Last year’s victor Rommy Gianni (1/ITA) has managed to bring not just one but two previous cup winners, English superstar Chris Hyde (6/ENG) and Dario Musso (7/ARG), onto his Team Cartier. Another outstanding old hand, Charlie Woolridge (2/ENG), will also be playing in Cartier red. The team are indisputably strong favourites.
For all that, the result of the tournament remains wide open. Holding the position as the favourite can be a burden too as was spectacularly demonstrated last year when Team Maserati snatched the coveted Cartier Cup from title holder Team Cartier. This year, it will be the turn of James Beh (1/MAS) and his sons Joevy (4) and Garvy (4), together with Felipe Viana (6/URU), to wear the colours of Team Maserati. For the Malaysian players, it will be their first time in St. Moritz, but they have already gained experience on snow, playing in Aspen.
Melissa Ganzi’s (0/USA) Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel should not be made light of either. Ganzi spends summers in Florida and winters in Aspen, Colorado, and is very experienced on snow. She showed an impressive performance at her debut in St. Moritz last year. Her team boasts the only local player, Tito Gaudenzi (2/SUI), yet again, as well as the two world-class players Juan Bollini (5/ARG) and Agustin Merlos (+9/ARG).
The Swiss will be particularly keen to learn the fate of Team Perrier-Jouët: Brothers Luca and Fabio Meier (+1 both of them), from Zurich Polo Club, are teaming up with Pablo Jaurenche (7/ARG) and Fabion Bolaterio (5/ARG). They will be playing the opening match against Team Cartier on Friday.
The world’s first snow polo field
The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz is the only high-goal polo tournament played on snow. The competition kicked off in 1985 as the world’s first snow polo tournament. Hence, the polo field on the frozen Lake St. Moritz was the first of its kind on any continent. The high-class games of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz draw crowds of up to 12,000 spectators year after year.
The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz is first-rate beyond the field of sport: Guests from all corners of the earth and St. Moritz natives congregate in the tented village on Lake St. Moritz and the mountain resort’s many hotels — the polo weekend in January prevails as one of the social highlights of the St. Moritz winter season.
In 2017, Azerbaijan will be guest country of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz. Azerbaijan, the land in which the sport of polo originated more than 3,000 years ago, has been holding international polo tournaments with the support of St. Moritz since 2013. Last summer, St. Moritz and Badrutt’s Palace Hotel were guests of the CBC Sport Arena Polo World Cup tournament in Baku. Azerbaijan is returning the visit from St. Moritz, and, in turn, will be the guest of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2017. Saturday’s Snow Polo Night at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel will morph into a glamorous “Moritz-Baku Night”.
As a first, at the coming tournament, tickets will be available for the “Chukker Club”. For the price of CHF 50, spectators will enjoy the comfort of a warm blanket, a glass of Perrier-Jouët champagne and a canapé, taking a seat on the Chukker Club stand. Tickets for the Chukker Club, VIP tickets for the tournament as well as the “Moritz-Baku Night” are available at www.snowpolo-stmoritz.com/tickets. The number of tickets is limited.
Team Cartier (16)
Rommy Gianni (1/ITA)
Charlie Wooldridge (2/ENG)
Chris Hyde (6/ENG)
Dario Musso (7/ARG)
Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel (16)
Melissa Ganzi (0/USA)
Agustin “Tincho” Merlos (9/ARG)
Juan Bollini (5/ARG)
Tito Gaudenzi (2/SUI)
Team Maserati (15)
James Beh (1/MAS)
Joevy Beh (4/MAS)
Garvy Beh (4/MAS)
Felipe Viana (6/URU)
Team Perrier-Jouët (14)
Luca Meier (1/SUI)
Fabio Meier (1/SUI)
Pablo Jaureche (7/ARG)
Fabion Bolanterio (5/ARG)
Head Umpire: Oliver Ellis (GBR)
Umpire: Tim Keyte (GBR)
Umpire: Marcelo Garrahan (ARG)
Snow polo and Evviva Polo St. Moritz Ltd
The first time a polo competition took place on snow was in St. Moritz in 1985. Ever since, the Snow Polo World Cup has reigned over the last weekend in January in St. Moritz. In 2014, well-known exponents of snow polo in Switzerland founded Evviva Polo St. Moritz Ltd and signed a long-term contract with the city of St. Moritz, thus securing a sustained continuation of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz. The Board of Directors consists of Dr. Piero Dillier (President), Reto Gaudenzi (Vice-president and CEO), and Arndt Küchel. Dr. Thomas Rinderknecht and Peter A. C. Blum are on the Advisory Board; Jürg Reinger is the Managing Director.
Further information about the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz can be found on www.snowpolo-stmoritz.com