Grand Champions Polo Club Announces Spring Schedule; Sun Cup Begins Friday

Grand Champions Polo Club, coming off its most competitive 26-goal World Polo League season, kicks off its spring season this weekend with the Sun Cup.

By Sharon Robb

The first of five tournaments in April and May begins what is expected to be the best spring season in the club’s 17-year history. The matches are every Friday and Sunday. Admission is free and the public is welcome.

“The spring is not as competitive as the high goal but it’s a lot of fun,” Argentine 7-goaler Alejandro Novillo Astrada said. “We play more open and more as a team. We have fun playing and joking with each other. That makes it special.”

Several top and up-and-coming players and patrons will compete during the fun and competitive spring league.

The Sun Cup opens Friday at 4:30 p.m. with a round robin. The scores carry over to Sunday’s final at 11:15 a.m.

In Sun Cup action, The Polo School (Meredith Lovegrove, -1, Leo Mandelbaum, 2, Tito Gaudenzi, 2, Tomacho Pieres, 6) takes on Grand Champions (Rebecca Cohen, -1, Sebastian Mandelbaum, 0, Sugar Erskine, 6, Juan Bollini, 3.

Last year Newport and Santa Rita made it to the Sun Cup final which was cancelled because of weather.

Santa Rita (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Riley Ganzi, 0, Mariano Uranga, 6, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7) knocked off Casablanca (Larry Austin, 0, Grant Ganzi, 3, Nic Roldan, 8, Juan Bollini 3), 12-8.

Newport (Gene Goldstein, 0, Sugar Erskine, 6, Marc Ganzi/Santos Bollini, 1, Tomacho Pieres, 6) defeated Travieso (Teo Calle, 0, Tony Calle, 3, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Jason Crowder, 5), 12-9.

During the spring season, amateur polo players get the chance to play with and against some of the world’s top professional polo players. 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.

The GCPC spring league features:

*Medium Goal practice games at least once a week.

*Stick-and-ball sessions available during the week.

*Teams get two medium goal tournament games every weekend.

*Ambulance and umpires for all tournament games.

*Complete turn-key tournament polo with some of the top professionals in the world.

*Playing polo on some of Wellington’s most prestigious and well-manicured fields.

*Club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players.

*Excellent trophies for all teams every weekend.

The spring season will be live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV (CTV Sports).

The spring schedule (subject to change because of weather) is: April 26-28, Sun Cup; May 3-5, Santa Rita Abierto; May 10-12, Casablanca Spring Challenge; May 17-19, Eastern Challenge; and May 24-27, The Memorial.

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