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Aspen Valley Polo Club Announces Its 2024 Summer Schedule

CARBONDALE, Colo., May 2, 2024---With the magnificent 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, polo returns to the valley when Aspen Valley Polo Club hosts 14 grass and arena tournaments in July and August.

By Sharon Robb

The 11th season kicks off with the traditional Independence Cup on July 3. The season highlights include the Summer Polo Charity Classic, Triple Crown of Polo-Aspen and Silver Queen Invitational doubleheader, new Twilight Polo Series and Aspen Arena Series Final.

Nestled in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, Aspen Valley Polo Club has become the summer destination for polo and top players from around the world.

Other summer tournaments are ChukkerTV Cup, Craig Sakin Memorial, Basalt Handicap, Emma Challenge Cup, High Alpine Cup, Mount Sopris Cup, Rocky Mountain Open, Carbondale Classic and Maroon Bells Cup.

Unlike any other summer polo destination in the world, the local culture offers shops, incredible culinary scene, art, music and nightlife in addition to hiking trails, mountain biking, river rafting, golf and fly fishing.

Last year Aspen Valley Polo Club celebrated its tenth anniversary and enjoyed its best season, highlighted by the Summer Polo Charity Classic, benefitting the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation. A sellout crowd of 1,200 enjoyed the food, music, polo, auction and vendors during a five-hour tripleheader. Since 2016, the event has netted $3.5 million for the hospital.

Among 2023 tournament winners were:

Victory Polo (Becky Schmeits, Grant Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini) won the Independence Cup with a 4-3 win over Mountain Chevrolet (Riley Ganzi/Santos Bollini, Michael Payne, Nic Roldan, Jimmy Seward).

In the ChukkerTV Cup final, Santa Rita (Melissa Ganzi, Tito Gaudenzi, 2, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7, Juan Bollini, 3) defeated Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Jimmy Seward, 3, Tomacho Pieres, 6, Martin Jauregui, 6), 9-7.

M.A.G. Polo (Govinda Quish, Dominic State, 2, Nic Roldan 8, Jason Crowder, 5) defeated NetJets (Santos Bollini, 2, Marc Ganzi, 1, Nacho Figueras 5, Hilario Figueras, 5), 8-7, to win the Craig Sakin Memorial.

NetJets (Ale Poma 1, Nacho Figueras, 3, Marc Ganzi, 1, Nic Roldan, 8) won the Basalt Handicap with an 11-8 win over ST8 (Melissa Ganzi, Dominic State, 2, Nacho Novillo Astrada, 8, Juan Bollini, 3).

Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, 3, Hilario Figueras 5, Nic Roldan, 8, Stewart Armstrong, 2) won the Emma Challenge Cup with a 9-5 win over Los Amigos (Melissa Ganzi, Martin Jauregui, 6, Alejandro Novillo Astrada 7, Juan Boliini, 3).

Mountain Chevrolet (Michael Payne, 1, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Hilario Figueras, 5, Martin Jauregui, 6) defeated NetJets (Santos Bollini, 2/Marc Ganzi, 1, Nacho Figueras, 5, Gonzalito Pieres, 9, Stewart Armstrong, 2), 12-9, to win the High Alpine Cup.

Travieso (Teo Calle, 1, Grant Ganzi, 3, Martin Jauregui, 6, Nic Roldan, 8) won the Mount Sopris Cup tournament with a thrilling 9-8 victory over Santa Rita (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Hilario Figueras, 5, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7, Juan Bollini, 3).

Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, 0, Marc Ganzi, 1, Gonzalito Pieres, 9, Nic Roldan, 8) held off Santa Rita (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7, Polito Pieres, 10, Stewart Armstrong, 2), 14-12, to win the Rocky Mountain Open presented by NetJets.

Polo 4 Christ (Steve Cox, Tatu Gomez Romero, 4, Polito Pieres 10, Grant Ganzi, 3) won the first sudden death overtime game of the season with a thrilling 10-9 victory over Santa Rita (Melissa Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7, Nic Roldan, 8, Stewart Armstrong, 2) to win the third annual Silver Queen Invitational.

Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Gonzalito Pieres, 9, Tomacho Pieres, 6, Marc Ganzi, 1) defeated defending champion Mountain Chevrolet (Michael Payne, 1, Santos Bollini, 2, Martin Jauregui, 6, Nacho Novillo Astrada, 8), 11-9, in the Carbondale Classic.

Wellington, Fla.-based ChukkerTV (CTV sports) live streamed the entire 2023 polo season Mountain Standard Time with announcer Dale Schwetz calling the action. Aspen Valley Polo Club was the only USPA club to live stream its entire summer schedule.

The family-friendly club on 15 acres welcomes spectators. All matches, food and refreshments are free and open to the public.

With a vision for the community, Marc and Melissa Ganzi resurrected the club and polo in 2014. Since then polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding cities with the club's offerings of various weekly grass and arena tournaments, Arena & Asado Nights, Kidz Polo, Kids Wheelie Polo, Gymkhana, The Polo School at AVPC headed by former 8-goaler Juan Bollini, and Polo On Demand. In addition, the club offers practice sessions for teams competing in the club tournaments on more than six world-class fields. There are also indoor and outdoor polo arenas.

The Polo School is for all ages and ability levels amd operates in Carbondale. For more information on tournaments or Polo School contact Director of Operations Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099 or club manager Cale Newman at 561-876-2930.

Aspen Valley 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.



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