The World’s only High Goal Tournament on Snow
Every last weekend in January, St. Moritz turns into the world capital of polo: Since 1985, when snow polo had its world premiere here, teams from around the world compete for the coveted Cartier Trophy on the frozen lake of St. Moritz.
The three days of the tournament stand for high-class polo played against the magnificent backdrop of the snow-capped mountains of the Engadin Valley and social events both on the lake and in the first-class hotels in St. Moritz.
Polo has been played for more than 2600 years. It originated in ancient Persia — today’s Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir and northern Pakistan. The game made it to St. Moritz around 1899 when English soldiers built the first polo field. In 1959, a group of locals founded the St. Moritz polo club, and tournaments were held in the summers from 1960 to 1964.
In 1978, hotelier Reto Gaudenzi formed the first Swiss polo team; in 1983, a Swiss team played an international match for the first time. 1985 saw the world premiere of a polo tournament on snow on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. In 1993 St Moritz hosted the FIP European Championship and in 1995 the FIP World Championship (on grass).What began on the snow of St. Moritz more than 30 years ago started a worldwide trend—nowadays, polo on snow is played across the globe from Aspen in the US and Cortina in Italy to Tianjin in China. Still, the St. Moritz original remains the most prestigious polo tournament on snow fetching the highest prize money.
On the frozen lake of St. Moritz, four «high goal» teams compete for the highly coveted Cartier Trophy.In 2017, more than 12,000 spectators experienced a world of sports, marked by elegance, speed, and the traditional British sporting spirit. Put simply: tradition – class – hospitality – emotions!
The tournament culminates with the small and the grand finale on Sunday. During all matches, total concentration, dexterity, courage and endurance are required from the world’s elite players as much as from their horses. The challenge of playing on snow, the unique location at 1850 metres above sea level and the sophistication of St. Moritz combine to make the tournament one of its kind.
A laid - back Polo Bar in St. Moritz’s legendary restaurant Chesa Veglia and the “Baku Moritz Polo Award” are two new additions to this year’s fixture.Some 15,000 spectators from around the globe are expected to attend the world’s only high - goal polo tournament on snowFour top - tier teams studded with players from nine countries will once again compete for the coveted Cartier Trophy this year.
The competition kicks off with a riveting encounter on Friday noon:
Rommy Gianni (+1) and his top - class Team Cartier - the winner of 2016 and 2017 has old hands Chris Hyde(+5), Dario Musso(+6) and Juan Cruz Greguoli(+4) at his side - will face the runners - up of 2017, Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel around captain Melissa Ganzi(0). The US American player is entering the competition with a first - rate team, lining up with the only Swiss player, Tito Gaudenzi(+2), very well known in the Engadin Valley, and the Argentine polo legend Alejandro Novillo Astrada(+8).
Friday’s second game promises no less excitement:
Zhanna Bandurko(0), the Russian player making her debut at the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz, and her sterling Team Maserati will face last year’s new comers Azerbaijan Land of Fire with captain Elchin Jamalli(+3). Bandurko has teamed up with the professional players Robert Strom(+5), Gerardo Mazzini and Hissam al Hyder (both+6). Rashad Hasanov(+2) and the two professional players from Argentina Lala Laplacette(+5) and Adrian Laplacette Jr.(+6) complete the ambitious team from Azerbaijan.
Thrilling matches and many novelties at the 34th Snow Polo World Cup in St. Moritz.