Nic Roldan, the highest ranked American player, heads Team USA’s roster for the eighth annual International Cup against France Nov. 30th at Grand Champions Polo Club.

The 8-goaler is the youngest player ever to win the U.S. Open at age 15 in 1998 with Escue. The third generation polo player is one of the sport’s top players and has competed and won several U.S. and international polo tournaments.

“It’s always an honor to represent the United States,” Roldan said. “I feel very lucky to be on the team. It’s always fun to be able to represent your country. There is always pressure that comes with it because you are playing for your country. We have a job to do and we have to make sure we execute.

“The French team is going to come out very hungry,” Roldan said. “They have a tough team. I don’t know the players that well. I know Pierre and he is a very good player. I’m excited about it.”

Roldan will be joined on the U.S. team by two of the sport’s young rising stars Juancito Bollini, rated at 4 goals, and Grant Ganzi, rated at 3 goals.

Bollini, a U.S. Polo Assn. Brand Ambassador, became a U.S. citizen last year. He missed the 2018 International Cup with an injury and was replaced by his father, Juan Bollini, a former 8-goaler.

Juancito Bollini was a semifinalist in the 2017 U.S. Open with U.S. Polo Assn. and won the 2017 St. Regis World Snow Polo tournament. He has won the USPA North American Cup and USPA National 20-Goal titles. In 2013, he played for Audi during the 20- and 26-goal seasons as a substitute and in 2015 was a member of Audi’s winning USPA East Coast Open team.

Last year during the inaugural World Polo League, Bollini and his Grand Champions teammates Rodrigo Andrade, Juan Martin Nero and Ganzi won the Founders Cup after upsetting Valiente, 12-11 in overtime. Bollini, Ganzi and Carlitos Gracida also won the 2019 WPL Beach Polo Miami Beach Cup. At 22, he is the second youngest player in the International Cup.

At 21, Ganzi is the youngest player in the International Cup. Ganzi has won the International Cup the past three years. He is a two-time MVP and champion at the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, the most attended polo event in the U.S. He was a 2017 U.S. Open semifinalist for U.S. Polo Assn. He has won the USPA North American Cup and USPA National 20-Goal Tournaments.

The third generation polo player won the 2015 and 2017 St. Regis World Snow Polo tournament with U.S. Polo Assn. He is a member of Team USPA and two-time USPA NYTS national champion. At age 13, he made his high goal debut with the 20-goal Piaget team and at 15 competed at the 26-goal level.

“For me it’s always special to represent my country,” Ganzi said. “I am proud to be an American. It’s a good team. It’s a good combination of youth and experience. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Legendary Horacio Heguy, a six-time Argentine Open champion, will coach the U.S. team. Heguy made this debut at Grand Champions as a player one week ago in the Pedro Morrison Memorial and now will coach his first U.S. team in a major tournament at Grand Champions.

The International Cup is part of a polo doubleheader, a holiday tradition that ends the biggest week of fall polo and season at the nation’s largest polo club.

Tickets are still on sale and sponsor packages available for the International Cup and Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial.

The opening game of the doubleheader is the Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial at 1 p.m. The game continues the Hall of Famer’s legacy by honoring one of the sport’s greats, who died tragically in February, 2014 at age 53.

In last year’s legends game, Gracida Wine (Julio Gracida, Mariano Gracida, Riley Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida) won 6-2 over American Polo Horse. Carlitos Gracida, the oldest son of Carlos Gracida, was MVP.

It is the eighth time Grand Champions Polo Club will host a major international men’s game in club history.

Since 2012 in front of sellout crowds and worldwide ChukkerTV audience, the U.S. has beaten England, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, Uruguay, Brazil and Azerbaijan in the annual battle for the coveted cup.

“I don’t know how seven times happened, but we have always been pretty well-organized,” Roldan said. “And I think that’s important but you never know. Hopefully, it will be a really good open game and fun game for spectators. We have a fun team.”

The Legends game is 1 p.m. followed by the International Cup at 3 p.m. Gates open at 12:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the doubleheader benefit The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the development, history and tradition of the sport of polo by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport.

Tickets, ranging from $20 to $1500, are on sale along with various sponsorship packages. They are:

$1,500 VIP Sponsor: Includes one reserved table for eight in the VIP tent, corporate partner signage and parking.

$250 Grand Champions Tailgate Package: Includes a reserved tailgate spot with parking for one car.

$200 VIP Pavilion Tickets: Includes one VIP admission ticket to the VIP tent with a field side view of the game.

$20 General Admission. Field side parking not included.

For tickets, call 561-644-5050 and for sponsorship packages call 561-714-0887.

During the 2019 fall season, the club hosts both medium and high goal polo featuring six medium goal tournaments and two 20-goal tournaments.

The fall season serves as a tuneup for the winter season for players and green horses. The winter season will feature the second season of the highly-successful 26-goal World Polo League at Grand Champions and Valiente Polo Farm with the best polo players in the world.

The well-organized fall tournaments attract players from all over the United States and world including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, England, France, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Uruguay, Switzerland, Nigeria and South Africa.

Grand Champions had its finest fall season in club history last year. It was the only club in the nation to stage two USPA-sanctioned 20-goal fall tournaments and again is hosting 20-goal tournaments this season including the USPA National 20-Goal which continues on Saturday with the semifinal round.

The Grand Champions Fall Invitational League is geared toward improving a player’s polo skills at every level. Roster lineups change from tournament to tournament with evenly-matched teams featuring pro and amateur players.

The club takes pride in teaching and sharing the exciting sport of polo with anyone interested in learning. Grand Champions sister club is coming off its most successful and historical summer season at Aspen Valley Polo Club.

The fall league features: stick-and-ball sessions during the week; two tournament games every weekend; ambulance and umpires for all tournament games; world-class polo fields; club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players; and top-of-the-line trophies for all teams every weekend. Food and refreshments are available for players and fans after the finals.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm cater 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 at the turnkey facility.

The Polo School, a 501c3 organization and stand-alone USPA club, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its’ mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo at every economic and ability level. Scholarships are available. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. The Morrison family, after enjoying the Pedro Morrison Memorial this past weekend with family and friends, are the most recent contributors of $5,000 to The Polo School. For more information on the Fall Leagues or Polo School contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099.

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Sharon Robb

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