World Snow Polo Championship Begins Saturday In Aspen With Star-Studded Field

ASPEN, Colo., December 16, 2016---It’s show time for the much-anticipated World Snow Polo Championship.

In front of an expected sellout crowd and world-wide ChukkerTV audience, action gets under way Saturday at Rio Grande Park with two qualifying games.

With a balanced field featuring some of the world’s top players, there is no clear cut favorite.

For the fourth consecutive year, Aspen Valley Polo Club co-founders Melissa and Marc Ganzi, recently named to The Salonniere 100 annual list of the nation’s best party hosts in Aspen for 2017, will host the star-studded event along with polo ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina.

Audi, FlexJet, St. Regis and defending champion US Polo Assn. return as major team sponsors.

At Thursday evening’s fun and entertaining draw and team introductions at St. Regis Aspen Resort, the pairings and schedule were announced. 

On Saturday at 1 p.m., Audi (Grant Ganzi/Marc Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan) will face defending champion U.S. Polo Assn. (Bash Kazi, Ricky Cooper, Tommy Biddle) in the opening game followed by St. Regis (Bernie Uechtritz, Carlitos Gracida, Nacho Figueras) against Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Jesse Bray).

On Sunday, the consolation and championship games will be held at 1 p.m. after the pre-game opening ceremony.

U.S. Polo Assn. won last year’s tournament with Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan and Juancito Bollini. In front of an overflow crowd and soldout VIP tent, U.S. Polo Assn. defeated Flexjet, 10-5. Roldan was named MVP for the third straight year. 

In the consolation game, ChukkerTV defeated St. Regis. Bernie Uechtritz was named MVP.

Glitz, glamour and excitement will take center stage at one of the world’s top snow polo tournaments and only snow polo event in the U.S.

The two-day tournament is a major attraction for the local community and fans from all over the world. The breathtaking scenery, venue and great polo action is a major allure for the Aspen community and surrounding areas. 

Rio Grande Park, host of the weekend action, is Aspen’s largest multi-functional park within the city’s limits and just minutes away from the St. Regis Aspen Resort.

Also on Saturday, fans and media will get the chance to meet the players at noon before the polo action. Players and guests will be treated to a barn tour Friday at Aspen Valley Polo Club in Carbondale.

ChukkerTV, an independent media company based in Wellington, Fla. and leader in polo broadcasting, will live stream all four games of the snow polo tournament with polo commentator Dale Schwetz.

ChukkerTV was the first to introduce state-of-the-art polo live streaming technology in January, 2014 at Grand Champions Polo Club, where it was well-received for its cutting-edge technology and ability to promote the sport to a larger audience. It continues to build and improve its technology.

ST. REGIS ASPEN RESORT

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. It delivers a benchmark of personalized service and attention to detail amidst the relaxed spirit of the Rocky Mountains. The resort is located at 315 East Dean St. Call 970-920-3300 or 888-627-7198.

FLEXJET

Has been a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies since 2013. They are committed to creating premium travel experiences and providing access to the most modern, technologically-advanced aircraft in the industry on a daily basis, going above and beyond world-class private travel experiences.

AUDI

Rated No. 1 by Consumer Reports as the best auto brand overall, Audi is a valued sponsor with a rich winning tradition in polo. The German automobile manufacturer designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury automobiles throughout the world including West Palm Beach. Audi, founded in 1909, oversees its worldwide operations from its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.

THE U.S. POLO ASSN.

The brand carries an extensive collection of classically styled, high quality, casual clothing from polo shirts and tees to khakis and hoodies for men, women and children as well as watches, luggage, sunglasses, handbags and much more.

RIO GRANDE PARK

The park is Aspen’s largest park within city limits just south of downtown. It contains professional size rugby field, state-of-the-art skate park, Theater Aspen, basketball court and John Denver Sanctuary. The multi-functional park is used for major sporting events. The park is located at North Mill St. and Rio Grande Place. For information call 970-920-5120.

SNOW POLO FAST FACTS

The sport was first played on a frozen lake in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1985 and has been growing ever since attracting thousands of spectators. In the U.S., snow polo is held exclusively in Aspen, Colorado. Snow polo is a modified version of polo. Games are played on a snow-packed field surrounded by fencing to keep the ball in play. Teams have three players instead of four as in typical arena polo. Play consists of four seven-minute chukkers. The horses have special cleated shoes to provide better traction. The ball is larger and lighter and bright orange or red for visibility on the snowy surface.

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 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 and refreshments. 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 emailaspenvalleypolo@bellsouth.net or log ontowww.aspenvalleypoloclub.com.