The Broadmoor 2023 Winter Polo Classic
The Broadmoor is pleased to announce its newest outdoor endeavor: Winter Polo in the Pikes Peak Region – a resurgence of the resort’s storied polo past but with a modern sport update. Bolstered by a strong partnership between Colorado Springs Sports Corporation and the historic resort, the first winter polo tournament is scheduled to take place at the Norris Penrose Event Center on February 25, 2023 and will feature polo players from around the country. Tickets for the event will be announced later this year.
Originating in Persia (today’s Iran), polo has been played for more than 2600 years, but winter and snow polo didn’t exist until hotelier Reto Gaudenzi’s Swiss polo team showcased the world premiere of a polo tournament on snow on a frozen lake of St. Moritz in 1985.
What began on the snow of the high Alpine resort town 36 years ago started a worldwide trend — today, polo on snow with cold temperatures is played across the globe from Aspen in the U.S. and Cortina in Italy to Tianjin in China and beginning next year, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.
The Broadmoor’s winter polo will adhere to most of the standard, traditional polo regulations with the exception of the tournament taking place in a dirt arena instead of a grass field. Teams will be comprised of three players, as in typical arena polo. Play will consist of four 7-min chukkers (periods). In the event of snow, the tournament will follow snow polo regulations. The polo ponies will be shod with special cleated shoes to provide better traction for the winter conditions and a larger, lighter, and bright red ball will be used to better accommodate winter conditions. If snow is scarce, the horses will be shod for the arena dirt and a traditional white ball will be used for play.
With a storied history dating back to the 1890s, polo has long been a sport of interest and glamour in Colorado, with The Broadmoor acting as a premier polo center in the early 1900s. The resort’s founder, Spencer Penrose, an active player in the polo community and high society, can be credited as being one of the first to bring polo to Colorado.
“The legacy of polo runs deep in Colorado Springs and we are incredibly excited to be working alongside The Broadmoor to reintroduce it in the community. It’s a timeless event that brings diversity to the region’s sport economy and we could not be more excited to help reinvigorate the sport of polo in the region.”
– Sports Corp President & CEO, Megan Leatham
With growing interest and popularity in the sport, Penrose installed four 900’ x 1800’ polo fields and stables for over 400 horses on the expansive Broadmoor campus. He also famously groomed a Broadmoor gentlemen’s polo team and sent the team East for national competitions. And as interest and attention for outdoor sports continued to grow, local enthusiasts organized “The Broadmoor Polo Association” along with “The Penrose Polo Park.”
The interest in polo eventually declined in the thirties due to the Depression and sunk even further during World War II. The Broadmoor polo auditorium was eventually converted into an indoor ice arena for figure skating which saw its own success. However, the sport of kings began to see a revival in the 1960s. Today, there are three registered polo clubs in Colorado, Denver Polo Club, Aspen Valley Polo Club, and Colorado State University Polo Club, and beginning February 2023, The Broadmoor will again join the active polo scene with its new, distinct offering of winter polo.
While at The Broadmoor, guests and tournament visitors will enjoy the resort’s world-class hospitality including luxury accommodations, award-winning dining – including Colorado’s only Forbes five-star restaurant, a series of social events, seasonal outdoor activities, and more.