Team Sponsors, Rosters Announced For St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship

A Who’s Who in polo led by 10-goalers Adolfo Cambiaso and Juan Martin Nero, will compete in the much-anticipated 11th annual St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship this week.

By Sharon Robb

One of the world’s top snow polo tournaments and only snow polo tournament held in North America, will feature six teams competing for the coveted winner’s trophy on the final stop of the World Polo Tour.

Team sponsors and rosters are:
Aspen Valley (17): Marc Ganzi, 1, Jason Crowder, 6, Adolfo Cambiaso, 10.

Blade & Bow (18): Scott Wood, 2, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Juan Martin Nero, 10.

Casablanca (17): Grant Ganzi, 3, Hilario Figueras, 5, Nic Roldan, 9.

Edmiston (16): Teo Calle, 1, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7, Pancho Bensadon, 8.

NetJets (16): Ricky Cooper, 3, Pete Webb, 6, Sugar Erskine, 7.

St. Regis (14): Santos Bollini, 2, Nacho Figueras, 6, Juan Bollini, 6.

Cambiaso, rated 10 goals in the U.S., Argentina and United Kingdom, is making his snow polo debut in the U.S. Cambiaso and Nero, teammates on La Dolfina Saudi, are coming off the 130th Argentine Open.

The sport’s ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur Nacho Figueras returns as captain of the St. Regis polo team. Figueras has played a role in the snow polo event’s growth and development.

For the eleventh consecutive year, Aspen Valley Polo Club owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi will host the world-class event in a holiday setting against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains, kicking off the holiday social season in Aspen. The tournament has joined St. Moritz as one of the world’s top snow polo tournaments and one of Aspen’s major international sporting events.

The festivities begin Thursday with the draw party and traditional champagne sabering at the St. Regis. The ritual dates back to 1904 when hotel founder John Jacob Astor IV would nightly have a bottle sabered on-property to celebrate the transition from day to night. Astor was inspired by the glamour of sabrage, an act which had been made famous by Napoleon Bonaparte, who opened champagne with his saber in both victory and defeat.

Preliminary qualifying round robin games are Friday at Aspen Valley Polo Club’s state-of-the-art indoor arena beginning at 1:30 p.m .

Action moves to Rio Grande Park on Saturday where the High Alpine Cup, a playoff for fifth and sixth place at 1:15 p.m., inaugural Potamkin Charity Chukker at 2:30 p.m. and Celebrity Polo Match, highlighted by actor Sterling Jones, at 3:15 p.m. will be held.

The Potamkin Charity Chukker is in honor of beloved Aspen resident Robert Potamkin, the father of Melissa Ganzi, who passed away recently. The philanthropist and automotive magnate had an indomitable spirit and passion for community. His legacy goes beyond his business achievements.

Each goal scored in the Potamkin Charity Chukker will make a donation to charity. The Potamkin Yellow team will earn money for the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation and Potamkin Black team will earn money for the Calloway Young Cancer Center.

On Sunday the championship final is 1 p.m. and Aspen Cup at 3 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony.

VIP tickets can still be purchased for the  event. Ticket information can be found at The games are free for spectators standing around the arena fencing. The event is a fundraiser for the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation. Donations are welcome.

The snow polo tournament is a major attraction for the local community, attracts fans from all over the world, and is a major allure for the Aspen community and surrounding areas.

In last year’s thrilling finish, Blade & Bow won its first St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship. Blade & Bow (Grant Ganzi, 3, Hilario Figueras, 6, Tommy Biddle, 9) rallied from a four-goal deficit to defeat St. Regis (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Nacho Figueras, 6, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7), 9-8, in front of a soldout  VIP tent and worldwide CTV audience.

Other past winners are: 2021, Richard Mille (Sarah Siegel Magness, Jesse Bray, Pablo MacDonough); 2020, World Polo League (Riley Ganzi, Hilario Figueras, Alejandro Novillo Astrada); 2019, Richard Mille (Edouard Pan, Pablo MacDonough, Louis Jarrige); 2018, Richard Mille (Marc Ganzi, Martin Pepa, Pablo MacDonough); U.S. Polo Assn.; 2017, (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan); 2016, Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini);  2015, U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Juancito Bollini); 2014, Piaget (Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Nic Roldan); and 2013, St. Regis (Nacho Figueras, Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips).

From the VIP tent, guests can watch from  an exclusive St. Regis alpine-inspired chalet with chandeliers fashioned from antlers and bedecked with evergreens, leather furniture and cozy fur throws.

The sport was first played on a frozen lake in St. Moritz, Switzerland, created by Swiss hotelier and polo visionary Reto Gaudenzi in 1985 and has been growing in popularity ever since, attracting thousands of spectators and top players from around the world.

Snow polo is a modified version of regulation 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 polo. Play consists of four chukkers. The horses have special cleated shoes to provide better traction. The ball is larger and lighter and a specific color for visibility on the snowy surface.

With the majestic 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, Aspen Valley Polo Club has become the world’s destination spot for summer and snow polo.     

Since Marc and Melissa Ganzi resurrected the Carbondale-based club and polo in 2014, 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 Wheely Polo, The Polo School 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.

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