Eastern Challenge Begins Friday At Grand Champions Polo Club

Newport, the winningest team of the spring polo season, will go after its third consecutive title this weekend in the Eastern Challenge.

By Sharon Robb

Newport has already won the Santa Rita Abierto with a 10-8 win over Palm Beach Equine (Grant Ganzi, 3, Jason Crowder, 5, Nic Roldan, 8, Scott Swerdlin) and Casablanca Spring Challenge with an impressive 11-8 victory over SebiLion (Sebastian Mandelbaum, Sugar Erskine, 6, Leo Mandelbaum, 3, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7).

Now Newport will try to make it three in a row when the fourth tournament of the spring polo season begins Friday with a doubleheader at Grand Champions Polo Club.

Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, 3, Nic Roldan, 8, Tommy Collingwood, 5) will play Santa Rita (Rebecca Cohen, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Jason Crowder, 5, Juan Bollini, 3) at 11 a.m. on Field 5.

In the second game at 4:45 p.m. on Field One, Audi (Marc Ganzi, 1, Sugar Erskine, 6, Fred Mannix, 7, Santos Bollini, 2) plays SebiLion (Sebastian Mandelbaum, Tomacho Pieres, 6, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7, Leo Mandelbaum, 2.

The winners advance to the championship final on Sunday at 10 a.m. The runners-up will play at 11:30 a.m. in the Just For The Fun Of It Cup.

On Saturday at 10 a.m. the Just For The Love Of It Cup will feature Grand Champions and Aspen in a four chukker game.

In last year’s final, Casablanca (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Marc Ganzi, 1, Nic Roldan, 8, Grant Ganzi, 3) edged Travieso (Michael Calle, 0, Nito Uranga, 6, Tomacho Pieres, 6, Teo Calle, 0), 8-7. Roldan was MVP.

Several top and up-and-coming players and patrons are competing during the fun and competitive spring league.

During the spring season, amateur polo players get the chance to play with and against some of the world’s top professional polo players including 8-goaler Nic Roldan and 7-goalers Fred Mannix and Alejandro Novillo Astrada. It is geared towards improving polo skills and having fun.

The spring league is also a great opportunity for younger players to develop and hone their skills against their peers and more experienced players.

After this week, the spring season wraps up with the May 24-27 The Memorial.

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