Switzerland’s Passion for Winter Polo

Introduction of Brioni and Cartier teams.

The Black Hills has experienced strange weather recently, but we are happy to report it is now a winter wonderland with snow predicted to fall through Tuesday.  That’s terrific news for us cold weather enthusiasts!  And, if you have perused our Facebook page and blog, you may have noticed your friends at Newton Fork Ranch harbor multiple passions.  Just to name a few: snow, travel, chocolate, and polo.  And, as luck would have it, there is a special part of the world where all four of these passions converge each year on a magical January weekend: St. Moritz.

Cartier team player sets-up a near-side backhand shot.

If you have followed Black Hills polo you may know it had its start in the 30s with the Calvary boys at Fort Meade. Similarly, polo in St. Moritz got its start even earlier (in 1899) when the British troops played as part of their military maneuvers. The present day St. Moritz Polo Club formed in 1959 and hosts year-round games, including one of our favorite events: the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow.  Having attended the Cartier vs. Brioni match, we can attest that it is an experience like no other.  Photos here capture a portion of that magic.

Classic defensive move alters Brioni play.

We are sad to report though that, for the first time in its 28-year history, the 2012 event was cancelled disappointing fans and sponsors Cartier, Deutsche Bank, Ralph Lauren, and BMW.  The St. Moritz Lake Commission deemed the iced-over playing surface of Lake St. Moritz too thin and posed a danger to players and spectators.  But as the late Paul Lippman, our own Rushmore Polo and Social Club founder was fond of saying, “better days ahead!”

So here is a toast in hopes of a record snowfall this week in the Hills and a return of the extraordinary St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow in 2013!

In closely matched game, Cartier prevails in 3 - 2.5 win over Brioni.

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