WELLINGTON, Fla., March 8, 2022–Defending champion Dundas won the 32nd annual Sieber Memorial 12-Goal Tournament Sunday at Jan Pamela.
By Sharon Robb
Dundas (Sarah Siegel Magness, 0, Juan Cruz Marcos, 3, Geronimo Obregon, 5, Roberto Zedda) was awarded a forfeit victory from Excalibor (Robert Mashaal, 0, Matias MacDonough, Santi Llavallo, Martin Jauregui, 5) when it was discovered Llavallo used the same horses he played in a 12-goal semifinal game with Novo Polo. While Llavallo was a legal player substitution, players may not use the same horses for two teams according to the USPA rulebook.
“Having ethics in polo is really important because we all pay a lot of money and spend a lot of time playing polo,” Siegel Magness said. “The last thing we want is to be beaten because somebody had an advantage.
“For me, the moral of the story is yes, I am thankful we won because horse power is No. 1 in polo so if you are playing horses that shouldn’t be playing it’s an advantage. If somebody beats me fairly I am the first one to shake their hands. It’s a lesson to all of us to follow the rules and hold ourselves to a higher standard.”
Zetta was named Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive 12-goal tournament.
Florencia, a 9-year-old mare, owned and played by Siegel Magness, was Best Playing Pony. Florencia is one of twenty horses purchased from polo great and breeder Adolfo Cambiaso.
“She is amazing,” Siegel Magness said. “The last 20 horses I bought have been from Adolfo and they’re the best.”
Siegel Magness returned to Sunday’s lineup for the final after competing in the Tabebuia Cup Women’s Handicap 22-Goal Tournament, a tuneup for the U.S. Women’s Open. Dundas won its first U.S. Open game, 6-5, over BTA/The Villages at Port Mayaca on Monday.
It was Dundas’ second 12-goal tournament victory of the season. Dundas (Cable Magness, 0, Juan Cruz Merlos, 3, Geronimo Obregon, 5, Roberto Zedda, 4) also defended its 2021 title to win the Limited Edition 12-Goal Series with a 12-9 win over Mayer Ranch (Ken Mayer, 0, Matt Coppola, 5, Juan Monteverde, 5, Brendon Stenzel, 2). Zedda was MVP.
Dundas (Cable Magness, Juan Cruz Marcos, Hugo Taylor, Tatu Gomez Romero) won last year’s Sieber title defeating Newport (Gene Goldstein, Milo Dorignac, Michel Dorignac Nick Manifold), 12-10. Romero was Most Valuable Player.
In Thursday’s semifinals, Dundas defeated Novo Polo, 15-12, and Excalibor held off a late rally by Mayer Ranch to post a 10-8 victory.
The eight-team tournament is named in honor of polo player Robert J. Sieber, Jr., who died in a polo-related accident August 22, 1984 at Oak Brook, Ill. He was 29.
The tournament was first created by the Oxley family and first played at the now-defunct Royal Palm Polo Sports Club in Boca Raton and later resurrected by Marc and Melissa Ganzi at Grand Champions. The last game held at Royal Palm before it closed was the Sieber Memorial final.
“I want to thank the Ganzi family and Grand Champions for putting this on,” said Rob’s brother John Sieber. “It’s the 32nd year and it means a lot to our family. The horses are great, the players are great. I want to make a special thanks to all the playing sponsors and captains. People don’t know what they have to go through to get their teams together.”
Grand Champions, the nation’s largest polo club, celebrating its 15th anniversary, is coming off its most successful fall season. Club officials hope to build off that success when it hosts 23 tournaments from January through April.
Grand Champions is host to the World Polo League, now in its fourth year and only 26-goal polo played outside of Argentina. It has attracted a large international field from around the world. The world-class league will run through April 16. The remaining WPL tournaments are the Founders Cup, Palm Beach Open; Triple Crown of Polo and Beach Polo World Cup Miami Beach.
The WPL’s new Coco Cabana features polo fare, open bar, rose bar, cigar experience with Montecristo, Worth Avenue retail Pop-Up, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek giveaways and unique photo opportunities. Guests have the opportunity to purchase individual tickets at $250 per person inside the air-conditioned tent or a patio lounge for four guests at $1,000 which includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.
Grand Champions has also added Sunset Chukkers and Cocktails, presented by Seminole Casino Coconut Creek held Tuesday late afternoon on Field One for players and guests at 4:45 p.m.
Grand Champions is also hosting various levels of polo. The high goal club tournaments feature the Sterling Cup, $100,000 World Cup and Santa Rita Abierto.
The 16-goal league play includes the Grand Champions Cup, Power Horse Invitational and Pedro Morrison Memorial.
In addition to the Limited Edition and Sieber Memorial, the 12-goal league also features the $50,000 National 12-Goal and Top Pony 12-Goal.
After January’s successful Aspen Valley Cup, the 8-goal tournament schedule continues with the Top Pony 8-Goal and Limited Edition 8-Goal.
The 6-goal schedule, after a successful Metropolitan Cup, continues with the Halo Polo Trophy and Madelon Bourdieu Memorial.
There is also the Polo School Grand Champions Women’s League, co-founded by Melissa Ganzi and Alina Carta, for all ages and playing ability held Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at Santa Rita Polo Farm.
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.
The Polo School, now located at the former Pony Express facility, 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 or General Manager Cale Newman at 561-876-2930.
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.CANDACE FERREIRAMARCH 8, 2022