USPA North American Cup Begins High Goal Season At Grand Champions on Wednesday
By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Aspen Valley Polo Club
The much-anticipated high goal fall season kicks off Wednesday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
The USPA North American Cup features four teams and stellar field of top players including Nic Roldan, brothers Julio and Carlucho Arellano, Jeff Blake, Jared Sheldon and Kris Kampsen.
In opening day action on Wednesday, Audi plays Dutta Corp at 1 p.m. and Casablanca faces Flexjet at 4 p.m.
The winners advance into Friday’s championship final at 3:30 p.m. The runners-up will meet in the subsidiary final at 10 a.m.
The team rosters are:
Audi: (17) Marc Ganzi, 1, Jesse Bray, 5, Carlucho Arellano, 5, Jeff Blake, 6.
Casablanca: (16) Grant Ganzi, 1, Juancito Bollini, 3, Julio Arellano, 8, JJ Celis, 4.
Dutta Corp: (16) Timmy Dutta, A, Kris Kampsen, 6, Guille Aguero, 6, Carlitos Gracida, 4.
Flexjet: (18) Melissa/Riley Ganzi, A, Jason Crowder, 6, Nic Roldan, 8, Jared Sheldon, 4.
Dutta Corp will make its’ high goal debut with teenager Timmy Dutta Jr., who made his Grand Champions fall debut last weekend after playing and training in Argentina with former 10-goaler Pike Alberdi.
St. Andrew’s School junior Riley Ganzi will make her high goal debut. At 16, she is the youngest female in the Florida Circuit to compete in high goal polo.
Julio Arellano will make his fall debut at Grand Champions. The Florida Atlantic University alum is one of America’s top-ranked players and has competed in every major tournament in the sport. The Nicaragua-born Arellano has also represented the U.S. in the International Cup at Grand Champions.
Travieso (Tony Calle, JJ Celis, Facundo Obregon, Jesse Bray) captured last year’s coveted USPA North American 20-Goal Cup with a 12-6 victory over Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Jason Crowder, Nic Roldan). Bray was named MVP.
Grand Champions, the only club in the nation to stage USPA-sanctioned 20-goal tournaments during the fall, is hosting the USPA North American Cup Wednesday and Friday and USPA National 20-Goal that kicks off on Sunday.
It is the busiest time of the fall season for the nation’s most innovative club. In addition to the 20-goal tournaments, the Carlos Gracida Memorial Legends of Polo game and fifth annual International Cup featuring Team USA against Uruguay will close out the season on Nov. 26.
The club has already hosted eight successful medium goal tournaments.
The 2016 fall medium goal champions were: Flexjet (MVP Riley Ganzi, Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Jason Crowder) won the season-opening Tackeria Invitational with a 7-6 victory over Casablanca. U.S. Trust (Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, MVP Jared Shelton, Nic Roldan) won the U.S. Trust Cup with a 5.5-3 win over Flexjet. Casablanca (Jared Sheldon, Grant Ganzi, Tony Calle, MVP Jesse Bray) won the Fall Classic with an 11-9 victory over Flexjet. Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, MVP Marc Ganzi, JJ Celis, Nic Roldan) won the Palm Restaurant Invitational with a 10-9 win over Flexjet; Palm Beach Polo (MVP Glenn Straub, Martin Estrada, Carlitos Gracida, Carlucho Arellano) won the Mt. Sopris Cup with a 7-4 win over Santa Rita; and Flexjet (Riley Ganzi, MVP Juan Bollini, Juancito Bollini, JJ Celis) defeated Audi, 7-6, in overtime to win the Pedro Morrison Memorial; Travieso (Teo Calle, Tony Calle, Jared Sheldon, Carlucho Arellano) defeated Palm Beach Polo, 7-3, to win the Fall Plates and Audi (Nic Roldan, Juancito Bollini, MVP Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi), 5-3 winners over Travieso in the Polo Gear Challenge Cup.
The United States Polo Association® was organized and exists for the purpose of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its member clubs and registered players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts.
Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, is live streaming the entire fall season worldwide.
ChukkerTV’s state-of-the art technology also features team challenges and instant replay which made their debut at Grand Champions in January, 2014.
Grand Champions, with eleven well-manicured fields, is enjoying its finest fall season in the ten-year history of the club.
Grand Champions caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. Its expert staff can customize a complete playing experience including horses, pros and certified umpires in addition to lessons and practice sessions as part of its’ Polo On Demand program, the only polo club in the U.S. to offer the unique program.
The Polo School, a 501c3 organization, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.