Cartier Polo on Snow

Outrageously glamorous, Cartier’s annual Polo World Cup on Snow combines sport and extravagance with serious panache. Stefan Elofsson reports

2007_CartierPoloWorldCup_bd2362_01.jpg St Moritz, playground of the rich and famous, is renowned for its spectacular scenery. Visitors flock here in droves, lured by excellent skiing, luxury hotels and glitzy events. The highlight of the resort’s social calendar is the annual Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow – quite literally the coolest of the 30 competitions in the Polo World Tour.

Played on the frozen lake at the base of the village, the action-packed tournament puts sport of the highest calibre against a fairytale backdrop. Polo player Adriano Agosti, who has won the Cartier Gold Cup six times, explains its appeal: ‘The scenery on the frozen lake, surrounded by the mountains and the village of St Moritz is unique.’ He also points out that the event attracts a high number of world-class players.

This year, the nail-biting final drew a crowd of more than 10,000 spectators, and the dramatic climax ensured they were not dissapointed. The Argentine star Eduardo Novillo, playing for the Brioni team, scored the decisive goal during overtime of a riveting final, which kept the crowd on its toes from beginning to end.

For Cartier, the event’s main sponsor, St Moritz represents the art of elegant living, and the bond that links its brand to polo intensifies year after year. Bernard Fornas, president and CEO of Cartier International, explains: ‘In St Moritz, Cartier receives spectators and sponsors of a discipline which requires team spirit, passion and a taste for excellence. These criteria are important to me as they relate back to the jeweller’s craft.’

Access to Cartier’s VIP Marquee is by invitation only, but space on the guest list can generally be arranged through advertising (around the polo pitch or in the official magazine) or by sponsoring one of the teams. Entrance to the Grandstand, meanwhile, costs just CHF40 per day. It is also possible to buy tickets to the glitzy Polo Party, which takes place on the Saturday night in the King’s Club at Badrutt’s Palace (tel: 0041 81 837 1000) – the place to stay during this tournament.

Whether or not you manage to secure VIP tickets (not to mention much-in-demand accommodation at the Palace), the Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow is a very attractive hospitality proposition. One of few events that can justifiably be labelled ‘unique’, it can only be experienced once a year, right here in St Moritz – and you could hardly wish for a more beautiful setting.

DOs & DON’Ts
Do… book your accommodation early. Hotels operate at capacity in January.
Don’t... wait too long before booking tickets to the Polo Party either. This often celebrity-studded event is always a sellout.
Do... arrange to get up early to see the horses in their stables in the morning.
Don’t... forget to introduce your guests to the rules of polo. This fast-paced game can be confusing for first-timers.
Do… wear sunscreen.
Don’t… pack your beaten-up old ski jacket. It’s fur and Chanel all the way in these parts

The 24th annual Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow will be held on 24-27 January 2008. For more information visit

This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Autumn 2007.