The United States will have one of its strongest lineups to challenge South Africa in the USPA International Cup on Saturday, Nov. 28th at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Nic Roldan and Julio Arellano, the nation’s top-rated players at eight goals will join 7-goaler Jeff Hall and top amateur Marc Ganzi on the U.S. roster in the annual battle for the coveted cup.
It will be the fourth time Grand Champions Polo Club will host a major international men’s game in its nine-year history. Since 2012, the U.S. has beaten England, Chile and Mexico in USPA International Cup play.
“It’s always a great feeling to play for your country,” Roldan said. “When you have the U.S. jersey on it has a lot more meaning to it, there’s a different meaning. We don’t get to do it too often so when we do, we take pride in it, we try to do our best and try to get the trophy.”
The USPA International Cup game will be part of a polo doubleheader.
The opening game of the doubleheader is the Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo Memorial, continuing the Hall of Famer’s legacy by honoring one of the sport’s greats, who died tragically in February, 2014 at age 53.
The Legends game is 1 p.m. followed by the USPA International Cup at 3 p.m. Gates open at 12:30 p.m.
ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, will livestream the polo doubleheader worldwide with entertaining polo broadcasters Toby Wayman and Dale Schwetz.
All four U.S. players have extensive international experience.
Roldan and Ganzi are coming off winning the prestigious USPA East Coast Challenge for Audi, knocking off favorite White Birch. Hall and Arellano have represented the U.S. several times in international games around the world.
“It’s always fun, always a pleasure to be on any U.S. team,” Hall said. “I am honored to represent the U.S. It’s always fun to play for your country. I guess there is always a little bit of pressure because you don’t want to lose. You just go out and play hard.”
The 24-goal men’s championship game is sanctioned by the United States Polo Association and South African Polo Federation. There are 38 polo clubs in South Africa with 450 registered players.
The South Africa roster features Selby Williamson, 5, Chris MacKenzie, 6, Gareth Evans, 6, and team captain Tom de Bruin, 7.
“We’re playing for our country and that elevates the importance of the game,” Ganzi said. “You’re not playing for yourself, you are playing for your national association. There’s no greater honor in polo than to play for your national team.”
Proceeds from the doubleheader benefit The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the development, history and tradition of the sport of polo by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport.
Tickets are on sale and various sponsorship packages are available. They are:
$20 General Admission per person. Be sure to bring your own seating. Delicious food, snacks and drinks and tented seating will be available to enjoy your meal. Field side parking not included.
$250 Signature Tailgate Package: Includes admission for one car and your guests can enjoy a field side view of the game. The Signature Tailgate Package includes a reserved tailgate spot with parking for one car, a 10 X 10 tent and one table with 4 chairs.
$500 Grand Champions Tailgate Package: Includes admission for one car and your guests can enjoy a field side view of the game. The Grand Champion Tailgate Package includes a reserved, preferred tailgate spot with parking for one car, a 10 X 10 tent, one table with 4 chairs, a bottle of champagne with an ice bucket with 4 glasses and 4 sport Grand Champions Polo Club/ChukkerTV hats.
VIP Pavilion Tickets: $200 Per Person: Includes one VIP admission ticket to the comfortable Grand Champions Lounge with a field side view of the game. Enjoy specialty cocktails and fabulous food catered by Ken-Rose Catering.
$1,500 VIP Corporate Sponsor: Includes one table and 8 VIP admission tickets to the comfortable Grand Champions Lounge with a field side view of the game. Enjoy specialty cocktails and fabulous food catered by Ken-Rose Catering.
For tickets, tailgates and sponsorships call 561-644-5050.
GRAND CHAMPIONS 2015 FALL SCHEDULE
Friday, Sunday: USPA North American 20-Goal Cup; Saturday: Florida USPA Interscholastic Regular Season Games, Polo West Arena, Palm Beach Polo vs. Grand Champions Girls, 10:30 a.m. and Grand Champions Open vs. The Polo School, 11:30 a.m.; Nov. 18-22: USPA National 20-Goal Tournament; Nov. 28: Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo Memorial and International Cup, Team USA vs. South Africa.