WELLINGTON, Fla., April 13, 2022-–Tackeria won the recent Yunghanns Charity Challenge at Santa Rita Polo Farm.
By Sharon Robb
The foursome of Antonio Aguerre, Malia Bryan, Ramon Caro and Elizabeth Brassert defeated GJ Racing (Ariadne Dogani, Ava Nunes, Harrison Reicher, Jack Whitman), 5-3, and Mayer Ranch (Giuliana Battista, Ava Hinkson, Joseph Schwartz, Joaquin Vilgre de la Madrid), 4-1. In the other two-chukker matchup, GJ Racing and Mayer Ranch tied, 2-2.
“That was a very competitive tournament,” said Harrison Reicher, 16, of Vero Beach, who was selected Most Valuable Player. “I always look forward to the PTF tournaments. They are very important to me.
“Compared to other sports I think polo is one of the main sports that brings teammates together,” Reicher said. “It relies so much on teamwork and communication. I’m friends with all my teammates and it’s always nice to be on the field with your friends.”
Reicher has honed his playing skills with the PTF for the past six years which has led to him competing in several top tournaments. In November, he won a local tournament with former 10-goaler Tincho Merlos at Farmington (Conn.) Polo Club and was named MVP. He also won the Windsor Charity Polo Cup in Vero Beach with his sister Maeve in February. He and his sister also won the U.S. Polo Assn Junior Tournament featuring the Tackeria President’s Day Cup with Harrison scoring the winning shootout goal.
Reicher, a freshman at St. Edwards School, hopes to compete in college. For the second summer, he will participate in the PTF-sponsored Virginia Clinic and Tournament. He is also competing in the National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) at SMU in May.
Reicher has been playing polo for nine years. He’s been riding horses since he was two. When his family moved from New York to Florida, a friend introduced him to polo. “I’ve loved it since then,” Reicher said.
High scorers in the Yunghanns Charity Challenge were Aguerre, Malia Bryan and Caro, each with three goals for Tackeria. Caro earned the Sportsmanship Award. Joaquin Vilgre de la Madrid’s second chukker horse was Best Playing Pony.
In the Buzz Welker Memorial final, Power Group Total Care defeated Tackeria, 7-1. Fran Spinacci was named Most Valuable Player and was high scorer with six goals. Giuliana Tarazona won the Sportsmanship Award. Jem Handler’s second chukker horse was Best Playing Pony.
The remaining MVPs were Alfonso Nero, Mya Qurcoopome, Sailor Schwaber, Facundo Novillo Astrada, Agustin Sterling and Antonio Dorignac.
Other Sportsmanship Award winners were Myla Cambiaso, Inaki Gonzalez, Silver Novillo Astrada, Kalani Gomez Romero, Rafa Laprida and Lupe Pieres.
Other Best Playing Pony winners were Lorenzo Nero, second chukker; Felix Pieres, first chukker; Benjamin de la Fuente, first chukker; Silver Gomez Romero; Patrick Clarkin and Alejo Taranco, Jr., second chukker.
Sponsors for the various teams were GJ Racing, Mayer Ranch, Tackeria, Grand Champions, Alex Photo, Red Barn, ChukkerTV, Power Group Total Care, Aspen Valley, Polo School, Santa Rita, Casablanca, and Morning Line.
Both tournaments featured 81 players on 23 teams competing at various levels and ability. The games featured top caliber competition among boy and girl youth players.
The next PTF event is the 18th annual Jimmer Newman Memorial Cup on Saturday, April 23rd. The event is in honor of Jimmer Newman, who died on October 8, 2004 in Santa Barbara, Calif. where he was assistant polo manager. He was an up-and-coming 2-goal, 24-year-old player, son of IPC polo manager Jimmy Newman and brother of Grand Champions general manager Cale Newman.
Grand Champions Polo Club President, PTF Chairman and tournament host Melissa Ganzi is a longtime supporter of grass roots polo and PTF. Grand Champions provides fields, staff, five umpires, announcers, refreshments and horses for some of the players and umpires.
The Polo Training Foundation is dedicated to the future of polo in the U.S. The PTF has been instrumental in the growth of junior and youth polo players by encouraging the sport’s development with training programs, lessons and tournaments for boys and girls.
The PTF was created in 1967 by Palm Beach Polo and Country Club founder and former 7-goal amateur Bill Ylvisaker to teach the game of polo to youth by promoting youth clinics, interscholastic and intercollegiate competition, good sportsmanship and good will through friendly competition.
The Polo Training Foundation is a 501(c) 3 organization and relies solely on tax deductible donations for financial support.
Grand Champions, the nation’s largest and busiest polo club celebrating its 15th anniversary, is coming off its most successful fall season. The club is hosting various level tournaments 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 attracts a large international field from around the world. The final of the Triple Crown of Polo on Saturday at 4 p.m. with Richard Mille and Pampa Norte Biotricity battling for the coveted trophy following the Work To Ride Fundraiser at 2 p.m.
Grand Champions also hosts Sunset Chukkers and Cocktails, presented by Seminole Casino Coconut Creek held Tuesday late afternoon at 4:45 p.m. on Field One for players and guests.
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 18 well-manicured fields inclduing 13 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.