Play it cool: We went to St. Moritz for the Maserati Snow Polo World Cup. It was *quite* fabulous.
TEXT The Horse Rider’s Journal PHOTOGRAPHY Sasha Wilkins and Maserati
Polo in itself isn’t a sport that requires a hard sell. You’ve got gorgeous men and women on gorgeous ponies, a glitzy crowd, and high-octane, grass-flying-everywhere action plucked from the pages of a Jilly Cooper novel. And once you swap that green turf with a frozen lake in St. Moritz, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and a roaring crowd swathed in cashmere blankets and mink coats, you’ve pretty much reached silly levels of fabulous fun. The scene: High goalers and high rollers.
The Snow Polo World Cup in St. Moritz, which kicks off the 2017 Maserati Polo Tour and the European polo season, is a legendary fixture not only on the polo circuit but on social calendars as well. In 1985, the town was the first place to host a snow polo tournament and it’s worth booking in at Badrutt’s now for the 2018 icecapades. There’s a DJ to get the party started as people huddle around the barriers and stand up on the bleachers, pedigree pooches in tow, to get a better look at the steam rising off the ponies as they zoom around in the snow.
Fronted by Maserati, a long-time polo benefactor, the tournament brings all the top players. For Maserati’s own team– James Beh, Lovy Beh, Joevy Beh, Chevy Beh and Gaervy Beh from Malaysia – it was their first time in St. Moritz, but certainly not their last. In the final match, it was Rommy Gianni’s Team Cartier who took home the trophy against Melissa Ganzi’s Team Badrutt’s Palace by 7 to 4, cheered on by a very respectable 15.000 spectators, setting a new tournament record. And the boring people on the Olympic committee say equestrian sports can’t draw a crowd.
It’s hardly as if you’d need any more excuses to go, but here are three things we loved about this year’s St. Moritz tournament:
You can play snow golf
Snow golf is a thing in St. Moritz, because of course. We tried our hand at it and it was rather a lot of fun, but we’re thinking it might be easier to score a goal against Adolfo Cambiaso than master that discipline!
There’s so much drool-worthy horsepower
There are the ponies, obviously (would anyone notice if one or two went missing from their string?), but with Maserati heading up the show, we were also eyeing up the handsome new Levante, Maserati’s first SUV – the kind of car your horse would very much like to have his trailer chauffeured around to shows by.
We got to watch Melissa Ganzi play
While we’re certainly not against a gentleman polo player (hi, Nic and Nacho), it’s fantastic to see women at the top of what is after all a very male-centric sport. Last year, Ganzi was the first woman to compete in the snow polo tournament, and it was thrilling to watch her play here again. A key figure in promoting polo to a wider audience, Ganzi is also the Grand Champions Polo Club president with countless trophies under her belt. More girls and women in polo, please!
For more on the upcoming polo season, please visit maseratipolo.com