St. Regis Family Traditions Cup, Emma Challenge Highlight This Week At Aspen Valley Polo Club

A little fatherly advice from Nacho Figueras to son Hilario.

A little fatherly advice from Nacho Figueras to son Hilario.

CARBONDALE, Colo., July 27, 2017---Polo has a rich tradition where the skill of the game is passed down from father to son and shared to create a lifetime of memories on polo fields around the world.

Another memory will be created on Saturday at Aspen Valley Polo Club with the second annual St. Regis Family Traditions Cup.

Bonded by their passion for horses and polo, four sets of fathers and sons will compete for the coveted trophy at 11 a.m. MST in front of an expected large local crowd and worldwide ChukkerTV audience.

St. Regis White features Tom and TJ Barrack and Nacho and Hilario Figueras. St. Regis Black’s lineup is Marc and Grant Ganzi and Juan and Juancito Bollini.

In last year’s inaugural event, Juan Bollini scored the winning goal with less than thirty seconds remaining in the game to lead St. Regis (Hilario Figueras, Juancito Bollini, Nacho Figueras, Juan Bollini) to a thrilling 9-8 come-from-behind victory over Aspen Valley Polo Club (Secundo Merlos, Grant Ganzi, Marc Ganzi, Sebastian Merlos).

Figueras, polo ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur, was Most Valuable Player.

“It’s always great to play with your son,” Figueras said. “It’s always a lot of fun. It’s one of the biggest joys in life, to be able to do what you love with the person that you love.”

Also on tap this weekend is the Emma Challenge. Five teams will compete in a doubleheader on Friday. A round-robin is set for 11 a.m. MST at Sopris Field followed by a six-chukker game at High Mesa Field at 4 p.m. MST.

On Sunday, the subsidiary game is 11 a.m.followed by the championship final at 1 p.m. at Aspen Valley Polo Club.

Last year’s Emma Challenge was won by Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Teo Calle, MVP Tincho Merlos, Jimmy Seward) with a 7-6 victory over Flexjet (Marc Ganzi, Alex Gooding, Tony Calle, Nic Roldan). Merlos scored the winning goal on a 60-yard penalty conversion. It was Tonkawa’s first win of the summer polo season.

The Emma Challenge is named after the town of Emma, Colo., located in Pitkin County on Highway 82 between Carbondale and Aspen. Emma, with an elevation of 6,608 feet, was once a sizable town in the past. The three buildings on the north side of the road are on the state historical preserve register.

The Emma Challenge is the fifth of 12 tournaments scheduled, eight grass and four arena tournaments including the Aug. 1-5 the United States Arena Handicap featuring six teams and top players Alejandro and Nacho Novillo Astrada, Kris Kampsen, Pablo Dorignac and Mike Azzaro.

This season’s first four summer tournament winners were La Karina (Carlitos Gracida, Mariano Gracida, MVP Brian Boyd, Marc Ganzi), Independence Cup; Tiburon (Collen Clark, Lauren Sherry, Pablo Dorignac, MVP Lucas Lalor), ChukkerTV Challenge Cup and Casablanca (MVPs Mariano Gracida, Grant Ganzi, Pablo Dorignac), Basalt Handicap and Casablanca (Santos Bollini, Grant Ganzi, Lucas Lalor, Juancito Bollini), Craig Sakin Memorial.

Aspen Valley Polo Club, the nation’s fastest growing USPA polo club, is coming off its most successful summer season in club history. The club, enjoying an increased membership, continues to grow and introduce polo throughout the valley.

The club annually attracts some of the world’s top pro and amateur players. This season’s pro lineup features Hall of Famer Mike Azzaro, a former 10-goaler for thirteen years and winner of eight U.S. Open titles.

In the last four years Aspen Valley Polo Club has had a positive impact in the area hosting kids polo camps, teaching lessons and hosting several charitable events at the club that have benefitted local charities including the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation.

Polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding areas with the club’s offerings of various weekly tournaments, Gladiator Tuesdays and Asado, Kids Polo, indoor and outdoor arena polo, charitable events and The Polo School. Practice sessions are also held for teams competing in the weekend tournaments.

In August 2014, polo players and patrons Marc and Melissa Ganzi opened the Aspen Valley Polo Club to rave reviews by the community and players. Both co-own the club and its sister polo club Grand Champions in Wellington, Fla. and have played key roles in the sport’s growth and popularity.

Chukker TV is live streaming the entire summer polo schedule. ChukkerTV, featuring cutting-edge technology, was the first to introduce state-of-the-art live streaming technology and instant replay in January, 2014 at Grand Champions Polo Club.

2017 SUMMER POLO SCHEDULE

Emma Challenge, Friday, 11 a.m. MST: Round robin game at Sopris Field; 4 p.m., Six Chukker Game, High Mesa Field; Sunday, 11 a.m., Subsidiary game; 1 p.m. Final.

St. Regis Family Traditions Cup, Saturday 1 p.m. MST, St. Regis White vs. St. Regis Black.

The United States Arena Handicap, Aug. 1,Tuesday, Flexjet vs. Sopris Mountain Ranch,4:30 p.m. MST, La Karina White vs. Audi,5:30 p.m.; Aug. 3, Thursday, Flexjet-Sopris Mountain Ranch winner vs. La Karina Green,11 a.m.; La Karina White-Audi winner vs. Aspen Valley Polo Club, noon; Aug. 5,Saturday, Final 11 a.m.

Aug. 4-6, High Alpine Cup

Aug. 8-15, Arena World Cup

Aug. 9, ChukkerTV Arena Challenge

Aug. 11-13, Mount Sopris Cup

Aug. 18-20, Rocky Mountain Open

Aug. 25-27, Carbondale Classic

ASPEN VALLEY POLO CLUB

CLUB ADDRESS: 3275 County Road 100, Carbondale, Colo. 81623

POLO HOTLINE: 970-710-1663

The exclusive Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the nation’s fastest-growing polo clubs. It offers polo in the summer for players and spectators. The Polo School is available to adults and juniors. It offers individual and group lessons for all levels and ages. For spectators there are great field side views for tournament action, indoor and outdoor arenas and also the Aspen Valley Polo Club Boutique. Everyone is welcome to watch polo in a relaxed atmosphere with complimentary food, refreshments and weekly asados. Admission and parking are free. For Polo On Demand price rates of group and private lessons, arena chukkers, grass chukkers and individualized “Polo Experience” packages email aspenvalleypolo@bellsouth.net or log onto www.aspenvalleypoloclub.com

THE ST. REGIS ASPEN RESORT

The lavishly renovated resort is nestled at the base of the majestic Aspen Mountain. The resort is between the mountain’s two primary base ski lifts and within walking distance to all of Aspen’s shops, restaurants and entertainment. The hotel is just 10 minutes away from Aspen’s airport and has convenient access to all four ski releases. The resort underwent a $40 million redesign in 2011. It delivers a benchmark of personalized service and attention to detail amidst the relaxed spirit of the Rocky Mountains