With all the snow, it’s time for polo in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

With all the snow, it’s time for polo in Aspen

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

Paul Conrad Aspen Times file

ASPEN ” Forty-three inches of snow has fallen here in the last week. In Aspen, that’s perfect weather for some polo.

Starting Saturday, for the ninth straight year, Rio Grande Park will play host to the World Snow Polo Championship, a four-team elimination tournament comprised of local and international players mounted on Colorado-raised ponies.

There will also be players from the U.S. Polo Team on hand for the tournament, which wraps Sunday.

Games begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both days, with Sunday’s championship scheduled for 11 a.m.

Snow polo is a modified version of the traditional game played on large grass fields.

This weekend’s games will be played on a snow-packed arena surrounded by fencing. Teams are comprised of three players and play consists of four seven-minute chukkers (periods).

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The horses (polo ponies) are shod with special cleated shoes to provide better traction. The ball is larger, lighter, and painted bright red to accommodate winter conditions.

According to an event press release, snow polo was first introduced in 1985 in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Aspen’s snow polo tournament is the only one of its kind in the United States.

Last year, the team sponsored by local restaurant L’Hostaria won the Sunday championship over WJB Capital, 10-1.

For more information on this weekend’s polo tournament, visit http://www.worldsnowpolo.com.

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