Spring Challenge Cup Gets Under Way Friday At Grand Champions Polo Club 

Gene Goldstein of Newport chases down Pablo.JPG

By Sharon Robb

WELLINGTON, FL—May 11, 2018----The Spring Challenge Cup will highlight Mother's Day Weekend at Grand Champions Polo Club.

The fourth of six tournaments and halfway point of the season, features five teams and begins Friday with a game at 10:30 a.m. and round robin at 4 p.m. Winners advance into Sunday's final at 11 a.m. The Mother's Day Cup subsidiary game is 9:45 a.m.

In Friday's opening game at 10:30 a.m., Dutta Corp plays Newport in a regulation six-chukker game on Field One. Later in the afternoon, Aspen Valley, Grand Champions and Sebucan play a nine-chukker round robin at 4:30 p.m. on Field Three.  

The teams and rosters are:

Aspen Valley (13): Melissa Ganzi, Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Nacho Novillo Astrada.

Dutta Corp (13): Tim Dutta, Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Piki Diaz Alberdi.

Grand Champions (14): Jeff Desich, Juan Bollini, Carlitos Gracida, Lucas Lalor.

Newport (15): Gene Goldstein, Juancito Bollini, Brandon Phillips, Kris Kampsen.

Sebucan (11): Josh DuBarry, Pablo Pulido, Pablo Dorignac, Julio Gracida.

It will be a special Mother's Day weekend for Grand Champions Polo Club President and USPA Florida Circuit Governor Melissa Ganzi, who will play with her son Grant and husband Marc on Aspen Valley.

For friends, family and fans, refreshments and food will be served on Sunday including a special Mother's Day custom-made cake.

Last year Audi (Marc Ganzi, Guille Aguero, Lucas Lalor, Pablo Dorignac), playing together as a team for the first time, won the Spring Challenge Cup title. Audi defeated Newport (Gene Goldstein, Rich Desich, Julio Arellano, Juancito Bollini), 10-8, to win its first tournament of the spring season.  Desich was named MVP.

Dutta Corp (Carlitos Gracida, Timmy Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Tim Dutta) won the subsidiary game with an 8-5 victory over Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Grant Ganzi, Mariano Uranga). Alberdi was MVP.

Winners of this season's first three spring tournaments were Dutta Corp, three-peating both the Santa Rita Abierto and Sun Cup and Sebucan in the USPA Eastern Challenge.

Several top and up-and-coming players and patrons 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 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 pros 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; and excellent trophies for all teams every weekend.

The spring season is being live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV and shown fieldside on a Jumbotron. Grand Champions will host its second weekly Movie Night on Friday at 7:30 p.m. on the club's new Jumbotron.

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 0-26 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).

MAY

Spring Challenge Cup, Friday, 10:30 a.m., Field 1, Newport vs. Dutta Corp; 4:30 p.m., Field 3, Sebucan vs. Grand Champions vs. Aspen Valley; Sunday, 9:45 a.m., Field 1, Mother's Day Cup, round robin; 11 a.m., Field 2, Championship final.

Friday, Grand Champions Polo Club Movie Night, Game Night or Deadpool, Jumbotron, 7:30 p.m. Admission free.

May 18-20: Polo Gear Invitational.

May 25-28: The Memorial