The glamorous 2018 Snow Polo Cup, held annually in the Swiss mountain resort of St Moritz, welcomed a team from Azerbaijan for the first time in its history. Photographer Charlie Dailey captures the excitement of the playing field close up and personal
Each year, the Snow Polo Cup in Alpine glamour destination St Moritz brings together the finest players from around the world in a fierce competition of sporting prowess. This year’s tournament saw the first-time participation of the Azerbaijan Land of Fire team, who went on to win the La Martina Cup as well as the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Challenge Cup, both against Badrutt’s Palace. “The Azerbaijan polo players have a long history of playing the sport,” says Reto Gaudenzi, founder of the Snow Polo Cup (and the sport itself). “Polo is an ancient game, and the Azerbaijani team are excellent riders and players with a very brave playing style.”
In fact, Azerbaijan is proving to be one of the most formidable players on the international polo circuit, and it is no coincidence that Gaudenzi is also the founder of Baku’s Arena Polo World Cup, which celebrated its fifth edition in 2017. This year, Gaudenzi is focusing his attention on the 12th FIP (Federation of International Polo) championships in Villa Sesta in Italy, where the Azerbaijani team will compete. In 2020, with the collaboration of the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation (ARAF), the FIP Championships will take place in Gabala, Azerbaijan. “The new full-size fields there and 500 stables, alongside full infrastructure will be ready in 2019,” Gaudenzi enthuses.
Photography courtesy of Charlie Dailey