Polo is enjoying one of its finest winter seasons in Florida. Clubs around the state have hosted every level of polo for all ages.
The medium goal, women and junior sectors are enjoying increased participation through various events and tournaments at Florida clubs.
The Wellington-based Polo Training Foundation is enjoying another successful exchange program with the Hurlingham Polo Association with junior players from Great Britain getting the opportunity to play with top Florida players and pros.
Gillian Johnston and Josh Shelton won the USPA Florida Circuit’s annual awards. Johnston, who competes for Coca-Cola at IPC, was honored with the circuit’s Clint Nangle Equine Welfare Award. The honor is bestowed by the USPA to a recipient who has demonstrated excellence in the field of equine welfare.
Shelton, a Team USPA member who plays at Sarasota Polo Club, earned the Circuit Sportsmanship Award, presented by the USPA to promote good sportsmanship in polo and to recognize those individuals who exemplify the quality.
Please send me your nominations for the Clint Nangle Equine Welfare Award and Circuit Sportsmanship Award for 2016.
I would also like to remind clubs that the updated Circuit Application for 2016 are out. The USPA has created a new Special Circuit Event type for tournaments that can be awarded to multiple clubs within the same circuit.
The USPA has also created five new circuit tournaments, an Arena Circuit Women’s Challenge and four Armed Forces events. Please contact USPA tournament administrator Lindsey Ebersbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there is a club that may benefit from the USPA Clinic program please inform the USPA Polo Development, LLC-Player Development Coordinator Elizabeth Holson at email@example.com.
Call the Umpire LLC to do a clinic at your club.
The 2016 National President’s 4-8 Goal Cup is April 23-24 at Grand Champions Polo Club.
I would like to thank everyone in polo who work tirelessly to support and help grow the sport and promote polo through club activities, lessons, clinics and adult and juniors tournaments.
Florida Circuit Governor
United States Polo Association
The spring season featuring 6- and 12-goal polo is under way at the Villages Polo Grounds. Spectators can watch from a three-level stadium. Games are held Friday and Sunday. General admission and tailgating tickets are available. The facility averages more than 30,000 spectators a year. The Villages Polo team of Marcello Torres, Jamie Mirikitani, Peter von Gontard Jr. and Francisco Bilbao finished second in the USPA National Inter-Circuit 12-Goal Tournament. Two 8-goal games are Friday, Fross and Fross vs. City Fire at 2 p.m. and Arden’s Jewelers vs. Citizens at 4 p.m. The consolation and finals are Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m.
INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB PALM BEACH
After a successful 20-goal season, the 26-goal season ends this weekend with the 112th U.S. Open
Championship final at Engel & Volkers Field at 3 p.m. General admission tickets are available. During Sunday’s halftime, Team USPA member Mason Wroe was awarded the 2016 Team USPA Equus & Co. Award and $10,000 for his outstanding leadership and commitment to growing and giving back to the sport. IPC will host the Jimmer Newman Memorial PTF Junior Championship Thursday at 4 p.m. The game features several up-and-coming junior players.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
The nation’s busiest and most innovative polo club recently hosted the Season 11 WCT Finals won by Palm City Polo Club (Jaqui Casey, MVP Hope Arellano, Tiffany Busch, Mili Galindo) and successful winter season that offered every level of polo from 4-goal on up. Four Team USPA players (Jesse Bray, Geronimo Obregon, Jared Zenni, Todd Thurston) won the National $50,000 12-Goal Tournament…The nine-year-old club opens its spring season with this weekend’s Grand Champions Cup. Five other tournaments are scheduled including The Memorial, May 26-29. Admission is free. Fans are treated to an asado during the feature game.
GULFSTREAM POLO CLUB
After 93 years of existence, the club hosted its final game. The oldest polo club in Florida is shutting its doors after the property was sold to a developer. On April 15th the South Florida 4-Goal League game between Custer Capital and Rancho Alegre was the final game. Custer Capital (David Sloan, Bill Custer, Jesus Ontiveros, Francisco Ayala) won, 6-5, over Rancho Alegre (Britta Klatte, Siobhan Gallagher, Mikey Matz, MVP Omar Cepeda)…The club also hosted the Ladies Invitational, won by Starfish Polo with Cecelia Cochran, Allyson Poor, Slaney O’Hanlon and Siobhan Gallagher.
PALM CITY POLO CLUB
The new club is hosting the Palm City Spring Classic through April 24 and finishes out the spring season with the May 6-29 Palm City Trust Cup and June 3-26 Palm City Turf Classic. The club hosted its second WCT Women’s Polo qualifier with Palm City Polo defeating Grand Champions Polo Club. Hope Arellano was MVP and Riley Ganzi’s horse Zeta won Best Playing Pony. Mayer Ranch/Tuff Rider (Ken Mayer, MVP Timmy Sharma, Hector Galindo, Omar Sosa) won the 2016 Sun Cup. The Palm City Polo Spring Classic is currently underway for 10- and 6-goal teams.
PORT MAYACA POLO CLUB
The club recently hosted the 89th FIP Ambassadors Cup with Grand Champions Polo Club (Francisco Escobar, Juan Bollini, JJ Celis, MVP Grant Ganzi) winning a 7-5.5 decision over Santa Clara (Lucas Escobar, Luis Escobar, Marc Ablerle, Malcolm Borwick). Port Mayaca Polo Club won the 2016 Heritage Cup 16-goal with Leo Mandelbaum, JJ Celis, MVP Brad Mallett and Stevie Orthwein with a 10-7 win over GSA.
SANTA CLARA POLO CLUB
Owned and operated by Luis Escobar, the club recently hosted the Marco Polo Land Company Cup featuring six teams and won by Rancho Alegre with top British player Malcolm Borwick. The club made history when it hosted its first National Youth Tournament Series qualifier. Santa Clara won the event with Charlie and Harry Caldwell, Lucas Escobar and Matias Gonzalez. Santa Clara (Tiernan Tognini, Lucas Escobar, Tenzin Tognini, Liam Lott) won the National Youth Tournament Series qualifier with an 8-7 win over Pony Express (Jacobo Bacariza, Jaqui Casey, Benji Daniels, Justin Daniels) at IPC. It was the second NYTS qualifier held in Florida this year.
SARASOTA POLO CLUB
Justin Powers, Director of Club Development for USPA Polo Development held an advanced polo clinic at the club. Powers brainstormed with Sarasota Polo School director Megan Flynn and polo development intern Mannie Diehl. The club’s Polo School enjoyed a successful winter and continues to move players up through the levels of polo from 4 to 14 goals…Hillcroft Farm (James Miller, Herndon Radcliff, Marcos Bignoli, Tommy Collingwood) won the USPA National Inter-Circuit 12-Goal Tournament…The club has nine polo fields and regulation-size arena on 130 acres.
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI POLO CLUB
The Polo Club at University of Miami, led by Jonny Lavine and Jared Zenni, recently competed in the USPA National Intercollegiate Championships in Storrs, Conn. It was the first time the Hurricanes competed in Intercollegiate polo in more than 60 years. UM lost in a shootout to Virginia in the Southeast Intercollegiate Tournament but was awarded a wildcard to the NIC for its outstanding performance. Lavine and Zenni received All-Star Awards in their regions.
FLORIDA POLO CLUBS DIRECTORY
BG Polo & Equestrian, Vero Beach, firstname.lastname@example.org
DI Polo Club, Plant City, www.dipolotour.com
El Rey Polo Club, Lake Worth, www.elreypolocountryclub.net
El Sur Polo Club, Wellington, www.elsurpolo.com
Escue Polo Club, Wellington, www.escuepoloclub.com
Equuleus Polo Club, Wellington
Everglades Polo Club, Wellington
Far Niente Polo Club, Wellington,
Flying Cow Polo Club, Wellington, email@example.com
GPL Polo Club, Wellington, www.gaypolo.com
Grand Champions Polo Club, www.gcpolo.com
Gulfstream Polo Club, Lake Worth, www.gulfstreampolo.com
Hobe Sound Polo Club, Hobe Sound
International Polo Club Palm Beach, Wellington, www.internationalpoloclub.com
La Posta Polo Club, Wellington
Ocala Polo Association, Morriston, www.ocalapoloassociation.com
BG Ocala Polo, www.bgocalapolo.com
Oxford Polo Club, Lady Lake, www.oxfordpoloclub.com
Palm Beach Polo Club, Wellington, www.pbpolohuntclub.com
Palm City Polo Club, Boynton Beach, www.palmcitypolo.com
Port Mayaca Polo Club, Okeechobee, www.portmayacapoloclub.com
Promise Farms Polo, Reddick
Red Hills Polo Club, Tallahassee
Santa Clara Polo Club, Wellington, www.santaclarapolo.com
Sarasota Polo Club, Sarasota, www.sarasotapolo.com
South Forty Polo Club, Wellington
The Polo School, Wellington
The Villages Polo Club, The Villages, www.thevillagespoloclub.com
University of Miami Polo Club, Coral Gables/Wellington
Vero Beach Polo Club, Vero Beach
Villa del Lago Polo Club, Wellington