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 in 1985, the first Polo Game on Snow in Polo History. Organized the world's first FIP tournaments 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 has organized for the 6th consecutive year the Arena 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 last film was broadcasted in 280 countries all over the world. A national Polo Team has been set up in cooperation with professional Argentine polo players Adrian and Raul Laplacette, and have already made a great impact on the polo fields all over the World.
In 2015 Azerbaijan became European Champions in Arena Polo, beating Germany in the finals. In 2018 Azerbaijan won a sensational Silver Medal at the FIP European Championship in Villa a Sesta Tuscany, Italy. In November 2018 Azerbaijan will play the USA for the International Cup at Grand Champions Polo Club in Palm Beach , USA.
In Gabala, and Baku are currently 4 full size grass polo fields under construction. The new stables and Polo Clubs are already in place. In September 2019 there will be the first tournament, and in 2020 FIP has awarded the FIP European Polo Championship to Azerbaijan, 8 European Polo Teams will compete in Baku. Together with ARAF, World Polo has also brought almost 100 polo horses to Azerbaijan, 60 more to come in 2019, 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 their 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 in Sotogrande, Spain, was captain and founder of the Swiss national team with a handicap of +3 and founder and president of the Swiss Polo Association. FIP has appointed him as founder Ambassador for life. 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 inaugural Polo Cup in Baku on the grand new full size grass fields and Polo Club in September 2019 is merely the latest in a long line of triumphs. Before Azerbaijan, World Polo will organize the 35th Snow Polo World Cup in St Moritz, Switzerland from the 25th to the 27th of January 2019, the best Snow Polo Tournament in the World.
Polo tournaments organised by Reto Gaudenzi:
- St. Moritz, CH 19x*
- Las Leñas, AR 2x*
- Lech, AT 2x*
- Kitzbühel, AT 5x*
- Courchevel, F 2x*
- Moscow, R 1x *
- Bariloche, ARG 1x