Audi Captures Polo Gear Challenge Cup At Grand Champions; Marc Ganzi Named MVP
By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Aspen Valley Polo Club
On a beautiful day for polo, Audi won the final medium goal tournament of the season Sunday in front of a good crowd at Grand Champions Polo Club.
In a low-scoring defensive showdown between two of the club’s top teams, Audi (Nic Roldan, Juancito Bollini, Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi) defeated Travieso (Kris Kampsen, Tony Calle, Jesse Bray, Gene Goldestein), 5-3, in the championship final of the Polo Gear Challenge Cup.
The game featured five scoreless chukkers, three by Travieso and two by Audi. Father and son Marc and Grant Ganzi scored the final two goals. Grant Ganzi scored on a penalty-three to break a 3-3 tie in the fifth chukker and Marc Ganzi scored on a neck shot with 2:39 left in the sixth chukker to lift the team.
“We just couldn’t score goals, both teams missed goals,” said Roldan, America’s top-rated player at eight goals. “We moved the ball, we just couldn’t score.
“It was a good game. It was wide open. We ran like crazy.”
Audi’s Marc Ganzi was named Most Valuable Player after scoring four goals, including three on penalty-fours.
“Marc played a solid game,” Roldan said. “He scored three penalties and had a great game. He’s had a hell of a fall season. He is playing really well and he is confident. He is having fun and gets to play with his son which is always good.”
Frank’s Chicken Coop, a 6-year-old bay mare ridden and owned by Kris Kampsen, earned her first blanket as Best Playing Pony. The former racetrack horse was named after a famous drinking establishment in New Jersey.
“Getting Best Playing Pony is more important to me than MVP, I love it,” Kampsen said.
Kampsen said it was anybody’s game until the final minutes.
“It was such a really tough defensive game, nobody gave anybody an inch,” Kampsen said. “The game was really fast. Everybody got it down into goal but the defense was tough.
“I thought we were in the game until the end,” Kampsen said. “I missed a bunch of goals. If I had made the two goals I should have made we are right back in the game.”
In the Polo Gear Challenge Cup Handicap Final, Palm Beach Polo (Glenn Straub, Jared Sheldon, Jeff Blake, Carlitos Gracida), trailing after the first two chukkers, rallied for an impressive 10-5 victory over Dutta Corp (Tim Dutta, Guille Aguero, Timmy Dutta, Jason Crowder).
Carlitos Gracida, who scored a game-high five goals, was named Most Valuable Player. Blake and Sheldon each had two goals and Straub added one.
Timmy Dutta, making his return to Grand Champions after training and playing in Argentina, played well and led his team in scoring with four goals.
Estampa, a 7-year-old dark bay mare owned by Tim Dutta, Inc. and ridden by Timmy Dutta, earned her first Best Playing Pony honor.
Polo Gear, one of the top sponsors and supporters of polo established in 1993 and incorporated in Florida, manufactures, distributes and sells polo products to players, teams and polo events
worldwide. For more information on Polo Gear and to order products, visit www.pologearusa.com.
The Polo Gear Challenge Cup is one of the club’s longest running tournaments.
Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, live streamed the entire medium goal season worldwide and will now live stream the 20-goal season that gets under way this weekend.
Grand Champions is the only club in the nation to stage USPA-sanctioned 20-goal tournaments during the fall. The club is hosting the USPA National 20-Goal and USPA North American Cup.
In addition to the 20-goal tournaments, the Carlos Gracida Memorial Legends of Polo game and fifth annual International Cup featuring Team USA against Uruguay will close out the fall season on Nov. 26.
Grand Champions, with eleven well-manicured fields, is enjoying its finest fall season in the ten-year history of the club.
The club hosted eight successful medium goal tournaments.
The 2016 fall champions were: Flexjet (MVP Riley Ganzi, Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Jason Crowder) won the season-opening Tackeria Invitational with a 7-6 victory over Casablanca. U.S. Trust (Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, MVP Jared Shelton, Nic Roldan) won the U.S. Trust Cup with a 5.5-3 win over Flexjet. Casablanca (Jared Sheldon, Grant Ganzi, Tony Calle, MVP Jesse Bray) won the Fall Classic with an 11-9 victory over Flexjet. Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, MVP Marc Ganzi, JJ Celis, Nic Roldan) won the Palm Restaurant Invitational with a 10-9 win over Flexjet; Palm Beach Polo (MVP Glenn Straub, Martin Estrada, Carlitos Gracida, Carlucho Arellano) won the Mt. Sopris Cup with a 7-4 win over Santa Rita; and Flexjet (Riley Ganzi, MVP Juan Bollini, Juancito Bollini, JJ Celis) defeated Audi, 7-6, in overtime to win the Pedro Morrison Memorial; and Travieso (MVP Teo Calle, Tony Calle, Jared Sheldon, Carlucho Arellano) defeated Palm Beach Polo, 7-3, to win the Fall Plates.