Photos and text by Jane Bachrach
Sopris Sun Staff
Polo is an exciting sport and if you live in Carbondale you don’t have to walk, bike or drive very far to enjoy it this summer.
The 2017 polo season has officially kicked off at the Aspen Valley Polo Club outside of Carbondale, and in addition to the complimentary food and refreshments served at Sunday games, the growing number of spectators already seem to be eating it up.
Not only is polo at the Aspen Valley Polo Club free and open to the public, but also it is entertainment for the entire family. In addition to watching the two Sunday games at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. there is a lot more to take in no matter how old or young you are. From the exquisite four-legged athletes to their athletic two-legged riders, it’s intriguing to watch the grooms as they tack up and warm up the horses, the kids playing their own games on the sidelines and it’s amusing to take in the social scene. Although there are a few things that need to be learned about the game to really enjoy it, that will be explained by the announcer who calls the game live for spectators.
Melissa and Mark Ganzi, owners of the club, are bringing polo to the people of the Roaring Fork Valley this summer not only on Sundays but also on Fridays and Saturdays at Sopris Mountain ranch. The polo school offers individual and group lessons for all ages including a youth program on Tuesdays in the arena.
With the recent purchase of adjacent property, the Ganzis’ goal is to make Carbondale a destination for summer polo. Although plans aren’t finalized they will add two more fields, some barns and a clubhouse according to Melissa Ganzi.
“I believe this is the best place in the country for a facility like this,” she said. “I can’t think of a better place in the summer… It will be a boost for the Carbondale economy in the summer with more horses, more jobs, and another activity for people to enjoy. People can hike and bike there and then watch polo as it’s next to the Rio Grande trail.”
The Ganzis believe that with the addition of more fields more teams will want to come here and it will attract higher goal players and create more competitive polo.
You can check out polo this Sunday during the Craig Sakin Memorial Polo Tournament, which will benefit Windwalkers.
You might just get hooked!
Aspen Valley Polo Club
3275 County Road 100
Polo hotline: 710-1663