WELLINGTON, Fl.—May 9, 2019----The Spring Challenge Cup highlights Mother Day's Weekend at Grand Champions Polo Club.
At the midway point of the spring season, the tournament features four teams: Aspen Valley, Audi, defending champion Dutta Corp and Palm Beach Equine.
The Spring Challenge Cup gets under way Friday with games at 3 p.m and 5 p.m. The winners advance into the final on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and runner-up teams play for the Just For The Love Of It Cup at 10 a.m.
The first game on Friday at 3 p.m. features Dutta Corp playing Aspen Valley. At 5 p.m., Audi plays Palm Beach Equine.
The rosters are:
Aspen Valley: Grant Ganzi, 3, Pablo Pulido, 2, Juancito Bollini, 4, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8.
Audi: Marc Ganzi, 2, Sugar Erskine, 6, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Jared Zenni, 6.
Dutta Corp: Timmy Dutta, 2, Carlitos Gracida, 4, Kris Kampsen, 6, Tommy Collingwood, 5.
Palm Beach Equine: Brandon Phillips, 4, Juan Bollini, 5, Nic Roldan, 8, Scott Swerdlin, 0.
In last year's Spring Challenge Cup final, Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, 1, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, 5, Piki Diaz Alberdi, 7, Tim Dutta 0) won its third tournament of the 2018 spring season with an 11-7 victory over Aspen Valley (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Grant Ganzi, 2, Nacho Novillo Astrada, 8, Marc Ganzi, 2). The final featured three sets of fathers-and-sons and wife and mother of two players. At 16, Timmy Dutta, the youngest player in the five-team tournament, was MVP.
Diamante, an 8-year-old chestnut mare, owned and played by Timmy Dutta, was selected the club's Best Playing Pony after a remarkable injury comeback.
Diamante was purchased as a 7-year-old from Carlitos Gracida in Mexico. While the horse was preparing for the beginning of the 2018 season with Curtis Pilot's team she cracked her hip wing bone on a bump. Diamante missed the 20, 12, 8 and 6-goal tournament season but worked her way back.
Dutta Corp is coming off last weekend's four-peat of the Sun Cup with Dutta, Gracida, Kampsen and Zenni with a 10-9 overtime victory over Aspen Valley (Pablo Pulido, 2, Juancito Bollini, 4, Grant Ganzi, 3, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8). This weekend Collingwood will join the Dutta Corp lineup and Zenni, the Sun Cup MVP, will play with Audi.
For players, family and fans, refreshments and food will be served on Sunday morning.
The remainder of the spring schedule is: May 17-19, Polo Gear Challenge Cup and May 24-26 The Memorial.
Several top and up-and-coming players and patrons compete during the fun and competitive GCPC Spring Invitational League that features 12-18-goal tournaments in 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. It is geared towards improving polo skills and having fun.
The spring league is also a great opportunity for younger players to develop and hone their skills against their peers and more experienced 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 professionals in the world.
*Playing polo on some of Wellington’s most prestigious and well-manicured fields that hosted the best players in the world during the inaugural 26-goal World Polo League.
*Club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players.
*Excellent trophies for all teams every weekend.
The 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.