Horseracing

Snow polo under the peaks

By Ollie Williams

Updated 7:25 AM ET, Wed February 4, 2015
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Since 1985, St Moritz has hosted an annual snow polo tournament beneath the Swiss peaks. Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
Players say St Moritz is the most prestigious tournament in snow polo, and crowds can reach 15,000. Oli Scarff/Getty Images
VIPs are treated to champagne and world-class food, while admission to the lakeside grandstands is free. Chris Jackson/Getty Images for St Moritz Polo Club AG
St Moritz has a long history of horse sport on snow, including the "White Turf" series of races held each February. GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/AFP/Getty Images
Snow polo uses a larger, softer high-visibility ball compared to its better-known grass counterpart. Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
The game's periods, or chukkas, are shortened to allow horses and players to recover from short bursts of frantic play at high altitude. Chris Jackson/Getty Images for St Moritz Polo AG
Each horse wears specialist hooves designed to increase traction on the frozen surface and keep snow from building up. Scott Barbour/Getty Images
A rival to the St Moritz event has emerged in China, where a World Cup of snow polo is held in Tianjin. Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
St Moritz organizers, however, maintain theirs is the original international snow polo event with the sport's greatest backdrop. Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Organizers claim locals call St Moritz 'the Wimbledon of snow polo'. DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images