It’s the most exclusive sporting event on earth, in Europe’s most revered location. The St Moritz Snow Polo World Cup is pomp and glamour at its finest. It’s the lifestyle of the rich and the famous – more than 12,000 private jets touch down at St Moritz’s private airport each year and a large proportion of them come for the winter polo world cup.
St Moritz has played host to the world’s famous snow polo tournament since 1985. Apart from being the first-ever snow polo tournament, the St Moritz Snow Polo World Cup is the only high goal polo tournament played on snow. Cradled in a magical natural setting (snow capped mountains, is there anything more beautiful?), this events exudes a unique atmosphere on and alongside the playing field.
More than 15,000 spectators, including members of Europe’s royal families, the world’s highest paid chief executives and Hollywood’s biggest names, arrive to watch the famous tournament played out on a frozen lake within Switzerland’s most glamorous ski resort. The contest itself plays a minor role, the spectators enjoying the atmosphere and events that come with it. It’s as important to flash your pearls in the Veuve Clicquot tent, or your diamond ring at the gala night, or to sample the delights of a main course created by three of Europe’s finest chefs, as it is to watch the action.
What began on the snow of St Moritz more than 30 years ago started a worldwide trend. Nowadays, polo on snow is played across the globe, from Aspen in the US and Cortina in Italy, to Tianjin in China. Still, the St Moritz original remains the most prestigious, fetching the highest prize money. On the frozen lake of St Moritz, teams compete for the highly coveted Cartier Trophy. The challenge of playing on snow, the unique location at 1850 metres above sea level, and the sophistication of St Moritz combine to make the tournament one of a kind.
Now this is something I would LOVE to try! What a unique experience it would be. I might have to reach deep, deep, deep into my pocket to be able to afford it but it would totally be worth it. Anyone care to join in the action?
Image credits: Andy Mettler