WELLINGTON, Fl., February 14, 2017---The sport’s next generation of polo players will be showcased at the fourth annual Polo Training Foundation (PTF) International Cup Thursday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
One of the most-anticipated youth events of the winter season will feature four teams in a mini-tournament of eight chukkers.
The teams are Argentina, England Jr. Colts, PTF USA and Girls International. The team rosters are:
Argentina: Poroto Cambiaso, Lucas Criado, Juanse Olivera, Santos Merlos.
England Jr. Colts: Jack Aldridge, Archie Fuller, Freddie Jodrell, Tom Jodrell.
PTF USA: Malia Bryan, Kristos Magrini, Clark Mayer, Mackie Weisz.
Girls International: Hope Arellano, Mia Novillo Astrada, Riley Ganzi, Lolly Stanhope-White.
A draw will be held to determine who plays in Round One’s two two-chukker games followed by the consolation final and championship final. Action gets under way at 4 p.m.
The game will be livestreamed worldwide by Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting with popular polo announcers Toby Wayman and Dale Schwetz.
In last year’s event, Boys International, featuring Santos Bollini, Juanse Olivera, Harrison Azzaro and Poroto Cambiaso dominated the field and defeated England, 6-1, in the championship final.
Santos Bollini, 17, of Wellington High School, who scored three goals in the final, was named La Martina Most Valuable Player.
Delicioso, a bay gelding ridden by Lolly Stanhope-White and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, won the Purina Best Playing Pony title.
In the consolation final, USA Boys (Nico Diaz Alberdi, Timmy Dutta, Grant Ganzi and Matias Gonzalez) defeated Girls International (Mia Cambiaso, Mia Novillo Astrada, Hope Arellano and Riley Ganzi), 4-1.
Mia Novillo Astrada was selected La Martina Most Valuable Player for the consolation final.
One of the highlights of the afternoon is watching the players’ dads including polo great Adolfo Cambiaso, Miguel Novillo Astrada, Julio Arellano, Sebastian Merlos, Andres Weisz and Matias Magrini coaching and cheering for their children.
The Polo Training Foundation, celebrating its 50th anniversary, has been instrumental in the growth of junior and youth polo players by encouraging the sport’s development with training programs, lessons and tournaments for boys and girls. The international exchange programs have been among the most popular.
The PTF was created in 1967 to teach the game of polo to youth by promoting youth clinics, interscholastic and intercollegiate competition, good sportsmanship and good will through friendly competition.
Grand Champions Polo Club President and USPA Florida Circuit Governor Melissa Ganzi is a longtime supporter of grass roots polo and Polo Training Foundation. She has played a key role in developing young players with the The Polo School at Grand Champions and Aspen Valley (Colo.) Polo Clubs. Ganzi also serves as secretary for the PTF.
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.
The Polo School at Grand Champions, 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.
2017 WINTER SCHEDULE
(Subject to change because of weather and scheduling conflicts).
Halo Polo Trophy (6 goal): Feb. 15, Willow Farm vs. Horseware/Aliano, 3 p.m., The Polo School vs. Pony Express,4 p.m.; Feb. 18: Hawk Hill vs. Horseware/Aliano, 10 a.m., Banks Mill vs. Grand Champions, 11:30 a.m.; Feb. 19, Grand Champions vs. Pony Express, 10 a.m., Smithfield vs. Willow Farm, noon; Equuleus vs. The Polo School, noon; Feb. 22, Banks Mill Feed vs. Equuleus, 4 p.m.; Feb. 25, Halo Polo Handicap Final, 10 a.m., Halo Polo Final, 4 p.m.
Top Pony 8 Goal Series: Feb. 16, Seacap vs. Valiente, 11 a.m.; Feb. 17, Odosan/Polologistics vs. Smithfield, 3 p.m.; Hawk Hill vs. Patagones, 4 p.m.; Feb. 19, Odosan/Polologistics vs. Hawk Hill, 10 a.m.; Feb. 23, Seacap vs. Patagones, 4 p.m.; Feb. 26, Top Pony Handicap Final, 10 a.m., Top Pony Final, noon.
USPA Sieber 12-Goal Memorial: Feb. 14, Skaneateles vs. The Polo School, 11 a.m., Patagones vs. Audi, 4 p.m.; Feb. 16, Dutta Corp vs. Palm Beach Equine, 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 19, Patagones vs. Skaneateles, 10 a.m., Cria Yatay vs. Palm Beach Equine, 12:30 p.m.; Feb. 21, Dutta Corp vs. GSA, 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 23, Audi vs. The Polo School, 10 a.m.; Feb. 25, Sieber Memorial Handicap Final, 1 p.m., Sieber Memorial Final, 3 p.m.
Women’s League, every Wednesday, 10 and 11 a.m., at Santa Rita Polo Farm.
FEBRUARY 16: Polo Training Foundation (PTF) International Cup, Grand Champions, 4 p.m.
FEBRUARY 22-March 11: Sterling Cup (16-20 goal) and John T. Oxley Memorial Trophy (Subsidiary Handicap).
MARCH: 1-26, Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (6 goal) and The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series; 1-25, The Top Pony 12-Goal Series; Women’s League, every Wednesday, 10 and 11 a.m.
MARCH 1-11: $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament (Single elimination).
MARCH 12: Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, Inc. Celebrity Polo Charity Cup, 10 a.m.
MARCH 15-April 1: National 20-Goal; Santa Rita Abierto (Subs. Handicap).
APRIL 1-15: $100,000 World Cup Tournament (0-26 Goals), winner-take-all single elimination.
APRIL 1-25: Las Acacias (4-8 Goals), Women’s League, every Wednesday, 10 and 11 a.m.
APRIL 5-8: WCT Finals and Women’s Polo Week.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.
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, Flexjet and first-year team Grand Champions-Casablanca. 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.