The Swiss Reto Gaudenzi is one of the most impressive polo visionaries of the past four decades. He founded the Snow Polo Word Cup on the frozen lake of St. Moritz, organized the world’s first FIP tournament outside Argentina, invented the modern-day version of beach polo in Miami and has established another milestone in the history of the sport in form of the Grass Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan.
In cooperation with the respective teams of World Polo and local partners, Gaudenzi has founded tournaments across the world. Exclusive locations, such as Courchevel (France), Miami (Florida, USA), Lech and Kitzbühel (Austria), Dubai (UAE), Berlin (Germany), and St. Moritz in Switzerland are just some examples. Under the motto “Bringing Polo Home”, World Polo is now organising for the 5th consecutive year as the Polo World Cup Azerbaijan in Baku.
Together with ARAF, World Polo organized also the first ever FIP Arena Polo European Championship in Baku. Gaudenzi is known for bringing impressive locations, perfect organisation, top sport, great people and unforgettable backdrops to the world of polo. In Azerbaijan he was particularly impressed by its ancient tradition of horse-riding and the warm hospitality of the people.
In the outdoor grass polo arena of the Elite Horse and Polo Club in Baku, World Polo has overseen the establishment of an already highly impressive infrastructure. The high-definition lighting systems make matches possible at any time of day and also enable them to be filmed for television. The film was televised in 280 countries all over the world. A national team is being set up in cooperation with professional Argentine polo players Adrian and Raul Laplacette, and have already made a great impact on the polo field.
In 2015 Azerbaijan became European Champions in Arena Polo, beating Germany in the finals.
This year the 5th version of the Arena Polo World Cup will take place with 4 international polo teams. In Gebele there are currently 2 full size polo fields under construction. In 2018 there will be the first tournament, and in 2020 FIP has awarded the FIP European Championship to Azerbaijan. Together with ARAF, World Polo has also brought almost 100 polo horses to Azerbaijan, and the local Karabakh horses are also being trained to play polo.
In Reto Gaudenzi, ARAF and all other partners worldwide, have an experienced polo organiser at her side. The company World Polo, which was founded in 1987, has organised excellent tournaments on snow, sand and grass, including the European Championships in Berlin in 1987, the World Championships on Berlin’s Maifeld sports ground in 1989, the European Championships in 1993, and the World Championships in St. Moritz two years later.
Gaudenzi himself started playing polo in 1978, was captain of the Swiss national team with a handicap of +3 and co-founder and president of the Swiss Polo Association. FIP has appointed him as founder Ambassador. He has played polo across the world and won Switzerland’s only polo accolade so far at the European Championships in 1993 with the Swiss national team. “In 1978, I was running hotels in Spain and was introduced to polo by a friend. And then in 1980, I won the Gold Cup with my team in Sotogrande”. Gaudenzi remains an enthusiastic polo player—and the 5th Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan is merely the latest in a long line of triumphs. After Azerbaijan, World Polo will organize the 34th Snow Polo World Cup in St Moritz, Switzerland from the 26th to the 28th of January 2018, the best Snow Polo Tournament in the World.
Polo tournaments organised by Reto Gaudenzi:
- St. Moritz, CH 18x*
- Las Leñas, AR 2x*
- Lech, AT 2x*
- Kitzbühel, AT 5x*
- Courchevel, F 2x*
- Moscow, R 1x *
- Bariloche, ARG 1x