Moscow Polo Club – 2011 season

Moscow Polo Club – 2011 season

Moscow Polo Club has just released details of their 2011 season, which gets underway on the 14th May.  The two major tournaments will once again be the Russian Open on the 21-22nd August and the Argentina Cup 11th – 12th June.  Both the Russian Open and Argentina Cup tournaments are open to teams up to 5 goals, with a maximum of one professional player per side.  

The Russian Open now in its 6th year is a popular fixture on the summer social calendar and regularly attracts a large audience on the day and significant media coverage, including TV reports on Channel 1 (the national sports station) and Russia Today.

Beluga Vodka has once again pledged their support for the event, underlining their ongoing commitment to the Russian Open and the sport of polo, after their successful sponsorship of the Moscow team in the 2010 Aspen Snow Polo.  Beluga’s support of the club is always appreciated, particularly for their fantastic cocktails at MPC eventsLive.   Negotiations with other leading sponsors are also in progress.

Victor Huaco’s President’s Club (also based outside of Moscow) will be competing in the Russian Open, as will at least one international team.

The Argentina Cup is held under the patronage of the Argentine Ambassador to Russia and traditionally marks the beginning of summer with an Argentine asado and picnic.

For the second year, Moscow Polo Club is organizing a weekly Polo Academy course.  Clinics will be given by the club’s 2 resident Argentine professionals, brothers Hernan (4 goals) and Alejandro (5 goals) Taverso.  The clinics take place from May 15th through to July 31st with the Academy meeting on Thursdays at 18:30 through the months of May, June, and July.  The end of the course will be marked by a “Graduation Cup” competition between participants. 

Moscow Polo Club President Alex Rodzianko says “The aim of the polo clinic is to encourage new and young players to improve their skills and their understanding of the rules.  We hope to encourage beginners and it is the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in trying the sport for the first time to get involved in a fun atmosphere.  Russia has a long tradition of polo that we hope to reinvigorate by making the sport more accessible”.

Recently, MPC President Alex Rodzianko was delighted to discover that one of his distant ancestors, Prince Sergey Belosselsky-Belozerksy, (Colonel of the 2nd Dragoons) had introduced polo to Russia and founded a polo club in 1893 at the family estate on Krestovsky Island near St. Petersburg.  The club hosted such notable polo players as Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst (later Viceroy of India), American Ambassador George von L. Meyer, Prince Napoleon Murat and the first local Russian players including the Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia, Prince Michael Cantacuzène-Speranski and Count Kinsky.  

Krestovsky Island is perhaps mostly known as the spot where Rasputin’s body was found floating in the icy river beside the Belosselsky palace in 1917.  After the October Revolution, the game of polo was abruptly discontinued in Russia, along with most other so-called aristocratic indulgences.  Prior to the opening of the Moscow Polo Club in 2003, polo had not been played for over 90 years.

Moscow Polo Club 

The Moscow Polo Club is based at the famous Tseleevo Polo & Golf Club, 45 minutes from central Moscow.  The prestigious club boasts an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course and academy and international standard polo field.  In addition to the beautiful main clubhouse, a smaller separate clubhouse for polo was built in the summer of 2010.

The club has 80 ponies, 25 playing members and welcomes visiting players.  Polo is played at 18:30 on Wednesdays, 15.00 Saturdays and Sundays and admission is free to the public.

On May 28th and 29th, the Moscow team will travel to London to play in the Guards Polo Club Ivan the Terrible Twilight Challenge and in the Club Series opener at Ham Polo Club.

Plans are also underway to arrange two China versus Russia challenge matches, one to be held in each country later in the season.