USPA Piaget World Snow Polo Championship Kicks Off Thursday
World-class snow polo takes center stage Thursday as the USPA Piaget World Snow Polo Championship gets under way at Aspen Valley Polo Club in Carbondale.
During Wednesday’s media and welcoming cocktail party at the St. Regis Hotels & Resort, team jerseys were distributed and the drawing was conducted to determine Thursday’s opening round-robin games at Aspen Valley Polo Club in Carbondale.
A record six teams are competing in the three-day tournament. Roster lineups for the tournament are:
Aspen Valley Polo Club: Juancito Bollini, Andrea Gonzalez, Alejandro Novillo Astrada
Audi: Melissa Ganzi, Kris Kampsen, Juan Bollini.
FlexJet: Tommy Kato, Martin Pepa, Luis Escobar
Piaget: Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Nic Roldan
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts: Alejandro Gonzalez, Mariano Gracida, Roberto Gonzalez
U.S. Polo Assn: Grant Ganzi, Brandon Phillips, Tommy Biddle
On Thursday at 11:30 a.m., Piaget will open play against FlexJet in the first two chukkers. The loser of that game will then play Aspen Valley Polo Club.The winner will play Aspen Valley Club.
The second round robin begins at 1:30 p.m. with the U.S. Polo Assn. playing Audi.
The losing team will play St. Regis and St. Regis will play the winner of the USPA Assn.-Audi game.
Local weather forecast calls for a light snow and 25-degree temperature.
The action then moves to Rio Grande Park on Friday and Saturday.
The top four teams from Thursday’s two round robins advance in Friday’s semifinals (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) to determine the finalists for Saturday (11 a.m.-4 p.m.).
The awards ceremony and team presentations will follow along with a lavish VIP after party.
The final will be televised by NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) on Dec. 27th at 4 p.m. EST.
Players will be playing for points on the final stop on the 2014 calendar for the World Polo Tour.
“The excitement has been building for this week’s USPA Piaget World Snow Polo Championship,” said Roldan, a founding member of the Aspen Valley Polo Club and youngest player ever to win the U.S. Open at age 15. “It’s another great way to promote polo to fans who haven’t watched it before.”
Roldan’s first snow polo tournament was in 2009.
“Snow polo is such a fun event,” Roldan said. “Polo’s totally different on snow. It’s a close-in game with three on a side. It’s great because the spectators are really involved when they can see the game slower, on a smaller field.”
Melissa and Marc Ganzi of Aspen Valley Polo Club, sister club of Wellington, Fla.-based Grand Champions Polo Club, along with Larry Boland, president of Piaget North America, are hosting the polo extravaganza.
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 along with complimentary cocktails.
Since its beginning in 1874, Piaget has been cultivating a spirit of luxury while emphasizing its creativity and fully integrated watchmaking and jewelry expertise. Piaget fuses technique and design now more than ever. Piaget has had a longstanding involvement with polo since 1980 when Yves Piaget partnered with the sport because of their shared values of “bold daring high standards and faultless accuracy.” In addition to its title sponsorship, Piaget is also the official timekeeper of the tournament.
ASPEN VALLEY POLO CLUB
ABOUT THE CLUB: The nation’s newest private polo club features a complete facility offering stick-and-ball field, club house, wooden horse polo pit, exercise track, indoor school, arena, pony hire, livery, coaches, stable and turn to hire and grooms accommodations.
UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION ®
The U.S. Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts. For more information, please visit www.uspolo.org.