Snow polo World Cup coming to Tianjin in January

Updated : 2013-11-08 By : China DailySource : China Daily

The thunder of hooves and the courage, skill and poise of the players combine to make polo one of the most thrilling of team sports. So what could be more exciting than 12 of the planet's premier polo nations coming together to do battle?

Doing it in the snow!

The Fortune Heights Snow Polo World Cup, the world's largest event of its kind, will take place for the third straight year at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club from Jan 8-19.

Last year's winner, Hong Kong of China, will be out to defend its title against 11 other 14-16 goal handicap teams representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, and the US.

Teams are drawn from seeding tiers into three groups of four, with the groups split into two zones. The top four teams from each zone advance to the quarterfinal elimination stage.

Top seed Hong Kong and England will face each other in what is arguably the marquee contest of the group stage. Hong Kong triumphed over England in the Grand Final of the Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup in October, so England will surely be looking for revenge to help ensure its progression to the quarterfinal stages.

With all the action and physicality of traditional field polo, the snow version is even more fast-paced due to the smaller playing field and the snow-packed surface, presenting a fascinating challenge to horses and players.

The ball, made of inflatable vinyl, is more unpredictable in flight than a standard polo ball, and teams consist of three players rather than the traditional four.

Snow polo originated in the glamorous ski resorts of Switzerland, but is rapidly acquiring a new home in China at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, which has garnered global acclaim by hosting some of the most exciting tournaments on the international calendar.

Last year the club was the venue for the Fortune Heights Snow Polo World Cup, Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup, Maserati Metropolitan Polo Classic and the Metropolitan Intervarsity Polo tournaments.

(China Daily 11/08/2013 page23)

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