WELLINGTON, Fl., February 6, 2017---Playing together for the first time in a tournament, Seacap captured the Aspen Valley 8-Goal Cup Final on Sunday at Pony Express.
The foursome of Mike Davis, Henry Porter, Santino Magrini and Kris Kampsen defeated Hawk Hill (Ternan Tognini, Bauti Crotto, Gringo Colombres, Phillip Mactaggart), 13-11, in the championship final.
Seacap finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record. It was the last of the season-opening tournaments in January for Grand Champions Polo Club, the nation’s busiest and most innovative club.
“This is the first time we played the 8-goal together,” Davis said. “We just threw the team together. I am super happy with the win. It was a great tournament. It was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it.
“I thought we could win the tournament. I have always made the finals with Kris in various tournaments. We played the 6-goal Halo Cup, the 8- and 12-goal in Meadowbrook, and 18-goal in place of Peter Brant for a couple games. It’s fun to be in the finals.”
Kampsen introduced Davis, who had a dressage background, to polo a year ago. His daughter still competes in dressage.
“Kris talked me into playing polo,” Davis said with a smile. “It was an easy transition from dressage. I enjoy the camaraderie. Coming from dressage it’s a little bit different.
“Polo is a little more personalized. It’s amazing to see the polo community work together. What happens on the field stays on the field, everyone gets along.”
“He is playing unbelievable,” Kampsen added. “He won a bridle today so he gets to buy another horse.”
British player Henry Porter, 17, was named Most Valuable Player. It is the first MVP honor Porter has won while competing in the U.S.
Porter played well defensively and had a spectacular 80-yard goal in the fifth chukker where Seacap had a three-goal unanswered run for a 12-8 lead.
“Over the past three weeks we have been training a lot just focusing on hitting the ball, it gives you less of a chance to miss,” Porter said. “It’s better to hit it in or out rather to leave it on the field.”
Porter was also a member of the winning GSA team along with Magrini that captured the January Limited Edition 12-Goal Series Handicap Final.
“This was the first time we played together as a team,” Porter said. “It was the first time I played with Kris and Mike and it was good. I guess it was just luck. Some teams you click with and some teams you don’t. We clicked well.”
Rosinanta, ridden by Porter, was selected Best Playing Pony.
Kampsen scored a game-high ten goals including six on penalty shots. Magrini added two and Porter had one goal.
Crotto was leading scorer for Hawk Hill with six goals. Colombres added three goals. Mactaggart and Tognini each had one goal. At 12, Tognini was the youngest player in the 8-goal tournament.
The teams battled back and forth for the lead in the opening two chukkers. Hawk Hill jumped out to a 3-0 lead capitalizing on Seacap’s penalties. Colombres scored from the field and Crotto added two penalty-two conversions.
Seacap minimized its penalties in the second chukker to outscore Hawk Hill, 4-1, and tied the game at 4-4. Seacap took a 6-4 halftime lead and never relinquished the lead despite Hawk Hill keeping the game close, coming within one goal in the fourth chukker (8-7) and fifth chukker (9-8). Mactaggart called it “a war out there.”
Going into the sixth chukker, Kampsen told his teammates “don’t make fouls, play hard, win the throw-ins and we will win this game.”
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. 7, Banks Mill Feed vs. Pony Express; Feb. 10, Willow Farm vs. Hawk Hills, 6 p.m.; Feb. 11, The Polo School vs. Banks Mill Feed, 10 a.m., Equuleus vs. Grand Champions, 11 a.m., Smithfield vs. Horseware/Aliano, noon; Feb. 15, Willow Farms 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. 11, Seacap vs. Odosan/Polologistics, 10 a.m., Valiente vs. Hawk Hill, noon;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. 9, The Polo School vs. Patagones; Feb. 10, Skaneateles vs. Audi, 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 11, Dutta Corp vs. Cria Yatay, 3 p.m.; Feb. 12, Patagones vs. Smithfield, 11 a.m.; Feb. 13, GSA vs. Palm Beach Equine,3:30 p.m.; 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.
FEBRUARY 22-March 11: Sterling Cup (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.
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 Polo Club. 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.