Some of the world’s best players including Argentine 10-goaler Nico Pieres fresh off the Argentine Open will compete in this week’s St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship. Several tournament players are coming off the recent Argentine Open Polo Championship in Palermo including Pieres (Ellerstina), 8-goal rated brothers Alejandro and Nacho Novillo Astrada (La Aguada Las Monjitas) and 8-goaler Magoo Laprida (Cria Yatay).
For the fifth consecutive year, Melissa and Marc Ganzi, co-founders of Aspen Valley Polo Club, along with polo ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina, will host the star-studded event. Figueras is one of the sport’s most popular and well-recognized players in the world.
Six teams including defending champion Flexjet will compete in North America’s only snow polo tournament and final stop on the World Polo Tour. The player lineup reads like a Who’s Who in polo, from legendary Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Mike Azzaro to top American player Nic Roldan, rated at 8-goals.
The teams and rosters are:
Aspen Valley Polo Club
Nacho Novillo Astrada
Alejandro Novillo Astrada
U.S. Polo Assn.
In front of an overflow crowd and sold out VIP tent, last year’s tournament winner was Flexjet with team captain Melissa Ganzi, the first woman to win the event, and teammates Jason Crowder and Jesse Bray, the tournament MVP. In the final, Flexjet defeated defending champion U.S. Polo Assn. (Bash Kazi, Carlitos Gracida, Tommy Biddle), 7-4.
The glitz, glamour and excitement of one of the world’s top snow polo tournaments is a major attraction not only for the local community but fans from all over the world that fly in for the breathtaking scenery, venue and great polo action.
The three-day tournament is a major attraction for the local community and fans from all over the world. One of the social events of the year is a major allure for the Aspen community and surrounding areas.
St. Regis Aspen Resort will host the team presentation, tournament draw and cocktail party on Thursday night at 8 p.m.
Tournament action opens Friday at Aspen Valley Polo Club with the qualifying games sponsored by the club. Following a barn tour and blacksmith demonstration, two round robin games will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. followed by the popular grooms’ race at 2 p.m.
On Saturday and Sunday, Rio Grande Park will host the action. On Saturday, a four-chukker game will be played to determine the fifth and sixth place finishers at 1:08 p.m. and followed by a Celebrity Polo Chukker at 2:15 p.m. Also on Saturday, the local and international media will get the chance to meet the players before the game.
On Sunday at 1 p.m. the final and subsidiary final will be held followed by the trophy presentation at 4 p.m. with all six teams.
Rio Grande Park is Aspen’s largest multi-functional park within the city’s limits and just minutes away from the St. Regis Aspen Resort.