WELLINGTON, Fl., March 16, 2017---Grand Champions Polo Club, the nation’s busiest polo club, will host its second consecutive high goal tournament of the winter season with the inaugural Molina Cup.
The Molina Cup, a first-year 20-goal tournament, comes on the heels of the successful and historical Sterling Cup that ends on Thursday with the final between Casablanca and Travieso at 4 p.m.
The two-week tournament features a star-studded lineup of some of the world’s top players including Magoo Laprida, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Matias Magrini, Mariano Gonzalez, Tomas Garcia del Rio, Sebastian Merlos and Diego Cavanagh.
Opening tournament action begins on Friday with Goose Creek, making its winter debut at Grand Champions, playing Beverly Equestrian at 2 p.m.
The six-team draw was held Tuesday at the Wellington National Golf Club. After the draw, teams, sponsors and invited guests were treated to a sit down dinner party hosted by Marc and Melissa Ganzi, owners of Grand Champions Polo Club and National Golf Club owner Doug Marty.
Team rosters representing six countries (Argentina, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, United States) are:
Beverly Equestrian: Magoo Laprida, 8, Inaki Laprida, 7, Carlucho Arellano, 5, Bill Balhaus, 0.
Casablanca: Grant Ganzi, 2, Juancito Bollini, 3, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8, Jesse Bray, 5.
Dutta Corp: Timmy Dutta, 0; Carlitos Gracida, 4; Piki Diaz Alberdi, 7; Matias Magrini, 8.
Goose Creek: Maureen Brennan, 1, Peke Gonzalez, 4, Tomas Garcia del Rio, 8, Mariano Gonzalez, 7.
Travieso: Teo Calle, 1, Hugo Barabucci, 6, Sebastian Merlos, 9, Costi Caset, 4.
Valiente: Rob Jornayvaz, 1, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Diego Cavanagh, 8, Roberto Zedda, 4.
There are two tournament brackets. Goose Creek is the top seed followed by Beverly Equestrian (2) and Valiente (3) in Bracket One and Casablanca (4), Travieso (5) and Dutta Corp (6) in Bracket Two. Teams will play within their bracket to determine semifinalists.
The 120-year-old handcrafted silver Molina Cup trophy was given to Marc Ganzi by Alfredo Molina, Chairman of the Phoenix-based Molina Group and owner of Molina Fine Jewelers.
Ganzi was competing in the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships this past fall and admired Molina’s work. Molina designed the winning trophy presented to Aspen Valley Polo Club (Melissa Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan) for the second consecutive year after winning the Scottsdale event.
“At Molina Fine Jewelers we strive for passion, perfection and the perfect pairing,” Molina said.
The tournament is being live-streamed on ChukkerTV, worldwide leaders in polo broadcasting.
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 GRAND CHAMPIONS WINTER SCHEDULE
(Subject to change because of weather and scheduling conflicts).
March 16, Thursday: Sterling Cup (20 goal) Championship Final, Casablanca vs. Travieso, 4 p.m., Field One.
MARCH 17-APRIL 1: Molina Cup (20 goal),Friday, 2 p.m., Goose Creek vs. Beverly Equestrian;Monday, 3 p.m., Valiente vs. Beverly Equestrian, 4:30 p.m., Dutta Corp vs. Casablanca; Thursday, 4 p.m., Dutta Corp vs. Travieso; March 24, Friday, Valiente vs. Goose Creek, 11 a.m.; March 26,Sunday, Travieso vs. Casablanca, 10 a.m.; March 29, Wednesday, Semfinal Game One, March 30,Thursday, Semifinal Game Two, April 1, Final; Santa Rita Abierto (Subs. Handicap).
MARCH: Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (6 goal), Limited Edition 8-Goal Series; Top Pony 12-Goal Series.
Women’s League, every Wednesday, 10 and 11 a.m.
APRIL 1-15: $100,000 World Cup Tournament (0-26 Goals), winner-take-all, single- elimination.
APRIL 1-25: Las Acacias (4-8 Goals).
APRIL 5-8: WCT Finals, Women’s Polo Week and Celebration of Sunny Hale’s Life.
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 Casablanca. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere that includes 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.