top of page

Audi Tops Maltese Falcons In Triple Crown Of Polo Bracket Play; Paquito de Narvaez Named MVP

WELLINGTON, Fla., April 15, 2024---Defending champion Audi played one of its best games of the World Polo League season to remain undefeated in Triple Crown of Polo bracket play at Grand Champions Polo Club.

By Sharon Robb

Photos by Candace Ferreira

In the Sunday feature game, Audi (Marc Ganzi, 1, Paquito de Narvaez, 5, Jeta Castagnola, 10, Pablo MacDonough, 10) led from start to finish to defeat Maltese Falcons (John Klopp, 0, Gonzalito Pieres, 9, Juan Martin Nero, 10, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7), 13-6.

Teenager Pacquito de Narvaez, 16, played well defensively and was named Most Valuable Player.

Two Santa Rita Farm horses were awarded Best Playing Pony blankets. Mosqueta, played by Castagnola, was World Polo League BPP. Velociraptor, played by Nero on his 43rd birthday, was the American Polo Horse Association BPP.

Audi (2-0) was a well-oiled machine playing well defensively throughout the game creating space for each other setting up its give-and-go offensive attack.

Audi outscored Maltese Falcons, 7-2, in the first half. Audi dominated throw-ins, 8-3 and led in shots on goal 10-7. Each team had four knock-ins. Audi committed six fouls but Maltese Falcons could not take advantage.

Audi jumped out to an early 2-1 lead with goals from De Narvaez on a long run and MacDonough. Pieres converted a 30-yard penalty for Maltese Falcons.

After Nero scored to tie the game, 2-2, it was all Audi pulling away with three goals from its 10-goalers, two by MacDonough and one by Castagnola for a 5-2 advantage.

With its relentless defense, Audi shut out Maltese Falcons, 2-0, in the third chukker for a 7-2 halftime lead. Castagnola scored both his team's goals including a safety-60 despite his horse acting up and Castagnola hitting it at a slow walk.

It was much of the same in the second half with Audi outscoring Maltese Falcons, 6-4, in the second half, including a 3-1 fifth chukker that featured a 120-yard pass from Castagnola to MacDonough for a goal and 11-4 lead going into the final chukker.

Audi outshot Maltese Falcons, 19-16 and led in knock-ins, 10-6. Each team won 10 throw-ins. Audi led in fouls, 11-5.

Audi got balanced scoring from its lineup. Castagnola led with five goals,  MacDonough four goals. De Narvaez and  Ganzi each had two goals.

Astrada had three goals for Maltese Falcons. Astrada had two and Nero added one.

John Klopp made his 26-goal tournament debut playing for Melissa Ganzi, sidelined with an elbow injury for the remainder of the season.

The crown jewel and fourth and final 26-goal tournament of the season, has attracted eight teams for the two-week tournament.

In last year's Triple Crown of Polo, Audi (Marc Ganzi, 1, Jeta Castagnola, 10, Gonzalito Pieres, 9, Paco de Narvaez, 6) knocked off defending champion Pampa Norte Biotricity (Waqaas Al-Siddiq, 0, Facundo Llosa, 7, Gringo Colombres, 8, Pedro Falabella, 7), 18-14.

Castagnola was MVP for the second time in two tournament finals. Castagnola scored a game-high 11 goals and finished with 26 for the tournament. Audi finished the tournament undefeated at 5-0. The combined 32 goals broke the previous record of 31 for most goals scored in a single game this season.

The Triple Crown of Polo trophy is comprised of three separate trophies that fit perfectly together to create an entire polo scene that is breathtaking in sterling silver. The WPL tournament winners will be inscribed on the trophy.

The WPL, the winter season's biggest highlight, continues to make history as the only 26-goal polo played outside of Argentina.



bottom of page