WELLINGTON, FL--May 19, 2016----The Polo Gear Challenge Cup, one of the nation's oldest spring tournaments, begins Friday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Six teams, highlighted by the season debut of Melody Capital Polo, will compete in two round-robin tournaments to qualify for Sunday’s title game.
Action begins Friday at Grand Champions at 10 a.m. featuring Flexjet, Melody Capital and The Dutta Corp.
The second round robin with pre-tournament favorite Casablanca, Sonny Hill and Audi, also on Friday, is 5 p.m. and will be played at Valiente.
The final is Sunday at 3 p.m. followed by a polo exhibition game at 4:30 p.m. Both games will be held in conjunction with the Wellington Chamber of Commerce Kick-Off To Summer event and President’s Circle catered by award-winning chef Shannon Atkins.
Casablanca, the most dominant team of the spring season, is coming off its third win of the season in four weeks in Sunday's inaugural Power Horse Invitational.
The six teams entered are:
Audi: Timmy Dutta, Marc Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Brandon Phillips.
Casablanca: Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano, Juancito Bollini.
Flexjet: Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Tom DeBruin, Alejandro Poma.
Melody Capital: Cesar Gueikian, Kris Kampsen, JJ Celis, Lucas Lalor.
Sonny Hill: Curtis Pilot, Francisco Bilbao, Francisco Lanusse, Gonzalo de la Fuente.
The Dutta Corp: Tim Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Martin Estrada, Jared Zenni.
In last year’s Polo Gear Challenge Cup final, Travieso (Teo Calle, Marc Ganzi, Miguel Novillo Astrada, Hector Guerrero) defeated Palm Beach Equine (Martin Estrada, Roberto Gonzalez, Facundo Obregon, Scott Swerdlin), 11-10.
Polo Gear co-founder Gary Fellers, who played polo for nearly forty years from zero to 26-goal, is pleased with the success of the long-running tournament.
“We have had the Polo Gear Challenge Cup since the beginning,” Fellers said. “We have been involved with Grand Champions for a long time. We are proud to be part of it in any way we can.”
Polo Gear, one of the top sponsors and supporters of the sport established in 1993 and incorporated in Florida, manufactures, distributes and sells polo products to players, teams and polo events worldwide. For more information on Polo Gear and to order products, visit www.pologearusa.com.
On Saturday Grand Champions will host the NYTS qualifier at 4 p.m. followed by Kids Polo at 5 p.m. The USPA National Youth Tournament Series event is a series of youth qualifying tournaments around the country. The top All-Star representatives from each of the nation’s four zones play in a final tournament.
The selection is based on horsemanship, sportsmanship, playing ability at their current handicap and team playing ability. It is the third NYTS qualifier staged in Florida.
Two tournaments remain on the Grand Champions 2016 spring schedule. They are this weekend’s Polo Gear Challenge Cup and May 26-29, The Memorial.
Four tournaments have already been played at the nine-year-old club.
In the spring season-opener Grand Champions Cup, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Sebastian Merlos, Kris Kampsen) defeated Power Horse (Walter Scherb, Michael Bickford, Tincho Merlos, Nic Roldan),18-17. Kampsen was named MVP.
Casablanca won its second spring tournament the second week of the season in the Spring Challenge Cup. The team of Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano and Kris Kampsen defeated Team NR (Tim Dutta, Melissa Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Juan Bollini), 10-8. Melissa Ganzi was named MVP.
The Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Tony Calle, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Brandon Phillips) won the Sun Cup with an 8-6 win over Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano, Juancito Bollini). Calle was named MVP.
Casablanca won its third tournament of the season with Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini and Julio Arellano in the inaugural Power Horse Invitational with a 10-7 victory over Flexjet. Goldstein was named MVP.
During the Grand Champions’ spring season, amateur polo players have the opportunity to play with and against some of the world’s top professional polo players.
ChukkerTV is live streaming 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 club. 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 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 2016 SPRING SCHEDULE
Polo Gear Challenge Cup, Friday, 10 a.m. at Grand Champions, Flexjet, Melody Capital, The Dutta Corp round robin; 5 p.m. at Valiente, Audi, Casablanca, Sonny Hill, round robin; Sunday, 10 a.m., Subsidiary 1, TBA, Subsidiary 2, 3 p.m., final and Wellington Chamber of Commerce Kick-Off To Summer, 4:30 p.m. exhibition game.
May 21, Saturday: NYTS Tournament, 4 p.m.; Kids Polo, 5 p.m.
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.