By Sharon Robb
CARBONDALE, Colo., August 29, 2018---Polo fans and horse lovers were treated to a photo exhibition recently at Aspen Valley Polo Club.
Photographer Irina Kazaridi shared several of her fine art photographs from her horse collection and recent shootings in Florida for her new polo book, Santa Rita Polo Farm.
Kazaridi spent extensive time capturing images of world-class polo ponies and polo players at the Wellington, Fla.-based breeding farm and polo facility.
Her artwork was displayed throughout Aspen Valley Polo Club during the Aug. 19 final of the Mount Sopris Cup.
Kazaridi is a fine art photographer who specializes in equestrian and polo photography. She has been an artist since childhood and studied art in St. Petersburg, Russia before attending the European Institute of Design in Milan, Italy.
Her passion for horses and polo is reflected in her photo collection filled with emotion and human connection with the horse.
Kazaridi travels the world including Monaco, St. Tropez, St. Moritz, Spain, Argentina, Dubai and Wellington, capturing the drama and majestic grace of horse and rider.
Kazaridi also has a coffee table book of art photographs, Polo & Horses created in partnership with La Dolfina Polo, released in in November 2016. The photo series has been displayed in various exhibitions and art galleries from Europe to Argentina and Dubai and published in various polo and equestrian magazines.
In addition to her Aspen Valley Polo Club, her other exhibition sites include: Monaco, Cap Ferrat, Cannes, Mougins, Moscow, Hotel Kulm in St. Moritz, Hotel Byblos in Saint-Tropez and Le Club 55 Saint Tropez and polo clubs Polo Club Haras de Gassin in St.Tropez, Santa Maria Polo Club in Sotogrande, Spain, The Real Polo Club de Barcelona, Hotel Four Seasons Buenos Aires, VIP Tent St. Moritz Polo World Cup, Deauville Polo Club and Chantilly Polo Club.
Kazaridi's photos have also been featured in The Polo Magazine UK; SBM Society magazine Monaco; Cote Magazine Monaco/Geneve/Moscow Cercle, international luxury magazine UK; Polo & Style Magazine Germany; Equestrian Arabia UAE; Emirates Man UAE; Polo & Style Germany; C8 Polo Magazine Argentina; The Polo Project Australia; Polo Plus 10 International; Equestrio Europe; and Polo Lady Magazine.
With the breathtaking 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the busiest and fastest growing USPA-sanctioned clubs in the nation with a membership increase of 75 percent over four seasons.
This summer's 13-tournament schedule winds up this weekend with the inaugural Triple Crown of Polo Trophy. It is the first year the club is hosting a tournament on Labor Day Weekend during the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience.
It is the first season players will compete for the coveted Triple Crown of Polo. The three legs will be held at Denver Polo Club, Aspen Valley Polo Club and finish in Wellington this fall. Designed by Tiffany & Co., the Triple Crown of Polo is comprised of three separate trophies that fit perfectly together to create an entire polo scene that is breathtaking in sterling silver.
Aspen Valley Polo Club is coming off its most successful season in club history. Since Marc and Melissa Ganzi founded the club in 2014, polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding cities with the club’s offerings of various weekly grass and arena tournaments, Gladiator Tuesdays and Asado, Kids Polo, The Polo School and Polo On Demand. In addition, the club offers practice sessions for teams competing in the weekend tournaments.
In the last four years, Aspen Valley Polo Club has had a positive impact in the area hosting kids polo camps, teaching lessons and hosting several charitable events at the club that have benefitted local charities including the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation which raised a record $537,200.
The Ganzis are avid players and patrons and "have created a polo paradise" according to Piocho player-sponsor Tom Barrack. Players, sponsors, community leaders and fans share Barrack's sentiments.
All ages are welcome to enjoy polo at Aspen Valley Polo Club. Admission, food and refreshments are free for fans in a relaxed, laidback atmosphere. An added feature is the club's Jumbotron which made its debut this summer for the fans enjoyment.
Aspen, named after trees that quiver in the slightest breeze, offers hiking, mountain biking, rafting, fishing, golf, horseback riding, mountain climbing, great restaurants and taverns in addition to a full summer of polo.