WELLINGTON, FL—Nov. 21, 2017---The sixth annual USPA International Cup between Team USA and Brazil on Saturday at Grand Champions Polo Club will feature special awards designed by world-renowned artist Romero Britto.
The Brazilian-born artist is known for his whimsy and vibrant colors in the art world. It is the first time Britto has designed special polo awards for a major U.S. tournament.
The artist-signed framed award features a polo player in full swing on a polo pony surrounded by a palm tree, heart and whimsical designs of color.
"I hope when people see my art they have a big smile on their face and a huge one in their heart," Britto said
Britto is a cultural icon in Miami, where he has called home for nearly three decades and has a gallery on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. His art is displayed in 140 galleries nationwide as well as around the world.
His colorful, vibrant and happy style of art work brings a smile to everyone's face and shines a light on pop art and cubism.
Born Recife, Brazil in 1963, Britto would paint images on cardboard and scraps of newspaper as a child. His passion for art took him to Paris where he was influenced by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
In 1988, he moved to Miami where he blossomed as an international artist. His career took off after his first major commission by Absolut Vodka for its high profile ad campaign along with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring.
Other commissions include Grand Marnier, Apple Latin America, Pepsi-Cola, IBM, Disney, United Nations postage stamp series, Britto Mini Cooper for BMW, the Mariner of the Seas for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Bank Atlantic. He also designed the finisher medals for the Miami Marathon.
Collectors of Britto's work include Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andre Agassi, the Guggenheim family, the Kennedys and Mitterands. In 2012, his work was honored at Brazil's Carnivale.
There is also the Britto Foundation which provides support to those who work to create, promote and encourage education and humanitarian-based initiatives that benefit children around the world. Britto is humbled by the fact his work makes a difference and inspires others to give. He also works with organizations such as Best Buddies International, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Prince's Trust International.
Britto is the Cultural Ambassador for the City of Miami and has his own star on the Miami Walk of Fame. In 2016, Britto served as Brazil's Ambassador for the Rio Summer Olympics.
The USPA International Cup is part of a polo doubleheader, a holiday tradition that ends the biggest week of fall polo and season at Grand Champions Polo Club.
The opening game of the doubleheader is the Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo Memorial, continuing the Hall of Famer’s legacy by honoring one of the sport’s all-time greats, who died tragically in February, 2014 at age 53.
The Legends game is 1 p.m. followed by the USPA International Cup at 3 p.m. Gates open at 12:30 p.m.
The U.S. team lineup is American Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Mike Azzaro, 6, making his International Cup debut; Julio Arellano, 8, Carlitos Gracida, 4, and Grant Ganzi, 2.
The Brazilian Polo Federation, making its U.S. debut in international play, features Flavio Castilho, 5, Gustavo Toledo, 5, Guilherme Lins, 5, and Calao Mello, 4.
It is the sixth time Grand Champions Polo Club is hosting a major international men’s game in its 10-year history.
Since 2012 in front of sellout crowds and worldwide ChukkerTV audience, the U.S. has beaten England, Chile, Mexico, South Africa and Uruguay in the annual battle for the coveted cup.
In last year's USPA International Cup, Team USA (Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano, Nic Roldan) defeated Uruguay, 6-3, to claim its fifth consecutive title. Arellano was named Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row.
Proceeds from the doubleheader benefit The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the development, history and tradition of the sport of polo by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport.
Tickets and various sponsorships are available. Tickets, ranging from $20 to $1500, are still on sale. For tickets, tailgates and sponsorships call 561-644-5050.
During fall, winter and spring seasons, Grand Champions Polo Club, the nation's largest club with 11 well-manicured fields, hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 26-goal in addition to special events.
Grand Champions Polo Cup attracted a record 72 teams during its 2017 winter season that featured the $100,000 World Cup, $50,000 National 12-Goal, 20-Goal Sterling Cup and 20-Goal Molina Cup, and another 18 teams during the spring season.
The entire fall season is being live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting with cutting-edge technology. ChukkerTV also features team challenges and instant replay which made their debut at Grand Champions in January, 2014.
Grand Champions Polo Club 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 unique program.