By Sharon Robb
WELLINGTON, FL—April 20, 2017----Grand Champions Polo Club opens its spring season Friday with the Santa Rita Abierto Tournament.
The first of six tournaments kicks off what is expected to be the best spring season in the club’s eleven-year history.
Five teams are entered for the Santa Rita Abierto and Grand Champions Cup.
Two games are scheduled for Friday at 3 and 5 p.m. The winners advance into the final and runner-up teams play for the Grand Champions Cup.
In Game One, Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Alex Webb) plays Altair Polo (Ashley Busch, Brandon Phillips, Kris Kampsen, Moritz Gaedeke) and Deeridge (Will Jacobs, Grant Ganzi, Ezequiel Ferrario, Carlitos Gracida) at 3 p.m. on Field 3.
In Game Two, Sebucan (Josh Dubarry, Pablo Pulido, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Julio Gracida) plays Hidden Creek (Sean Keys, Pablo Dorignac, Jesse Bray, Marc Ganzi) at 5 p.m. on Field One.
On Saturday, Grand Champions will host the Governor's Cup on Field 1 at 1:30 p.m. followed by the National President's Cup on Field 2 at 3 p.m. featuring Deeridge (Will Jacobs, Juan Olivera, Juancito Bollini, Tito Gaudenzi) against Aspen Valley Polo Club (Rich Desich, Melissa Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Juan Bollini).
On Sunday, the Grand Champions Cup will get underway at 9:45 a.m. on Field One followed by the Santa Rita Abierto Tournament at 11 a.m. on Field 2.
Dutta Corp is two-time defending champion. Two years ago, as a 15-goal team, Dutta Corp won the 16-goal rated tournament with pro Matias Magrini, brothers Carlitos and Mariano Gracida and Timmy Dutta. Last year a talented 11-goal team of Tim Dutta, Timmy Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi and Carlitos Gracida won the 14-goal tournament with an impressive 12-5 victory over Whitehall Ranch.
Several top and up-and-coming players and patrons will compete during the fun and competitive GCPC Spring Invitational League that features six 12-16-goal tournaments in April and May.
During the Grand Champions’ spring season, amateur polo players get the chance to play with and against some of the world’s top professional polo players including former 10-goaler Piki Diaz Alberdi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Pablo Dorignac, Carlitos Gracida, Brandon Phillips, Kris Kampsen and Jesse Bray. It is geared towards improving polo skills and having fun.
The spring league is also a great opportunity for younger players to develop and hone their skills against their peers and more experienced players.
The GCPC spring league features:
*Medium Goal practice games at least once a week.
*Stick-and-ball sessions available during the week.
*Teams get two medium goal tournament games every weekend.
*Ambulance and umpires for all tournament games.
*Complete turn-key tournament polo with some of the top professionals in the world.
*Playing polo on some of Wellington’s most prestigious and well-manicured fields.
*Club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players.
*Excellent trophies for all teams every weekend.
The spring season is being live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV, worldwide leaders in polo broadcasting.
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 10 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, Sunny Hale's Legacy WCT Final 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.
2018 Spring Schedule
(Subject to change because of weather and scheduling conflicts).
Friday, Santa Rita Abierto, 3 p.m. Dutta Corp vs. Altair Polo vs. Deeridge; 5 p.m. Sebucan vs. Hidden Creek; Sunday, 9:45 a.m., Grand Champions Cup, Field One; 11 a.m., Santa Rita Abierto Final, Field Two.
Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Governor's Cup, Field One; 3 p.m., The National President's Cup, Field Two, Grand Champions vs. Aspen Valley Polo Club.