WELLINGTON, Fl., April 6, 2016----Dutta Corp., with three of the youngest players in the tournament, defeated Postage Stamp Farm, 8-5, to capture the Santa Rita Abierto 16-Goal Tournament Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
It was the first major tournament victory for 14-year-old Timmy Dutta, who only started playing a little more than a year ago.
“This is a huge win,” said Dutta, one of the youngest players to win a 16-goal tournament in club history. “This is my first win of my career playing polo. It’s fantastic.”
Following in his father’s footsteps, Dutta fell in love with the game after watching his father Tim play. Father and son have played together, against each other and been spare holders for each other during Grand Champions tournaments.
Dutta was in good company playing with brothers Carlitos and Mariano Gracida, who have become his second family, and veteran pro Matias Magrini.
“It’s a pleasure to play with these three kids,” Magrini said. “They make your life so easy and make you look like you know how to play polo. They played great. I know the two Gracida kids very well and I love playing with them. And Timmy is playing so well.”
Dutta Corp. jumped on Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Garrett, Tommy Collingwood, Brandon Phillips, Jeff Blake) early for a 2-0 lead after the opening chukker and 3-0 early in the second chukker.
Postage Stamp Farm was unable to score a goal until the 1:24 mark of the second chukker when Phillips scored to make it 3-1.
“We tried to pass the ball as much as we could, hit and run, hit and run,” Magrini said. “The key was to use Timmy as much as we could to spread the team out. The kids did a great job. This is a big win for them.”
Postage Stamp Farm started digging itself out of a hole in the hotly-contested defensive game. Collingwood scored on a breakaway early in the third chukker to trail by only one goal, 3-2.
Dutta scored his first goal of the game at 5:02 to extend his team’s lead to 4-2. After both teams missed scoring opportunities, Phillips converted a penalty goal with 44 seconds left in the chukker to trail by one, 4-3, at the half.
In another defensive chukker, Postage Stamp Farm tied the game at 4-4, on Blake’s big neck shot goal. It was the closest Postage Stamp Farm would get to Dutta Corp., which scored another goal for a 5-4 lead at the end of the fourth chukker.
Dutta Corp. found its offensive punch and pulled away for a 7-4 lead when the Gracida brothers combined for three goals. Collingwood scored the only other goal for his team to make it 7-5 at the end of the fifth chukker. Dutta Corp. shut out Postage Stamp Farm, which struggled to find its offense, 1-0, in the final chukker.
“It was all about playing the man,” Dutta said. “If someone messed up, someone else would be there helping him.”
Carlitos Gracida scored a game-high five goals and was selected Most Valuable Player. His horse, Tramontana, was named Best Playing Pony. “This means everything to me,” Gracida said.
Dutta, Magrini and Mariano Gracida each scored one goal for Dutta Corp.
Brandon Phillips and Tommy Collingwood each had two goals for Postage Stamp Farm. Jeff Blake added one goal.
The game can be seen on ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting.
Wellington-based ChukkerTV is exclusively live streaming International Polo Club Palm Beach and Grand Champions Polo Club games along with other games around the U.S. during the 2016 season with polo broadcasters Toby Wayman and Dale Schwetz calling the action.
Grand Champions Polo Club is the nation’s busiest and most innovative polo clubs. The USPA-member club hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 20-goal in addition to special events.
The club also features The Polo School, dedicated to teaching polo, 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 2016 WINTER SCHEDULE
SPECIAL EVENTS: April 6, PTF International Day, Grand Champions England vs. Grand Champions USA, 4:30 p.m.; Grand Champions Argentina, Grand Champions USA, Grand Champions Brazil, 5:30 p.m.; April 13-16, Women’s Championship Tournament (WCT) Season 11 Finals and Women’s Polo Week.
12-Goal, April, Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame Challenge Cup
8-Goal, April, USPA Association Cup
6-Goal, April, Las Acacias
GRAND CHAMPIONS 2016 SPRING SCHEDULE
April 21-23: Grand Champions Cup
April 29-May 1: Spring Challenge
May 6-8: Sun Cup
May 13-15: USPA Eastern Challenge
May 20-22: Polo Gear Challenge Cup
May 26-29: The Memorial
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.
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 a complimentary Argentine asado by Cilantro’s during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.