The heart of the Engadin Valley was once again aflame with polo prowess, as thousands of spectators crowded the stands for the kick-off of the world’s oldest, biggest and most extravagant snow polo event – the 35th annual Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz.
The pristine snow conditions and blazing sunshine ensured ideal playing conditions for the best snow polo players in the world to do battle on the iconic frozen lake of St. Moritz.
Unexpected high temperatures and sunshine warmed the packed grandstands, who were entertained before the polo began by Karabakh riders performing their display ‘Land of Fire’ with the Karabakh mountain stallions in an exhilarating, acrobatic, Cossak style display, accompanied by the Sarhadchi dance ensemble complete with their flowing green robes and bejewelled headdresses.
Five-time winner of the tournament and ‘Godfather of Snow Polo’ Reto Gaudenzi and his 250 strong team, has once again delivered the greatest snow polo event on earth. We were promised thrilling polo in the birthplace of the sport in this, the 35th year of the event and that is exactly what the record-breaking crowd (18’000 spectators) were given.
With the sun bathing the Engadin Valley and the ice frozen to the perfect depth, the best players and ponies in the world and the atmosphere electric with a snow polo frenzy, the final day of play burst into action. It was an epic battle which saw not only Badrutt’s Palace secure the top podium position for the first time in 35 years, but also Melissa Ganzi, Badrutt’s Team Captain, make history as the first lady player to win the tournament.