Grand Champions Polo Club (GCPC) (Wellington, Florida) announced its highly anticipated schedule for the upcoming fall season, which gets under way in October.
One of the nation’s busiest and most innovative polo clubs, GCPC will host both medium-goal and high-goal leagues, highlighted by the Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial, International Cup and two USPA national 20-goal tournaments.
The medium-goal schedule features five tournaments, including the season-opening October 10-16 Pedro Morrison Memorial, now in its thirteenth year. Morrison was an avid polo player, patron of the Sympatico Polo team and helped develop Wellington, Florida, into a thriving community.
Among the highlights of the season are USPA national tournaments the North American Cup and the National Twenty Goal. There will also be a notable doubleheader on November 12 featuring the Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial and International Cup. This year, the GCPC-USA team will put its 10-year winning streak on the line against Switzerland.
Last year GCPC-USA (Grant Ganzi*, Jason Crowder, Nic Roldan, Tommy Biddle) defeated Argentina 10-5 for their tenth win in a row since the tournament’s inception in 2012. Ganzi, making his sixth appearance and, at 23 the youngest member of the GCPC-USA lineup, was named Most Valuable Player.
Since 2012, in front of sellout crowds and worldwide ChukkerTV audiences, the U.S. has beaten England, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, Uruguay, Brazil, Azerbaijan, France and Argentina (twice) in the annual battle for the coveted cup.
Casablanca’s Grant Ganzi hits a neckshot in the 2021 North American Cup.
October 10-16: Pedro Morrison MemorialOctober 17-23: Fall Classic
October 24-30: Fall Plates
October 31-November 6: Tackeria Invitational
November 14-20: Banyan Final
The Tackeria Invitational has a special place in club history as the inaugural tournament when the club first opened in 2007.
October 18-26: North American Cup
October 24-November 9: National Twenty Goal
November 12: Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial and International Cup (GCPC-USA vs. Switzerland).
2022 Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Biddle returned to compete at GCPC in 2021.
The well-organized fall tournaments attract players from all over the United States and world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, England, France, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria and South Africa.
“I think this has been the best polo season at Grand Champions I have ever been involved with,” said veteran player Tommy Biddle after the final tournament of the 2021 season. Biddle returned to compete at Grand Champions after a 3-year absence.
“I have played here a couple of times before, but I think that the polo has been the best polo,” Biddle said. “It’s been open, not a lot of crashing and banging. Everybody’s just playing proper polo. Everybody showed up with better horses.”
Last season, Biddle and Nic Roldan led the Most Valuable Player honors with two each, followed by Jeff Hall, Brandon Phillips and Grant Ganzi.
Grand Champions attracts most of the nation’s top American players for the fall season.
2021 National Twenty Goal Champions: Seminole Casino Coconut Creek – Nic Roldan, Juan Bollini, Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder.
The Grand Champions Fall Invitational League is geared toward improving a player’s polo skills at every level. Roster lineups change from tournament to tournament, with evenly matched teams featuring pro and amateur players. It’s also a great opportunity for players and team owners to prepare for the winter season, highlighted by the 26-goal World Polo League at Grand Champions.
Club owners Marc and Melissa Ganzi, both accomplished players, take pride in teaching and sharing the thrilling sport of polo with anyone interested in learning. The husband-and-wife team will be coming off a successful summer season at their Aspen Valley Polo Club (Carbondale, Colorado).
The fall league features: stick-and-ball sessions during the week, two medium-goal tournament games every weekend, ambulance and USPA umpires for all tournament games, world-class polo fields, club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players and top-of-the-line trophies for all teams every weekend.
Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique private 100-acre polo facility in Wellington, Florida, with more than 150 stalls in several self-contained barns, an exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, a vet room, staff quarters, a guest house and polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation and stick-and-ball fields.
5-goaler Jason Crowder is one of many top American players that frequent the fall season at GCPC.
Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm host polo tournaments ranging from 6- to 26-goal in addition to special events at its well-manicured fields during the fall, winter and spring seasons.
Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm cater to men, women, and youth polo players at all levels. Their expert staff can customize a complete playing experience, including horses, pros and certified umpires, in addition to lessons and practice sessions as part of their Polo On Demand program at the turnkey facility.
The Polo School, a 501c3 organization and stand-alone USPA club, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grassroots youth. Their mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo at every economic and ability level. Scholarships are available. The Polo School operates in Wellington, Florida, January through June and September through November.
For more information on the Fall Leagues or Polo School, contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099 or Cale Newman at 561-876-2930.
*Grant Ganzi is Team USPA alumnus. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
All photos courtesy of ©Candace Ferreira.