Jul 26, 2016 8:56 PM

Aspen Valley Polo Club Logo

Located in Carbondale, Colorado, and surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, the Aspen Valley Polo Club (AVPC) appropriately lives up to its tagline, “elevate your game.” AVPC offers polo with some of the world’s best players in a quintessential summer locale. Family-oriented, the Aspen Valley Polo Club offers natural beauty and a diverse range of activities on the field as well as off the field. This, combined with their status as home of the nation’s only snow polo tournament—explains why they are one of the fastest-growing clubs in the United States.

Aspen Valley Polo Club Players

According to AVPC Club President Brian Boyd, despite Aspen’s rich polo history, weather has restricted the level of polo in the area for several decades. For years, a consistent summer polo schedule was thwarted by unpredictable and rapidly moving storms that would inundate fields and cancel games. This lack of high-quality fields is what inspired Marc and Melissa Ganzi to establish the AVPC base at their ranch in Carbondale.

Aspen Valley Polo Club Barn

Conveniently situated fourteen miles from downtown Aspen, the ranch offers a regulation outdoor field, fully-restored indoor and outdoor arena and brand new 120-stall barn. Working together with local polo families, AVPC has access to a total of four fields in separate areas of the valley. Aside from the Ganzi’s home field, one field in Emma, Colorado, is located at the base of the awe inspiring Mount Sopris, while another belonging to the Collins family lies near Snowmass, Colorado. The fourth field belongs to Texas-based sponsor, Jeff Hildebrand, in the High Mesa area. Together, this confederation of fields offers the club the flexibility to avoid weather delays and also allows fields to be rotated—neither overplayed nor underutilized.

Melissa Ganzi at Aspen Valley Polo Club

From June through August, AVPC offers grass and arena polo for players and spectators alike. Pro-Am style, fun, open and classic polo, gives members the opportunity to play with a variety of players. Patrons have the chance to play alongside, not just one, but a long list of accomplished high-goal pros throughout the season. More importantly however, is this Pro-Am design allows patrons to compete with fellow patrons who normally would not play together. For example, last year, Marc and Bob Jornayvaz won the Rocky Mountain Open. “I was wearing the Valiente colors and a lot of people around the polo world sort of marveled at that,” said Ganzi. “There is a preconceived notion that just because we have been fierce competitors for the last ten years in high-goal, we don’t share the same passion. At the end of the day, Bob Jornayvaz is a great supporter of polo, he loves his horses and he’s super competitive. When we play together, we realize there is a lot of commonality in why we play this game and why we have such a passion for it.”

All games are open to the public and spectators are invited to witness exciting tournament play. The club draws their largest crowds on Sunday with featured matches at 11am and 1pm MST. Visitors watch the games in a unique and relaxed atmosphere, entirely free of charge and refreshments are included. This accessibility of polo to everyone is one of the fundamental characteristics of the Ganzi’s work and the foundation of the Aspen Valley Polo Club. Most games are livestreamed on ChukkerTV, giving any player’s friends and family the opportunity to watch them compete, even if they are unable to make it to a game.

Aspen Valley Youth

AVPC offers a polo school for junior and adults of all ages. Students have the option to take either private or group lessons. During the summer months they also offer a four-week children’s summer camp. Admirably, the polo school is established as a 501(c) which has allowed the club to found a youth scholarship program for children in the area unable to afford the sport. Last year the program awarded nine scholarships and this year it has provided polo to six children; which equates to a third of their youth progam.

Aspen Valley Polo Club Snow Players

The goal of AVPC is to act as an "on-ramp to polo," stated Ganzi. Events such as their annual World Snow Polo Championship, showcase the novelty sport, in incredibly close quarters, to an international Aspen winter community. The snow polo attracts many pro and amateur players who enjoy playing in a different environment, yet still full of intense competition. Their summer polo school and word-of-mouth marketing attract amateur players from all over the country, including Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado as well as Central and South America. The aim is for members to play polo in Aspen during the summer, then support polo in their home communities. “If our club is known as the club where people can come together and not be divided, and is a place where we can promote the game, create that on-ramp and introduce a lot of people to polo. If that feel-good nature can permeate back to people’s home clubs when they leave here, then I think we have done something really great,” said Ganzi.

Aspen Valley Winners

Spearheaded by Marc and Melissa Ganzi, polo in the Aspen area has flourished. Not only an ideal spot for summer polo, AVPC is a wonderful environment for families. Five more tournaments remain this summer, The Emma Challenge, The Louis Vuitton Cup, Chukker TV Arena Challenge, Mount Sopris Cup and The Rocky Mountain Open. With incredible views, vibrant atmosphere and a steadily growing membership Aspen Valley Polo Club should not be overlooked.

For "Polo On Demand" price rates of group and private lessons, arena chukkers, grass chukkers and individualized "Polo Experience" packages email or log onto their website. For up-to-date schedules of tournaments and events “Like” them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram.


July 27-31, Emma Challenge

Aug. 3-7, High Alpine Cup

Aug. 9, ChukkerTV Arena Challenge

Aug. 12-14, Mount Sopris Cup

Aug. 10-21, Rocky Mountain Open

Aug. 24-28, The Carbondale Classic

CLUB ADDRESS: 3275 County Road 100, Carbondale, Colo. 81623

POLO HOTLINE: 970-710-1663