By Sharon Robb
WELLINGTON, FL—May 25, 2018----If Mother Nature cooperates this weekend, polo fans will be in for one final weekend of great polo at Grand Champions Polo Club.
The season-ending Memorial Tournament, a fan favorite, begins Friday with a doubleheader.
The opening game at 10 a.m. features 14-goal teams Aspen Valley (Jeff Desich, Carlitos Gracida, Juan Bollini, Lucas Lalor) against Intercontinental Hotel (Alejandro Poma, JJ Celis, Kris Kampsen, Juancito Bollini).
At 5 p.m., 14-goal teams Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Grant Ganzi, Pablo Dorignac, Brandon Phillips) and Grand Champions (Josh Dubarry, Marc Ganzi, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Julio Gracida) will play.
On Sunday at 10 a.m., the game runners-up will play for the Polo Gear Challenge Cup while at 11 a.m. game winners will play in the championship final of The Memorial.
On Monday at 10 a.m., a fun Rain Round Robin Cup will feature 15-goal Aspen Valley (Melissa Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini), 14-goal ChukkerTV (Josh Dubarry, Julio Gracida, Kris Kampsen, Carlitos Gracida) and 14-goal Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Marc Ganzi, Pablo Dorignac, Brandon Phillips) in nine chukkers of play to close out a fun, successful spring season.
In the May 28, 2017 Memorial final, Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Pablo Dorignac, Julio Arellano) rallied for an 18-16 upset victory of previously undefeated and three-time defending champion Dutta Corp (Carlitos Gracida, Timmy Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Tim Dutta). Grant Ganzi was MVP.
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 the Spring Challenge; and Sebucan in the USPA Eastern Challenge.
Several top and up-and-coming players and patrons have competed during a fun and competitive GCPC Spring Invitational League that features six 12-16-goal tournaments in April and May.
During Grand Champions’ spring season, amateur polo players got the opportunity to play with and against some of the world’s top professional polo players.
The GCPC spring league featured: medium goal practice games at least once a week; stick-and-ball sessions available during the week; 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.
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, The Memorial, 10 a.m. Aspen Valley vs. Intercontinental Hotel; 5 p.m., Sebucan vs. Grand Champions.
Sunday, Polo Gear Challenge Cup, 10 a.m.; The Memorial, 11 a.m.
Monday, 10 a.m., Rain Round Robin Cup.