WELLINGTON, Fla., February 16, 2022—Playing together for the first time this season as a team, Dundas captured the Limited Edition 12-Goal Series Tuesday at windswept Jan Pamela Field.
By Sharon Robb
Dundas (Cable Magness, 0, Juan Cruz Merlos, 3, Geronimo Obregon, 5, Roberto Zedda, 4) defeated Mayer Ranch (Ken Mayer, 0, Matt Coppola, 5, Juan Monteverde, 5, Brendon Stenzel, 2), 12-9, in a hardfought final.
Dundas defended its’ title. Last year Dundas I (Sarah Siegel-Magness, Hugo Taylor, Mariano Fassetta, Roberto Zedda) defeated Dundas II (Cable Magness, Juan Cruz Marcos, Geronimo Obregon, Juan Martin Obregon), 11-9.
“We kept it going, we had to,” Magness said. “I was really happy with our team, super excited. The last time we played Mayer Ranch it was a little rough for us. This time we definitely knew what we were doing. We were pretty calm the whole time.”
Dundas field general Roberto Zedda was named Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year in the five-team tournament that also featured Beverly Polo, Farmington Polo and Orea Polo.
“This is my first year playing with them,” Zedda said. “Even though we didn’t play in the past, we developed our chemistry right away. We thought we had a good chance of winning. We always try to put a competitive team together for the organization and aim for good things.”
Gitana, a 10-year-old mare from Diego Cavanagh’s breeding farm and played by Magness in the sixth chukker, was Best Playing Pony. Gitano is Spanish for gypsy.
“She’s one of my best horses out there, really a reliable horse,” Magness said. “She doesn’t give you any trouble. I can stop when I want to and turn when I want to. The horse is just great.”
Magness, 17, has been playing polo for five years. He first learned to ride horses at Costa Careyes (Mexico) Polo Club and followed his mother’s footsteps in polo. His dad Gary also plays.
“We’re a team that likes to talk to each other,” Magness said. “We’re cool about things. No one is scared to say anything to anybody. If there is stuff that needs to be said they can say it. No one is going to get angry or mad about it which is really great. I have a blast out there. I am friends with all my teammates. There’s no strangers on our team. It’s a friendly team.”
Dundas finished the tournament with a 4-1 record and avenged its early tournament overtime loss to Mayer Ranch, coming off nearly a year’s hiatus from polo because of the pandemic.
“In the first game with them we started very strong and then we kind of relaxed a bit and they were able to get back as a team and they beat us,” Zedda said. “They deserved to beat us.”
Their second meeting in the final was just as physical and competitive.
Dundas jumped out to a 3-0 lead with two goals from Obregon and one from Marcos. Monteverde scored with 2:31 left in the chukker to get Mayer Ranch on the scoreboard.
Dundas maintained its lead, 4-2, after the second chukker and 7-4 at halftime. Mayer Ranch regrouped and came out strong in the fourth chukker, outscoring Dundas, 3-0, with Monteverde scoring the tying goal, 7-7, with 3:36 left in the chukker.
“We were just making silly mistakes,” Magness said.
Dundas regained its composure in the fifth chukker with Zedda’s goal at the 4:04 mark tying the game again at 8-8. From then on it was all Dundas which regained the lead, 9-8, when Zedda scored volleying the ball out of the air after it bounced off a pony. It was the first of three consecutive Dundas goals for an 11-8 lead early in the sixth chukker. Dundas kept the pressure on for the remainder of the game allowing only one Mayer Ranch goal in the final minute.
“I think today was kind of similar as our first game with them,” Zedda said. “We had a strong first chukker, not as strong as last time. But then we kind of struggled a bit in the fourth chukker. We let them come back and they went up by one. This time we were patient enough and we trusted our team and our horses. We had a good feeling today. We were able to turn the game back around and ended up winning by three goals.”
Dundas got balanced scoring from its lineup. Zedda and Obregon each had four goals and Marcos added three. The team was also awarded a penalty-one in the third chukker.
Monteverde had a game-high seven goals to lead Mayer Ranch. Stenzel added one goal. Mayer Ranch was also awarded a penalty one in the fourth chukker.
Award-winning Norwegian fashion designer Peter Dundas, who recently re-located his company, co-owned by Sarah Siegel-Magness, from London to Los Angeles, designed the dazzling outfit worn by nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige during the Super Bowl’s halftime show. Blige sparkled from head to toe in a custom white Dundas outfit covered in a shimmering leopard-print design.
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.
Already under way with the All-Star Challenge is the World Polo League, the only 26-goal polo played outside of Argentina co-founded by Marc and Melissa Ganzi.
The world-class league will run through April 16. In addition to the All-Star Challenge, the remaining WPL events are the inaugural Tommy Hitchcock Legacy Memorial, Feb. 27; Founders Cup, Feb. 23-March 13; Palm Beach Open, March 9-27; Triple Crown of Polo, March 23-April 16 and Beach Polo World Cup Miami Beach, April 29-May 1.
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.
The high goal club tournaments feature the Sterling Cup, $100,000 World Cup and Santa Rita Abierto.
The 16-goal league play includes the Feb. 14-Mar. 5 Grand Champions Cup, Mar. 8-26 Power Horse Invitational and Mar. 29-Apr. 16 Pedro Morrison Memorial.
The 12-goal league continues with the Feb. 15-Mar. 5 Sieber Memorial Trophy, Feb. 16-27 $50,000 National 12-Goal and Mar. 8-26 Top Pony 12-Goal.
After January’s successful Aspen Valley Cup, the 8-goal tournament schedule continues with the Feb. 15-Mar. 5 Top Pony 8-Goal and Mar. 8-26 Limited Edition 8-Goal.
The 6-goal schedule features the Metropolitan Cup, also underway; Feb. 15-Mar. 5 Halo Polo Trophy and Mar. 8-26 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 owned by Melissa and Marc Ganzi, 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.