Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm in Wellington, Florida, has announced its much-anticipated 2018 winter season schedule and is putting the finishing touches on the turnkey club’s eleven fields in anticipation of its biggest and best winter polo season. An innovative USPA club nestled in the heart of the winter polo capital, GCPC kicks off its season in January with monthly 6-, 8- and 12-goal tournaments and women’s weekly league play.
During the winter high-goal season, GCPC hosts polo tournaments ranging from 6- to 26-goals, in addition to special events. The winter season attracts a large international field of players from all corners of the world including India, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Nigeria, Uruguay, Chile, Nicaragua, England and the U.S.
Highlights of the upcoming season include the Sterling Cup, February 21-March 17, $50,000 National 12-Goal Single-Elimination Tournament, March 1-10, John T. Oxley 16-20 Goal Memorial, March 14-April 31, Women’s Championship Tournament (WCT), April 3-8 and $100,000 World Cup Tournament, April 1-14.
Thanks to the generosity of Palm Beach Polo owner Glenn Straub, the Sterling Cup and World Cup were resurrected last season by Marc and Melissa Ganzi. The Sterling Cup was once the second tournament of the 22-goal season at Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in Wellington, Florida, and attracted as many as 16 teams. Travieso captured last season’s Sterling Cup and used it as a springboard for their U.S. Open Polo Championship® debut. The inaugural $100,000 World Cup proved to be a well-received tournament, open to teams 0- to 26-goal on handicap and similar to the Copa Republica in Argentina where teams of any handicap from 0- to 40-goals can compete.
The $50,000 National 12-Goal single-elimination was another popular tournament. GSA became the youngest team in the tournament’s four-year history to win with Henry Porter, 17, Santino Magrini, 15, Juan Martin Zubia, 18, and Torito Ruiz, 18. GSA defeated Casablanca, 13-6, in their final appearance of the winter season.
The first monthly women’s polo weekly league in was created by Alina Carta, one of polo’s pioneers and supported by USPA Florida Circuit Governor Melissa Ganzi who recognized women’s polo as one of the fastest growing demographics in the sport.
The Women’s Championship Tournament (WCT) will be played in honor of the legendary Sunny Hale, creator of the WCT Series. One of the most revered and iconic woman’s polo players in history, Hale died at age 48 in February 2017 and will be inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame on February 16, 2018 in Lake Worth, Florida.
Grand Champions will also host the Great Futures Celebrity Match and fundraiser on March 11 for the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys and Girls Club of Wellington with honorary co-chairs John Walsh and Nacho Figueras and chairpersons Marc and Melissa Ganzi, Olexa Celine and Ray Mooney. The game features some of the sports’ top players and patrons. Games throughout the winter season will be played at both Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm named after Melissa Ganzi’s grandmother, who passed away on December 29, 2012, in Wellington, Florida.
Photos courtesy of ChukkerTV™.
3-28: Metropolitan 6-Goal Cup; Aspen Valley 8-Goal Cup
5-27: The Limited Edition 12-Goal Series; Women’s Polo Weekly League
1-25: Halo Polo 6-Goal Trophy; Top Pony 8-Goal Series
2-24: Sieber Memorial 12-Goal Trophy
February 21 – March 17: Sterling 16-20 Cup; Sterling Cup Subsidiary; Women’s Polo Weekly League
1-24: Madelon Bourdieu 6-Goal Memorial ;The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series
1-10: $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament
1-31: Top Pony 12-Goal Series
14-31: John T. Oxley 16-20 Goal Memorial; John T. Oxley 16-20 Memorial Subsidiary; Women’s Polo Weekly League
3-8: WCT Tournament
1-18: Las Acacias 4-8 Goal
1-14: $100,000 World Cup (0-40)
12-21: National President’s Cup; Women’s Polo Weekly League