WELLINGTON, FL—January 26, 2017—Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is one of the team favorites for the St. Moritz Snow Polo World Cup Tournament that gets under way Friday in Switzerland.
The foursome of Melissa Ganzi, 8-goaler Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Argentina, 5-goaler Jesse Bray and Tito Gaudenzi will represent Badrutt’s.
Ganzi, the Florida Circuit Governor and Grand Champions Polo Club president, returns to the 33rd event after making history in last year’s tournament.
Ganzi was the first woman to compete in the snow polo tournament since its inception in 1985.
Ganzi is coming off the successful World Snow Polo Championship held in December in Aspen where she and her husband Marc own Aspen Valley Polo Club and co-host the tournament with Nacho Figueras and wife Delfina.
Ganzi, Bray and Jason Crowder of Flexjet knocked off defending champion U.S. Polo Assn., 7-4, to win its first snow polo title. Bray, making his snow polo debut, was Most Valuable Player.
In last year’s St. Moritz event, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel captured the La Martina Cup. Ganzi, Mariano Gracida, Agustin (Tincho) Merlos and Gaudenzi won a thrilling 5-3 victory over Team Perrier-Jouet (Cedric Schweri, Luca Zindel, Aluisio Rosa, Olavo Novaes) in front of a sellout crowd.
In the championship final, Team Maserati (Rommy Gianni, Luciano Vazquez, Dario Musso, Frankie Menendes) knocked off defending champion and Team Cartier (Spencer McCarthy, Charlie Wooldridge, Chris Hyde, Nacho Gonzalez), 5-4, to capture the coveted Cartier Cup. Argentine Dario Musso of Team Maserati was named Most Valuable Player.
The Swiss-born Gaudenzi, son of the tournament founder Reto Gaudenzi, has competed in several of the world’s top polo tournaments including St. Moritz. He has won several prestigious tournaments including four German Polo Championships and was 2005 MVP at the Snow Polo World Cup.
The world’s most prestigious polo tournament on snow was the first snow polo tournament in the sport’s history created by polo promoter Reto Gaudenzi, founder and CEO of the Snow Polo World Cup.
Four high goal teams with players from the U.S., Argentina, England, Italy, Malaysia and Switzerland will compete for the coveted Cartier Trophy on the frozen lake of St. Moritz.
On Thursday, teams went through training sessions at the lake. Players and sponsors were scheduled to be presented at a cocktail party followed by Fondue Night with Miami-based electronic indie pop duo The Noux.
The three-day tournament has a backdrop of the snow-capped Engadin Valley and is the social event of the season. Social events will be held both on the lake and St. Moritz first-class hotels.
The team lineups are:
Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel: Melissa Ganzi, 0; Tito Gaudenzi, 2; Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8; Jesse Bray, 5.
Team Cartier: Rommy Gianni, 1; Charlie Wooldridge, 2; Chris Hyde, 6; Dario Musso, 7.
Team Perrier-Jouet: Luca Meier, 1; Fabio Meier, 1; Lucas Labat, 7; Fabian Bolanterio, 5.
Team Maserati: Chevy Beh, 1; Joevy Beh, 5; Garvy Beh, 5; James Beh, 5.
Team Maserati features father James Beh and his sons Joevy, Garvy and Chevy. It will be the all-Malaysian team’s St. Moritz debut.
On Friday at noon Cartier plays Perrier-Jouet followed by Badrutt’s Palace Hotel against Maserati.
On Saturday at noon the third polo game will feature Badrutt’s Palace Hotel playing Perrier-Jouet at noon followed by Maserati against Cartier.
On Sunday at noon teams playing for third place will compete for the La Martina Cup before the championship final at 2:15 p.m.where the two finalists compete for the coveted Cartier Trophy.
Since the tournament’s inception, admission to the event has always been free including access to the stands. Very few VIP tickets are available. It is expected to be a sellout. Last year a record 12,000 spectators attended the three days of the tournament
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, one of the team sponsors, is in the center of St. Moritz.
Grand Champions Polo Club caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. Its expert staff can customize a complete playing experience including horses, pros and certified umpires in addition to lessons and practice sessions as part of its’ Polo On Demand program, the only polo club in the U.S. to offer the unique program.
The Polo School at Grand Champions, a 501c3 organization, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.
2017 WINTER SCHEDULE
(Subject to change because of weather and scheduling conflicts).
Metropolitan Cup (6 goal): Saturday, Championship Final and Handicap Final.
Aspen Valley Cup (8 goal): Sunday, Final 10 a.m., Handicap Final, noon.
The Limited Edition Series (12 goal): Saturday, Handicap Final, 1 p.m. and Final, 3 p.m.
FEBRUARY: 1-26, Halo Polo Trophy (6 goal) and Top Pony 8 Goal Series; 1-25, USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy; Women’s League, every Wednesday.
FEBRUARY 22-March 11: Sterling Cup (20 goal) and John T. Oxley Memorial Trophy (Subs. Handicap).
MARCH: 1-26, Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (6 goal) and The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series; 1-25, The Top Pony 12-Goal Series; Women’s League, every Wednesday.
MARCH 1-11: $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament (Single elimination).
MARCH 15-April 1: National 20-Goal; Santa Rita Abierto (Subs. Handicap).
APRIL 1-15: $100,000 World Cup Tournament (0-26 Goals), winner-take-all single elimination.
APRIL 1-25: Las Acacias (4-8 Goals), Women’s League, every Wednesday.
APRIL 5-8: WCT Finals and Women’s Polo Week.
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.
INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi, Flexjet and first-year team Grand Champions Polo Club. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere that includes complimentary food and refreshments during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.