A star-studded lineup will highlight the most competitive spring season in the history of Grand Champions Polo Club.
The spring season, including last weekend’s successful World Polo League Beach Polo in Miami Beach, is expected to be the best in the club’s 12-year history beginning with the Sun Cup that gets under way Friday with games at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The winners advance into the final on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and runner-up teams play for the Just For The Fun Of It Cup at 10 a.m.
The first game on Friday at 10 a.m. features defending champion Dutta Corp playing Palm Beach Equine. At 5 p.m., Audi plays Aspen Valley.
The rosters are:
Aspen Valley: Grant Ganzi, Pablo Pulido, Juancito Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada.
Audi: Marc Ganzi, Sugar Erskine, Pablo Spinacci, Tommy Collingwood.
Dutta Corp: Timmy Dutta, Carlitos Gracida, Kris Kampsen, Jared Zenni.
Palm Beach Equine: Scott Swerdlin, Brandon Phillips, Nic Roldan, Juan Bollini.
Zenni, one of the Brand Ambassadors for U.S. Polo Assn., is coming off the U.S. team’s 9-8 victory over England in the Westchester Cup. Zenni returns to Grand Champions where he has always had great success. He won the 2017 $100,000 World Cup with Palm Beach Illustrated teammates Santi Torres, Agustin Obregon and Tommy Collingwood and 2016 $50,000 National 12-Goal with teammates Todd Thurston, Geronimo Obregon and Jesse Bray.
Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini and Carlitos Gracida, playing for U.S. Polo Assn., are coming off their thrilling 9.5-8 victory over Flexjet in the final of the World Polo League Beach Polo in Miami Beach.
In last year’s Sun Cup final, Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Tim Dutta) three-peated the title with a 10-6 victory over Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Marc Ganzi). Former 10-goaler Piki Diaz Alberdi was MVP.
The remainder of the spring schedule is: May 10-12, Spring Challenge Cup; May 17-19, Polo Gear Challenge Cup; and May 24-26 The Memorial.
Several top and up-and-coming players and patrons will compete during the fun and competitive GCPC Spring Invitational League that features 12-16-goal tournaments in May.
During the Grand Champions’ spring season, amateur polo players get the chance to play with and against some of the world’s top professional polo players. It is geared towards improving polo skills and having fun.
The spring league is also a great opportunity for younger players to develop and hone their skills against their peers and more experienced players.
The GCPC spring league features:
*Medium Goal practice games at least once a week.
*Stick-and-ball sessions available during the week.
*Teams get two medium goal tournament games every weekend.
*Ambulance and umpires for all tournament games.
*Complete turn-key tournament polo with some of the top professionals in the world.
*Playing polo on some of Wellington’s most prestigious and well-manicured fields that hosted the best players in the world during the inaugural 26-goal World Polo League.
*Club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players.
*Excellent trophies for all teams every weekend.
The spring season will be live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV.
Grand Champions fall, winter and spring tournaments attract a large international field of players from all corners of the world including India, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Costa Rica, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Azerbaijan, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, Venezuela and England.
Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique polo facility in Wellington with 120 stalls in five self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and three polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball with plans to build more polo fields in the future.
Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels and ages. 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, created by Grand Champions President Melissa Ganzi when the club first opened in 2007.
The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA-sanctioned polo 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. Headed by Director of Operations Juan Bollini, The Polo School has nurtured several men and women polo players now playing in the pro and amateur ranks since its inception.