SNOW POLO ST.MORITZ 2019
St. Moritz has played host to the world’s renowned snow polo tournament since 1985.
Snow Polo St.Moritz 2020
The first-ever snow polo tournament, the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz is the only «high goal» polo tournament played on snow. The Swiss scenery (and polo players) are nice to look at, too!
Held in Switzerland last weekend, had pretty much everything you could want from good-looking people to a posh sporting event: Hot polo players wearing ‘La Martina’ uniforms galloping along the frozen, St.Moritzsee. The weather was superb-despite the freezing temperatures (yes it can get as cold as -25C), bubbles of Perrier-Jouët and fluffy green blankets wrap the atmosphere in joy and excitement about the game. An exquisite gourmet food selection at the VIP tent as well as a number of social events in St. Moritz’s first-class hotels. The challenge of playing on snow, the unique location at 1850 metres above sea level and the glam of St. Moritz combined make the Snow Polo tournament one of its kind. Welcome to St.Moritz, the home of snow polo!
Polo has been played for more than 2600 years. It originated in ancient Persia — today’s Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir and northern Pakistan. The game made it to St. Moritz around 1899 when English soldiers built the first polo field. In 1959, a group of locals founded the St. Moritz polo club, and tournaments were held in the summers from 1960 to 1964.
It all began in 1978 when founder and charismatic organiser, Reto Gaudenzi ‘The Godfather of Snow Polo’ was introduced to the sport in Sotogrande. Full of enthusiasm back at home in St. Moritz, the hotelier formed the first Swiss polo team; in 1983, a Swiss team played an international match for the first time. 1985 saw the world premiere of a polo tournament on snow on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. with Cartier as sponsors and continues to do so to this day. This magic of snow polo formula has been copied across Europe ( in Megève, Val D’Isére, Kitzbühel, Cortina D’Ampezzo and Klosters to name a few) and around the world: in Aspen, China, Russia and more recently Argentina.
St.Moritz Polo team
St.Moritz team captain Valery Mishchenko
About the Snow Polo World Cup St.Moritz
On the last weekend in January 2020, four high goal teams competing for the St.Moritz Trophy taking place on Sunday in the frozen lake of St. Moritz. The three days of tournament gathered more than 18,000 spectators. Pure emotion and tradition!
The teams line up for an exciting long weekend of entertainment and action were the best selection of the world class polo.
Team Azerbaijan Land of Fire (Team Captain Elchin Jamalli, AZE +2, Pato Bolanteiro, ARG +3, Agustin Kronhaus, ARG +3, Santiago Marambio, ARG +6).
Team Badrutt’s Palace (Team Captain Melissa Ganzi, USA 0, Juan Bautista Peluso, ARG +2, Nic Roldan, USA +8, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, ARG +8).
Team St.Moritz (Team Captain Valery Mishchenko, RUS +0, Robert Strom, FRA +5, Max Charlton, ENG +6, Nacho Gonzalez, ENG +6).
Team Maserati (Team Captain Kutlay Yaprak, TUR +1, Fabio Meier, CH +1, Adrian Laplacette Jr. ARG +6, Valentin Novillo Astrada, ARG +6).
So it was a wrap-up for the Snow Polo weekend at the final. The Final between Azerbaijan – Land of Fire and St. Moritz was very hard to predict about the victory. The two teams played the day before in a very close final score. The Azeri team started with a half goal advantage due to handicap, but despite expectations, the Azeris in white could not score and the result was that Valery Mishchenko’s ‘Red Devils’ shirts of St. Moritz goaled twice before the half time. However, the Azeri team could not effectively shut down Max Charlton and ended up leading. Finally, the Azerbaijan Captain, Elchin Jamalli scored bringing the results to a close 1½ -3.
The fourth chukka was frantic, but it was Frenchman Robert Strom who topped up the tail end with a final score was 1½ -4.
The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz Trophy, sponsored by Chopard, was presented by Evelyne Sutter, Manager of the Chopard Boutique St. Moritz and Marijana Jakic, Brand Manager St. Moritz to a delighted Valery Mishchenko. The four winning players each received a Mille Miglia Chopard watch.
The best Playing Patron, presented by Piero Dillier, Eviva Polo St. Moritz, was awarded to Fabio Meier. The Most Valuable Player MVP was awarded to Max Charlton, who received a Chopard Alpine Eagle St. Moritz Edition, as sponsored by Chopard. Whilst the Polo Times Best Playing Pony was awarded to Casanova played by Nacho Gonzalez for the majority of the fourth chukka, who received a bespoke pony rug and 200 Swiss Francs for the grooms.
Final-Azerbaijan vs St.Moritz
After such a wonderful three days of fantastic polo, we say goodbye to the 36th edition of the event. The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2020 execeed all expectations and once again a triumph at all levels thanks to Reto Gaudenzi and the 250 people part of his strong team.
St. Moritz ski resort is a beautiful location for world class polo hospitality. See you all again at the The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2021 on 29, 30 & 31 January 2021!
The Voice of Polo-Jan Erik Franck and Reto Gaudenzi
Photos by DRD/Fotoswiss.