History of the St. Moritz Polo Club
The St. Moritz Polo Club was founded in 1959 in St. Moritz, Peter Robert Berry being the clubs first President.
Polo in St. Moritz started in summer between 1960 and 1964 on a field in St. Moritz Bad, today still known as the “Polowiese”.
The main Engadine resident polo players were Reto Gaudenzi and Gianni Berry who later, in 1978, formed the St. Moritz Polo Team, playing mainly around Europe, such as Germany or in Spain.
The person in charge for the first summer polo tournament in St. Moritz was Peter Robert Berry, father of Gianni Berry. Unfortunately, the polo field was turned into an athletics center a couple years later, and the early attempts to get polo onto the yearly summer agenda of St. Moritz drifted away. Nevertheless, the St. Moritz Polo Team carried on playing in other European tournaments and during a polo weekend in Munich, the group of polo enthusiasts around Reto Gaudenzi had the pioneering idea of playing polo on the frozen lake of St. Moritz.
A lot of hard work and determination was needed to set this idea onto ground, or in this case ice, to have the first tournament happening on the frozen lake of St. Moritz in 1985. Ever since, the Polo on Snow is a fix point in the polo calendar during the last weekend of January. The tournament has evolved from a small gathering of polo enthusiasts to a highly professional event structure attracting over 15’000 spectators over the weekend.
Following the success of the first Polo on Snow in 1985, the Summer Polo has been brought back to St.Moritz with tournaments during the summer month.
European and World Polo Championship held in St. Moritz
The St. Moritz Polo Club has been the proud organizing entity for the European Championship in 1993, where the winning team was England and Italy the runners up.
Only two years later, in 1995, the fourth Polo World Championship was held in St. Moritz. Over 100 argentine polo ponies were brought to St. Moritz and six teams fought for the prestigious title of World Polo Champions. Brazil fought its way gamely through the early rounds to meet Argentina in the final. Now it was Brazil’s turn for triumph. They pulled out an exciting win 11-10 to assume the mantle of World Polo Champions.
Urs E. Schwarzenbach – a man in charge
In the year 2001, Urs E. Schwarzenbach, a Swiss entrepreneur, polo enthusiast and well known high goal polo patron from England, became president of the St. Moritz Polo Club. During his thirteen year presidency, Urs E. Schwarzenbach achieved not only the winter polo tournament to become a 22- goal tournament attracting some of the world’s leading polo patrons and professionals and being part of the polo world tour, but also continuously put an effort in developing the tournament with all its aspects from sponsoring, guest experience, pony welfare and last but not least sustainability in terms of ecological impact of the event further.
Today to the future
In march 2015, Urs E. Schwarzenbach gave the presidency of the club to Adriano Agosti, who has previously served as Vice President for many years and played during almost 20 years both the summer and winter tournaments in St. Moritz.
The St. Moritz Polo Club has evolved into one of the major sporting and social clubs in the Engadine.
On the weekend of the 25-26th July the 5th St. Moritz Summer Polo will be held. Both members and the general public are welcome to join and watch some exciting games!