Grand Champions' Melissa Ganzi To Make History At St. Moritz Snow Polo World Cup;Action Begins Friday

WELLINGTON, FL- January 27, 2016 –¬†Melissa Ganzi will make history at this week’s St. Moritz Snow Polo World Cup Tournament in Switzerland.

The Grand Champions Polo Club president will be the first woman to compete in the snow polo tournament since its’ inception in 1985.

Ganzi will compete for Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. She will be joined by 9-goaler Agustin Merlos, 4-goaler Mariano Gracida and 2-goaler Tito Gaudenzi.

Ganzi has been a trailblazer in polo since she started playing sixteen years ago. She is the USPA Florida Circuit Governor, the first woman in the southeast to hold the office. She is involved in every aspect of polo including the U.S. Polo Association, Polo Training Foundation, Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame and horse breeding.

Ganzi is the first woman ever to win the Monty Waterbury Cup. The Flexjet high goal patron is one of only two women competing in the 26-goal season at International Polo Club. She has won several tournaments including the Ylvisaker Cup and Aspen World Snow Polo Tournament and is ranked in the Top 15 in the World Polo Tour amateur rankings.

Melissa Ganzi will compete for Team Badrutt Palace Hotel.

She is co-owner of Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington and its sister club Aspen Valley Polo Club in Colorado, where she and her husband, Marc, produce and compete in the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship.

Agustin (Tincho) Merlos, the youngest of three polo-playing brothers, holds the record for most number of goals scored in a single game in the Argentine Open.

The Swiss-born Tito Gaudenzi, son of the tournament founder, 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.

Mariano Gracida, the youngest son of the legendary Carlos Gracida, is an up-and-coming player who has competed in several tournaments. He represented his native country Mexico in the International 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 from the U.S., England, Italy and Switzerland will compete for the coveted Cartier Trophy on the frozen lake of St. Moritz.

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.

Other teams competing are:

Team Cartier: Spencer McCarthy, 1, Charlie Wooldridge, 2, Chris Hyde, 6, Nacho Gonzalez, 6.

Team Perrier-Jouet: Cedric Schweri, 0, Luca Zindel, 1, Aluisio Rosa, 7, Olavo Novaes, 7.

Team Maserati: Rommy Gianni, 1, Luciano Vazquez, 2, Dario Musso, 7, Frankie Menendes, 6.

Team Cartier is three-time defending champion.

On Friday at 2:15 p.m. Badrutt’s Palace Hotel plays Maserati in Game 2 following the opening game at noon between Cartier and Perrier-Jouet.

On Saturday at noon the third polo game features Badrutt’s Palace Hotel playing Perrier-Jouet. At 2:15 p.m. Maserati plays 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.

Organizers are using snowmakers to ensure the polo field is safer for horses and players on the compacted layer of snow. The artificial snow will be used on the frozen lake since the natural snow that fell last week couldn’t be properly groomed.

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.

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