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Flexjet, Richard Mille Play Thursday For St. Regis Snow Polo World Championship Title

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Flexjet, Richard Mille Play Thursday For St. Regis Snow Polo World Championship Title
ASPEN, Colo., December 19, 2018--After the most exciting opening round in the history of the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship, the stage is set for what promises to be an exciting final.


Flexjet teammates Melissa Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Juan Bollini celebrate after making the final.

Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada), the 2016 snow polo champion, will meet first-year team Richard Mille (Marc Ganzi, Martin Pepa, Pablo MacDonough) in Thursday's championship final.

Flexjet's Melissa Ganzi defends Gonzalito Pieres of Blade & Bow.

On Tuesday at Aspen Valley Polo Club's indoor arena, Flexjet advanced into the final with an impressive 10-6 victory over Aspen Valley Polo Club (Sarah Magness, Jason Crowder, Jesse Bray). Flexjet defeated Blade & Bow (Brian Boyd, Gonzalito Pieres, Carlitos Gracida), 6-5, in their opening two-chukker round robin and Aspen Valley Polo Club defeated Blade & Bow, 6-5, in their matchup.

Novillo Astrada scored a tournament-high 12 goals in four chukkers. Ganzi added three goals. Bray led Aspen Valley Polo Club with six goals, Crowder had three and Magness added one goal. Pieres led his team with four goals and Boyd and Gracida each had three goals for Blade & Bow.  

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Flexjet hooks Brian Boyd of Blade & Bow.

Richard Mille, featuring newly-crowned Argentine Open champion Pablo MacDonough making his snow polo tournament debut, Marc Ganzi and Martin Pepa upset defending champion U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Henry Porter) to advance into the final. The teams tied, 7-7, but based on net goals carried over from Richard Mille's 8-4 win over St. Regis (Nacho Figueras, Hilario Figueras, Julio Gracida), Richard Mille advanced. In the opening round robin, U.S. Polo Assn., which had an early 8-1 lead, defeated St. Regis 9-6.

Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille makes his snow polo tournament debut after winning the Argentine Open.

MacDonough, who got off a plane from Argentina Tuesday morning, finished with seven goals. Pepa had five goals and Marc Ganzi added two. Roldan had nine goals and Porter scored three. Nacho Figueras led St. Regis with five goals. Hilario Figueras had three goals and Gracida added two goals.

Nacho Figueras of St. Regis battles Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille for the ball.

Action moves to Rio Grande Park in Aspen on Wednesday for Media Day and game for fifth and sixth place between St. Regis and Blade & Bow at 1:15 p.m. followed by a Celebrity Polo Chukker featuring St. Regis (Saye Yabandeh, Erica Posalini, Nacho Figueras) and Richard Mille: Official Time Keeper (Alexa Dell, Sterling Jones, Pablo MacDonough) at 2:30 p.m. Gates open at noon.

Marc Ganzi of Richard Mille chases down Nic Roldan of U.S. Polo Assn.

The final and subsidiary games are Thursday at 1 and 3 p.m. followed by the trophy presentation at 4:15 p.m. and VIP tent party. Each night a dinner for players and sponsors will be held. Activities conclude Saturday with the inaugural Snow Ball.

The entire St. Regis Snow Polo World Championship is being livestreamed to a worldwide audience by ChukkerTV. The event is the final stop on the 2018 World Polo Tour and only snow polo event in North America. 

Richard Mille teammates Martin Pepa and Pablo MacDonough all smiles after qualifying for the final.

Between the two bracket tournament round robins, senior advisor Jamie Van Leeuwen, on behalf of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, presented a declaration of Dec. 17-20 as World Snow Polo Championship Days. 

Melissa Ganzi and Aspen Valley Polo Club present the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District with a donation for its tireless work during the summer wildfires.

There was also a check presentation to Carbondale Fire and Rescue for their outstanding job during the raging wild fires throughout nearby Colorado communities. Aspen Valley Polo Club collected donations throughout its summer polo season.

The snow polo tournament has become a major attraction for the local community and attracts fans from all over the world. One of the social events of the season is a major allure for the Aspen community and surrounding areas.

Gonzalito Pieres of Blade & Bow and Jason Crowder of Aspen Valley Polo Club battle for the ball.

Richard Mille is the official timekeeper for the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship. Mille created the RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo MacDonough for his Brand Ambassador.

For the first time in event history the week-long activities will feature the inaugural Snow Ball to benefit the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation at St. Regis Hotel.

Grant Ganzi of U.S. Polo Assn. waits for a pass from teammate Nic Roldan.

For the sixth consecutive year, Aspen Valley Polo Club owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi, named to The Salonniere 100 annual list of the nation's best party hosts in Aspen for 2017 and 2018, are hosting the star-studded event along with polo ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina.

Henry Porter of U.S. Polo Assn. and Nacho Figueras of St. Regis race to the ball.

In addition to U.S. Polo Assn. (2017) and Flexjet (2016), past St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship winners include: 2013, St. Regis (Nacho Figueras, Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips); 2014, Piaget (Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Nic Roldan); and 2015, U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Juancito Bollini).

Nic Roldan of U.S. Polo Assn. works the ball out of the air with Julio Gracida of St. Regis trying to hook.

For the first time in event history, the Snow Ball will be held Saturday as a benefit for the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation, now in its sixth year as a non-profit solely focused on encouraging philanthropic support for the current and future needs of Aspen Valley Hospital. The Snow Polo Ball is expected to be the social event of the holiday season.

During the summer polo season at Aspen Valley Polo Club, a club record $537,200 was raised at its annual Chukkers, Champagne and Caviar fundraiser, topping the 2017 total of $366,000. 

Sarah Magness of Aspen Valley Polo Club defends Brian Boyd of Blade & Bow.

Rio Grande Park is Aspen's largest multi-functional park within the city's limits and just minutes away from the St. Regis Aspen Resort.

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.

Jan-Erik Franck calling the furious action in Tuesday's qualifying round robins.

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.

Father and son Nacho and Hilario Figueras watch the final match of the day.

With the breathtaking 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the busiest and fastest growing USPA-sanctioned clubs in the nation with a membership increase of 75 percent over five seasons.

Blade & Bow players Brian Boyd, Carlitos Gracida, Gonzalito Pieres and his children listen to last minute instructions from umpire Dale Schwetz.

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, Gladiator Tuesdays and Asado, Kids Polo, The Polo School and Polo On Demand. 

Before Tuesday action, guests were treated to a barn tour at Aspen Valley Polo Club. Photos by Nick Tininenko

All ages are welcome to enjoy polo at Aspen Valley Polo Club. Admission, food and refreshments are free for fans in a relaxed, laidback atmosphere. An added feature is the club's Jumbotron which made its debut this summer for the fans enjoyment.

ASPEN VALLEY HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

In 2012, Aspen Valley Hospital formed its own fundraising entity solely focused on encouraging philanthropic support for the current and future needs of Aspen Valley Hospital. The non-profit oversees all charitable giving to the hospital, including for its expansion and renovation project.
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.

RICHARD MILLE OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPER 

The luxury Swiss watch brand and Brand Ambassador Pablo MacDonough are making their debut in Aspen. Founded in 1999, the brand applies a three-part philosophy: the sharpest cutting-edge technology, three-dimensional construction with pure mechanics, and hand-finishing. This strategy has never wavered, and the Richard Mille name has imposed itself with instantly recognizable timepieces. The St. Regis Aspen Resort features a Richard Mille Boutique.

U.S. POLO ASSN.

The brand carries an extensive collection of classically styled, high quality, casual clothing from polo shirts and tees to khakis and hoodies for men, women and children as well as watches, luggage, sunglasses, handbags, home furnishings and much more. The brand products are authentic and officially sanctioned by the U.S. Polo Association, the sport's governing body. USPA Global Licensing Inc. manages its licensing program in over 135 countries through independent retail, department, online and U.S. Polo Assn. brand stores. Brand Ambassadors include Ashley Busch, Juancito Bollini and Jared Zenni.

CHUKKERTV

ChukkerTV is live streaming the entire winter polo season. 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.



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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