Valiente Captures Limited Edition 8-Goal Series Final; Pablo Spinacci Named
Most Valuable Player
By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo Club
Valiente turned it on in the second half to defeat Hawk Hill, 14-7, to win the Limited Edition 8-Goal Series Final Saturday at Valiente.
Valiente (Poroto Cambiaso, Rob Jornayvaz, Salvador Lokei, Pablo Spinacci) and Hawk Hill (Narcos Sika, Bauti Crotto, Gringo Colombres, Scott Swerdlin) played a tight, penalty-marred first half.
In a sweltering two-hour marathon, both teams scored evenly, 2-2, 4-4 and 6-6 in the first three chukkers.
Valiente took a 7-6 lead in the fourth chukker on one of Spinacci’s five penalty conversions of the game and started pulling away with more horsepower in the fifth chukker for a 10-7 advantage.
Six-goaler Pablo Spinacci was named Most Valuable Players.
“The first half was even and close but we changed our strategy at halftime and it worked,” Spinacci said. “It is nice to win for Valiente. It is a good organization.”
Cambiaso’s horse, Reyna, was named Best Playing Pony.
Spinacci scored a game-high 10 goals including five on penalty shots. Cambiaso had three goals and Lockei added one. Colombres led Hawk Hill with four goals and Crotto added three goals.
Spinacci, who also plays the 8- and 20-goal tournaments, was the field general during the game and enjoyed playing along 11-year-old Poroto Cambiaso, son of polo great Adolfo Cambiaso.
“I try to coach him but he doesn’t need coaching,” Spinacci said with a smile. “Poroto is very talented. The sky is the limit for him one day.”
Spinacci is looking forward to playing the upcoming $100,000 World Cup (0-26) at Grand Champions. He will play for Valiente II with Rob Jornayvaz, Matias Torres Zavaleta and Tomas Garcia del Rio.
In other tournament finals:
In the Limited Edition 8-Goal Series Handicap Final, Smithfield Farms (Juanse Olivera, Craig Callen, Marcos Garcia del Rio, Julio Ezcurra) defeated Skaneateles (Marty Cregg, Cesar Jimenez,
Juan Martin Obregon, Alfredo Guerreno), 10-5. Olivera was named Most Valuable Player.
Grand Champions Polo Club (Grant Ganzi, Jesse Bray, Will Jacobs, Santos Bollini) defeated The Polo School (Jeff Desich, Rich Desich, Juancito Bollini, Lucas Lalor), 7-4.5 to win the Series One Madelon Bourdieu Handicap Final. Will Jacobs was Most Valuable Player.
Equuleus (Juanse Olivera, Dani Tagliaferro, Tommy Biddle, Joe DiMenna) defeated Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Juan Olivera, Stewart Armstrong), 9-7, to remain undefeated and win the Series One Madelon Bourdieu 6-Goal Final. Biddle was named Most Valuable Player and Best Playing Pony was Lady Di, ridden by Pablo Pulido.
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.
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 in all walks of life opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.