Grand Champions Polo Club Hosts PTF International Cup On Thursday

3.jpg

WELLINGTON, Fl., April 18, 2018---The sport's next generation of polo players take center stage Thursday at Grand Champions Polo Club for the fifth annual Polo Training Foundation (PTF) International Cup.

Some of the sport's top young athletes including second generation players, will compete. Action gets under way at 5 p.m. on Field One.

One of the most-anticipated youth events of the winter polo season features two teams in a four-chukker game. The competition features two all-star teams with players from the U.S. and England. The team rosters are:

Grand Champions Polo Club: Millie Hine, Monte Swaine-Grainger, Timmy Dutta, Lucas Escobar.

Polo Training Foundation: Ned Hine, Will Harper, Bayne Bossom, Olivia Uechtritz.

In last year's game, Argentina rallied from a two-goal deficit with two minutes left for a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory over PTF USA.

Argentina (Francisco Spinacci, Miguel Novillo Astrada Jr., Poroto Cambiaso, Santos Bollini) was trailing PTF USA (Juanse Olivera, Kristos Magrini, Clark Mayer, Will Jacobs), 3-1, when Cambiaso got the hot mallet and scored back-to-back goals to send the game into overtime.

For the second year in a row, Poroto Cambiaso, the son of 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso, was named Most Valuable Player. The Sporstmanship Award honor went to Will Jacobs.

Past PTF International Cup winners were: 2015, Team USA (Landen Daniels, Kristos Magrini, Mackie Weisz, Benji Daniels); 2016, Boys International Team (Santos Bollini, Juanse Olivera, Harrison Azzaro, Poroto Cambiaso); 2017, Argentina (Santos Merlos, Poroto Cambiaso, Lucas Criado, Juanse Olivera) and 2018, Argentina (Francisco Spinacci, Miguel Novillo Astrada Jr., Poroto Cambiaso, Santos Bollini).

MVP and Sportsmanship Awards will be presented after the game. The MVP honor is the Peter Perkins Best Young Player Award. Perkins was a war veteran and polo champion. The former 9-goaler was a two-time U.S. Open champion. He died at age 78 in Delray Beach, Fla.

One of the highlights of the game is watching the players' fathers and mothers, who are competing during the winter polo season, coaching and cheering their children from the sidelines.

The Polo Training Foundation, now 52 years old, has been instrumental in the growth of junior and youth polo players by encouraging the sport's development with training programs, lessons and tournaments for boys and girls. The international exchange programs have been among the most popular.

The PTF was created in 1967 to teach the game of polo to youth by promoting youth clinics, interscholastic and intercollegiate competition, good sportsmanship and good will through friendly competition.

Grand Champions Polo Club President  Melissa Ganzi is a longtime supporter of grass roots polo and Polo Training Foundation. She has played an integral role in developing young players with the The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA sanctioned club, at Grand Champions. Ganzi also serves as secretary for the PTF.

Most of the horses in the tournament will be provided by Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm.

Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique 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 three polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball with plans to build more polo fields in the future.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels and ages. 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, created by Grand Champions President Melissa Ganzi when the club first opened in 2007.

The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA-sanctioned polo club, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo at every economic and ability level. Scholarships are available. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. Headed by Director of Operations Juan Bollini, The Polo School has nurtured several men and women polo players now playing in the pro and amateur ranks since its inception.