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Flexjet Wins High Alpine Cup; Richard Mille, U.S. Polo Assn. Play Friday For St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship

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Flexjet Wins High Alpine Cup; Richard Mille, U.S. Polo Assn. Play Friday For St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship
ASPEN, Colo., December 20, 2019---Flexjet led Royal Salute from start-to-finish to win the High Alpine Cup Thursday at Rio Grande Park.

Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, 1, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8, Juan Bollini, 6), leading 6-1 at the half, held on for a 9-7 victory over Royal Salute (Pierre Henri Ngoumou, 6, Malcolm Borwick, 6, Horacio Heguy, 6). 

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Flexjet works the ball out of the air with Horacio Heguy of Royal Salute defending.

Richard Mille won the Celebrity Chukker knocking off St. Regis. In front of a VIP crowd including Australian actress Rebel Wilson, Richard Mille (Sterling Jones, Gary Magness, Pablo MacDonough) defeated St. Regis (Nacho Figueras, Hilario Figueras, Saye Yabandeh, 4-3. For the third year in a row, Jones was leading scorer with two goals. The remaining five players each had one goal.  

Flexjet's Juan Bollini attempts to hit a back shot past Malcolm Borwick of Royal Salute.

After competing in qualifying round robins Wednesday at Aspen Valley Polo Club's world-class indoor arena, it was the first day teams got the chance to compete on snow.

Flexjet, a 15-goal rated team, started off with a 3-0 advantage on handicap over 18-goal Royal Salute. 

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Flexjet drives past Pierre Henri Ngoumou of Royal Salute.

Ganzi's three goals in the first two chukkers enabled Flexjet to take a 6-1 lead. Royal Salute was unable to score until the 3:30 mark in the second chukker when Ngoumou's long pass found Borwick open for an easy tap-in.

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Flexjet leans into his shot as Pierre Henri Ngoumou of Royal Salute attempts a hook.

Royal Salute started digging itself out of the hole in the third chukker scoring three goals in the final four minutes. Ngoumou scored two goals and Borwick added one.

Flexjet maintained its lead in the fourth and final chukker. Ganzi converted a clutch 15-yard penalty to give Flexjet an 8-4 cushion. With 2:20 left, Heguy scored back-to-back goals to trail 8-6. Astrada scored with 53 seconds left for a 9-6 lead. Ngoumou added a goal as time ran out.

Royal Salute teammates Pierre Henri Ngoumou and Malcolm Borwick try to work the ball away from Flexjet's Melissa Ganzi and Alejandro Novillo Astrada.

Ganzi finished with a game-high four goals. Astrada added two goals. For Royal Salute, Borwick led with three goals. Ngoumou and Heguy each had two goals.

The High Alpine Cup determined the fifth place team among the six-team field.

Horacio Heguy of Royal Salute defends Flexjet's Juan Bollini as teammate Pierre Henri Ngoumou reaches for the ball
.
On Friday, defending champion Richard Mille (Edouard Pan, 4, Louis Jarrige, 3, Pablo MacDonough, 10) will meet two-time champion U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, 3, Juancito Bollini, 4, Nic Roldan, 8) in the final of the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship at 1 p.m.

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

Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille is double teamed by Hilario and Nacho Figueras during the Celebrity Chukker.

In the second game of Friday's  doubleheader, St. Regis (Julien Reynes, 4, Jason Crowder, 7, Nacho Figueras) will play Aspen Valley Polo Club (Sarah Siegel Magness, 0, Jesse Bray, 7, Patrick Uretz, 8) in the Aspen Cup subsidiary game at 3 p.m. (MST). 

Sterling Jones of Richard Mille tries to work the ball past Saye Yabandeh of St. Regis.

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

Nacho Figueras of St. Regis balances the ball with Gary Magness
 of Richard Mille defending.

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.  

Fans got a chance to pose for pictures with the Flexjet Polo Pony ice sculpture.

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).  

Aussie actress Rebel Wilson tries her hand on a polo pony during Celebrity Chukker festivities.
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. 

The sport was first played on a frozen lake in St. Moritz, Switzerland, created by Swiss hotelierand 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. 


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. 

Meyer Lemon Meringue Tarts were just part of St. Regis fare served throughout the day in the lavish VIP tent.

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.

Royal Salute's 21-year-old Snow Polo Edition was a hit among guests in the VIP tent. Photos by Nick Tininenko for Aspen Valley Polo Club

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



12/20 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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