The World Snow Polo Championship will take place at Wagner Park in Aspen this year.
In the past, there have been concerns about horses causing damage to the playing surface. But city Parks and Open Space Director Stephen Ellsperman said that organizers have met stringent application requirements and have shown significant investment in the event.
“If they damage the field, they will have to replace it,” he said, adding that the city hopes to avoid that.
In order for the event to take place, there must be an 18-inch snowpack. Organizers also must provide proper security at the field.
The event, which was first introduced to Aspen in 2000, hasn’t been held in Wagner Park for a number of years, with the most recent events occurring at the Marolt Open Space and Rio Grande Park. In the U.S., snow polo is competed exclusively in Aspen. Games are played on a snow-packed arena surrounded by fencing, with teams of three players, as in typical arena polo. Horses are shod with special cleated shoes to provide better traction, according to the event’s website.
The Aspen City Council and the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission have both reviewed the event application. Next up is the city’s Special Events Committee.