Three firsts at the 35th Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz
The 35th Snow Polo World Cup, which was held from 25 to 27 January 2019, will go down in history as the tournament of firsts: It was the first-ever overall victory for the team «Badrutt’s Palace». And, for the first time in the history of the tournament, a female player, namely Melissa Ganzi from the USA, bagged the coveted Cartier Trophy. The breathtaking performances of the «Sardhadchi» cavalry team were another novelty. These artists on horseback from Azerbaijan, who appeared for the first time in Switzerland, delighted the audience with their fast-paced acrobatic show. The 2019 event on the frozen Lake St. Moritz saw a turnout of some 18,000 spectators, more than ever before. Sponsors and partners showed a firm commitment, and demand for VIP, Chukker Club and gala night tickets was unusually strong. With a tournament budget of CHF 2.5 million coupled with the favourable circumstances, the organisers estimate to have generated an economic benefit for the region of some CHF 12 million, which is a significant year-on-year increase. Next year, the Snow Polo World Cup will take place from 24 to 26 January 2020.
This year’s tournament was not only a first-rate event on the polo field – with some of the world’s best polo players, such as 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero, competing on the frozen Lake St. Moritz – but also aside from the playing field. Over the three days, more than 18,000 spectators flocked to the frozen lake to watch the teams play. More than 200 journalists, photographers and camera teams from around the world attended. The demand for VIP and Chukker Club tickets was unusually high on all three days. Saturday’s tickets for both the VIP tent and the «Baku St. Moritz Gala» at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel were sold out.
The «Sardadchi» cavalry team from Azerbaijan captivated the audience on each of the three days of the tournament. The 12-strong troupe on their noble Karabakh horses have appeared regularly at top-notch international events since their first show in 2012. Notably, they performed their mesmerising «Land of Fire Azerbaijan» show at the birthday celebration for Queen Elizabeth II.
Two thousand eight hundred sushi rolls were served in the VIP tent over the three days of the tournament by the official caterer of the Snow Polo World Cup St Moritz, the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, who also uncorked some 500 bottles of red wine and an equal amount of white wine. Zwyer Caviar served 15 kilograms of first-rate caviar. Champagne flowed both in the VIP tent and the Polo Village – with more than 2,000 bottles of Perrier-Jouët consumed – and some 115 litres of Royal Salute whisky were poured.
La Martina’s founder Lando Simonetti won the Baku Moritz Polo Award 2019
At the gala night at the Badrutt’s Palace hotel on Saturday evening, the «Baku Moritz Polo Award», that recognises outstanding achievements in the field of polo sports, was awarded for the second time. This year’s award went to Lando Simonetti, founder and owner of the La Martina brand. Since its creation in 1985, La Martina has been supporting the sport of polo and propagating its values. The company, having started in boots and saddles, soon expanded;; it created a lifestyle collection and advanced its technological prowess. Today, La Martina warrants the quality required in this demanding sport.
Reto Gaudenzi, founder of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz and president of World Polo PLC, together with Elchin Guliyev, president of the Azerbaijani equestrian sports federation, Dr Piero Dillier, vice-president of the Federation of International Polo FIP, Birgit Hügli-Hermann, publisher- cum-owner of the Polo & Luxury magazine and the lady who initiated the award, as well as Richard Leuenberger, managing director of the Badrutt’s Palace hotel sit on the judging committee that picks the award winner.
Excellent conditions for the tournament on all three days
The organisers of the tournament jointly with some 100 volunteers once again managed to prepare an exceptionally well-groomed polo field. On the tournament weekend, the players and their ponies could rely on a 250-strong team to cater for excellent conditions. Thus, they have contributed significantly to turning the 35th edition of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz into a first-rate event and the sporting and social highlight of the winter polo season once again.