WELLINGTON, Fla., November 18, 2021—With $50,000 in prize money on the line, the much-anticipated second fall high goal tournament gets under way Friday with the USPA National Twenty Goal.
By Sharon Robb
Grand Champions Polo Club in conjunction with the United States Polo Association, the sport’s governing body, announced $50,000 in prize money will be awarded to the winning team.
The single-elimination, four-team tournament opens with two semifinal games at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek plays Newport in the morning game on Field Two at 11 a.m. Audi meets Casablanca in the afternoon game at 3:30 p.m. on Field One.
The winners advance Sunday into the championship and losers will compete in the subsidiary final. Start times will be announced after Friday’s games.
Audi has dominated the competition with four title wins, including back-to-back victories in 2012 and 2013 with an identical team (Marc Ganzi, Carlos Gracida Jr., Nic Roldan, Carlos Gracida).
With six titles to his name, Nic Roldan currently holds the record for most National Twenty Goal tournament wins.
Defending champion Casablanca won the USPA National Twenty Goal title in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
In 2020, Casablanca (Gussie Busch, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan) defeated La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Jeff Hall, Kris Kampsen, Nick Manifold), 10-8.
In 2019, Audi (Marc Ganzi, Sugar Erskine, Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips) staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Sebucan (Santos Bollini, Jason Crowder, Kris Kampsen, Tommy Biddle), 11-10. Roldan was MVP. Audi had trailed 5-0 after the first two chukkers.
In 2018, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, 2, Whistle Uys, 4, Julio Gracida, 4, Pablo Spinacci, 6) defeated Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Jason Crowder, 6, Jeff Blake, 6, Juan Bollini, 5), 11-9. Spinacci was MVP.
In 2017, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Mike Azzaro, Jeff Blake) defeated defending champion Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Pablo Dorignac, Juan Bollini), 13-6. Blake was MVP.
The USPA National Twenty Goal was first played at the Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton in 2007, won by Houston-based team BTA (Chrys Beal, Mariano Gonzalez, Francisco Lanusse, Santi Trotz) with a 13-12 win over Audi 13-12. The trophy then went on hiatus until 2011. Grand Champions resurrected the tournament where it’s been played ever since.
This year’s tournament field features two All-American teams including last weekend’s USPA North American Cup champion Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Kris Kampsen, Jeff Hall, Tommy Biddle). Seminole Casino Coconut Creek has the second team of four Americans (Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Nic Roldan, Juan Bollini). Eleven of the 16 players competing have combined for 25 National Twenty Goal titles since the tournament’s inception.
Team rosters are:
Audi (20): Marc Ganzi, 2, Juancito Bollini, 4, Sugar Erskine, 6, Santi Toccalino, 8.
Casablanca (20): Grant Ganzi, 3, Kris Kampsen, 6, Jeff Hall, 6, Tommy Biddle, 5.
Newport (18): Gene Goldstein, 1, Luis Escobar, 5, Agustin Obregon, 6, Pablo Spinacci, 6.
Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (18): Melissa Ganzi, 0, Jason Crowder, 6, Nic Roldan, 8, Juan Bollini, 4.
The highlight of the fall season is the Nov. 27 doubleheader with the Carlos Gracida Memorial Legends of Polo and 10th annual International Cup. Sponsorship packages and tickets are on sale.
Santa Rita Polo Farm has hosted four of five medium goal tournaments. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek won the season-opening Fall Classic; La Indiana won the Tackeria Invitational; Zahedi Chogan won the Fall Plates and Audi won the John T. Oxley Memorial Tournament. The final medium goal is the Banyan Cup.
Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique private 100-acre polo facility in Wellington with 120 stalls in several self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation and stick-and-ball fields.
During fall, winter and spring seasons, Grand Champions Polo Club, the nation’s largest club with 13 well-manicured, world-class fields at GCPC and Santa Rita Polo Farm, hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 26-goal including the 26-goal World Polo League in addition to special events.
During the winter season, Grand Champions and Santa Rita will host 23 tournaments from Jan. 15 to April 15.
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. For more information on the Fall Leagues or Polo School contact Director of Operations Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099.
The entire fall season is being live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting with cutting-edge technology including 4K TV currently making its’ debut. ChukkerTV also features team challenges and instant replay which made their debut at Grand Champions in January, 2014.
Grand Champions Polo Club caters 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, the only polo club in the U.S. to offer the unique program.