With only a few short weeks until the inaugural GPL Tournament in England, the Gay Polo League is pleased to announce two of the four competing teams. The tournament will be held at the beautiful Zacara Polo Club, located at Shurlock Row, Reading RG10 OPP. The public is invited to to join Saturday, September 8, 2018, for two afternoon polo matches. The matches will begin at 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and admission is free, so join the fun and cheer on your favorite teams! Stay tuned for two more rosters of teams to be announced!
“I am so excited that GPL is expanding internationally to the UK so that the Brits can experience such an event. It is truly a unique event that will bring a community from all walks of life together. I am so grateful and happy to be part of such a great event, and I look forward to sharing these amazing moments with my polo pals and enthusiasts,” said player Rafik Boughadoui. “GPL has been a huge part of my polo life. The GPL members are kind, organized, diverse, disciplined, open-minded and very funny, and my first year in the GPL was a life-changing experience. I have made some amazing friends through GPL – where else can you play polo, have fun and meet an amazing group of people in a positive and relaxing atmosphere?”
Bell Rock Capital will be one of four teams playing in the inaugural tournament. Their roster includes:
Rafik Boughadoui (Algeria) – Rafik was born in Algeria and grew up with horses. He moved to the United States for college and earned his BS and MBA in Chicago. He started playing polo with the Barrington Hills Polo Club in 2009.
Saïd Ait-Quaraz (France) – Of Moroccan descent, Saïd was born and raised in Paris, France, where he still resides. He works for a U.S. company on IT solutions, and also enjoys helping the community through his work on the city council. He is a member of the Polo Club de la Ferme d’Apremont, Chantilly, and has played in 0-4 goal polo tournaments in the past, such as Coupe d’Aumale, Coupe la Duchesse Anne and Summer Cup PGH.
Alexandre Rata-Cortès (France) – Alexandre lives in Brazil and is CEO of the design agency, CHEEEEESE, which has headquarters in Paris, Madrid, Geneva, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. He plays polo in Brazil, Spain and France, and is a member of the Itanhanga Golf & Polo Club in Rio de Janeiro. He holds a handicap of -1 and has played in tournaments in Brazil, Morocco, France, Spain and Argentina. Some of his notable victories this year include being a winning teammate of the Bordeaux Summer Cup with the Mousquetaires Team and the La Mariana Pileta Cup with the Plaisance Team.
The team is generously sponsored by Bell Rock Capital:
“As one of the few LGBT-owned SEC registered investment advisory firms in the United States, we seek out ways to support and promote organizations that look to further breaking down stereotypes of the gay community, such as the business world, and the world of sports. Therefore, we applaud the efforts of the GPL,” commented Cassandra Toroian, President and CEO of Bell Rock Capital.
Additionally, Phelps Media Group will field a team in the tournament. Spearheaded by a professional player, the GPL players will consist of:
Chip McKenney (United States) – Chip is the CEO/CFO of Phelps Media Group International, the leading sports media agency with a primary focus on national and international equestrian sports. He is a lifelong horseman, and has been playing polo for ten years. He currently has a USPA rating of 0. Chip is the Founder & President of the Gay Polo League, the only LGBTQ polo league in the world.
Gus Larrosa (Argentina) – Gus lives in Buenos Aires and, when not playing polo, pursues his career as a creative designer, artist, product designer and inventor. He is passionate about art as it relates to polo, and his innovative ideas in various industries have enabled him to work around the world. Gus won the 2018 MVP Award in the 9th Annual Gay Polo Tournament in Florida.
Tony Natale (United States) – Tony grew up in Texas around polo. His USPA outdoor handicap is 0 and his arena handicap is 2. Sarasota Polo Club is his winter home, with Chicago his residence the rest of the time. Tony runs Shepherd Partners, a corporate restructuring firm, and is an active volunteer, scuba diver and reader.
Established in 2006, Gay Polo League is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization which promotes the sport of polo as a means for providing equality, pride, inclusion and confidence for those individuals who face discrimination simply due to identifying themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, gay or other non-traditional sexual or gender identities.
For more information, please visit gaypolo.com