After a successful All Star Challenge season-opener, the World Polo League season continues Friday with the Founders Cup.

Three games will open the second tournament of the season at Valiente Polo Farm. Scone will make its season debut against J5/La Dolfina Breeding at noon on Field 3; Valiente plays Alegria at 2 p.m. on Field 2; and Seminole Casino meets Richard Mille at 4 p.m. on Field 1.

Ten teams, including new team sponsors Amaala, Scone and STM, will compete in the first of three WPL tournaments offering major prize money. Scone competed last year in the WPL‘s inaugural season.

The WPL is coming off a successful opening and fun All Star Challenge where Valiente defended its title with a new lineup.

Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz 2, Poroto Cambiaso 4, Diego Cavanagh 9, Adolfo Cambiaso 10) led for most of the game to defeat SD Farms (Sayyu Dantata 2, Santi Torres 7, Guillermo Terrera 8, Juan Martin Zubia 8), 12-10. Poroto Cambiaso, 14, the only returning player off last year‘s winning team, has now won back-to-back tournament titles. His father, Adolfo, was Most Valuable Player of the game.

„We have seen some great polo,“ WCT Commissioner Dale Smicklas said. „We have seen some thrilling games and some expected results as well as some upsets. And there is so much more ahead of us.“

Team sponsors and rosters for the Founders Cup are:

Amaala (25): Nacho Figueras 6, Tincho Merlos 7, Facu Llorente 7, Juan Bollini 5.

Alegría (25): Henry Porter 3, Matias Magrini 7, Fred Mannix 7, Nachi du Plessis 8.

Casablanca (25): Grant Ganzi 3, Rodrigo Andrade 8, Hilario Ulloa 10, Juancito Bollini 4.

J-5 La Dolfina Breeding (23): Gonzalo Ferrari 4, Isidro Strada 7, Jerónimo Del Carril 7, Robertito Zedda 5.

Richard Mille (26): Camilo Castagnola 7, TBA 2, Barto Castagnola 7, Pablo Mac Donough 10.

Scone (23): David Paradice 0, Poroto Cambiaso 4, Diego Cavanagh 9, Adolfo Cambiaso 10.

SD Farms (25): Sayyu Dantata 2, Santi Torres 7, Guillermo Terrera 8, Juan Martin Zubia 8.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (24): Melissa Ganzi 0, Lucas James 8, Alejandro Novillo Astrada 8, Nic Roldan 8.

STM (26): Robert Strom 5, Pablo Spinacci 6, Corcho Zavaleta 7, Nacho Novillo Astrada 8.

Valiente (27): Bob Jornayvaz 2, Gringo Colombres 8, Sebastian Merlos 9, Jejo Taranco 8.

Last year‘s Founders Cup winner was Grand Champions. In one of polo‘s biggest upsets, Grand Champions knocked off Valiente, 12-11, in overtime at Valiente.

In front of an overflow crowd, Argentine 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero scored the winning goal in the first two minutes of overtime to upset previously unbeaten Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, 2, Agustin Nero, 6, Santi Torres, 6, Adolfo Cambiaso, 10). Nero was MVP.

Playing together for the first time in the  tournament, Grand Champions finished the eight-team 26-goal tournament undefeated at 4-0. Nero and teammates Rodrigo Andrade, Grant Ganzi and Juancito Bollini earned $60,000 in prize money.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is the hospitality sponsor for the World Polo League. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek presents a fully integrated, energized, stylish and upscale local‘s casino experience, world-class dining, including its award-winning steakhouse, NYY Steak and live entertainment.

Tickets, ranging from $15 to $250, for the Sunday featured WPL games at 4 p.m. at Grand Champions Polo Club are on sale now at www.worldpolo.org.

Ticket price breakdown for the new CoCo Cabana Stadium is:

VIP $250, Upper Level (rain or shine, no refunds), includes VIP parking access,  exclusive luxury-style bar and lounge seating, gourmet light dinner buffet, exclusive chef station, VIP Open bar (excluding champagne and bottle service) and VIP swag bags.

VIP $100, Lower Level (rain or shine, no refunds), includes VIP parking access,  exclusive luxury-style bar and lounge seating, gourmet light bites and Worth Avenue retailer experience.

Valet Parking $15, select quality valet parking and general admission is free for fans who park across the field from the stadium.

Co-founded by Grand Champions owner and president Melissa Ganzi and Valiente Polo Farm owner Bob Jornayvaz, the successful World Polo League is the only 26-goal polo in the world outside of Argentina. The WPL is preserving the highest level of polo and its rich, hallowed tradition in the U.S.

The WPL, with 11 tournament-quality fields to play on, features the Feb. 6-16 All-Star Challenge which ended on Sunday, Feb. 19-March 1 Founders Cup which begins Friday, March 4-22 Palm Beach Open and March 28-April 18 Triple Crown of Polo.

The WPL schedule also features the unique April 6-12 U.S. National Mixed Doubles Championship, created by Jornayvaz. It pairs men and women players. There is also the April 9-12 WPL Beach Polo World Cup in Miami Beach.

The World Polo League 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, Nigeria 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.

For more information and to watch the games go to www.worldpolo.org for a complete library of WPL first-season games.

2020 WORLD POLO LEAGUE SCHEDULE

Founder‘s Cup Feb 19 – Mar 1

Friday 2/21 12 p.m. Scone vs J5 La Dolfina at Valiente 3

Friday 2/21 2 p.m. Valiente vs Alegria at Valiente 2

Friday 2/21 4 p.m. Seminole vs Richard Mille at Valiente 1

Saturday 2/22 12 p.m. SD Farms vs Casablanca at SD Farms field

Sunday 2/23 10:30 a.m. Amala vs Winner Valiente/Alegria at GCPC 1

Sunday 2/23 4 p.m. STM vs Winner Scone/J5 La Dolfina at GCPC 2

Mar. 4-22, Palm Beach Open

Mar. 28-Apr. 18, Triple Crown of Polo

Apr. 6-12, U.S. National Mixed Doubles Polo Championship

© Thomas Wirth

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