Snow polo galloping into Aspen this week
The Aspen Times
The polo world will focus on Aspen this week.
The Piaget World Snow Polo Championships will return to downtown Aspen with a selection of the top polo players in the world scheduled to compete today and Friday at Wagner Park.
Today’s action will consist of practice play on the snowy surface at Wagner Park. Activities are set from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The players and ponies are scheduled to be practicing from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. today.
The actual Piaget World Snow Polo Championships will be held Friday at Wagner Park with activities starting at 11 a.m.
The team introductions will be at 11:35 a.m. Friday.
Game 1 will feature Piaget vs. the St. Regis team at 11:40 a.m.
Audi, the third team in the three-team pool, will take on the loser of the opening game at 12:30 p.m. Friday.
Audi will take on the winner of Game 1 in the snow polo finals at 1:15 p.m. Friday.
An awards program will follow in the venue at Wagner Park.
According to event organizers, the tournament will include Argentine superstars of polo — Facundo Pieres and his brother Gonzalito Pieres.
In addition, three top-ranked American pros will play. They are Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips and Juan Bollini.
Roldan, a third-generation polo player who was born in Buenos Aires and raised in Florida, was featured last year in an article in the Fashion/Style section of The New York Times. Roldan will be on the St. Regis team this week.
Florida-based Brandon Phillips will team with Marc Ganzi and Gonzalo Pieres on the Piaget team.
Another top U.S. player, Bollini, will play on the Audi team with Facundo Pieres and Melissa Ganzi.
Facundo Pieres is rated a 10-goal player, the highest rating in the world. Gonzalito also is a 10-goaler.
The snow polo field also is set to include the man who is the modern image of Ralph Lauren — Nacho Figueras, considerd one of the most recognizeable polo players in the world
Marc and Melissa Ganzi, owners of the Aspen Valley Polo Club, will host the final stop of the World Polo Tour in Aspen this week along with Larry Boland, president of Piaget North American.
There will be VIP viewing in the VIP Pavilion. One-day passes are available for $150.
General admission is free with bleacher seating on the east side of Wagner Park.
Fully aware he was in the midst of the mountain bike race of his life, Aspen’s John Gaston said he “tried to not think too far ahead” to prevent the magnitude of the moment from getting to him. He eventually finished runner-up in the iconic race.
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