Who will win the fifth and final World Polo League’s Triple Crown of Polo tournament? Stay tuned.
By Sharon Robb
The much-anticipated three-week, 26-goal season finale begins Saturday with Alegria playing Brookshire at 10 a.m. at Jan Pamela. The final is set for Saturday, April 16th with Sunday, April 17th as a makeup day if needed.
Eight teams will compete for the magnificent Tiffany & Co-designed trophy.
Last year’s winner, Richard Mille (Marc Ganzi, Jeta Castagnola, Pablo MacDonough and Paco de Narvaez) defeated Tamera (Ale Poma, Santi Torres, Diego Cavanaugh, Jejo Taranco), 11-10, for their third title of the WPL season. MacDonough was MVP.
Team rosters are:
Alegria (25): Juancito Bollini, 4, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Tincho Merlos, 8, Freddie Mannix, 7.
Audi (26): Marc Ganzi, 2, Jeta Castagnola, 9, Barto Castagnola, 9, Paco de Narvaez, 6.
Brookshire Polo Team (23): Scott Wood, 0, Rufino Bensadon, 8, Nic Roldan, 8, Pancho Bensadon, 7.
Catamount (26): Scott Devon, 1, Polito Pieres, 10, Toro Ruiz, 7, Nacho Novillo Astrada, 8.
NetJets (24): Nacho Figueras, 6, Tomacho Pieres, 6, Jason Crowder, 5, Sugar Erskine, 6.
Pampa Norte Biotricity (22): Waqaas Al-Siddiq, 0, Inaki Laprida, 8, Pipe Vercellino, 7, Martin Jauregui, 6.
Richard Mille (25): Santos Bollini, 2, Grant Ganzi, 3, Pablo MacDonough, 10, Juan Martin Nero, 10.
Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (26): Melissa Ganzi, 0, Juan Martin Zubia, 8, Gonzalito Pieres, 10, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8.
Designed by Tiffany & Co., the Triple Crown of Polo trophy is comprised of three separate trophies that fit perfectly together to create an entire polo scene that is breathtaking in sterling silver.
The WPL tournament winners will be inscribed on the trophy and added to an impressive list of teams that feature several top players including Sebastian Merlos, Mike Azzaro, Tommy Biddle, Adam Snow, Nic Roldan, Matias Magrini, Jeff Hall, Mariano Gonzalez, Michel Dorignac and Kris Kampsen.
The Triple Crown of Polo, an ESPN2 television series, was created in 2005 by David McLane,known for Pro Beach Hockey, Women of Wrestling and Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, to help promote polo in the U.S. The show was seen in 129 countries.
The spectacular trophy was created for the event that had stops at the Sarasota Polo Club, Las Colinas Polo Club in Dallas and Santa Barbara Polo Club the first year in 2006 and Sarasota and New Bridge Polo and Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina in 2007 during its heyday before it went on hiatus.
The first four WPL tournaments during the league’s fourth season have thrilled fans, worldwide livestream viewing audiences and sponsors on world-class fields at Grand Champions, Santa Rita Polo Farm and Jan Pamela.
In the season-opening 26-goal All-Star Challenge tournament, Audi (Marc Ganzi, 2, Jeta Castagnola, 9, Barto Castagnola, 9, Paco de Narvaez, 6) defeated White Birch (Chris Brant, 0, Lerin Zubiaurre, 7, Mariano Aguerre, 7, Santi Toccalino, 8), 17-12. Jeta Castagnola was MVP.
Seminole Coconut Creek Casino (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Gonzalito Pieres, 10, Juan Martin Zubia, 8, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8) defeated Brookshire Polo (Scott Wood, 0, Rufino Bensadon, 8, Nic Roldan, 8, Pancho Bensadon, 7), 10-9, to capture the Tommy Hitchcock Legacy Memorial. Pieres was MVP.
In the Founders Cup, Audi (Marc Ganzi, 2, Jeta Castagnola, 9, Barto Castagnola, 9, Paco de Narvaez, 6) defeated Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Gonzalito Pieres, 10, Juan Martin Zubia, 8, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8), 13-9. De Narvaez was MVP.
During the 2021 WPL season, Richard Mille qualified for a record four championship finals, winning three of them.
The World Polo League, now in its fourth year and only 26-goal polo played outside of Argentina, has attracted a large international field from around the world. The world-class league will run through April 16. The World Polo League has preserved the highest level of polo and its rich tradition in the U.S.
After the Palm Beach Open concludes on Sunday with Catamount taking on Richard Mille, the remaining WPL tournaments are the 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, 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 hosting 23 tournaments from January through April.
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. The 12-goal league’s Top Pony 12-Goal tournament concludes on Saturday with Beverly Polo taking on Quite on Z.
After January’s successful Aspen Valley Cup and March’s Top Pony Tournament, the 8-goal tournament schedule continues with the 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 and ultimate polo destination with 18 well-manicured polo fields including 13 world-class tournament grade, hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 26-goal including the 26-goal World Polo League in addition to special events including the April 2 Sunny Hale Legacy Final.
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 Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099 or 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.