In 2016 AdAstra Adventures teamed up with Women in Polo (WIP) and took 3 ladies teams out to Bad Gastein to compete in the inaugural Ladies Snow Polo Tournament. It was going to be everyone's first experience of playing on snow so the excitement in the group was electric.
We were a group of eighteen, six players and all our supporters. As we drove up into the mountains the snow got deeper and deeper and o
ur excitement grew. We arrived at the fabulous 5* Europaischer Hof hotel, dropped our bags off and then headed up to the field to try out the ponies and get our first experience of polo on snow.
The snow takes a bit of getting used to, it’s a little bouncier than arena and hitting the ball is slightly harder. But once you’ve got your eye in and feel confident the ponies won’t fall over it is one of the most exciting surfaces to play on.
During the days we relaxed at the spa or hit the slopes after enjoying one of the best breakfast spreads I have ever seen. We headed up to the field at around 4pm wrapped up and ready to play. The atmosphere was incredible, the snow fell gently against the setting sun, music played ramping up the crowds who were coming off the slopes at the end of the day to watch us play. By the end of the weekend we had fantastic support from all the locals, some were even stopping the girls asking for their autographs!
The tournament ran over 3 days and there were 6 teams with ladies flying in from around the world to compete. Each team had 2 players and on average we were -2 - 0 goal teams. At first I wasn’t sure how 2 aside would work but it was amazing, every player had to work hard for their team meaning everyone felt like they had achieved something when they came off the field.
To watch was thrilling, as we watched the girls battle it out on the field I couldn’t have been prouder. Our teams did amazingly bringing in first, second and third place. This tournament however wasn’t about the winning, it was about new polo experiences while meeting other female players from around the world with the same passion. Clare Mcnamara commented that she was ‘Hooked on Snow Polo’ which I think summed up the whole experience.