By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo Club
Audi-Millarville advanced into the final of the Bobby Barry Cup with a 13-9 semifinal victory over La Indiana on Monday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Audi-Millarville will meet Tonkawa, 8-7 winners over Orchard Hill in the other semifinal in Sunday’s featured game at Engel & Volkers Field.
After seven days of sitting out rain delays and rescheduling, Audi-Millarville picked up where it left off playing well as a team.
“We are performing well, we are in a good rhythm,” Audi-Millarville’s Freddie Mannix said. “For not playing for a week, I thought we played amazing. Literally, we haven’t swung the stick in seven days. Everybody was anxious to play and happy to get out there today.”
Marc Ganzi filled in for his son Grant, who was sick, and played well with teammates Nic Roldan and brothers Freddie and Julian Mannix, who he has competed with and against several times.
“We talked about playing clean today and not take a lot of chances with the horses, but play hard,” Ganzi said. “We tried to keep the system our coaches developed and I tried to simulate and do the things that Grant’s been doing.”
Despite the heavy rains and flooding over the past week, the field played well.
“The field played really well, I thought the field was great,” Ganzi said. “Nobody lost their footing and no one went down. Give the club a lot of credit for preparing the field.
“All the fields around town are playing a bit slower because of the saturation of the soil but this field played great so kudos to IPC for getting it ready.”
After a close first half which Audi-Millarville led 7-6, Ganzi, Julian Mannix and Roldan scored in an explosive fourth chukker to extend its lead to 10-6. Audi-Millarville outscored La Indiana, 6-3 in the second half.
Audi-Millarville got balanced scoring from its foursome. Roldan led with four goals. Ganzi, Julian and Freddie Mannix each had three goals. Joao Paulo Ganon had a game-high five goals for La Indiana.
The game also served as a tuneup for Audi-Millarville’s opening game in the Ylvisaker Cup on Saturday at 11 a.m. against White Birch, returning to high goal competition at IPC since 2009. White Birch is using the Ylvisaker Cup to fine tune for the 26-goal season which team patron Peter Brant hopes to sweep.
Tuesday’s Bobby Barry Cup final, which is the subsidiary of the Joe Barry Memorial Cup, is expected to be a battle. Tonkawa features Jeff Hildebrand, Gonzalo del Tour, 9-goaler Sebastian Merlos and Team USPA alum Mason Wroe.
“It will be a good final,” Ganzi said. “They are developing some confidence. Any time you beat Orchard Hill, you get confidence. They played their best game of the season on Sunday. They’ll be ready to go.”
The Joe Barry Memorial Cup will pit Villa del Lago against Palm Beach Illustrated/Techno Gym on Friday at 3 p.m. In Monday’s semifinals, Palm Beach Illustrated knocked off Enigma, 9-6, and Villa del Lago edged Dubai, 11-10.
Audi has a rich winning tradition in polo. The German automobile manufacturer designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury automobiles throughout the world including West Palm Beach. Audi, founded in 1909, oversees its worldwide operations from its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.
Millarville is the creation of a polo brand that offers first-quality polo products for all players and horses, emphasizing the passion for the sport at all levels. Millarville offers a variety of products from leathers to high tech sport items.
ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, is exclusively live streaming International Polo Club Palm Beach and Grand Champions Polo Club games during the 2016 season with polo broadcasters Toby Wayman and Dale Schwetz calling the action.