Snow polo was first introduced in 1985 in Switzerland's swank St. Moritz, and caught on immediately among the bon ton. It's no surprise that swells in equally upscale Aspen, CO decided to stage their own snow polo tournament nine years ago, the only one of its kind in the United States. The ninth annual World Snow Polo Championships just took place there, and the Land Rover America's Polo Cup Team, fielded by the famed British auto marque and the luxurious St. Regis Aspen Resort, made a strong showing.
The Land Rover team - comprised of
For one thing, the polo ponies are shod with special cleated shoes to provide better traction in the snow, and the ball is larger, lighter, and painted bright red to accommodate winter conditions. The Championship is a four-team elimination tournament comprised of local and international players mounted on Colorado-raised ponies; teams are comprised of three players and play consists of four seven-minute chukkers.
Gallery: Snow Polo
The game played on snow is every bit as dramatic, aristocratic and, of course, expensive as the original. In Aspen, the Land Rover America's Cup Polo Team played a dramatic match against the Roaring Fork Polo Team, scoring the winning goal in the final five seconds. Prizes were presented by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and model Michaele Salahi. The game has now become so popular it has even spread to the Middle East; a tournament was held in Iran in 2006 and it and will be played in Dubai next winter, no doubt on artificially created snow.
The Land Rover America's Polo Cup is the world's most prestigious and largest international televised charity grass polo sporting event. The Land Rover team will take the field at the America's World Cup on