Karadaglic, Guitar. Location: Kapelle Gstaad. Rate SFr 30. Contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

phone +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

■ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 19h00: Brauchtum & Volksmusik GstaadSaanenland: Evening with folk music at the

■ SATURDAY, AUGUST 28

Hotel Landhaus, Saanen. Reservation desired,

19h30: Menuhin Festival Gstaad, festival

contact +41 (0)33 744 56 39.

tent: Russian National Orchestra with Mikhail Pletnev, Conductor. Rate SFr 65 – SFr 160. Reservation possible, contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

■ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 19h30: Tout le monde du violon V – Grande fête des Tziganes. Location: festival

■ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 26

price: SFr 39 for the cable car ride (up &

■ FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Country Night Gstaad in the festival tent. Europa’s leading country music event, which

down). A day for the whole family for a special price! For more information, contact +41 (0)24 492 09 23.

takes place every year in Gstaad! Rates: SFr 65 – SFr 140. For ticket information

ROTARY CLUB GSTAAD-SAANENLAND

please contact +41 (0)33 744 88 22, for all

Meetings every Monday 12h00

other information call +41 (0)33 748 44 87.

Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Ernst Niederhauser

■ THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

■ SUNDAY, AUGUST 29

tent, Gstaad. Rate SFr 40 - SFr 125. Reserva-

Gstaad Swiss Open 2010: Tournament

10h00: Blatti Suufsunntig, Lauenen. Details

tion possible, contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

of the Pool Billard World Cup. Locality:

(033 / 744 21 90), Program: Rot. Andreas Hurni (033 / 744 36 28)

■ LIONS CLUB GSTAAD-SAANENLAND

will follow. Locality – Blatti, Lauenen. The alp can

Sportzentrum Gstaad. Reservation possible.

be reached by foot or with a cross-country vehicle. ■ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

Phone +41 (0)78 662 00 43

Meetings normally each first and third

For more info, contact +41 (0)33 765 36 55.

or www.gstaadswissopen.ch

week of the month on Thursdays, either

■ SUNDAY, AUGUST 29 11h30: Menuhin Festival, Berghaus Wispile: Tout le monde du violon I. Free admission. For more info, contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

■ SUNDAY, AUGUST 29

Dance in the Restaurant Heiti: oldiesdisco with karaoke. Good entertainment guaranteed! Phone +41 (0)33 755 11 97.

■ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

at 12h00 a.m. for lunch or at 7h00 p.m. for

■ THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 19 Trekking event Swissclassic: LauenenKandersteg. Reservation: www.sclassic.ch

10h30: Menuhin Festival Matinée des

or contact +41 (0)78 611 31 58. Information:

jeunes étoiles VIII. Chamber music festival.

info@sclassic.ch or

Locality: Kapelle Gstaad. Rate SFr 30. Reser-

contact +41 (0)79 463 37 01.

16h30: Menuhin Festival: Children & fam- vation possible, contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38. ily concert in the festival tent Gstaad. Rate: ■ FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 Adults SFr 40; children SFr 15. Reservation ■ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 20h30: Picture show & speech, Lauenen. possible. Contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38. 14h30: Open-air theatre for kids - “Dödö Locality: Saal Hotel Wildhorn. Everybody is

dinner. Meetings in Wellness & Spa-Hotel Ermitage-Golf, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Urs Wittwer, president, 033 748 99 11, info@wittwer-fleurs.ch, htttp://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch

■ CHURCH SERVICES St Peter’s English-Speaking Anglican

and the magic forest” in the Zauberwald,

welcome! Phone +41 (0)33 765 37 50 for

Church, Château-d’Oex

09h00: Gsteig – Tournoi de foot of the

Saanen. Duration: 45 min. For more informa-

more information.

17h30 Evening Prayer

TV Gsteig-Feutersoey. Local clubs fight

tion, contact +41 (0)79 653 39 89.

■ SUNDAY, AUGUST 29

for goals! Locality: Looswäldli-Fussballplatz

all welcome

■ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Gsteig. For more info,

■ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

10h00: 6th Mountainbike race for kids.

contact +41 (0)33 733 01 55.

Live jazz in the lodge of the Grubenberg,

Participants: Kids up to 16 years of age.

Information: 026 924 60 92

SFr 20 – SFr 50. Reservation possible,

Route: Lap around the airport. Locality: Airport ■ IMPORTANT NUMBERS Saanen. Rate SFr 15. Ambulance 144, Police 117 reached by foot. Contact +41 (0)79 335 27 62 Contact +41 (0)78 752 2667 or e-mail: or info@grubenberghuette.ch. Police office 033 356 84 31 scsaanen@gmx.ch Fire-brigade 118 ■ SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 Saanen Hospital 033 748 02 00 ■ SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 10h00: Menuhin Festival: Anniversary 10h00: Brauchtum & Volksmusik Gstaad- Château-d‘Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 concert 40 years music school MSSO, in Saanenland: Autumn feast of folk music. Car accident service 033 744 88 80 the festival tent Gstaad. Reservation possible. Locality: Berghaus Wispile. Reservation Veterinary 033 744 35 31 Contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38. desired. Contact +41 (0)33 744 56 39 or Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47

contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

■ SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

■ TUESDAY, AUGUST 31 19h30: Menuhin Festival, Rougemont church: Tout le monde du violon II. SFr 20 – SFr 50. Reservation possible, contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

■ THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 19h30: Menuhin Festival: Tout le monde du violon IV, Rougemont church.

with the band Consenso: The lodge can be

e-mail Arnold.welten@volksmusik-gstaad.ch

Dental emergency 033 748 02 00

■ FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 For additional useful numbers please visit demonstration at the Bahnwagen, Bahnhof 20h00: Reunion of the community www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers 17h00: Menuhin Festival: Children from Saanen meet children from Romany & sing Saanen. For further information, phone Robert Saanen, at the Landhaussaal. Local council together at the Kappelliplatz Gstaad. Reserva- Schopfer, +41 (0)33 744 23 85 or Fritz Stucki meeting of the Saanen commune. For further For the latest local weather forecast visit ■ FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

10h00: Model railway group: Public

tion possible, contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38.

on +41 (0)33 722 25 52.

information, contact +41 (0)33 748 92 10.

www.gstaadlife.com/weather


Friday 27 August 2010 Page 11

Agriculture meets luxury at the Grand Hotel Park ADAPTED AND TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER: AVS 20.08.2010

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary year of the Grand Hotel Park, on October 23 the Saanenland Agriculture Topshow takes place in the gardens of the fine five-star hotel. What was previously only known to insiders, is now public knowledge: This years Topshow Saanenland will take place in a slightly different environment than usual, namely in the garden of the Grand Hotel Park. Hotel manager Jean-Yves Blatt explains,”Agriculture and luxury belong to and are an integral part of destination Gstaad. We wish to prove that luxury and agriculture can be beautifully combined. Further, since cultural events belong to the tradition of Gstaad, we came up with the idea to organize this year’s Topshow in our garden as a part of our ongoing agenda in recognition of our 100th anniversary.”

stock Cooperatives of the Office Saanen (VVAS) on behalf of the organizing committee. “Agriculture and luxury - as two worlds meet. We farmers rely on the luxury tourism and on a good collaboration. This occasion, on the grounds of the five-star hotel, is an opportunity to gain insight into opposite worlds,” says Matti. 100 “Treicheln” for the 100th Birthday To mark the 100th anniversary, the Grand Hotel Park is having 100 “Treicheln” made. Each of these “Treichel” bears a number of a year between 1910 to 2010. Anyone who receives a “Treichel”, gets it together with a book, in which the development of the Saanenland over the past 100 years is documented. “The last page is individually devoted to the happenings in the region corresponding to the respective year of the Treichel. As a basis the authors used the archives of the ‘Anzeiger von Saanen,’” says Jean-Yves Blatt. The “Treicheln” are to be handed out at the Topshow on October 23. “We appreciate the commitment

of the Park Hotel very much,” said Helmut Matti, Vice President of the VVAS. “A ‘Treichel’ plays a big role in every breeder’s career.” Farmers who will receive a “Treicheln” are defined by a specific system. “A group of cantonal recognized experts will nominate in advance of the Topshow, the most beautiful cows. These cows’ respective owners will be presented at the Topshow with one “Treichel” by the Grand Hotel Park,” says Dominik Matti. As one of the highlights a “Treichel” winner will be nominated a Miss. Traditional Topshow “Independent from the prior nominations, the Topshow takes place as usual from 10h30 onwards,” informed Helmut Matti. “The cows for the Topshow are like in recent years, selected by 17 farming cooperatives and shown in the ring where they are judged by a jury.” In total six Misses will be chosen at the Topshow - the most beautiful per section (Simmental, Red Holstein / Holstein and Simmental) and in each category one “Miss Schöneute”. Presented on the lawn The Grand Hotel Park spares no effort for the big event. “The cows are shown in a ring on the hotels lawn and for the spectators a grand stand is to be erected. The tent where lunch and dinner will be served stands on the tennis court,” says Jean-Yves Blatt. “Various stalls

ADVERTORIAL cater for food - for example Rösti from a giant pan,” adds Mr Blatt. In addition, the farmers will present at individual stands products such as cheese and meat. “We want to show people that we produce what we live by,” says Dominik Matti. The musical entertainment program during the day is provided by local formations. And the traditional breeders evening will be held in the evening in the tent, also with musical entertainment. 5-Course lunch at the construction site For the 100-year anniversary the Grand Hotel Park treats itself to a comprehensive renovation. “We are still slightly ahead of schedule, the hotel will be opened as planned in mid-December,” says Jean-Yves Blatt. “We are already booked out over Christmas / New Year, as well as in February,” says the hotel manager. Our campaign “the hotel goes to the guest” has also proven a success. “We went to different European cities and met our regular guest there - this was very much appreciated,” says Blatt. “Last week we organized for some of our regular guests, for whom we had booked rooms in the surrounding five-star hotels, lunch on our site.” The event was well received. “It was absolutely unique. Guests that have been coming to our Hotel for 20 years, didn’t want to miss this lunch under any circumstances, “ says Blatt.

Two worlds - one goal “No unease was felt from the side of the agriculture”, says Blatt. “I contacted Dominik Matti a few months ago and we immediately understood each other.” “We were surprised by the enquiry - in a positive way,” says Dominik Matti, President of the United LiveOn October 23 the Saanenland Agriculture Topshow takes place in the gardens of the five-star hotel


LOCAL NEWS

Friday 27 August 2010 Page 12

Youngest participants Jeromy Frampton and Sabaya Verger win the 4th GYC Classic Car Rally & Yachting 2010 challenging but there was no time for thinking as during the morning drive to the Jaunpass first questions from alongside the road had to be answered. The second check point on top of the Jaun was on regularity. All cars had to drive exact 30 meters downhill without engine in a time limit of 20 seconds. Daniel Forcart and Elizabeth Stallman

GYC Rear Commodore & GAC President at the prize giving

Photo: Gstaad Yacht Club

Winner Frampton / Verger (middle), 2nd Tschan/ Maus (right), 3rd Jann/ Grais (left) Like in previous years the participants gathered for the registration and opening dinner on Friday evening at the GYC Clubhouse, where they were welcomed by GYC defender of the trophy and Chair of the Events Committee, Christine Lang-Camerana and briefed about the “road book” by Hansueli Brand, president of the GAC.

From the top of the pass the cars headed along Lac du Montsalvans via Corbières and Pont-la-Ville crossing the barrier de Rossens at the Lac the Gruyere. On magnificent back roads the tour led them via Arconciel and Giffers. Further on the road book followed picturesque roads through the Fribourgeose landscape. Up and down hill grades up to 16% challenged all engines and drivers through the alleys towards Plaffeien. Almost in the end of the morning part the last challenge before lunch was the board card check at the historic custom house before reaching the beautifully located Schwarzsee.

With the sun laughing tears after lunch, open tops were shut for the second driving part. Back in the seats the participants drove along Sangerboden towards Riffenmatt. Out on the heights of the Schwarzenburger Land the next checkpoint again tested the regularity of all drivers. Aiming for an average speed of 36 km/h on the clock all drivers had to drive 1’700 meters from one check point to the other. Jeromy Frampton and Sabaya Verger in a Willy’s Jeep were the closest to the exact time of 2 min and 50 seconds in this test drive. Afterwards engines and breaks of

the famous Swiss mountain race track Gurnigel. Beautiful landscape hidden in the clouds was passed towards Riggisberg where the Lake of Thun is supposed to be seen. Via Wattenwil, Blumenstein, Oberstocken and Wimmis the rally led everybody back in the Simmental with a last loop to the bi-road towards Oeschseite where the last special stage was waiting for everybody to pass by. Unfortunately heavy rain came down in the last kilometers to the final destination at the Eggli parking. Before the price giving dinner in the Gstaad Automobile Club in Feutersoey all participants enjoyed some time to relax from this memorable day. The final tally combined the scores from driving, check points, questionnaire and sailing. 1st place went to Jeromy Frampton with his co-pilot Sabaya Verger with 121 points overall, 2nd place to Markus Tschan and co-pilot Alexandre Maus with 152 points overall and 3rd place to Philippe Jann and co-pilot Wafik Grais with 185 points. Photo: Gstaad Yacht Club

On Saturday morning, after a light breakfast at the GYC, the competitors made last minute preparations to their cars. Among the assembled automobiles reaching from the 70’s, to the 30’s were a couple of Aston Martins (DB6s, 4 and 5), and Mercedes (one 320A from 1937), two Porsches, Landrover, Ferrari and Jaguars (one SS100 dated 1937), an ASA 1000GT, three Bentleys (S2 & R Type), an Alfa TZ, an Austin Healey, a Morgan, a Triumph, Lancia, Peugeot and Mini. Engines were started promptly at 9h00. The mixed weather conditions made the open-top driving a little

succeeded the most with this challenge, in between hitting the breaks to hard, not being able to speed up again or coasting to fast.

specialties for some strength, the drivers had to exchange their steering wheels for remote controls for the fleet races with the America’s Cup model boats donated by GYC member Ernesto Bertarelli. Wind conditions were very light and only allowed to complete one race on groups of four.

Photo: Gstaad Yacht Club

Photo: Gstaad Yacht Club

The Gstaad Yacht Club (GYC), with organizational help from the Gstaad Automobile Club (GAC)also invited to the event - held its 4th Classic Car Rally & Yachting on Saturday August 14, 2010. With a record of 28 beautiful classic cars assembled the event started in the parking of the tennis arena on Saturday morning.

Concentration for Racing The restaurant “Schwarzseestärn” offered a perfect situation for the Yachting part of this year’s event. With an aperitif in hand, and Swiss

every car were tested on the steep way up to Schwarzenbühl right through the fog and further down

On behalf of the GYC, many thanks to all that helped make this event a success once again. Thank you!


Friday 27 August 2010 Page 13

LOCAL NEWS

Saanen, the history continues ADAPTED BY PETER SONNEKUS-WILLIAMS FROM THE PRESS RELEASE BY KERSTIN SONNEKALB, HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS: GSTAAD SAANEN TOURISM Photos: zVb

the German speaking Saanenland and the Pays-d’Enhaut, were subodinated to the city of Bern as Bernese bailiff. The Governor resided in Saanen until 1575, and up to the fall of old Bern in 1798, in the Rougemont castle. By 1803 the district of Saanen consisted of the municipalities Saanen, Gsteig and Lauenen. The village of Saanen became the capital and seat of the district. The Mauritius church, first mentioned in 1228, dates from the 10th or 11th Century and was built in honor of the holy Mauritius and the Theban legion. During 1444 to 1447 the building was extended

Saanen village in passed time At the beginning of our era, the landscape of Saanen was probably sparsely inhabited by Celtic settlers, which in the 5th Century were followed by the Burgundians. From about the 8th Century the Alemanni migrated from the Simmental, and brought the German language with them. Until 1555 Saanen was part of the Kastlanei Vanel County Gruyère, which is first mentioned around the year 900 and was assigned to the Kingdom of Burgundy. Following the bankruptcy of the Count of Gruyères, Saanen became a Bernese bailiff in 1556 and a year later reform against the will of the majority population - by the Bernese Dean Johannes Haller. Saanen history has traditionally

been dominated by a strong will for independence and freedom. Significant events in 1312 were the exemption from Tallia (tax of the unfree) and in 1398 the recognition of Inheritance right. In 1448, with a significant financial outlay, Saanen managed to obtain other important rights such as land taxes, taxes, titles, commercial and trade restrictions. At the same time the Count gave the people of Saanen the right to be recognized by their own seal and coat of arms, “die Kryen uff dem Bergen” - the cranes on the mountains. After the bankruptcy of Count Michael of Gruyère (Graf Michael von Greyerz) in 1555, the free landscape of Saanen together with

to the present church. This place of worship is well-known for its unique paintings of the mid-15th Century, which are among the most valuable Swiss art treasures of the late middle ages. A spectacular find of a medieval towerbuilding in July 2010 awoke the attention of historians and archaeologists alike. The remains of the wall are a puzzle to the researchers. It is clear that several builings from the period of reconstruction after the devastating fire of 1575 are present in Saanen. Although they are from different eras, they exude a homely unity and harmony.


COLUMN

Friday 27 August 2010 Page 14

Gstaad Les Bains BY MANDOLYNA THEODORACOPULOS

The idea of being cooped up on a boat with nowhere to go, at the mercy of a princess, an aging playboy and his equally virile son made me hesitant. Apart from the time we spend together in Gstaad over Christmas, we haven’t been on a family holiday in twenty years. For the most part, the four of us get along well. Even so, I was expecting the worst. For a moment, it looked like it might be the shortest holiday ever. After the requisite blow out, it has been nothing but smooth sailing. Floating around the Peloponnese aboard Bushido, my father’s pride and joy, is a dream. Though my brother might disagree given that my dear old dad refuses to leave Porto Heli and the surrounding bays because all his friends are here. In fact, half of Gstaad is in Porto Heli. Finally, an explanation for the Gstaad Yacht Club! In a few short days I have seen their Majesties King Constantine and Queen Anna Maria, Goulandrises far as the eye can see, Radziwills, Duffields, Hodlers, the Marquesa San Damian, and of course, the Fixes. Mrs Fix has a new motor boat. It’s very modest. She’s named her, not so modestly, Balls.

We prefer sailing to motoring. Drifting along with nothing but the sound of wind is a true pleasure compared to roughing it on a high speed gas guzzler. It’s more like lang laufing in Lauenen than say, snowmobiling in Aspen. But glitzy upstarts go for that sort of thing, which is a shame. Without them, the world would be a quieter, cleaner and more beautiful place. Nevertheless, my grandfather had one towards the end of his life. I suppose after a life spent under sail he was in more of a hurry to get to his beloved islands. As children we used to accompany him to Spetses, Aegina, Hydra, and Zakynthos, from where my ancestors came. Back then, in the 70s and 80s, there was minimal development and tourism. Greece was wild, and mostly unspoiled. Soon the spending free-for-all started, and has slowly but surely torpedoed the great Olive Republic. Kifisia, a suburb of Athens, where I spent the summers of my youth chez Goulandris, and where my father grew up, has been finished by construction, gentrification, and bad taste. I fear for Gstaad if it goes the same way as Kifisia, or Porto Heli for that matter. Attention! Marcel Bach! Sadly, more beautiful places have been ruined by unbridled development and tourism than anything else. I go on about it because the effects of greed and popularity are virtually irreversible. Think of the Côte d’Azur, and resorts like St. Tropez or Monte Carlo, which were among the most beautiful on earth. As the great F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote about Antibes in Tender is the

Night, it was “the only place in the whole wide world that’s touched by magic.” These days during the summer months the South of France is a sweaty hell hole, what with all the mega yachts, working girls, and wealthy barbarians. For the most part, these types stay away from Greece. Unfortunately, there are package tourists in Mykonos and the like, although they can be easily avoided. On our boat we find a new cove every day free of other vessels, other people, and horrible jelly fish. The water is relatively clean. The worst you get is a beach strewn with plastic, and fat hairy Greeks who pilot their boats around recklessly. In old Spetses the Figaro nightclub is still around after more than thirty years. I can tell you it beats the hell out of

Les Caves du Roi, and still has the feeling it had back then of a third world watering hole. My brother and I used to go with our parents. It was a family place, still is, just like Gstaad. I hope neither change. I can’t think of anything worse than the lobby of the Palace becoming a cheap pick-up joint like the Byblos in St.Tropez. As our family summer holiday comes to an end, my family heads back to Gstaad and the fresh mountain air. After a month bobbing at sea under oppressive heat, there’s nothing better than the view of green mountains, rolling hills and breezy evenings. Lets just hope the many of us who love Gstaad succeed in maintaining its charm because it’s dangerously close to going the way of the French Riviera.


Friday 27 August 2010 Page 15

LOCAL PERSONALITY

A lifetime of equestrian commitment BY PETER SONNEKUS-WILLIAMS Photo: Anja Tanner, St. D. Schlup

Photo: Anja Tanner, St. D. Schlup

60-year old Pierre E. Genecand, the President of the Polo club Gstaad as well as the organiser of the event, Polo Gold cup Gstaad has been either riding, competing or managing equestrian activities since the tender age of 9. Born and raised in Geneva, Pierre now travels between his homes in Gstaad, Geneva, Buenos Aires, Punte del Este, and his equestrian estate in Argentina, where he looks after his 200 prize, bred-forPolo, horses.

Pierre E. Genecand in action compete in Gstaad this year. Only 4 places were available. Pierre is most grateful to the sponsors of the Gstaad Polo Gold cup and in particular to Hublot, the ongoing title sponsor who holds the naming right to the prestigious event. “Hublot and the Polo Gold cup Gstaad are a very good partner fit. We ensure an event fitting to the high expectation of Hublot,” says Pierre.

Pierre’s background is not only embroiled in a love for all things equestrian, he also has a firm business capability within the realm of professional equestrian eventing, having been firmly involved in the realisation of the CSI world cup of show jumping event for 18 years. This prestigious event held each year at the Palexpo in Geneva has been the No1 event of it’s kind in the world, since 1996. Pierre has also been involved with the Olympic equestrian and the world cup of show jumping. He has played competitive Polo himself all over the world, including the Gstaad event. This hands-on experience has him in personal contact with the worlds most coverted players. An example here is found in the 9 formal requests he received from Argentina’s finest Polo players pool, to

As far as Pierre’s experience in dealing with the admistration and public of the the Saanen municipality goes, he says “It is a long and sometimes arduous process to get something approved to be done. However once there is agreement, a task is undertaken with great precision and quality where timing is conscientiously honoured.” Pierre is most grateful to the municipality of Saanen’ s contribution to this years event. “It is a very big effort for all of those involved to make the Polo Gold cup Gstaad a successful event. With its Gold status now the event is the most important Polo event in Switzerland. This is fitting for Gstaad and should be nurtured and protected,” he says. “Just think about the 300 guests that attend the traditional Gala evening and the 1’000 fine cuisine lunches that are served

Pierre E. Genecand with his wife Sybille, at their Chalet in Oberbort under the auspices of the Gstaad Palace, in the VIP area at the event. This highest level of experience attracts a calibre of individual that is an important component to the

mix of what Gstaad is. The event is a feather in the finely crafted cap of Gstaad. Without it Gstaad would be a little less than it is,” concludes Pierre. Photo: Anita Moser

In 2005 Pierre sold his Swiss insurance business, which had been operating as a family business for 42 years. Since then Pierre has been able to focus more time on his equestrian endeavours and it is showing a positive result with achievements such as raising the standard of the Gstaad Polo tournament from a Silver cup to a Gold cup event.

Team Bank Sturzda win the 2010 Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad Team Bank Baring Brothers Sturzda SA with Juan Pablo Jauretche, Stefano Marsaglia, Marcos Heguy and Gaston Lauhle, won the recently held 2010 Hublot Polo Gold cup Gstaad. Marcos Heguy is the top player from Argentina. The captain of the winning team, Stafano Marsaglia complimented the event organisors by claiming the Gstaad tournament to be he most beautiful tournament, this side of the Atlantic.


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