By Sharon Robb
WELLINGTON, FL—May 17, 2018----A tripleheader highlights opening day action Friday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
On tap for polo fans will be games for the USPA Continental Cup and Polo Gear Challenge Cup. Two games and one round robin are scheduled throughout the day
At 10 a.m., Flexjet plays Grand Champions followed by a round-robin at 11 a.m. between Aspen Valley, Newport and defending champion Dutta Corp, this season's winningest team. To end the day at 5 p.m., Sebucan plays Grand Champions.
On Sunday, action continues with the Polo Gear Challenge Cup round robin at 9:45 a.m. on Field 1 and USPA Continental Cup at 11 a.m. on Field 2.
The tripleheader features seven teams and several top players and patrons including Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Mike Azzaro and Andrew Seibert, making his Grand Champions spring season debut along with Helen Roche and Mike Egan.
In 2015, Seibert's Psycho Bunny team (Andrew Seibert, Brandon Phillips, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Kris Kampsen) was the first team at Grand Champions to three-peat the Grand Champions Cup during the spring. Seibert grew up in Central Florida and drove to Wellington on weekends to watch polo. He got hooked and started playing polo ten years ago and is a frequent player at Grand Champions.
10 a.m. Opening Game rosters are:
Flexjet: TBA, Andrew Seibert, Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini.
Grand Champions: Helen Roche, Mike Egan, Lucas Lalor, Carlitos Gracida.
11 a.m. Round Robin Rosters:
Aspen Valley: Jeff Desich, Kris Kampsen, Juan Bollini, Lucas Lalor.
Newport: Gene Goldstein, Carlitos Gracida, Juancito Bollini, Pablo Dorignac.
Dutta Corp: Tim Dutta, Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Piki Diaz Alberdi.
5 p.m. Regulation Game Rosters:
Sebucan: Pablo Pulido, Brandon Phillips, Mike Azzaro, Marc Ganzi.
Grand Champions: Josh DuBarry, Rich Desich, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Julio Gracida.
For friends, family and fans, refreshments and food will be served on Sunday during the featured game.
In last year's spring Polo Gear Challenge Cup, 11-goal Dutta Corp (Carlitos Gracida, Timmy Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Tim Dutta) won its third title of the season with an 11-7 victory over 16-goal Newport (Gene Goldstein, Marc Ganzi, Lucas Lalor, Julio Arellano). Alberdi, a former 10-goaler in Great Britain, was MVP.
Polo Gear co-founder Gary Fellers played polo for nearly 40 years from zero to 26-goal and has been a longtime supporter of the tournament and Grand Champions and Aspen Valley Polo Clubs.
Polo Gear, one of the top sponsors and supporters of polo, was established in 1993 and incorporated in Florida. It manufactures, distributes and sells polo products to players, teams and polo events worldwide. It is the premier retailer for all necessary clothing, accessories, safety equipment and polo saddles for the polo enthusiasts of all ages. For more information on Polo Gear and to order products, visit www.pologearusa.net or at 3500 Fairlane Farms Road, Suite 15, Wellington.
Winners of this season's first four spring tournaments were Dutta Corp, three-peating both the Santa Rita Abierto and Sun Cup and winning last weekend's Spring Challenge; 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.
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).
Friday-Sunday, USPA Continental Cup & Polo Gear Invitational; Friday, 10 a.m. Match Game, Flexjet vs. Grand Champions; 11 a.m., round robin, Aspen Valley vs. Newport vs. Dutta Corp; 5 p.m., Sebucan vs. Grand Champions; Sunday, Finals, Field 1, Polo Gear Challenge Cup round robin; 11 a.m., USPA Continental Cup, Field 2.