After a successful Metropolitan Cup 6-goal league opener on Sunday, 12-goal league play begins Thursday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Sebucan will play Santa Clara in the opening game of the January Limited Edition 12-Goal League Thursday at 3 p.m.
Sebucan features living legend Horacio Heguy, a six-time Argentine Open winner. During post-game ceremonies at the inaugural Wellington Open this past fall, Heguy was awarded a first-of-its-kind Living Legend Award by Grand Champions Polo Club.
Four teams will compete in the 12-goal league. Beverly Equestrian plays Newport Friday at 3:30 p.m. Beverly Equestrian features up-and-coming sensation Poroto Cambiaso, son of 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso.
Team rosters are:
Beverly Equestrian: (12) Bill Ballhaus, 0, Poroto Cambiaso, 4, Hilario Figueras, 3, Tolito Ocampo, 5.
Newport: (12) Gene Goldstein, 1, Lucas Escobar, 2, Nick Manifold, 3, Michel Dorignac, 6.
Santa Clara: (12) Francisco Escobar, 0, Nico Escobar, 4, Luis Escobar, 4, TBA.
Sebucan: (11) Santos Bollini, 1, Pablo Pulido, 2, Horacio Heguy, 6, Juanse Olivera, 2.
The Limited Edition 12-goal final and handicap final are scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m. and noon respectively.
Newport captured last year’s January Limited Edition 12-Goal Tournament that featured eight teams. Trailing by as many as four goals in the first half, Newport (Gene Goldstein 1, Tomas Schwencke, 2, Michel Dorignac, 6, Nick Manifold, 3) rallied in the second half for a thrilling 9-8 victory over Colorado (Rob Jornayvaz, 2, Bautista Panelo, 3, Nick Johnson, 3, Robertito Zedda, 4) in the championship final. It was their first tournament win in two years. Newport finished with a 3-1 record. Dorignac was named Most Valuable Player after scoring five goals all on penalty conversions including a 60-yarder in the sixth chukker.
Grand Champions is hosting 19 tournaments during the winter season, the most of any club in the U.S., including five in January.
With 18 safe and well-manicured fields, including 11-tournament grade, the club will host every level of polo for men, women and children including the second season of the World Polo League, the only 26-goal polo held outside of Argentina featuring the best players in the world.
The club attracts a large international field of players from all corners of the world including Australia, Chile, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, South Africa and England.
Grand Champions is coming off its finest fall season in the club’s 13-year history. It was the only club in the nation to stage two 20-goal fall tournaments in addition to the International Cup and Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial. The club also hosted a full schedule of successful and highly-competitive medium goal tournaments.
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 four polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball and new parking lot.
Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm’s 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 Melissa Ganzi when the club first opened.
The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA-sanctioned polo club, is thriving at Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm. It 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.