Melissa Ganzi will make history at this week’s Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz in Switzerland. The Grand Champions Polo Club president will be the first woman to compete in the snow polo tournament since its inception in 1985. Ganzi will compete for Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. She will be joined by 9-goaler Agustin Merlos, 4-goaler Mariano Gracida and 2-goaler Tito Gaudenzi.
Ganzi has been a trailblazer in polo since she started playing sixteen years ago. She is the USPA Florida Circuit Governor, the first woman in the southeast to hold the office. She is involved in every aspect of polo including the U.S. Polo Association, Polo Training Foundation, Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame and horse breeding.
Ganzi is the first woman ever to win the Monty Waterbury Cup. The Flexjet high goal patron is one of only two women competing in the 26-goal season at International Polo Club. She has won several tournaments including the Ylvisaker Cup and Aspen World Snow Polo Tournament and is ranked in the Top 15 in the World Polo Tour amateur rankings. She is co-owner of Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington and its sister club Aspen Valley Polo Club in Colorado, where she and her husband, Marc, produce and compete in the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship.
Agustin (Tincho) Merlos, the youngest of three polo-playing brothers, holds the record for most number of goals scored in a single game in the Argentine Open.
The Swiss-born Tito Gaudenzi, son of the tournament founder, has competed in several of the world’s top polo tournaments including St. Moritz. He has won several prestigious tournaments including four German Polo Championships and was 2005 MVP at the Snow Polo World Cup.
Mariano Gracida, the youngest son of the legendary Carlos Gracida, is an up-and-coming player who has competed in several tournaments. He represented his native country Mexico in the International Cup.
The world’s most prestigious polo tournament on snow was the first snow polo tournament in the sport’s history created by polo promoter Reto Gaudenzi, founder and CEO of the Snow Polo World Cup. Four high goal teams from the U.S., England, Italy and Switzerland will compete for the coveted Cartier Trophy on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. The three-day tournament has a backdrop of the snow-capped Engadin Valley and is the social event of the season. Social events will be held both on the lake and St. Moritz first-class hotels.