On Saturday, February 6, 2016 the Moscow Polo Club opened new winter season with the Moscow Snow Polo Championship.
Two teams from the Moscow Polo Club competed for the Tournament Cup: Gleb Fetisov (-2), Ekaterina Turina (-1) and the Director of the Moscow Polo Club Misha Rodzianko (3) played in blue uniform while Ekaterina Kozachenko (-1), Alexander Patyutko (0), Alexis Rodzianko (0) and Egor Zaostrovtsev (1) wore orange uniform. Three players from each team were playing at the field at the same time so players of the second team replaced each other in different chukkas.
The “blue” team took the lead from the very beginning: Misha Rodzianko, holding the highest handicap among the Russian players, scored 3 goals, one by one, in the opponents’ gate. However, at the end of the first chukka his father – Alexis Rodzianko, who played in the opposite team, managed to reduce the gap, and the period ended with the score 3-1.
In the second chukka the “orange” team tried to fight back and made some dynamic attacks but with no result, and soon Misha Rodzianko managed to score another goal. Egor Zaostrovtsev from the Moscow Polo Club-2 team became a real hero of this chukka making several saves and scoring a goal, reducing the gap to 2 points again.
In the third chukka Alexander Patyutko and Misha Rodzianko scored 2 more goals for their teams, and the period ended with the score 5-3 in favor of the Moscow Polo Club-1.
In the fourth chukka teams’ forces were equal, and the score remained unchanged. The final, fifth chukka was particularly exciting: the intensity of emotions was so high that Alexis Rodzianko lost his balance and flew out of the saddle. Fortunately, the snow softened his fall and there were no injuries – the President of the Moscow Polo Club was able to continue the game and soon scored a beautiful goal. Another goal for the “orange” team was scored by Alexander Patyutko but Misha Rodzianko replied with two goals, so the Moscow Polo Club-2 team did not manage to close the gap – as a result, the “blue” team of the Moscow Polo Club-1 won with a score of 7-5.
Guests watched the game from a marquee warming themselves up by an exclusive Winter Polo Tea cocktail with Woodford Reserve bourbon, hot tea and mulled wine.
At the end of the game all tournament participants and guests gathered for the prize-giving ceremony. Players from the Moscow Polo Club-2 team received gifts from the championship partners, and the winners of the tournament – Moscow Polo Club-1 received an honorary Cup and unique handmade bourbon Woodford Reserve.
The best horse of the tournament was Juanita played by Ekaterina Tyurina in the 2nd and 5th chukkas (owned by Alexis Rodzianko). The best player was Misha Rodzianko from the Moscow Polo Club-1 team with impressive 7 goals scored. “I tried to take the initiative but the victory is always a common achievement of the whole team,” he commented. “Each player, with any handicap, can be useful and influence the outcome of the match.”
The event was organized with the support of Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club, Woodford Reserve and 2K.
About the Moscow Polo Club:
Launched in 2003, the Moscow Polo Club retuned polo to Russia after nearly 100 years of the sports’ absence during communism. The oldest and largest club in Russia relocated to the Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club in 2009 and now sits on 30 hectares next door to a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. The club boasts two impeccable regulation sized polo fields designed by Alejandro Battro, one practice field surrounded by a 1 km track, an outdoor arena and stables that can accommodate up to 80 polo ponies. The Moscow Polo Club hosts the majority of tournaments of the Russian polo season. The winter season lasts from mid-January to mid-March. The summer season lasts from mid-May to mid-September. The Moscow Polo Club also houses a Polo Academy, which has brought up a good number of Russia’s players.