ASPEN, Colo.- The St. Regis Snow Polo World Championship has returned to Aspen, bringing with it some of the world’s best polo players.

The championship has entered its third consecutive year hosted by the Aspen Valley Polo Club.

“We love Aspen.” said Mark Ganzi, owner of the Aspen Valley Polo Club. “Nothing better than combining the mountains and horses in a competitive event like this,” he said.

Snow polo is played on a much smaller field than grass polo’s 300 yard field.  Also, only three players are on a team versus the traditional four player team.  The snow polo ball is much larger and lighter than the ball used on grass fields.  It is also red to contrast against the white snow.

“It’s a great sport, it’s very compact, very physical and we’re excited to be here and play,” said Nic Roldan, one of the world’s top polo players, playing on the U.S. Polo Assn. team this weekend.

“It’s a good time for everyone to get together, we all have fun,” said Jeff Hall, playing on the FlexJet team.  “But, when we get on the field we all want to compete and beat each other.  We have a good time for sure.”

For spectators, the St. Regis Snow Polo World Championship provides a unique experience. This is one of the few venues where spectators can get up close and personal with the pros and the horses.

“The fact that the spectators are so close to the field allows them to feel the power of the horses and the excitement and the contact between players,” said Nacho Figueras, playing the St. Regis team.

This year’s event includes a sold-out VIP tent and is growing larger each year, both in size of spectators and teams. Three years ago, only three teams played, but this year six teams are playing.  Snow polo may have originated in St. Moritz, Switzerland, but it seems the so-called sport of kings on the snow has found a nice home in Aspen, Colorado.