Rosters, Draw Announced For Sterling Cup That Begins Friday At Grand Champions Polo Club

Tony Calle of Travieso draws No. 1 for bracket position. Photo by ChukkerTV

Tony Calle of Travieso draws No. 1 for bracket position. Photo by ChukkerTV

WELLINGTON, Fl., February 28, 2018---A star-studded lineup of some of the world’s top polo players, including 10-goalers Adolfo Cambiaso and Sapo Caset, will compete in the Sterling Cup that begins Friday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

By Sharon Robb

The Sterling Cup is one of two prestigious tournaments that the nation’s busiest and most innovative polo club resurrected last year after a 22-year absence.

The eight-team tournament begins Friday with a doubleheader. Tonkawa plays Flexjet at 10 a.m. and SD Farms faces Dutta Corp at noon.

Team rosters with players representing six countries are:

BRACKET A: (Flexjet, Tonkawa, Travieso, U.S. Polo Assn.)

Flexjet: Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Melissa Ganzi, Rodrigo Andrade, TBA.

Tonkawa: Jeff Hildebrand, Julian de Lussaretta, Sapo Caset, Sterling Giannico.

Travieso: Teo Calle, Tony Calle, Sebastian Merlos, Tomas Garcia del Rio.

U.S. Polo Assn.: Juancito Bollini, Juan Bollini, Mike Azzaro, Jesse Bray.

  BRACKET B: (Audi, Dutta Corp, SD Farms, Valiente).

Audi: Marc Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Nico Pieres, Grant Ganzi.

Dutta Corp: Tim Dutta, Timmy Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Matias Magrini.

SD Farms: Sayyu Dantata, Costi Caset, Inaki Laprida, Peco Polledo.

Valiente: Poroto Cambiaso, Adolfo Cambiaso, TBA, TBA.

The highly-anticipated tournament has attracted not only some of the world's best players but also the sport's rising stars including Juancito Bollini, Poroto Cambiaso, Tony Calle, Timmy Dutta and Grant Ganzi.  

In 2012, at age seven, Poroto Cambiaso made his debut at the Palermo field, site of the Argentine Open. At 12, he will be the youngest player in the field.   

Travieso is defending Sterling Cup champion. In one of the most exciting games in Grand Champions history, Travieso staged an incredible comeback to win the Cup.

Travieso (Tony Calle, Torito Ruiz, Sebastian Merlos, Hugo Barabucci) rallied from a 6-2 halftime deficit for a thrilling 13-8 victory over Casablanca (Harrison Azzaro, Grant Ganzi, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade).

It was Travieso's first 20-goal tournament victory of the 2017 winter season and second in team history since the team's debut in 2015 at Grand Champions, where it was the winningest team in low and medium goal polo before stepping up to high goal. Travieso also won the 2015 USPA North American 20-Goal Cup and 2017 20-Goal Molina Cup and went on to make its debut at the 2017 U.S. Open.

The Sterling Cup was resurrected by Grand Champions owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi in hopes of recapturing polo's glory days.

The Sterling Cup was the second tournament of the 22-goal season at Palm Beach Polo after the January Challenge Cup and last played in 1995. It was considered the 22-goal championship and attracted as many as eighteen teams.

It was first played in 1989 with Saniva B.G.K. winning the title. Other past winners include Pegasus, C.S. Brook, Grant’s Farm Manor, Revlon, Calumet Farm, Pony Express, Palm Beach Polo, Isla Carroll and White Birch.

Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, will live stream the Sterling Cup.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique private 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