Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snow Polo

Polo is normally a warm weather sport, played under sunny skies anywhere the grass in green and the field is smooth. But there is also another type of polo that is gaining in popularity: snow polo. Snow polo was first played in the mid 1980s on a frozen lake in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where the annual Polo World Cup on Snow now attracts several 10-goal players every year.

The snow polo rules resemble the rules for arena polo and the players (three to a side) use an inflated bright orange ball to provide a contrast to the white snow. The horses wear high traction snow shoes, and the snow is compacted to make a fast playing surface. The American center for snow polo is Aspen, Colo., the site last December of the tenth annual Piaget Polo on the Snow USPA World Snow Polo Championship.

For the second year in a row, the Crestview Genetics Polo Team, which is based in Aiken, went out for the event. The team, made up of Alan Martinez, John Eicher and Alan Meeker, won the tournament last year. They couldn’t repeat that feat this year, in what is becoming an increasingly high goal tournament with an international flair. The honors went to the Audi team of Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini and Kris Kampsen. Perhaps next year, Crestview will return with the trophy

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