Dutta Corp Makes History, Four-Peats Sun Cup; Jared Zenni Named MVP

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WELLINGTON, Fl.—May 6, 2019----Dutta Corp made history Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

The fifth-year organization became the first team in the club's 13-year history to win a tournament four years in a row. 

Defending champion Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, 2, Carlitos Gracida, 4, Kris Kampsen, 6, Jared Zenni, 6) defeated Aspen Valley (Pablo Pulido, 2, Juancito Bollini, 4, Grant Ganzi, 3, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8) with a thrilling 10-9 overtime victory to capture the Sun Cup. 

"Let's just call it the Dutta Cup," joked Marc Ganzi during the awards presentation. 

With less than four minutes left in sudden death, Kampsen's 30-yard penalty conversion clinched the victory.

"No team has ever done this, ever," Kampsen said. "It just speaks volumes about the organization the Duttas have put together. It also says how hard it is to win in this league and that's only one tournament in the history of this club that has been won by a team four times." 

Jared Zenni, 23, a senior at University of Miami making his spring debut with Dutta Corp, was named Most Valuable Player. Zenni had three goals and played well defensively.

"It's awesome what they did, it's good to be a part of history," said Zenni, 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Westchester Cup champion.

In a rollercoaster game, the lead changed hands ten times and was tied six times. Aspen Valley's biggest lead was 8-5 late in the fifth chukker when Pulido scooped up the ball after a broken play to score.

Dutta Corp came back in the sixth and tied the game on Gracida's goal at 8-8 and went ahead 9-8 on Dutta's goal at 2:11. Astrada tied the game at 9-9 at 1:16. Each team missed one final scoring opportunity before sending the game into overtime. 

"I don't know what happened today," Zenni said. "We came into the game trying to play one way. Our goal was to try to hit wide open and run. Then we started playing and nothing was really going our way. I just think we were asleep. We woke up just in time. I feel we could have played much better as a team but overall we got it done."

Aspen Valley had two free hits at 5:26 and 4:59 to start offensive drives before hitting the ball out of bounds. Kampsen then took over with a big hit downfield and Dutta Corp drew the foul to set up Kampsen's heroics at the line.

"What was I thinking at the penalty line?" Kampsen said. "Don't screw this up."

Added Dutta, "When I see Kris go to the penalty line I am happy. I know when he gets to that 30 it's 95 percent going to be a goal. The guy is a machine at 30s."

Going into overtime, Kampsen, the veteran of the team, was confident in his young teammates.

"In overtime I made a game plan decision and the guys agreed with it," Kampsen said. "I wanted to force Negro [Astrada] to release the ball with Jarod and Carlitos in the back and Timmy and I up in the front to try and really put some pressure on him. Luckily, we were able to turn those guys around a few times and we got the shot at goal that we needed."

Dutta led Dutta Corp with four goals. Kampsen and Gracida each had two in addition to Zenni's two goals. For Aspen Valley, Bollini had three goals, Ganzi and Astrada had two goals and Pulido added one goal. They had one goal on handicap.

"We come to win," Dutta said. "I come  every day to win, have fun and be very competitive. This game the rhythm was constantly changing, open-close, open-close but we got it done."

Tim Dutta, the braintrust of the Dutta Corp polo organization, has played a key role in the team's success on and off the field.

"We are lucky to have great teams," Dutta said. "I was pretty humbled to read my name twice on that Cup which was fun. It definitely does speak volumes. We are lucky with the teams we get. The boys played well. I feel great. It was a little too close for comfort but a win is a win. It was a great win. 

"We have a system and we play the system," Dutta said. "If we get beat, we try again. We are different from most organizations, we have a system and we have a strategy and there is a lot of structure to our operation. We are very disciplined, we run it like a military camp from our management and horsepower to our grooms and horses and players on the field."

Minotaur, a grey mare owned and played by Astrada, was selected ChukkerTV Best Playing Pony. Live stream viewers got the opportunity to vote for the game's best playing pony.

In last year's Sun Cup final, Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Tim Dutta) three-peated the title with a 10-6 victory over Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Marc Ganzi).

In 2017, the foursome of Tim and Timmy Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi and Carlitos Gracida led from start-to-finish to defeat Deeridge (Pablo Dorignac, Grant Ganzi, Will Jacobs, Guille Aguero), 14-8. And in 2016, Dutta Corp's Piki Diaz Alberdi, Tony Calle, Timmy Dutta and Brandon Phillips defeated Newport for its first Sun Cup title.

In Sunday's subsidiary Just For The Fun Of It, Palm Beach Equine (Brandon Phillips, 4, Juan Bollini, 5, Nic Roldan, 8, Scott Swerdlin, 0) defeated Audi (Marc Ganzi, 2, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Sugar Erskine, 6, Tommy Collingwood, 5), 11-8.

Phillips had six goals and Roldan added three for Palm Beach Equine which also picked up two goals on handicap. Spinacci led Audi with five goals.

Trailing 7-3 after two chukkers, Audi clawed its way back to tie the game twice in the fifth chukker including 8-8 at the end of the chukker. Palm Beach Equine outscored Audi, 3-0, in the final chukker to put the game away. 

The remainder of the Grand Champions spring schedule is:  May 10-12, Spring Challenge Cup; May 17-19, Polo Gear Challenge Cup; and May 24-26 The Memorial. The entire spring season will be live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV.

Grand Champions fall, winter and spring tournaments attract a large international field of players from all corners of the world  including India, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Costa Rica, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Azerbaijan, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, Venezuela and England.

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.