Beach Polo World Cup Returns with More Than 120 Horses

Miami Beach's white sands, bright blue skies, and refreshing ocean breezes will once again set the stage for the annual Beach Polo World Cup. The event is celebrating its 17th anniversary from April 21 to 23.

One of the largest events of its kind, the three-day extravaganza will feature eight teams and more than 120 first-class equines. The matches are expected to draw a global audience of more than 12,000 visitors to the sands of Miami Beach at Collins Park.

"Miami is vibrant and beautiful; the energy is palpable. The unique mix of cultures set against the expansive beaches and art deco backdrop make for a truly unique experience," said Tito Gaudenzi, event producer.

Gaudenzi, a Swiss-born professional polo player, was inspired by his father and polo player Reto Gaudenzi, who founded the St. Mortiz Snow Polo World Cup in 1985. Gaudenzi followed suit with the creation of the Kitzbühel Snow Polo World Cup in 2003 and the Beach Polo World Cup in Miami Beach in 2005, which he operates with partner Melissa Ganzi.

"Polo is like no other sport. It is the oldest equestrian sport and is also the oldest team sport. It is extremely fast-paced and requires a unique relationship between the player and the horse," Gaudenzi notes. "It requires full concentration. Many polo ponies are former racehorses that are still in fit condition."

Over the three-day tournament, eight teams of three players will compete in three games a day. Finals will take place on Sunday, and the winner wills will be awarded the Beach Polo World Cup trophy. Some of the top players participating this year include Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Pablo Mad Donough, and Nacho Figueras. Organizer Melissa Ganzi is the sole woman player in the competition.

Local and international polo enthusiasts are not the only ones to flock to the popular event. General admission is free, as is access to the retail village, which this year will open at 11 a.m. and feature ready-to-wear clothing options, accessories, and home items, including items by local jeweler Martina Gurgel and brands Fred Black and Anatomie. There are also satellite events, some of which are open to the public, including an Après Polo party held each day after matches at the Setai.

Guests can purchase tickets to experience the polo match under the shade at the lounge overlooking the polo field starting at $110. VIP packages include shaded lounge areas, an open bar, and access to an eclectic buffet.

Beach Polo World Cup. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 21, through Sunday, April 23, at Collins Park between 21st and 22nd streets; Admission is free; VIP tickets cost $110 to $650.

Con la tecnología de Blogger.