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St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow

After the legendary St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow had to be cancelled in 2012 for  the first time in its history due to adverse weather conditions, the best of international sport is ready to go again in Engadin in 2013.
St. Moritz is one of the cradles of the game of polo in continental Europe and is home to the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow, the world’s most prestigious polo tournament on snow. Four high goal teams with handicaps of 18 goals will be competing on the frozen Lake St. Moritz at the end of January. The tournament had to be cancelled in 2012 for the first time ever because the lake was not frozen hard enough.
Bernhard Pöllinger is responsible for organising this high-class tournament and is optimistic about 2013. “We need cold weather in November and December so that the lake cools and freezes over. Then we need around 20 cm of snow on top in early January, which we roll over several times. It takes three to six weeks to get the playing field ready. For the tournament itself, of course, what we want is plenty of fine cold weather and sunshine.” Pöllinger has years of experience to tell him whether the ice is good enough – that, and a lot of measurements. “The ice has to be at least 20 cm thick. What’s important, though, is what kind of ice it is. Black ice is good; what we call sandwich ice is bad.”
The organisers are expecting some fifteen thousand spectators in St. Moritz from January 24th to 27th 2013. A highlight of the games will be the appearance of Eduardo Novillo Astrada from England, whose +9 goal handicap makes him one of the world’s best polo players. Each team will play against all of the others in a round robin. To prepare the horses for the cold and the special demands of conditions at 1,800 metres above sea level, many of them will be undergoing special altitude training in the days and weeks leading up to the World Cup.
Bernhard Pöllinger has been synonymous with snow polo in St. Moritz for many years. “I started as head of construction with White Turf, an international horse race on Lake St. Moritz, responsible for the ice and building the infrastructure. From 1998 on, the World Cup and the White Turf have been sharing the structures on the lake on consecutive weekends. That means that we’ve also been providing the infrastructure for the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow since then, too. In 2009, I moved completely to Polo AG. Nowadays the basic infrastructure for both events is constructed using a joint infrastructure association. Thanks to my wife, who is a professional horse trainer, I’m no stranger to horses. The SMPWCOS is now the most important European winter tournament and is part of the World Polo Tour.”

The Teams:
Sal. Oppenheim (+18)
Richard Davis (0, GBR)
Jonny Good (+5, GBR)
Eduardo Novillo Astrada (+9, ARG)
Tarquin Southwell (+4, GBR)
Ralph Lauren (+18)
Michael Bickford (+1, USA)
Jamie Morrison (+4, UK)
Nacho Figueras (+6, ARG)
Marcos Araya (+7, ARG)
Cartier (+18)
Jonathan Munro Ford (0, AUS)
Max Charlton (+6, UK)
Nacho Gonzalez (+6, UK)
Chris Hyde (+6, UK)
BMW (+18)
Andreas Knapp Voith (0, ESP)
Bautista Urbina (+6, ARG)
Ignacio Tillous (+6, ARG)
Lucas Labat (+6, ARG)

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