GJ Racing Wins Jimmer Newman Memorial; Lilli Hagemeier MVP; Casablanca Wins Johnston Cup, Santos Valent MVP

The Polo Training Foundation ended another successful winter season recently at the 20th Jimmer Newman Memorial and Johnston Cup at Everglades Polo Club.

By Sharon Robb

GJ Racing (Lilli Hagemeir, Sebastian Mandelbaum, Ava Rose Hinkson, Harrison Reicher) ended AJT Polo’s (Sailor Schwaber, Geronimo Rider, Aspen Tinto, Benjamin Obregon) three-tournament winning streak with a 9-3 victory in the Jimmer Newman Memorial.

Reicher led scoring with five goals, Hagemeir had three goals and Mandelbaum added one. Obregon led AJT Polo with two goals.

Lilli Hagemeir was Most Valuable Player. Harrison Reicher was awarded the Sportsmanship Award. Rosalita, Sebastian Mandelbaum’s third chukker horse, was Best Playing Pony.

In the Johnston Cup, Casablanca (Ainsley Mulligan, Santos Valent, Alfonso Nero Jolie Zepp, Ana Karapovich), defeated ChukkerTV (Mya Zuarcoopome, Tim Von Lackum, Benjamin de la Fuente, Inda Pieres, Madeline Ulery), 8-2.

Nero led Casablanca with four goals. Valent had three goals and Karapovich had one. Mya Zuarcoopome won the Sportsmanship Award. Pitaka, Alfonso Nero’s fifth chukker horse, was Best Playing Pony. Pieres scored two goals for ChukkerTV.

In other matches:

In what looked like Family Feud, Grand Champions (Santos Valent, Indio Valent) edged Tackeria (Brooklyn Mannix, Freddie Mannix), 6-5, with Santos Valent scoring the winning goal. Valent led scoring with four goals and Indio Valent had two.

Freddie Mannix, who scored all of his team’s five goals, was Most Valuable Player. Brooklyn Mannix earned the Sportsmanship Award. Indio Valent’s horse was Best Playing Pony.

Tackeria (Rylan Castillo, Beltran Nero) and GJ Racing (Facundo Novillo Astrada, Lorenzo Novillo Astrada, Indio Valent) tied, 4-4. Indio Valent had all four goals. Castillo and Nero each had two goals.

Rylan Castillo and Beltran Nero each had two goals.

Rylan Castillo was Most Valuable Player. Lorenzo Novillo Astrada was awarded the Sportsmanship Award. Beltran Nero’s horse was Best Playing Pony.

“Although the season started a bit rocky with two postponed tournaments due to rain, we finished the season strong, with three tournaments all within the span of five weeks,” PTF Executive Director Jennifer McLeavy said.  

“Even though it was the final games of the PTF Florida Junior Season, the smiles, the raised trophies, the PTF alum stopping in to cheer on the next generation and reminiscing about their PTF days was a great way to complete the season.  I for one, cannot wait for next winter season to see how everyone has improved and grown and with the strong presence of over 30 players in our younger divisions this season, the future looks bright.”

The event was 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 National Polo Center polo manager Jimmy Newman and brother of Grand Champions polo manager Cale Newman.

PTF event sponsors were: Grand Champions Polo Club, Santa Rita Polo Farm, AJT Polo, World Polo League, ChukkerTV, Prestonwood Polo Club, Everglades Polo, Port Mayaca Polo Club, GJ Racing, Mayer Ranch, The Tackeria Complete Equestrian Shop and Red Barn Feed & Supply.

Grand Champions Polo Club President and PTF Chairman Melissa Ganzi is a longtime supporter of grass roots polo and PTF that is celebrating its 57th anniversary in 2024.

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 on tax deductible donations for financial support. The PTF has an annual budget of $600,000 of which $400,000 is funded yearly by tax-deductible donations. For more information go to www.polotraining.org.

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