Two fast-paced, physical games opened the Limited Edition 12-Goal Series Friday at Jan Pamela and Santa Rita Polo Farm.
By Sharon Robb
On a foggy morning, Dundas (Cable Magness, 0, Juan Cruz Merlos, 3, Geronimo Obregon, 5, Roberto Zedda, 4) defeated Farmington Polo Club (Heather Souto, 1, Baldo Palomeque, 4, Costi Caset, 5, Alfredo Rodriguez, 2), 12-8, in the opening game of the doubleheader.
The game was close until the fifth chukker when Dundas outscored Farmington Polo Club, 5-1, for an 11-7 advantage behind three goals by Obregon and two by Zedda.
Obregon scored a game-high seven goals for Dundas including four penalty conversions. Marcos and Zedda each had two goals and Magness added one. Caset scored a team-high six goals for Farmington Polo Club. Souto and Palomeque each had one.
Mayer Ranch (Ken Mayer, 0, Matt Coppola, 5, Juan Monteverde, 5, Brenny Stenzel, 2), after nearly a year’s hiatus from polo because of the pandemic, returned in style with an impressive 11-8 victory over Beverly Polo (Wil Ballhaus, -1, Bill Ballhaus, 0, Hilario Figueras, 5, Tolito Ocampo, 7/Lucas Diaz Alberdi, 6) in the second marathon game. It was the first time the Mayer Ranch lineup competed together for the first time.
It was another tight game until the third chukker when Mayer Ranch outscored Beverly Polo, 3-1, for a 7-4 halftime advantage. Mayer Ranch took advantage of Beverly Polo penalties while committing no fouls in the first half. Mayer Ranch also dominated the throw-ins winning more than 70 percent.
Midway through the third chukker Ocampo was replaced by Lucas Diaz Alberdi after Ocampo was hit on the right side of his face. He was treated by paramedics on the field and left the game.
Mayer Ranch had another big chukker in the fifth outscoring Beverly Polo, 4-1, for an 11-6 advantage going into the final chukker. Wil Ballhaus lofted a goal to cut the lead to 11-8 but ran out of time to rally.
“We’re really excited to be down here,” Mayer said. “We kind of took last year off with covid, but we’re back down here and coming on strong.”
Monteverde scored a game-high seven goals including five penalty conversions, to lead Mayer Ranch. Stenzel added three goals. The team picked up another goal on a penalty-one.
Figueras led Beverly Polo with five goals. Ocampo and Wil Ballhaus each had one goal. The team was also rewarded one goal on handicap.
Twelve-goal action continues on Tuesday with another doubleheader, Orea Polo plays Dundas at noon and Mayer Ranch meets Farmington Polo Club at 4 p.m. Fields are still to be determined.
In last year’s Limited Edition 12-Goal Series final, 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. Zedda was Most Valuable Player.
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.
The 26-goal World Polo League, co-founded by Marc and Melissa Ganzi, returns for a fourth season. The All-Star Challenge opens the high goal season Feb. 8-26 followed by the 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.
The high goal club tournaments feature the Feb. 2-12 Sterling Cup, Feb. 9-26$100,000 World Cup and Mar. 1-13 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.
In addition to this month’s Limited Edition Series, the 12-goal league also features the Feb. 15-Mar. 5 Sieber Memorial Trophy, Feb. 16-27 $50,000 National 12-Goal and Mar. 8-26 Top Pony 12-Goal.
In addition to the Aspen Valley Cup, the 8-goal tournament lineup is the Feb. 15-Mar. 5 Top Pony 8-Goal and Mar. 8-26 Limited Edition 8-Goal.
The 6-goal schedule features the Jan. 25-Feb. 12 Metropolitan Cup, 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 has added Sunset Chukkers and Cocktails, presented by Seminole Casino Coconut Creek held Tuesday late afternoon on Field One for players and guests.
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.