WELLINGTON, Fla., October 28, 2021—The Fall Plates Tournament begins Friday at Santa Rita Polo Farm.
By Sharon Robb
The single-elimination, four-team tournament opens with La Indiana playing HL Polo, making its debut, at 10 a.m. on the Buenos Aires Field. The second game pits Zahedi Chogan against Newport at 4:45 p.m. on the Aspen Field.
The winners advance Sunday in what promises to be a spooktacular final at noon. Morning action begins at 10 a.m. with a subsidiary round robin that features a fifth team, NetJets, along with Friday’s two losing teams.
Team rosters are:
Zahedi Chogan: Sy Zahedi, Jason Crowder, Brandon Phillips, Tommy Biddle.
HL Polo: Harry Landy, Kris Kampsen, Pablo Spinacci, Juancito Bollini.
La Indiana: Matthew Gonzalez, Michael Bickford, Jeff Hall, Luis Escobar.
Newport: Gene Goldstein, Sugar Erskine, Leo Mandelbaum, Juan Bollini.
NetJets: Melissa Ganzi, Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan.
In last year’s Fall Plates, Newport (Gene Goldstein, Sugar Erskine, Michel Dorignac, Juan Bollini) defeated La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Jeff Hall, Mariano Gonzalez, Nick Manifold) in overtime, 11-10. Casablanca (Juancito Bollini, Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Santi Bermudez) downed Sebucan (Gussie Busch, Pablo Pulido, Horacio Heguy, Pablo Spinacci), 10-8, to advance to the championship. The final was not played or rescheduled because of heavy rain and conflicting tournament schedules.
Fall Plates is the third of five medium goal tournaments. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek won the season-opening Fall Classic and La Indiana won the Tackeria Invitational last weekend. Four high goal tournaments are also scheduled for the fall including the Nov. 3-11 USPA Continental Cup, Nov. 9-14 USPA North American Cup and Nov. 16-21 USPA National 20 Goal.
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 are available.
During the fall season, roster lineups change from tournament to tournament with evenly-matched teams to help improve players skills and performance. The games also give players an opportunity to work young horses.
The fall season also gives American players who don’t have a chance to go to Argentina an opportunity to improve their polo and keep them playing year-round.
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 will be 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.