By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo Club
The USPA Spring Challenge Cup gets under way on Friday with five teams competing at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Legendary former 10-goaler Piki Diaz Alberdi, 8-goalers Julio Arellano and Nic Roldan, and Brandon Phillips head the field of players.
Three round-robin games are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Field 9. In the opening three chukkers, The Polo School plays Dutta Corp. In the next three chukkers, The Polo School plays FlexJet. And, in the final three chukkers Dutta Corp. plays FlexJet.
In the afternoon game at 4:30 p.m. on Field 10, Travieso plays Palm Beach Equine.
On Sunday, a round robin is scheduled for 10 a.m. followed by the USPA Spring Challenge final at 11:30 a.m.
The team rosters are:
FlexJet: (15) Melissa Ganzi, 0, Juan Bollini, 5, Piki Diaz Alberdi, 7, Leo Mandelbaum, 3.
Travieso (15) Teo Calle, 0, Tony Calle, 2, Julio Arellano, 8, Carlucho Arellano, 5.
Palm Beach Equine (14) Scott Swerdlin, 0, Juancito Bollini, 2, Facundo Obregon, 6, Kris Kampsen, 6.
Dutta Corp. (16) Timmy Dutta, 0, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, 4, Nic Roldan, 8, Carlitos Gracida, 4.
The Polo School (12) Tom Coid, 0, Nacho Lezica, 2, Brandon Phillips, 5, Roberto Gonzalez, 5.
Julio Arellano. Photo by Rob Bowman.
The USPA Spring Challenge is the second of eight medium-goal tournaments that are scheduled, including the May 24-25 U.S. Polo Association’s National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS), one of several qualifying tournaments held around the country to determine 16 all-stars and four alternates to represent four zones to compete in the national championship.
Last weekend Psycho Bunny (Piki Diaz Alberdi, Brandon Phillips, Andrew Seibert, Kris Kampsen) opened the spring season with its third consecutive Grand Champions Cup title.
Other tournaments are: April 30-May 3, USPA Sun Cup, May 7-10, USPA Eastern Challenge, May 14-17, Polo Gear Challenge Cup, May 21-25, The Memorial, May 24-25 USPA NYTS and May 28-31, Santa Rita Memorial.
Grand Champions will also host a ProKidz Tournament that features a pro player competing alongside three junior players.
Grand Champions is enjoying its role in helping to develop and promote youth polo by hosting a variety of junior tournaments throughout the year.
The concept of pairing a pro with juniors is to have some of the game’s best players mentor and nurture up-and-coming future players. The junior players’ ages vary and the teams are matched evenly. The pros coach the players during the game.
Piki Alberdi. photo by Rob Bowman.
One of the biggest highlights of the spring season is the use of state-of-the-art technology featuring live streaming, instant replay, challenges and team review from Chukker.TV.
In January, 2014, Grand Champions Polo Club became the first polo club worldwide to offer instant replay and team review much to the delight of players and patrons in hopes of improving officiating and quality of play at all levels of polo.
Chukker.TV is providing unduplicated state-of-the-art technology to provide instant replay. In addition, the technical staff has live-streamed games that have been viewed around the world on its website. Chukker.TV also partnered with Roku, Inc. to bring polo to fans live in the comfort of their homes at no cost. Chukker.TV has a channel on Roku.
During the Grand Champions’ spring season, amateur polo players have the opportunity to play with and against some of the world’s top pros.
Grand Champions, with its five well-manicured fields and turnkey facility, expects to have its finest spring season in the history of the club which opened in 2008. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the games. Admission is free.
Those interested in playing should contact Grand Champions polo manager Juan Olivera at 561-601-9316 or email email@example.com
2015 POLO ON DEMAND
Grand Champions Polo Club, featuring five world-class fields, has a full schedule of tournaments from January to May. Let our polo experts create a turn-key experience including top pros to bring out the best in you and your team. Lessons are available.
2015 SPRING SCHEDULE
USPA Spring Challenge Cup, Friday, games 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Sunday, 10 and 11:30 a.m.; April 30-May 3, USPA Sun Cup; May 7-10, USPA Eastern Challenge; May 14-17, Polo Gear Challenge Cup; May 21-25, The Memorial; May 24-25, USPA NYTS; May 28-31, Santa Rita Memorial.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.