La Martina take home the glory in the Sunshine State
Yesterday, Sunday 7 January, La Martina took to the Miami South Beach sand to defeat Macallen 5½-5 to win the Final of the 2018 Beach Polo World Cup. Thousands of polo fans both new and old gathered in front of the W South Beach Hotel to watch the return of Beach Polo in Miami, following a decade-long break.
The match was a close fought affair with La Martina leading for the majority of the game. Marc Ganzi’s Macallan side fought valiantly, going ahead 5-4½ in the final minutes of the last chukka with a conversion off Ganzi’s stick, but as Riley Ganzi (Marc’s daughter) came racing up field, Macallan’s hopes were dashed as she scored the winning goal with 30 seconds to spare.
La Martina took home the trophy to a roar from the home crowd. Macallan’s Nic Roldan was named Most Valuable Player, after scoring three goals for his team, and Centarous, played by Jesse Bray and owned by Wellington-based Santa Rita Polo Farm was awarded the Karma Best Playing Pony.
“We are so happy to be back here”, said organiser Tito Gaudenzi. “We’re here and we’re here to stay. We are so happy with the turnout and the support.” Tito’s father, Reto, famously started the Beach Polo World Cup in 2005 following decades of success with the snow polo in St. Moritz.
This year’s event marked the official revival of beach polo in Miami, which is set to continue next spring.
The Beach Polo World Cup Final Teams:
La Martina: Jesse Bray, Juan Bollini & Riley Ganzi
Macallan: Sarah Siegel Magness, Marc Ganzi & Nic Roldan
Photograph: Polo players and fans alike took to the sand on Miami South Beach yesterday, for the Final of the Beach Polo World Cup. Courtesy of Bruno Magli