USPA National 20-Goal Championship Begins Sunday, Kicks Off Big Week Of Polo At Grand Champions Polo Club

WELLINGTON, Fl.-November 19, 2016---The high goal season continues on Sunday with the USPA National 20-Goal Championship at Grand Champions Polo Club.

The second high goal tournament promises to be just as competitive as the season-opening USPA North American Cup won by Flexjet on Friday with a thrilling 11-9 victory over Audi.

The USPA National 20-Goal Championship features nearly the same four teams that competed in the USPA North American Cup.

Melissa Ganzi, after battling pneumonia, returns to the helm of Flexjet. Her son Grant Ganzi and Santos Bollini filled in for her last week in the final and opening round. Bash Kazi of KIG will make his fall debut at Grand Champions sharing playing time with Timmy Dutta on the KIG/Dutta Corp team.

In opening day action on Sunday, Audi plays Casablanca at 10:30 a.m. and KIG/Dutta Corp plays Flexjet at 3:30 p.m.

The winners advance into Wednesday’schampionship final at 3:30 p.m. The runners-up will meet in the handicap final at 10 a.m. The popular Grooms Race will also be held.

The team rosters are:

Audi: (17) Marc Ganzi, 1, Jesse Bray, 5, Carlucho Arellano, 5, Jeff Blake, 6.

Casablanca: (16) Grant Ganzi, 1, Juancito Bollini, 3, Julio Arellano, 8, JJ Celis, 4.

KIG/Dutta Corp: (16) Timmy Dutta/Bash Kazi, A, Kris Kampsen, 6, Guille Aguero, 6, Carlitos Gracida, 4.

Flexjet: (18) Melissa Ganzi, A, Jason Crowder, 6, Nic Roldan, 8, Jared Sheldon, 4.

In last year’s USPA National 20-Goal final, Audi (Marc Ganzi, Jeff Blake, Sugar Erskine and Carlucho Arellano) won with an 11-8 win over Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Nic Roldan, Juan Bollini) in front of a large crowd and worldwide ChukkerTV audience.

Erskine, a former 8-goaler who grew up playing polo on his father’s sugar cane farm in South Africa, was named MVP. Erskine is currently recouperating from surgery after a serious polo accident and not expected to return to action until the New Year. Erskine, wearing a brace, has been watching polo from the Grand Champions sidelines with the Arellano family. 

The regular season fall finale will kick off the biggest week of fall polo at Grand Champions. 

A holiday weekend tradition marking the end of the fall season is Saturday’s doubleheader, one of the biggest social events of the fall in Wellington. The Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo game at 1 p.m. will honor the legacy of Gracida, who died tragically in February, 2014 at age 53.

In the second game at 3 p.m., the fifth annual International Cup will pit Team USA against Uruguay. Team USA is undefeated in International Cup play with wins over England, Chile, Mexico and South Africa.

Grand Champions is the only club in the nation to stage USPA-sanctioned 20-goal tournaments during the fall.

The club has already hosted eight successful medium goal tournaments.

The United States Polo Association® was organized and exists for the purpose of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its member clubs and registered players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts.

Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, is live streaming the entire fall season worldwide.

ChukkerTV’s state-of-the art technology also features team challenges and instant replay which made their debut at Grand Champions in January, 2014.

Grand Champions, with eleven well-manicured fields, is enjoying its finest fall season in the ten-year history of the club.

Grand Champions 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 uniqueprogram.

The Polo School, a 501c3 organization, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.

DIRECTOR OF POLO: Juan Olivera, 561-644-5050, juan.olivera @gcpolo.com; hotline 561-373-0073.

2016 FALL SCHEDULE

USPA National 20-Goal: Sunday, Audi vs. Casablanca, 10:30 a.m.; KIG/Dutta Corp vs. Flexjet, 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Handicap Final, 10 a.m.; Championship Final, 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 26, Gates Open 12:30 p.m., Carlos Gracida Memorial Legends of Polo, 1 p.m.; Fifth annual International Cup, Team USA vs. Uruguay, 3 p.m.

INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere that includes complimentary food and refreshments during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.