Rocky Mountain Open, Eclipse Challenge Highlight This Week’s Action At Aspen Valley Polo Club
The summer polo season is winding down with three tournaments remaining, including this week’s featured Rocky Mountain Open at Aspen Valley Polo Club.
By Sharon Robb
Five teams will compete in the two-day tournament.
Action gets under way Friday with a three-team round robin with Travieso, La Karina and Los Amigos at 11 a.m. MST at Sopris Field and single game at 4 p.m. between Tonkawa and Casablanca at High Mesa.
The subsidiary (11 a.m.) and final (1 p.m.) are Sunday at Aspen Valley Polo Club.
Team rosters are:
Casablanca (10) Grant Ganzi, Tony Calle, Juancito Bollini, Stewart Armstrong.
La Karina (13) Melissa Ganzi, Brian Boyd, Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada.
Los Amigos (13) Paul Foster, Alejandra Foster, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Lucas Lalor.
Tonkawa (12) Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hildebrand/ Jonathan Gracida, Mike Azzaro, Jimmy Seward.
Travieso (11) Teo Calle, Alex Gooding, Pablo Dorignac, Carlitos Gracida.
On Saturday, the Eclipse Challenge will feature Travieso against La Karina at 11 a.m. at Sopris Field. The game will feature up-and-coming young players Will Jacobs, who got his start at The Polo School at Grand Champions in Wellington and Aspen, Michael Calle, last week’s Aloha Cup MVP and Ailsa “Ace” Currier.
In last year’s Rocky Mountain Open, Los Amigos Red (Paul Foster, Carlitos Gracida, Julio Novillo Astrada, Gabriel Gracida) defeated Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Alex Gooding, Nic Roldan, Jimmy Seward), 10-3. Astrada scored five goals and was named Most Valuable Player.
The Rocky Mountain Open is named after the major mountain range in western North America that stretches more than 3,000 miles from British Columbia south to the Rio Grande in New Mexico. The eastern edge of the Rockies rise dramatically in the Interior Plains of central North America including Colorado’s highest peak Mount Elbert with the highest peak of 14,440 feet above sea level.
The Rocky Mountain Challenge is the ninth of 11 tournaments scheduled, eight grass and three arena tournaments.
This season’s first eight tournament winners were La Karina (Carlitos Gracida, Mariano Gracida, Brian Boyd, Marc Ganzi), Independence Cup; Tiburon (Collen Clark, Lauren Sherry, Pablo Dorignac, Lucas Lalor), ChukkerTV Challenge Cup; Casablanca (MVPs Mariano Gracida, Grant Ganzi, Pablo Dorignac, Juancito Bollini), Basalt Handicap; Casablanca (Santos Bollini, Grant Ganzi, Lucas Lalor, Juancito Bollini), Craig Sakin Memorial; La Karina (Brian Boyd, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Mike Azzaro), Emma Challenge; Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, United States Arena Handicap; Aspen Valley Polo Club (Alejandro Poma, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Lucas Lalor), High Alpine Cup; and Travieso (Teo Calle, Tony Calle, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Marc Ganzi), Mount Sopris Cup.
Aspen Valley Polo Club, the nation’s fastest growing USPA polo club, is enjoying its most successful summer season in club history. The club, which recently broke ground for two more fields, is enjoying increased membership, continues to grow and introduce polo throughout the valley.
The club attracts some of the world’s top pro and amateur players. In the last four years Aspen Valley Polo Club has had a positive impact in the area hosting kids polo camps, teaching lessons and hosting several charitable events at the club that have benefitted local charities including the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation.
Polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding areas with the club’s offerings of various weekly tournaments, Gladiator Tuesdays and Asado, Kids Polo, indoor and outdoor arena polo, charitable events and The Polo School. Practice sessions are also held for teams competing in the weekend tournaments.