27th December 2018 | USA
The game was close from the opening throw-in with the teams tied 2-2 after the first chukker.
In an exciting finish, first-year team Richard Mille won the coveted St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship at Rio Grande Park. Richard Mille playing with Pablo MacDonough, Martin Pepa and Marc Ganzi faced Flexjet’s Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Melissa Ganzi. Richard Mille, debuting in the prestigious six-team tournament, defeated Flexjet by 6 - 5. Pablo Mac Donough, who recently won the 125th Argentine Open with La Dolfina Sancor Seguros for the sixth consecutive year with Juan Martin Nero, David Stirling and Adolfo Cambiaso, was named the Most Valuable Player for the tournament final.
Sponsor Richard Mille and Pablo MacDonough were making their snow polo debuts. Pablo Mac Donough said, “Snow polo was amazing, just amazing, I think our team played great, and the other team, too, but we were the lucky ones to win.” Kit Kat, a 7-year-old bay mare by Lion’s Quest out of Macuca, owned and bred by Wellington-based Santa Rita Polo Farm, and played by Alejandro Novillo Astrada, was selected the Best Playing Pony. The game was close from the opening throw-in with the teams tied 2-2 after the first chukker. Richard Mille took a 3-2 lead in the second chukker with the help of Pablo MacDonough’s goal. 2 goals from both the teams in the third chukker ended the chukker on a score of 5 - 4 with Richard Mille holding a slim lead. The two goals from Alejandro Novillo Astrada for Flexjet and goals from Martin Pepa and Pablo MacDonough counted for the goals in the third chukker. In the fourth and the final chukker, a penalty was awarded to each team.
“It was really, really close. We would go back up one and we kept trying to surge and go up two but couldn’t find it,” Marc Ganzi said. “Flexjet won this tournament two years ago, they know how to win it.”
“I am glad Pablo won, I am happy for him, he just doesn’t win enough in polo, this is good for his career,” joked Flexjet’s Juan Bollini. Flexjet making its second finals appearance in three years was led by Alejandro Novillo Astrada with two goals. He finished as the tournament’s high scorer with 14 goals. The final pitted husband and wife against each other, “In those situations for me, it’s kind of lose-lose,” Marc Ganzi said. “So if I lose, I lose, and if I win, I still lose. But actually, we play a lot of polo against each other. We’ve played a lot of finals against each other. She’s won, I’ve won. We take a very pragmatic approach to it, which is we are just going to go play and let the better team win and today thankfully, we were the better team.”
“Polo is one of our brand pillars,” said Lisa Holladay, global brand leader for St. Regis. “John Jacob Astor founded the St. Regis in New York in 1904, and his family used to host polo matches on Governors Island in New York Harbor, so we like to honor the spirit of our founder.”