WELLINGTON, Fl.-April 24, 2018----Dutta Corp opened the spring season at Grand Champions Polo Club with a three-peat.
By Sharon Robb
In a four-chukker lightning-abbreviated game, Dutta Corp defeated Sebucan, 7-4, in the championship final of the Santa Rita Abierto on Sunday.
Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Alex Webb) qualified for the final with 7-4 wins over Altair Polo (Ashley Busch, Moritz Gaedeke, Brandon Phillips, Kris Kampsen) and Deeridge (Will Jacobs, Grant Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Ezequiel Ferrario) in the opening nine-chukker round robin on Friday.
Sebucan (Josh Dubarry, Pablo Pulido, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Julio Gracida) advanced into the final with a hardfought 13-12 victory over Hidden Creek (Marc Ganzi, Sean Keys, Pablo Dorignac, Jesse Bray).
Dutta, 16, coming off a successful 20-goal season, was named Most Valuable Player.
Under foreboding skies, the well-matched teams played evenly in the first two chukkers. In the opening chukker, the teams tied 1-1 on goals from Piki Diaz Alberdi, a 60-yard penalty conversion, and Novillo Astrada from the field.
The second chukker was also played evenly at 2-2 with goals from Piki Diaz Alberdi and Webb for Dutta Corp and Novillo Astrada on a 30-yard penalty and Gracida.
Dutta Corp pulled away with a 5-4 advantage in the third chukker with back-to-back goals from Lucas Diaz Alberdi. Dutta Corp never trailed after that.
With rain falling and thunder in the background, the teams got in one final chukker before lightning forced the game to be abbreviated after four chukkers. Timmy Dutta and Webb scored the final two goals for a 2-0 advantage in the fourth and final chukker.
Dutta Corp got balanced scoring with Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Piki Diaz Alberdi and Webb each scoring two goals and Dutta added one goal. Novillo Astrada led Sebucan with three and Gracida added one.
At 12, Josh Dubarry of Sebucan was the youngest player in the two-day tournament and plans to play the entire spring season.
Dutta Corp came in as two-time defending champion. In 2016, as a 15-goal team Dutta Corp won the 16-goal rated tournament with Matias Magrini, 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.
In the opening Grand Champions Cup, also on Sunday, Beaverton, Ore.-based Hidden Creek won its Grand Champions debut in the subsidiary round robin. Hidden Creek defeated Deeridge, 5-2, led by Dorignac's game-high three goals, and tied Altair Polo, 4-4. In the other game, Deeridge edged Altair Polo, 6-5, on Ferrario's game-winner.
Sean Keys of Hidden Creek Polo Club was named Most Valuable Player.
The Santa Rita Abierto is the first of six tournaments in what is expected to be the best spring season in the club's eleven-year history. This weekend the USPA Eastern Challenge will be on tap.
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.
The spring season is being live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV.
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.