ASPEN, Colo., December 15, 2017---In a fun, festive atmosphere at St. Regis Aspen Resort Thursday night, players and teams were introduced for the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship that begins Friday.
The St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship, featuring some of the world's top players opens with qualification round robin games at Aspen Valley Polo Club's world-class indoor arena in Carbondale.
Six teams including defending champion Flexjet will compete in North America’s only snow polo tournament and final stop on the World Polo Tour.
The draw, also held Thursday, determined pairings for Friday's two round robins.
In the opening round robin at 11:30 a.m. MT, Aspen Valley Polo Club (Bernie Uechtritz, Carlitos Gracida, Nacho Novillo Astrada), Audi (Jim Miller, Luis Escobar, Magoo Laprida) and defending champion Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada) will play.
In the second round robin, Moet (Bash Kazi/Omar Mangalhi, Mike Azzaro, Jason Crowder), St. Regis (Marc Ganzi, Nacho Figueras, Nico Pieres) and U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan) play at 1 p.m. MT.
On Saturday and Sunday, the action moves to Rio Grande Park.
On Saturday, a four-chukker game will be played to determine the fifth and sixth place finishers at 1:08 p.m. MT followed by the Celebrity Polo Chukker at 2:15 p.m.
The Celebrity Polo Chukker will feature St Regis (Saye Yabandeh, Tucan Pereyra Iraola, Nacho Figueras) against U.S. Polo Assn. (Sterling Jones, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Nacho Novillo Astrada).
Also on Saturday, the local and international media will get the chance to meet the players before the game.
On Sunday the final and subsidiary will be held beginning 1 p.m. followed by the trophy presentation at 4 p.m. MT with all six teams. All games will be live streamed by ChukkerTV.
One of Aspen's biggest international sporting events is a major attraction for the local community and fans from all over the world for three days.
For the fifth consecutive year, Melissa and Marc Ganzi, co-founders of Aspen Valley Polo Club, along with polo ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina, will host the star-studded event. Figueras is one of the sport’s most popular and well-recognized players in the world.
In front of an overflow crowd and soldout VIP tent, last year’s tournament winner was Flexjet with team captain Melissa Ganzi, the first woman to win the event, and teammates Jason Crowder and Jesse Bray, the tournament Most Valuable Player. In the final, Flexjet defeated defending champion U.S. Polo Assn. (Bash Kazi, Carlitos Gracida, Tommy Biddle), 7-4.
In the consolation game, Audi (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan) defeated St. Regis (Bernie Uechtritz, Carlitos Gracida, Nacho Figueras), 7-4. Figueras was named MVP.
Flexjet joined past champions: 2013, St. Regis (Nacho Figueras, Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips) defeated Audi (Facundo Pieres, Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini), 1-0; 2014, Piaget (Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Nic Roldan) defeated U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Brandon Phillips, Tommy Biddle), 4-3; and 2015, U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Juancito Bollini) defeated Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Juan Bollini), 10-5.
The glitz, glamour and excitement of one of the world’s top snow polo tournaments is a major attraction for both the local community and fans from all over the world that fly in for the breathtaking scenery and world-class polo action.
Rio Grande Park is Aspen’s largest multi-functional park within the city’s limits and just minutes away from the St. Regis Aspen Resort.
Guests in the VIP tent will be treated to signature St. Regis Aspen Resort rituals including afternoon tea, light fare and iconic St. Regis Bloody Mary cocktail. A packed house of fans is also expected to enjoy the game from along the sidelines.