Carbondale, Colo., June 1, 2017 – Aspen Valley Polo Club, the fastest growing club in the nation, announced its 12-tournament schedule and player lineup for the upcoming summer season. The 2017 season features last year’s eight grass tournaments and four arena tournaments including the July 25-Aug. 6 USPA National Arena Handicap.
The schedule is: July 2, Independence Cup; July 7-9, ChukkerTV Challenge Cup; July 14-16, Craig Sakin Memorial; July 21-23, Basalt Handicap; July 25-Aug. 6, USPA National Arena Handicap; July 28-30, Emma Challenge; Aug. 4-6, High Alpine Cup; Aug. 8-15, USPA Chairman’s Arena Cup; Aug. 9, ChukkerTV Arena Challenge; Aug. 11-13, Mount Sopris Cup; Aug. 18-20, Rocky Mountain Open; and Aug. 25-27 Carbondale Classic.
With the breathtaking 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, Aspen Valley Polo Club has been one of the busiest destinations with a membership increase of 75 percent over the last two seasons.
Polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding cities with the club’s offerings of various weekly tournaments, Gladiator Arena Polo, Kids Polo and The Polo School at the club owned by Marc and Melissa Ganzi since 2014, in addition to practice sessions for teams competing in the weekend tournaments and weekly asados.
This is a beautiful place to play and the community has been wonderful supporting polo and the club. We have every level of play here and the Polo School with Melissa Ganzi, who is teaching 13 kids, and I am working with the adults. The club and sport is growing every day, every year,” said Juan Bollini, Director of Polo Operations.
Aspen Valley Polo Club, coming off its most successful season in club history, has a star-studded roster of players lined up for the summer to compete with and against patrons and amateur players including former 10-goaler Mike Azzaro, brothers 9-goaler Ignacio (Nacho) Novillo Astrada and 8-goaler Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 5-goalers Juan Bollini and Lucas Lalor, 4-goal rated brothers Mariano and Carlitos Gracida, sons of legendary polo great Carlos Gracida, 3-goaler Juancito Bollini and 2-goaler Grant Ganzi.
The Novillo Astradas are members of a legendary polo family from Argentina based at one of the world’s best polo clubs, La Aguada, founded by their grandfather Julio Novillo Astrada. The family has a tradition of more than 60 years in polo. Another brother Eduardo, Jr., was recently elected new president of the Asociacion Argentina de Polo.
Azzaro is one of the all-time greatest American players based in San Antonio, Texas. The Hall of Famer held the sport’s highest handicap of 10 goals for 10 years. He has won seven U.S. Open titles, third most of any players behind Memo and Carlos Gracida. Azzaro will be making his Aspen debut.
“I am looking forward to the season,” Bollini announced excitedly. “I think we are going to have really good 20-goal polo. We have players from Valiente coming and I think we are going to play at Valiente. At one point, I think we might have six 20-goal competitive teams. Aspen is going to be the place for the summer and the future.”