Misha Rodzianko talks about the Russian Snow Polo of the Moscow Polo Club

Misha, What can you say about this event of Snow Polo?

We have been running a 2 month snow polo season at the Moscow Polo Club since my family purchased the club in 2005. For the past 10 years we have regularized 3 tournaments, the first of which is the Moscow Snow Polo Cup. Our events are designed to showcase the sport in a pleasant atmosphere in a country that has little idea of what polo is. Over the years we have accumulated extensive experience in preparing pitches out of snow and the fact that we have more than a month to slowly compact the field before our first tournament allows for an excellent surface that breaks similarly to a high end arena. We play with an orange arena ball and set up side walls only. We position the snow field over the practice field, because the grass does suffer a bit in the spring, which allows us for a field of 165*75 meters – much bigger than your average arena. This makes the polo feel more like traditional polo, albeit with an arena ball. Long story short – I’ve played snow polo in the world’s top destinations and am convinced that in terms of seurface and preparation we are top notch.

Do you consider that Polo is Growing in Russia?

Polo is a unique sport that requires a unique cocktail of conditions to thrive. The basic three are: flat land with access to water and sand, a local horse culture and most importantly money. Enough of the latter and any condition can be artificially created. At the moment we have just over 70 horses of which 40 are playing, many of which were bred and trained locally. There is another club which formed as an offshoot of our club and they have 20 or so playing horses. Considering the club started in a rented arena with 24 horses and 16 saddles in 2003, polo has since then more than tripled. I believe we have succeeded in creating a solid foundation for growth and that Russia, but Moscow in particular, has all the elements necessary to show at minimum the same results over the next couple decades.

What are the next plans for Moscow Polo Club?

My family has really enjoyed the breeding aspect and considering how many lessons were learned through trial and error, the results have been really quite good. I hope that the next step for us here would be to expand our breeding operation to a new farm that in time could develop into a new club. The only way for polo to develop is to continually increase the number and quality of fields, players and horses and I have been lucky enough in life to be able to dedicate my efforts to that end.