It’s Show Time At Piaget World Snow Polo Championship Friday At Wagner Park
After a brief practice session on Thursday, world-class polo players will get down to business Friday at the Piaget World Snow Polo Championship at Wagner Park in downtown Aspen.
Some of the world’s greatest polo players including Argentine brothers Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres, two of only six players in the world with the perfect 10-goal rating, will compete on the final stop on the 2013 calendar for the World Polo Tour.
Melissa and Marc Ganzi of Aspen Valley Polo Club, sister club of Wellington, Fla.-based Grand Champions Polo Club, along with Nacho Figueras and Larry Boland, president of Piaget North America, are hosting the polo extravaganza. St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is the official hospitality partner and Audi is the official car.
“This has been a great event for many years,” said organizer Marc Ganzi, who grew up in Aspen. “But it’s an event we felt that had more potential with the opportunity to bring some of the best players in the world and bring great horses from Wellington (Fla.) up here. To create a great venue with great partners has never been done before.
“I think America needed a really high-end competitive snow polo event and I think we have done that here,” Ganzi said.
On Thursday, players and horses got a chance to practice and acclimate on the snowy surface and prepare for Friday’s three-team round robin tournament. They also enjoyed a St. Regis brunch, talking with media members from around the world and sharing good times with friends, family VIPs and sponsors in the VIP Pavilion before getting down to business.
Team roster lineups for the championship are:
Audi: Facundo Pieres, Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini.
Piaget: Gonzalito Pieres, Marc Ganzi, Kris Kampsen.
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts: Nacho Figueras, Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips, an all-pro team.
“I think people in Aspen will enjoy polo very much and will get to love it as much as we all do,” said Figueras, the sport’s ambassador and face of Ralph Lauren. “Marc and Melissa Ganzi have been talking the last few years about taking this tournament to the next level and we think that this year we have.
“Marc and Melissa have been supportive of polo all over America and they have done a great job in Wellington and I think Aspen is their next step,” Figueras said.
It will be a full schedule of activities on Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. After the national anthem by Jeannie Walla, a singer and teacher at the Theatre Aspen’s After School Program, and flag presentation, the much-anticipated tournament gets under way.
In the opening game, Piaget plays St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Polo Team followed by Audi against the loser of the Piaget-St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Polo Team game and Audi will then play the winner of the Piaget-St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Polo Team game.
The awards ceremony and team presentations will follow along with a lavish VIP After Party.
PoloLine TV will live stream Friday’s championship.
Polo fans will be able to relax and watch world-class snow polo from the heated VIP Pavilion while enjoying mountain fare from the The St. Regis Aspen Resort, including the brand’s signature Afternoon Tea Service along with cocktails from Johnnie Walker Blue.
Tickets are available through Ticket Leap (www.ticketleap.com). A one-day pass for the VIP tent is $150.
The VIP Pavilion ticket includes full access, lunch courtesy of The St. Regis Aspen Resort and cocktails provided by Johnnie Walker’s mixologist.
General admission is free to the public and will be first-come, first-serve bleacher seating on the east side of the park.
All proceeds benefit Sopris Therapy Services and Aspen Sister Cities.
Sopris Therapy Services is a non-profit organization that provides Equine Assisted Therapy and rehabilitation in a ranch-setting to children and adults with various disabilities.
Aspen Sister Cities’ mission is to share ideas and cultures through the international exchange of students and All proceeds benefit Sopris Therapy Services and Aspen Sister Cities. Both charities depend on community support.