February 6, 2020
Team St. Moritz takes the trophy at the 36th Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz
The world’s pre-eminent ‘high-goal’ polo tournament raised the bar once more – three days of the finest polo enthused the audience.
St. Moritz, 6 February 2020. For the first time in their history, Team St. Moritz won the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz. In the nail-biting deciding match, captain Valery Mishchenko and his team ultimately prevailed over Team Azerbaijan Land of Fire, taking home a deserved victory. The world’s foremost ‘high-goal’ tournament was a big success with the public once more, attracting more than 18,000 spectators over the three days of the games. The dates for the next tournament have been set: 29 to 31 January 2021.
With a 4 : 11⁄2 victory over Team Azerbaijan Land of Fire, Team St. Moritz took the crown at the tournament for the first time. In the 3rd place final, last year’s tournament winner Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel with captain Melissa Ganzi had to admit defeat against Team Maserati’s superior force, finishing the game at the score of 71⁄2 : 5. Both of Sunday’s finals offered great entertainment: on the compact surface, all teams played at their best, keeping the audience on tenterhooks right to the final bell.
Perfect conditions on all three days of the tournament
In 2020, the world’s only ‘high goal’ tournament on snow lived up to its reputation once again: Some 18,000 spectators eagerly watched six games of fast-paced, top-class polo-playing between Friday and Sunday. Throughout, the weather and snow conditions were superb. Although Lake St. Moritz began to freeze over only late in the season, the organisers still succeeded in preparing a first-rate polo field. “The local teams once more did a fantastic job,” praised Reto Gaudenzi, founder and CEO of the tournament, “They laboured away all but day and night for a fortnight with just one goal in mind: to provide the best possible conditions for the audience, the players and the ponies. That is why, for me, they are the true heroes of this weekend.”
Fast-paced, first-rate polo-playing fun
The tournament set off on Friday with two qualification games. Team Azerbaijan Land of Fire, playing in perfect sync, triumphed in the first match of the day, the President’s Trophy, winning hands down against Team Badrutt’s Palace with 8 : 4. The second game, the Hatecke Challenge, was equally a straightforward matter. Team St. Moritz, studded with top-rate players, triumphed over Team Maserati, counting the only Swiss player Fabio Meier among its ranks, to a final score of 6 : 21⁄2.
Saturday’s first game, with the Maserati Cup at stake, saw Sunday’s finalists St. Moritz and Azerbaijan Land of Fire testing the waters against each other for the first time – the thrilling game closed at 6 : 51⁄2 with a narrow victory for Team St. Moritz. The Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Challenge, Saturday’s second game, also ended with a close win – the scoreboard showed 41⁄2 : 3 in favour of a fiercely playing Team Maserati against Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel.
Swiss player Fabio Meier named ‘best patron’
Come Sunday, three days of outstanding snow polo, complemented with St. Moritz’s legendary hospitality, had left the large crowd content. Cheered on by an enthusiastic audience, Team Maserati’s Fabio Meier garnered the prize for Best Playing Patron. The reward for the Most Valuable Player, a Chopard luxury watch, the Alpine Eagle St. Moritz edition, went to tournament winner Max Charlton. “Casanova”, the stallion of Team St. Moritz’s Nacho Gonzalez, was named Best Playing Pony.
Snow Polo World Cup & «Baku Moritz Night» as sporting and social highlight respectively
The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz, hosted for the 36th time, did not fail to set the highlight of the sporting and social polo winter season once again. Amidst the breathtaking setting in the Engadine mountains, the 18,000 spectators enjoyed the unique mix of hospitality, a dash of luxury and spectacular sport offered on and off the field.
Another highlight on the social calendar is the select «Baku Moritz Night», hosted at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel on Saturday evening. The «Baku Moritz Polo Award» in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of the sport of polo was presented for the third time. The 2020 award went to the Brit Oliver Ellis. Besides having been a professional player for three decades, the leading international umpire and head umpire at the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz, was a member of the English polo team, tournament director at the reputed Cowdray Park Polo Club and polo manager at the legendary Guards Polo Club. Reto Gaudenzi, Vice-President and CEO of Evviva Polo St. Moritz AG, Elchin Guliyev, President of the Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan, Dr Piero Dillier, Vice-President of FIP, Birgit Hügli-Hermann, owner of the Polo & Luxury publication and initiator of the award, as well as Richard Leuenberger, Managing Director of the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, are on the award committee.
Gaudenzi closed the games with his time-honoured “See you next year!”. The 37th Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz will be held from 29 to 31 January 2021.
Snow Polo and the Evviva Polo St. Moritz Ltd
1985 saw the first-ever polo competition on snow – the world premiere was staged in St. Moritz. The Snow Polo World Cup has reigned over the last weekend in January in St. Moritz ever since. In 2014, leading exponents of snow polo in Switzerland founded Evviva Polo St. Moritz Ltd and signed a long-term contract with the town of St. Moritz, thus securing a sustained continuation of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz. The Board of Directors consists of Dr Piero Dillier (President), Reto Gaudenzi (Vice-president and CEO), and Arndt Küchel. Dr Thomas Rinderknecht and Peter A. C. Blum are on the Advisory Board; Jürg Reinger is the Managing Director. A well-rehearsed team of local hotels, businesses, and experts, the town of St. Moritz and their See Infra Ltd is working hand in hand with the organisers to carry out the tournament. For more information, visit Snow Polo St Moritz