ASPEN, Colo., December 12, 2017----Nacho Figueras, one of the sport's most popular and well-recognized polo players in the world, will compete among the star-studded lineup for the Dec. 15-17 St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship.
For the fifth consecutive year, the polo ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur and his wife Delfina along with Aspen Valley Polo Club owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi, named to The Salonniere 100 annual list of the nation's best party hosts in Aspen for 2017, will host the final stop on the World Polo Tour.
Named Sentebale Ambassador by the recently-engaged Prince Harry and face of the Ralph Lauren Polo brand, Figueras uses his celebrity status to work tirelessly to expose the sport to the masses. The father of four is on the road seven months a year playing and generating a greater awareness of the sport around the world.
"One of my missions in life is to bring polo to the world, to give people more of an idea of what it is all about," Figueras said. "I want to raise awareness of the sport I fell in love with at an early age."
Figueras, who started playing polo at age nine and turned pro at 16, will be joined by some of the world's top players including Argentine greats and brothers Alejandro Novillo and Nacho Novillo Astrada, Nic Roldan and Jason Crowder.
Figueras, who has appeared on the popular Ellen DeGeneres Show in October and December, has a vision where horses and polo will be a part of mainstream entertainment, fashion, television, movies and equestrian theme parks. Figueras met his photographer wife and model at a polo game in Buenos Aires. He was 20 and she was 18. "Love at first sight," he said.
"We go to Aspen because we love it and snow polo is the perfect excuse to go," Figueras said. "The polo is a lot of fun and Aspen Valley Polo Club is an amazing structure."
Sharing his passion for the sport with his own children led him to create a Children's Polo Kit as part of the St. Regis Family Traditions program. The guide introduces children to the sport and helps teach them how to play. The kit includes four wooden hobby horses, child-size wooden hand mallets, soft-polo style balls and the illustrated guide in a custom-carrying bag. The kit is available at several St. Regis hotels around the world and online in the St. Regis Boutique.
In front of an expected sellout crowd and worldwide ChukkerTV audience, snow polo action gets underway Friday, Dec. 15 with qualifying games at Aspen Valley Polo Club's arena and continues Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17 at Rio Grande Park.
An evening of fun is set for Thursday, Dec. 14 with the draw and team introduction at St. Regis Aspen Resort where team pairings and schedule will be announced.
Last year's champion was Flexjet with team captain Melissa Ganzi and first-time snow polo players Jason Crowder and Jesse Bray, who was named Most Valuable Player. Flexjet knocked off defending champion U.S. Polo Assn., 7-4, in the championship.
Flexjet joins past champions: 2013, St. Regis (Nacho Figueras, Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips); 2014, Piaget (Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Nic Roldan); and 2015, U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Juancito Bollini).
The three-day tournament is a major attraction for the local community and fans from all over the world. The breathtaking scenery, venue and great polo action among some of the world's top players is a major allure for the Aspen community and surrounding areas.
Rio Grande Park, host of the weekend action, is Aspen's largest multi-functional park within the city's limits and just minutes away from the St. Regis Aspen Resort.
"I really hope that more people will get to love the polo as much as I do," Figueras said.