Sebucan Takes Early Lead After Day One Of Fall Classic

WELLINGTON, Fla., November 2, 2019—Sebucan took its first step in defending its title Friday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

Sebucan (Santos Bollini, 1, Pablo Pulido, 2, Nic Roldan, 8, Kris Kampsen, 6) came up big in the opening round robin of the Fall Classic with a 9-5 victory over Grand Champions (Sugar Erskine, 6, Brandon Phillips, 4, Sterling Giannico, 4, Tito Gaudenzi, 2) and 6-4 win over Newport (Gene Goldstein, 1, Jason Crowder, 6, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Juan Bollini, 5). In the opening game, Newport defeated Grand Champions, 6-4.

The scores will carry over into Sunday’s championship final at 10 a.m.

Sebucan, behind Roldan and Pulido, had the most offensive firepower with 15 goals. Newport scored 10 and Grand Champions nine goals.

Roldan and Pulido shared in Sebucan’s leading scoring honors each with five goals in six chukkers. Santos Bollini had three goals and Kampsen added two goals.

Spinacci led Newport with six goals and Erskine led Grand Champions with four goals.

In the opening game, Newport, making its fall debut, jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead in the opening chukker and never relinquished it. Newport led 6-2 after two chukkers. Grand Champions tried to rally in the third and final chukker with two goals but ran out of time.

Sebucan dominated the second game from the opening throw-in. With two goals from Pulido and one from Roldan, Sebucan led 3-1 after the first chukker and outscored Grand Champions, 4-1, in the second chukker to lead 7-2 after two chukkers. Grand Champions got its offense untracked, outscoring Sebucan, 3-2, in the final chukker but again fell short.

The third and final game of the round robin was the closest and most competitive despite a steady light rain. Roldan scored the first two goals of the game to give Sebucan a 2-1 lead after the first chukker. Newport came back behind Crowder and Spinacci to outscore Sebucan, 2-1, and tie the game 3-3 after two chukkers. Sebucan regained its offensive momentum behind Pulido’s two goals and one by Kampsen to outscore Newport, 3-1, for the win.

“I think Sebucan is the strongest team with an 8-goaler and favorite but with round robins it’s anyone’s game,” Newport’s Juan Bollini said. “Today was fun and I think Sunday will be even more fun. I like my team, I think we have a chance.”

“You have to start from the beginning sharp because you don’t have a lot of time to recover,” Bollini said. “Every team today was very equal. It was fun polo. Also we haven’t played polo for ten days because of the rain and we have to be careful with the horses getting them in shape.”

Last season Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Whistle Uys, Mariano Gracida, Julio Gracida), trailing by two goals after the fourth chukker, bounced back for a 10-8 victory over Audi (Santos Bollini, Justin Daniels, Brandon Phillips, Pablo Dorignac).

Pablo Pulido, playing well above his 2-goal rating, was selected Most Valuable Player. The former collegiate player at Cornell, played well offensively and defensively while scoring a game-high four goals. Pulido was also MVP for the 2017 USPA Fall Plates and 2018 USPA Eastern Challenge.

In 2017, Casablanca (Cacho Galindo, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, MVP Mike Azzaro) won with a 9-8 victory over Team USPA (Matias Gonzalez, Jesse Bray, Felipe Viana, Jimmy Wright).

The winners of the first two 2019 tournaments at Grand Champions were: Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Kris Kampsen, Pablo Spinacci, Juan Bollini), Tackeria Invitational and Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Brandon Phillips, Jason Crowder), US Trust Cup.

During the 2019 fall season, the nation’s largest polo club is hosting 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 2019 fall season is highlighted by the International Cup featuring Team USA against France; Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial, inaugural Wellington Open 20 and USPA National 20.

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.

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.

Club owners Marc and Melissa Ganzi, both accomplished players, take pride in teaching and sharing the exciting sport of polo with anyone interested in learning. The husband and wife team are coming off their most successful and historical summer season at Grand Champions’ sister club 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, a stand-alone USPA club, operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. For more information on the Fall Leagues or Polo School contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099.


Sharon RobbComment

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