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Richard Mille, U.S. Polo Assn. Play Friday In St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship Final; Flexjet, Royal Salute Meet Thursday For High Alpine Cup

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Richard Mille, U.S. Polo Assn. Play Friday In St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship Final; Flexjet, Royal Salute Meet Thursday For High Alpine Cup

ASPEN, Colo., December 19, 2019---The snow-covered stage is set for what is expected to be one of the most competitive finals in St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship history.


Defending champion Richard Mille with Pablo MacDonough, Edouard Pan and Louis Jarrige will play U.S. Polo Assn. for the title.

Defending champion Richard Mille will meet two-time champion U.S. Polo Assn. Friday at 1 p.m. (MST) at Rio Grande Park. In the second game of the doubleheader, St. Regis will play Aspen Valley Polo Club in the Aspen Cup subsidiary game at 3 p.m. (MST). 

U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, 3, Juancito Bollini, 4, Nic Roldan, 8) won Bracket A with impressive round robin victories over Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, 1, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8, Juan Bollini, 6), 8-4, and St. Regis (Julien Reynes, 4, Jason Crowder, 7, Nacho Figueras, 6), 9-3. 

Juancito Bollini of U.S. Polo Assn. battles Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Flexjet for the ball.

Richard Mille (Edouard Pan, 4, Louis Jarrige, 3, Pablo MacDonough, 10) won Bracket B with thrilling wins over Royal Salute (Pierre Henri Ngoumou, 6, Malcolm Borwick, 6, Horacio Heguy, 6), 8.5-2 and Aspen Valley Polo Club (Sarah Siegel Magness, 0, Jesse Bray, 7, Patrick Uretz, 8), 8.5-7.

Nic Roldan of U.S. Polo Assn. balances the ball off his mallet.

"They are all really good teams, the bottom line is they were tough teams," said Grant Ganzi. "We were just focused on winning today and not thinking ahead. Looking at the rosters I knew Pablo would be tough and the two French players made it a really tough team.

Grant Ganzi of U.S. Polo Assn. and Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Flexjet race for a loose ball.

"I'm looking forward to the game," Ganzi said. "It's going to be a good final, fun to watch and really fast. I want to win it more than ever with my family, friends and girlfriend here. It's her first snow polo tournament."

U.S. Polo Assn. will be going for the three-peat after winning in 2017 and 2015 with the same three players.

Juan Bollini of Flexjet inadvertently wraps his mallet around his son Juancito Bollini of U.S. Polo Assn.

"It definitely helps knowing my teammates really well, we definitely have chemistry," Ganzi said. "We started off slow in the first chukker, but after that we did play well. We made it more simple, playing open and hitting back shots. Juan and I let Nic do his thing. It was good and fun to play."

Nic Roldan of U.S. Polo Assn. rides off Julian Reynes of St. Regis.

MacDonough made his Aspen debut for the Richard Mille polo team last year winning with Marc Ganzi and newly-minted U.S. citizen Martin Pepa with a 6-5 victory over Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini). MacDonough was MVP. This year's team is a new dynamic with two members of the French national team that lost to GCPC-USA in the International Cup at Grand Champions in November.

Grant Ganzi of U.S. Polo Assn. hooks Nacho Figueras of St. Regis.

In the opening round robin, U.S. Polo Assn., leading Flexjet 3-2 after the first chukker, broke the game open with a 5-2 advantage in the second and final chukker. Roldan had a game-high five goals, Ganzi had two and Bollini added one.

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Flexjet tries to get past Jason Crowder of St. Regis.

In its second round robin game, U.S. Polo Assn. dominated St. Regis with a 6-0 opening chukker and never relinquished its lead. Roldan had four goals. Ganzi and Bollini each had two goals.

Richard Mille also looked dominant in its opening round robin pulling away for a 5.5-1 lead after the opening chukker. Richard Mille never let Royal Salute into the game, outscoring them 3-1 in the second chukker. Pan led scoring with four goals. MacDonough and Jarrige each had two goals.

Malcolm Borwick of Royal Salute tries to hook Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille.

In the closest game of the tournament, Richard Mille rallied after trailing Aspen Valley Polo Club, 3-2, after the first chukker. Richard Mille outscored Aspen Valley Polo Club, 4-1, in the final chukker to clinch the win. The game was tied 4-4 with 2 minutes remaining before Pan and Jarrige scored back-to-back goals for Richard Mille. MacDonough led scoring with four goals including two penalty conversions. Pan and Jarrige each had one goal. 
Royal Salute's Malcolm Borwick and Horacio Heguy double team Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille.

One of Aspen's biggest international sporting events has attracted some of the world's top players including seven-time Argentine Open winner Pablo MacDonough to the final stop on the 2019 World Polo Tour.

For the seventh consecutive year, Aspen Valley Polo Club owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi, are hosting the star-studded event along with Nacho Figueras, the sport's ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur and his wife Delfina Blaquier. 

Jesse Bray of Aspen Valley Polo Club goes to goal with Malcolm Borwick 
of Royal Salute defending.

In addition to defending champion Richard Mille (2018, Marc Ganzi, Martin Pepa, Pablo MacDonough), past St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship winners include: 2017, U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan); 2016, Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini); 2015, U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Juancito Bollini); 2014, Piaget (Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Nic Roldan); and 2013, St. Regis (Nacho Figueras, Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips). 
Living legends. Horacio Heguy of Royal Salute and Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille enjoy a lighthearted moment before their game.

In the U.S., snow polo is held exclusively in Aspen. Snow polo is a modified version of regulation polo. Games are played on a snow-packed field surrounded by fencing to keep the ball in play. Teams have three players instead of four as in typical polo. Play consists of four chukkers. The horses have special cleated shoes to provide better traction. The ball is larger and lighter and a specific color for visibility on the snowy surface.

Aspen Valley Polo Club's Sarah Siegel Magness, Patrick Uretz and Jesse Bray get a little pep talk from Jason Crowder of St. Regis.

The sport was first played on a frozen lake in St. Moritz, Switzerland, created by Swiss hotelier and polo visionary Reto Gaudenzi in 1985 and has been growing in popularity ever since, attracting thousands of spectators and top players from around the world. In addition to St. Moritz, it's played in winter sports communities Aspen, Cortina, Italy, Kitzbuhel, Austria, Courchevel, France and Tianjin, China. In the U.S., snow polo is held exclusively In Aspen.

French players Louis Jarrige of Richard Mille and Pierre Henri Ngoumou of Royal Salute shake hands after the game.

Aspen Valley Polo Club had its most successful and historic summer season in club and Rocky Mountain Circuit history. The club hosted several 20-goal tournaments including the 119th USPA Silver Cup and USPA North American Cup, attracted some of the world's top players and had record crowds every weekend. The 20-goal World Polo League's Triple Crown of Polo tournament featured five teams and several top players.

During Wednesday's barn tour, visitors were treated to watching horse shoeing which is a true art by farriers.
Photos by Nick Tininenko for Aspen Vally Polo Club

With the majestic 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the busiest USPA-sanctioned clubs in the nation. Since Marc and Melissa Ganzi founded the club in 2014, polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding cities with the club's offerings of various weekly grass and arena tournaments,  Tuesday Arena & Asado Nights, Kidz Polo, The Polo School headed by former 8-goaler Juan Bollini, and Polo On Demand. In addition, the club offers practice sessions for teams competing in the club tournaments.

Since 2014, Aspen Valley Polo Club has had a positive impact in the area hosting kids polo camps, teaching lessons and  several charitable events at the club that have benefitted local charities including  Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation.
2019 ST. REGIS WORLD SNOW POLO CHAMPIONSHIP

12/19 Press Day at Rio Grande Park

12 p.m. VIP Tent Opens
1:15 p.m. High Alpine Cup, Flexjet vs. Royal Salute
2:30 p.m Celebrity Polo Chukker

12/20 at Rio Grande Park

12 p.m. Meet the Players
1 p.m. Championship final, Richard Mille vs. U.S. Polo Assn.
3 p.m. Aspen Cup subsidiary, St. Regis vs. Aspen Valley Polo Club
4:15 p.m. Trophy Presentation
4:30-5 p.m. VIP Tent Party
6-9 p.m. White Hot Party With The Players, W Aspen Hotel-Deck
ST. REGIS ASPEN RESORT

Nestled at the base of the majestic Aspen Mountain, the resort is between the mountain's two primary base ski lifts and within walking distance to all of Aspen's shops, restaurants and entertainment. The hotel is just 10 minutes away from Aspen's airport and has convenient access to all four ski releases. It delivers a benchmark of personalized service and attention to detail amidst the relaxed spirit of the Rocky Mountains. The resort is located at 315 East Dean St. Call 970-920-3300 or 888-627-7198.

CHUKKERTV

ChukkerTV is live streaming the entire St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship. ChukkerTV, featuring cutting-edge technology, was the first to introduce state-of-the-art live streaming technology and instant replay in January, 2014 at Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Fla. For advertising opportunities on ChukkerTV please contact Mike Ferreira at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



THE POLO SCHOOL

The Polo School and its Director Juan Bollini are dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. The school's mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. For lessons contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099.

ASPEN VALLEY POLO CLUB

CLUB ADDRESS:
3275 County Road 100,
Carbondale, Colo. 81623

POLO HOTLINE: 970-710-1663

The exclusive Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the nation's fastest-growing polo clubs. It offers polo in the summer for players and spectators. The Polo School is available to adults and juniors. It offers individual and group lessons for all levels and ages. For spectators there are great field side views for tournament action, indoor and outdoor arenas and also the Aspen Valley Polo Club Boutique. Everyone is welcome to watch polo in a relaxed atmosphere with complimentary food, refreshments and weekly asados. Admission and parking are free. For Polo On Demand price rates of group and private lessons, arena chukkers, grass chukkers and individualized "Polo Experience" packages email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or log onto www.aspenvalleypoloclub.com 


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