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Megève – French capital of snow polo

20 years ago, when Jean-Yves Delfosse organised the Snow Polo Masters for the first time in Megève, nobody would have thought that this event would become one of the most popular and prestigious snow polo tournaments in the world. “Celebrating 20 years in Megève is very symbolic. Megève is a cosy, luxurious village with old traditions. It is the first French ski resort to hold such an event due to its historical attachment to horses. It is here that everything started and it will remain the capital of French snow polo,” says Delfosse and he remembers the beginnings: “It was pictures of snow polo in St Moritz that I had seen that made me want to do the same thing in a resort in the French Alps. Megève seemed to be the ideal resort because for years they have had connections with horses here. For 7 years I had been organising the tournament in St Tropez and the chief editor of a magazine who was in St Tropez and Megève introduced me to the resort. Next it was thanks to a handful of passionate people in the resort who knew how to support such an event and stay faithful to its cause throughout the years, which is how the Polo Masters became so successful.”

The first events were held on the Livraz plateau. The permanent home of the event was found with its fourth edition in the Arly plain opposite to the Palais des Sports. Sometimes there was not much snow – but the Polo Masters Megève has never been cancelled. Instead new locations were found, with much creativity and considerable effort. The tournament also took place in superior regions (La Cote 2000) and once even on the town’s ice rink. Delfosse: “One of my favourite memories is the 10th edition, it will always remain magical! The Peking circus was there for the gala that had 1000 guests. It was amazing, everyone still remembers it! I hope this will also be the case for the 20th anniversary!“

Six teams with an international line up have announced their attendance in the jubilee chukkas and will fight for four days for the Trophée Groupe Edmond de Rothschild from 22-25 January 2015. True to the motto “Bring polo to the people, not the people to polo”, the spectators can experience the action-packed matches really up close and for that reason in 2015 there will be an 80-metre long tent on the sidelines. There will also be several equestrian side-events in Megève’s streets as well as a cavalier’s show retracing the steps of the adventures of the Ducs de Savoie, which will take place on the polo pitch. An evening gala is also planned with the resort’s greatest Michelin starred chefs, adding a gastronomic extravaganza. “What makes this tournament so different is the show and the atmosphere. What we really do with snow polo is to put on a magnificent equestrian show that is open to everyone to enjoy. It is captivating, beautiful, invigorating and thrilling for spectators to watch. The atmosphere at the BMW Polo Masters Tour is its biggest attraction! Evening parties, sports and conviviality makes this tournament a completely unique event.“

For 20 years, the BMW Polo Masters in Megève has borne the hallmarks of Jean-Yves Delfosse. For the future the polo enthusiast wishes his children to take over and bring some new blood and new ideas to the tournament.

In 2015 the BMW Polo Masters Megève will be the only snow polo tournament in France, different from the years before. The tournaments in Courchevel and Val d’Isère will not take place in 2015. Both resorts want to adopt a new strategic course in the future and have cancelled the snow polo events.

The teams of the 20th BMW Polo Masters Megève:
Fer a Cheval (+8)

Laurent Dassault (0)
Matthieu Delfosse (+4)
Patrick Paillol (+4)

Les Fermes de Marie (+8)
Cyrille Costes (0)
Brieuc Rigaux (+5)
Thierry Vetois (+3)

BMW (+8)
Alexandre Sztarkman (+1)
Dario Musso (+7)
Bonvicini Gérard (0)

Stalis (+8)
Claude Solarz (0)
Edouard Pan (+4)
Robert Strom (+4)

Casino Barriere / Palo Alto (+7)
Alexandre Baillot (0)
Clément Delfosse (+4)
Thibault Guillemain (+3)

Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (+8)
Richard Thomas (0)
Seb Dawnay (+4)
Michael Henderson (+4)

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