After a successful and exciting season-opener, the second tournament of the fall season gets under way Friday, October 19, at Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Florida. In last week’s hardfought game, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Julio Gracida, MVP Mariano Gracida) defeated Flexjet (Santos Bollini, Lucas Escobar, Kris Kampsen, Juan Bollini), 10-9 in overtime to win the Tackeria Invitational.
This week the US Trust Cup opens with two games on Friday, October 19, at 10am and 4pm ET. In the first game, ChukkerTV (Santos Bollini, Brandon Phillips, Julio Gracida, Juan Bollini) will meet Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Juan Cruz Merlos, Kris Kampsen). In the second game, Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Whistle Uys, Carlitos Gracida, Juancito Bollini) plays Travieso (Justin Daniels, Tony Calle, Pablo Dorignac, Mariano Gracida). The winners advance into Sunday’s championship final at 5pm ET after the Just For The Fun Of It subsidiary final at 3:30pm ET.
Three members of Team USPA, Grant Ganzi, Justin Daniels and Tony Calle are competing in the two-day tournament. The Team USPA program was created in 2010 to improve learning, training and playing opportunities for young American players in an effort to grow and sustain the sport in the U.S. players are selected for the team based on talent, enthusiasm and dedication to polo.
In last year’s US Trust Cup tournament, Casablanca (MVP Mike Azzaro, Grant Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Cacho Galindo) won the title after a spirited round-robin with Audi and Team USA after heavy rains cancelled the qualifying round.
An added treat for fans will be the return of world-renown polo announcer Jan-Erik Franck. Franck was a hit among fans last year during the winter season. With his keen wit, he makes it both entertaining and educational for fans. He has been a polo announcer at various tournaments around the world for more than 20 years. “To explain polo as simply as possible is my most important role while being as entertaining and amusing and funny as possible,” Franck said. Franck is also a licensed HPA umpire, polo coach and player.
US Trust, founded in 1853, is a wealth management and private banking company designed to address the needs of its clients, regardless of complexity. It provides investment management, wealth structuring, credit and lending services to clients. It is the first and oldest trust company in the United States. The U.S. Trust Cup is the second of six medium-goal tournaments in addition to 20-goal action during the season. Grand Champions is one of the few USPA-sanctioned clubs that offers fall polo.
“The fall season is important to us because it is a continuation of the sport and shows the world you can play polo twelve months a year,” said Grand Champions Director of Operations Juan Bollini. “It’s good, competitive polo and the best time of the year with great weather and great fields in October and November after five months of rest.”
Wellington-based ChukkerTV will livestream the entire fall season. ChukkerTV’s state-of-the art technology also features team challenges and instant replay which made their debut at Grand Champions in January, 2014.
Story and photos provided by Grand Champions Polo Club