By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo Club
New faces and teams highlight the seventh annual Pedro Morrison Memorial that begins Friday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
The biggest medium goal tournament of the fall season that celebrates the life of a great friend to polo features five teams. They are Audi, Flexjet, Newport, Palm Beach Polo & Country Club and Riverview.
Virginia Ingram and her Nashville, Tenn.-based Riverview team are making their Grand Champions fall season debut.
Ingram is the daughter of Orrin H. Ingram II, former chairman of the USPA and Polo Training Foundation, where he still serves as an honorary director. Virginia Ingram is an accomplished equestrian and polo player and has competed during Grand Champions’ winter and spring seasons.
|Carlucho Arellano. File photo|
A familiar face making his fall debut is 5-goaler Carlucho Arellano, coming off a summer season in Big Horn, Wyoming, playing with his older brother Julio Arellano, one of America’s top players.
Action opens Friday with Flexjet playing Newport at 11 a.m. on Field 3. At 4 p.m., Audi, Palm Beach Polo & Country Club and Riverview will play a round-robin on Field 1.On Sunday, the finals are 10 a.m. on Field 2 followed by the subsidiary game at 12:30 p.m.on Field 1.
Team rosters are:
Audi (12): Grant Ganzi, 1, Marc Ganzi, 1, Tony Calle, 2, Nic Roldan, 8.
Flexjet (12): Melissa Ganzi, A, Juan Bollini, 5, Juancito Bollini, 3, JJ Celis 4.
Newport (13): Gene Goldstein, 1, Nacho Lezica, 1, Jesse Bray, 5, Guille Aguero, 6.
Palm Beach Polo & Country Club (12): Carlucho Arellano, 5, Carlitos Gracida, 4, Glenn Straub, A, Martin Estrada, 3.
Riverview (13): Wes Finlayson, 3, Virginia Ingram, A, Jason Crowder, 6, Jared Sheldon, 4.
Bray, Sheldon and Finlayson are members of Team USPA.
|Wes Finlayson. File photo|
In last year’s Pedro Morrison Memorial, Flexjet’s Melissa Ganzi, Leo Mandelbaum, Juan Bollini and Martin Estrada came from behind to defeat Travieso (Grant Ganzi, Tony Calle, JJ Celis, Jesse Bray), 8-7, on Estrada’s winning goal in the final two minutes of the game. In the semifinals, Flexjet knocked off Postage Stamp Farm in overtime, 11-10.
Pedro Morrison, born in Spain and University of Miami alum, died Dec. 11, 2003 in Wellington at age 49. He was an avid polo player, patron of The Sympatico Polo team and helped develop Wellington into a thriving community.
Morrison was active in several local and area charities and businesses and touched countless lives.
He remains an inspiration. His work on behalf of the YMCA of the Palm Beaches continues on through Polo with Pedro. The tournament is played in honor of Morrison in a casual, laid-back and fun atmosphere.
“This tournament is always very special,” Grand Champions Polo Club President Melissa Ganzi said. “When we bought our first barn at South 40 we played polo with Pedro at Palm Beach Polo. He had one of the most contagious laughs. I just think of Pedro laughing, smoking his cigars and sitting on the boards. It was one of my wonderful polo memories.”
|Guille Aguero. File photo|