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Snowmaking for a safer polo field on Lake St. Moritz

Machine-made snow will be used to make the polo field for the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2016 safer. Last week’s snowfall blended with lake water so that the natural snow cannot be properly groomed. Resorting to snowmaking is a safety measure for the polo ponies and the riders.

With another ten days to go before the start of the tournament, Lake St. Moritz features a very stable layer of ice with a depth of around 35 centimetres, and the infrastructure construction works are making good progress. Over the next few days, additional snow will be made for the polo field that measures some 20,000 square metres. The management has decided to resort to snowmaking for the safety of ponies and riders. The machine-made snow causes no harm whatsoever to the lake water underneath the ice: only minimal amounts of water are drawn from the lake, and the artificially made snow is made up of nothing but water and does not contain any additives.

The weight of last week’s heavy snowfall pressed the ice layer into the water, causing water to rise above the ice, mixing with the snow and freezing over. As a result, the natural snow is no longer suited to prepare an ideal top layer for the polo field. Snowmaking guns will hence be deployed over the coming days. This snow will be compacted and groomed to prepare the polo field’s surface.

«Snow polo cannot be played at a world-class level without a compacted layer of snow. If the surface is too frozen, the ponies may slip and be hurt,» Reto Gaudenzi, founder and CEO of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz, explains. «Our ponies are our athletes. We will do everything we can to keep our ponies and our players from being hurt.»

Published: 18 January 2016