By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo Club
The sport’s next generation of polo players will be showcased at the fourth annual Polo Training Foundation (PTF) International Cup Thursday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
One of the most-anticipated youth events of the winter season will feature four teams in a mini-tournament of eight chukkers.
The teams are Argentina, England Jr. Colts, PTF USA and Girls International. The team rosters are:
Argentina: Poroto Cambiaso, Lucas Criado, Juanse Olivera, Santos Merlos.
England Jr. Colts: Jack Aldridge, Archie Fuller, Freddie Jodrell, Tom Jodrell.
PTF USA: Malia Bryan, Kristos Magrini, Clark Mayer, Mackie Weisz.
Girls International: Hope Arellano, Mia Novillo Astrada, Riley Ganzi, Lolly Stanhope-White.
|Riley Ganzi. Photo by ChukkerTV|
A draw will be held to determine who plays in Round One’s two two-chukker games followed by the consolation final and championship final. Action gets under way at 4 p.m.
The game will be livestreamed worldwide by Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting with popular polo announcers Toby Wayman and Dale Schwetz.
In last year’s event, Boys International, featuring Santos Bollini, Juanse Olivera, Harrison Azzaro and Poroto Cambiaso dominated the field and defeated England, 6-1, in the championship final.
Santos Bollini, 17, of Wellington High School, who scored three goals in the final, was named La Martina Most Valuable Player.
Delicioso, a bay gelding ridden by Lolly Stanhope-White and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, won the Purina Best Playing Pony title.
|Mackenzie Weisz. File Photo|
In the consolation final, USA Boys (Nico Diaz Alberdi, Timmy Dutta, Grant Ganzi and Matias Gonzalez) defeated Girls International (Mia Cambiaso, Mia Novillo Astrada, Hope Arellano and Riley Ganzi), 4-1.
Mia Novillo Astrada was selected La Martina Most Valuable Player for the consolation final.
One of the highlights of the afternoon is watching the players’ dads including polo great Adolfo Cambiaso, Miguel Novillo Astrada, Julio Arellano, Sebastian Merlos, Andres Weisz and Matias Magrini coaching and cheering for their children.
The Polo Training Foundation, celebrating its 50th anniversary, has been instrumental in the growth of junior and youth polo players by encouraging the sport’s development with training programs, lessons and tournaments for boys and girls. The international exchange programs have been among the most popular.
|Lolly Stanhope White. Photo by ChukkerTV|
The PTF was created in 1967 to teach the game of polo to youth by promoting youth clinics, interscholastic and intercollegiate competition, good sportsmanship and good will through friendly competition.
Grand Champions Polo Club President and USPA Florida Circuit Governor Melissa Ganzi is a longtime supporter of grass roots polo and Polo Training Foundation. She has played a key role in developing young players with the The Polo School at Grand Champions and Aspen Valley (Colo.) Polo Clubs. Ganzi also serves as secretary for the PTF.
Grand Champions Polo Club 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.
|Poroto Cambiaso. Photo by ChukkerTV|
The Polo School at Grand Champions, 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.