Polo Times Magazine Subscribe to Polo Times Home
HomeNewsTournamentsClassifiedsAbout usSubscribeContact

Sun 27th Jan 2019

Snow Polo History Made Today

The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2019 Finals

Five-time winner of the tournament and ‘Godfather of Snow Polo’ Reto Gaudenzi and his 250 strong team, has once again delivered the greatest snow polo event on earth. We were promised thrilling polo in the birthplace of the sport in this, the 35th year of the event and that is exactly what the record-breaking crowd were given. With the sun bathing the Engadin Valley and the ice frozen to the perfect depth, the best players and ponies in the world and the atmosphere electric with a snow polo frenzy, the final day of play burst into action. It was an epic battle which saw not only Badrutt’s Palace secure the top podium position for the first time in 35 years, but also Melissa Ganzi, Badrutt’s Team Captain, make history as the first lady player to win the tournament.

As the snow began to fall gently upon the fur clad spectators thronging around the arena and the packed grandstands, the battle began for the La Martina Cup Subsidiary Final with last year’s winners Team Cartier facing the exuberant Team Azerbaijan Land of Fire. With the collective prowess of the father son duo of Marc and Team Captain, Grant Ganzi, alongside Engadin powerhouse Tito Gaudenzi and the poetry in motion that is 10 goal maestro Juan Martín Nero fresh from his 2018 Argentine Open win, aficionados were expecting an explosive performance from the Cartier shirts. Team Azerbaijan were the underdogs on paper having received a 2 goal advantage to start the match, but this handicap disadvantage was never in evidence as they performed cohesively as a team. Despite the injury to his ear yesterday, Adrian Laplacette Jr was back on fighting form working well alongside his three team mates. 
Commentator extraordinaire, Jan-Erik Franck ‘The Voice of Polo’ promised us that in polo “anything can happen”, and he was not wrong, as despite great play and teamwork, Cartier failed to score at all during the match, whilst their opponents found the posts three times to bring the final score to a surprising 5-0 defeat for Cartier at the hands of Team Azerbaijan Land of Fire. Despite his team’s loss, Juan Martín Nero was gracious in defeat, saying: “It is great to be back in St. Moritz. It is such a special tournament; the people, the snow, the great organisation. Everything is fantastic and I can’t wait until next time!”.
The Final for the Cartier Trophy was a true snow polo epic as Melissa Ganzi’s Badrutt’s Palace faced up to the might of Maserati. The teams were equally matched in handicap and this was reflected as neither team found the posts for the first half of the initial chukka. However, the goal scoring maestro Alejandro Novillo Astada soon swung into action putting two goals on the scoreboard in quick succession so his team was in the lead 2-0 at the end of the first chukka. He was unstoppable, notching up goal after goal and neutralising the best efforts of the combative advances of the Brit duo of seven times winner Chris Hyde and Max Charlton for Maserati.
In a fast and furious game, it was thrills and spills aplenty as the passion took hold and players battled each other for victory. Novillo Astrada was caught by Charlton’s stick and fell to the ground. Soon back up he was undaunted, coolly converting the resulting penalty at the beginning of the third chukka.
The drama continued as Bigatti’s horse came down after a ride off during a frenetic passage of play. ‘The Prof’ Hyde was also soon off his horse, a nerve injury sustained in yesterday’s match flaring up and meaning he was unable to continue. Luckily there was more than one Hyde in St. Moritz as his 4 goal son Jack put on this boots and came out competently in his father’s place, despite having never played on snow before.
The start of the fourth chukka saw yet another goal from the goal scoring tsunami Novillo Astrada for Badrutt’s Palace and so the result seemed inevitable as the score was 7-3 with just minutes left on the clock. However, Charlton was not ready to give up and was firmly on the attack, resulting in Peluso being struck on the hand and falling to the ground in pain. Despite the inevitability of defeat, Maserati remained on the offensive until the last seconds of play, but it was all too little too late, and history was made as Badrutt’s Palace secured the trophy for the first time in the history of the tournament. 
The Cartier Trophy was presented by Mrs Laurence Bourgeois, Cartier Managing Director (Switzerland) and Mrs Kaethy Dobers, the Boutique Director of Cartier St. Moritz. The best Playing Patron, presented by Peter Schmid, Head of Wealth Management Northern and Central Europe Deutsche Bank, was awarded to Melissa Ganzi. The Most Valuable Player was awarded to Alejandro Novillo Astrada, whilst the Polo Times Best Playing Pony was awarded to Pantera played by Alejando Novillo Astrada in the fourth chukka.
None of the thousands of spectators wanted the three days of thrilling polo action to end. The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2019 had once again been a triumph at every level and a credit to Reto Gaudenzi and his team. The beautiful resort of St. Moritz had surpassed itself again – alive with sun, hospitality and thrilling polo. Make a note now of The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2020 on 24, 25 & 26 January 2020! 
The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz Teams:
Cartier (17): Marc Ganzi (2), Grant Ganzi (3), Juan Martín Nero (10) & Tito Gaudenzi (2)
Azerbaijan Land of Fire (14): Elchin Jamalli (2), Agustin Kronhaus (3), Adrian Laplacette Jr (6) & Thomas Winter (3)
Badrutt's Palace (16): Melissa Ganzi (0), Juan Bautista Peluso (0), Alfredo Bigatti (8) & Alejandro Novillo Astrada (8)
Maserati (16): Valery Mishchenko (0), Robert Strom (5), Max Charlton (6) & Chris Hyde (5 – substituted by Jack Hyde (4)

Follow Polotimes on Twitter

Other top stories

Fri 19th Jul 2019
Hurlingham Polo Association Chairmanship
Nick Wiles to be put forward for election in November 2019

Wed 17th Jul 2019
King Power Gold Cup Final
VS King Power and Dubai through to the Final

Mon 15th Jul 2019
King Power Gold Cup Semi Finals
Final four decided

Thu 11th Jul 2019
King Power Gold Cup
Quarter Finals Set

Tue 9th Jul 2019
Graham Budd Polo Auction
150th anniversary sports memorabilia auction underway

Mon 8th Jul 2019
Mid-Season Handicap Changes
Hurlingham Polo Association releases list

Sun 7th Jul 2019
King Power Gold Cup
Play Continues at Cowdray Park

Tue 2nd Jul 2019
Polo Times Out Now!
July issue of Polo Times

Mon 1st Jul 2019
King Power Gold Cup Update
Results from the weekend

Fri 28th Jun 2019
Frasers England Team Announced
The Coronation Cup

Thu 27th Jun 2019
Coronation Cup
The Argentine team is announced

Wed 26th Jun 2019
The King Power Gold Cup
Play is underway at Cowdray

Tue 25th Jun 2019
UAE Polo Team Are Victorious
The OUT-SOURCING Inc! Royal Windsor Cup

Mon 24th Jun 2019
Emlor Secure 22 Goal Title
The Warwickshire Cup

Sun 23rd Jun 2019
Frasers England Triumph
The Ladies International Test Match

See all news in:

End of Polo Times news page

Advertiser information Contact us Subscribe Work for us All information is subject to copyright 2015


Latest Classified

Latest Classified

2005 MAN 7.5T Excellent runner. Plated until May 2020. New batteries. Carries...
 Get into Polo

Get started in polo

Information on how to get started in polo
 Destination of the Month

The global game

Holidays and breaks playing or following polo around the world

Online magazine

Login to read current and back issues of the magazine
 Find your nearest club

Club contacts

Find your nearest polo club
Cookies in Use