The second month of the winter season, highlighted by the Sterling Cup and PTF International Cup, is under way at Grand Champions Polo Club.
After a successful season-opening month at the nation’s busiest and innovative polo clubs, players and teams continue to compete in the regular 6, 8, and 12-goal tournaments in addition to high goal and major youth tournaments.
One of the club highlights of the month is the Feb. 22 – March 11 Sterling Cup (16-20-Goal).
The Sterling Cup is one of two classic tournaments Grand Champions Polo Club is bringing back. The Sterling Cup was the second tournament of the 22-goal season at Palm Beach Polo after the January Challenge Cup. It was considered the 22-goal championship and attracted as many as sixteen teams. The John T. Oxley Memorial Trophy will serve as the handicap subsidiary.
Mike Davis of Seacap
Oxley, inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994, started playing polo at age 46, bought the struggling Royal Palm Polo Sports Club and turned it into a success before it was sold. He won several top tournaments and at age 83, became the oldest player ever to win a major tournament when his team won the International Gold Cup.
The next generation of polo players will be showcased at the Feb. 16 PTF International Cup at Grand Champions at 4 p.m. Several countries will be represented and the game will be live streamed around the world by ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting.
The Polo Training Foundation 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. Its international exchange programs have been among the most popular.
Mike Egan of Willow Farm
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.
The 6-, 8- and 12-goal leagues continue this month with the Halo Polo Trophy 6-Goal, Top Pony 8 Goal Cup and USPA Sieber Memorial 12 Goal along with the new Women’s League on Wednesdays.
Six-goal teams entered are Hawk Hill, Smithfield, Willow Farm, Horseware/Aliano, Banks Mill Feed, Pony Express, Grand Champions, Equuleus and The Polo School.
Eight-goal teams are Odosan/Polologistics, Valiente, Patagones, Seacap, Hawk Hill and Smithfield.
The 12-goal teams are Dutta Corp, GSA, Cria Yatay, Palm Beach Equine, Patagones, Audi, Skaneateles and The Polo School.
Phillip Mactaggart of Hawk Hill. Photos by ChukkerTV
January team champions, featuring players from age 12 to 65, were: Limited Edition 12-Goal Series: (Patagones, GSA (Handicap); Aspen Valley 8-Goal Cup: (Seacap, Patagones (Handicap); and Metropolitan 6-Goal Cup: (Willow Farm, Hawk Hill (Handicap).
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 opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.