Aspen Valley Polo Club Captures USPA National President's Cup; Gene Goldstein Named MVP

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WELLINGTON, Fl., April 21, 2019---On a perfect day for polo, Aspen Valley Polo Club captured the USPA National President's Cup Saturday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

Aspen Valley Polo Club (Gene Goldstein, Melissa Ganzi, Marc Ganzi, Juan Bollini) outscored Palm City Polo Club (Kris Kampsen, Oliver Firestone, Moritz Gaedeke, Esteban Hernandez), 7-4 in the second half, and went on to win, 12-9.

Gene Goldstein scored a game-high six goals and was named Most Valuable Player. He was awarded a beautiful Catena watch. 

It was the second time Goldstein won the 8-goal tournament. It was also the first time husband and wife Marc and Melissa Ganzi, who have won the title separately, won for the first time as teammates. 

"I remember winning this with Tommy Collingwood and Carlucho Arellano and Tommy was zero goals, that's how long ago it was," Goldstein said.

"This was a great call from Marc and Melissa to come and play, it didn't take a whole lot to think about," Goldstein said. "My horses weren't leaving until Monday. The weather lucked out, the horses lucked out. It was fun. It was great getting great passes from Marc, Melissa and Juan especially that cut shot from Melissa."

Both teams needed a chukker to find their rhythm, ending the first chukker, 1-1. Aspen Valley Polo Club found its momentum for a 3-1 second chukker with two goals from Goldstein and one from Melissa Ganzi.

Palm City Polo Club bounced back with a 4-1 third chukker to tie Aspen Valley Polo Club, 5-5, at halftime.

Aspen Valley Polo Club dominated the second half, 7-4, behind four more goals from Goldstein, outscoring Palm City Polo Club, 3-1 and 2-1 in the fourth and fifth chukkers. 

"It's always friendly but you want to win," Bollini said. "We have all known each other for a long time. It was friendly but competitive. Marc and Melissa have never won this together so it was very important for them to win it. 

"I think we put together a good team. Gene played an incredible game. It was good polo and it's always nice to win."

Bollini is now looking forward to the upcoming spring season at Grand Champions beginning with the April 26-28 Eastern Challenge.

"We now have the spring season with a really good level of polo until the end of May," Bollini said. "It's going to be fun and we hope everybody will join us."

Also scoring for Aspen Valley Polo Club was Melissa Ganzi with three goals, Juan Bollini with two goals and Marc Ganzi with one goal.

For Palm City Polo Club, Esteban Hernandez and Kris Kampsen each had three goals. Moritz Gaedeke had two goals and Oliver Firestone added one.

The Grand Champions Best Playing Pony was Tinder, a 5-year-old American thoroughbred played by Firestone.

The USPA National President's Cup Best Playing Pony was Paula, a Palomino played by Hernandez.

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.