WELLINGTON, Fl., February 21, 2018---The second annual Equine Salute Invitational, sponsored by the Arion Group, will be held Friday at Santa Rita Polo Farm.
By Sharon Robb
A polo match, featuring some of the sport's top players including 8-goaler Nic Roldan, will raise money for the Gracida Legacy Foundation. The match is scheduled from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Gates open 3 p.m.
Hosting the event are brothers and fourth-generation players Carlitos and Mariano Gracida, sons of the late Carlos Gracida, a Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler.
The team rosters are:
Apollo Jets Team: Mariano Gracida, Carlitos Gracida, Santi Torres, Tommy Collingwood.
Arion Group Team: Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Juancito Bollini, Matt Coppola.
Extra Chukker players will be British Olympic gold medalist show jumper Ben Maher, a three-time Olympian, and American show jumper Sophie Gracida.
Mexican-born Carlos Gracida reached 10 goals in 1985 and held the ranking for 15 years. Gracida won every major award and tournament in polo and is considered one of the all-time greatest players.
Gracida was a five-time Player of the Year, nine-time U.S. Open champion and 10-time British Open winner. He won three Grand Slams in polo, the U.S. Open, British Open and Argentine Open. He is the only player to have won all three in a calendar year and did it three times in 1988, 1989 and 1994.
"It's an honor to support and celebrate our client and their family legacy," said Nick Valenta, CEO of The Arion Group and Gracida brothers' business partner. "Their work inspires us and deeply connects to our purpose of inspiring personal progress in others, which has been at the heart of our brand."
Gracida Legacy Wine will be served at the after-party in a tented area with food and music. The wine label is gaining a following at various restaurants in Palm Beach County.
Equine Salute Invitational attendees will have the choice of enjoying a VIP experience with open bar and food or enjoy a festive field side tailgating area. An exclusive cocktail party is planned on the eve of the event for its premier sponsors.
Proceeds benefit the Gracida Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to enrich the lives of community youth through a love of horsemanship and role models dedicated to instilling leadership skills, discipline and champion mentality. The Foundation also supports and assists families of fallen players.
The Arion Group is a personalized, all-encompassing management firm. The firm offers a wide array of services that allow clients to focus solely on their careers.
Tickets are still available at GracidaLegacy.com. Tickets are $50 per person with VIP tickets at $250. Santa Rita Polo Farm is located at 10518 Wellington Preserve Boulevard.
Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique 100-acre polo facility in Wellington with 120 stalls in five self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation and stick-and-ball fields.
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.
The club features monthly 6, 8 and 12-goal tournaments and women's weekly league play during the winter season in addition to two 16-20 tournaments, $50,000 National 12 Goal, $100,000 World Cup winner-take-all 0-40-goal tournament, WCT Tournament and USPA National President's Cup.
During the 2017 winter season Grand Champions attracted a record 72 teams and another 18 teams during the spring season.
Grand Champions 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 Club Hotline is 561-644-5050. It will be updated every day at 8 a.m. for both players and fans