Marc Ganzi leads Richard Mille to 2018 World Snow Polo Championship title

Marc Ganzi, Martin Pepa and Pablo MacDonough won the 2018 St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship for Richard Mille on Thursday at Rio Grande Park in Aspen. They held off Flexjet in the final.

“Really, really close. Could have gone either way,” Ganzi said. “We were holding onto a one-goal lead in the third. We held a one-goal lead in the fourth and they kept tying it up.”

Richard Mille — which is a high-end Swiss watch company that served as the official timekeeper for this year’s tournament — won Thursday’s final over Flexjet, 6-5. Yes, the same Flexjet team that included Marc’s wife, Melissa Ganzi.

Flexjet won the 2016 snow polo championship and lost in the finals a year ago to U.S. Polo Assn., which included Marc and Melissa’s son, Grant Ganzi.

“In those situations for me, it’s kind of lose-lose. So if I lose, I lose, and if I win, I still lose,” Marc Ganzi joked of playing his wife in the finals. “But actually, we play a lot of polo against each other. We’ve played a lot of finals against each other. She’s won; I’ve won. We take a very pragmatic approach to it, which is we are just going to go play and let the better team win and today thankfully we were the better team.”

MacDonough, currently one of the best players in the world, was making his snow polo debut and was named most valuable player of the final match. He was recently crowned the Argentine Open champion.

Marc Ganzi was named MVP of the sixth-annual tournament.

“We would go back up one and we kept trying to surge and go up two but couldn’t find it. Flexjet won this tournament two years ago — they know how to win it,” Marc Ganzi said of the final match. “The venue performed really well. The city and the Aspen Skiing Co. did just an incredible job preparing it. Look at the surface — it’s perfect.”

The Ganzis own and operate the Carbondale-based Aspen Valley Polo Club and are responsible for bringing snow polo to the Roaring Fork Valley. The week of festivities will conclude Saturday with the first annual “Snow Ball” that will benefit the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation.