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Bentley, Intocast Play For Title Sunday In 21st Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel

KITZBÜHEL, Austria, January 13, 2023----The stage is set for the battle of unbeatens in the 21st Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup on Sunday.

By Sharon Robb

Photos by Reinhardt & Sommer




Bentley (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Martin Jauregui, 5, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7) will take on defending champion Intocast (Matthias Normann, 1, Micky Duggan, 5, Martin Donovan, 6) for the coveted title.  Bentley advanced into the final edging Engel & Volkers (Jan-Hendrik Tobbe, 0, Agustin Kronhaus, 5, Manolo Fernandez Llorente, 7), 8-7.Ganzi, the first woman to win the 2018 Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel, would like to add another page to her impressive snow polo resume.Astrada led scoring with four goals including the game-winner in the final chukker. Jauregui had three and Ganzi added one. 

Bentley, playing well as a team, led from start to finish. Bentley jumped out to a 2-1 lead with goals from Astrada and Jauregui. Ganzi, Jauregui and Astrada all scored to remain in the lead, 5-4, after the second chukker. Bentley led 7-5 after three chukkers and held on for the win in the fourth.Intocast continued its title quest with a 9-7 win over BOOOST (Peter Cromm, 0, Nicolas Ruiz Guinazu, Adrian Laplacette Jr., 7).Bentley has scored 19 goals in two games and Intocast has scored 18 goals. Only one team has defended its title in Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel history and that was 20 years ago.In other semifinal games:World Polo League (Maria Curtichs, 0, Santos Bollini, 2, Nic Roldan, 9) lost its second game of the tournament to last year's runner-up Bendura Bank (Niclas Johansson, 1, Pelayo Berazadi, 6, Tito Gaudenzi, 3), 7.5-5. World Polo League will play Casablanca for seventh and eighth place. Veuve Clicquot (Sebastian Aguetan, 1, Matthieu Delfosse, 5, Patrick Paillol, 6) defeated Casablanca (Glenn Lostritto, 0, Juan Redlich, 5, Naco Taverna, 6), 12-6.5.On Sunday, four games are scheduled including the Casablanca Cup (BOOOST vs. Engel & Volkers for third and fourth place), Kitzbühel Cup (Veuve Clicquot vs. Bendura Bank for fifth and sixth place) and Bendura Bank Finals for the coveted Cup followed by the awards ceremony. The tournament is not being live streamed. For up-to-date scores go to www.kitzbuehelpolo.com.The event was started in 2003 by Tito Gaudenzi and his father Reto with four teams and 1,000 fans. It has grown into one of the country's major sporting events, eight teams and attracts more than 15,000 fans over three days including a soldout VIP tent of 800 spectators.During the winter polo season, Grand Champions Polo Club, the nation's largest and most innovative USPA-sanctioned polo club nestled in the heart of the world's winter equestrian capital, hosts a wide range of tournaments: 6, 8, 12, 20, and 26-goal leagues, GCPC Polo School Women's Weekly Polo League, WCT Finals, several PTF junior tournaments, World Polo League, World Polo League Pride and Sunset Chukkers & Cocktails at both Grand Champions and Santa Rita.The season's biggest highlight is the sixth season of the World Polo League, the only 26-goal polo played outside of Argentina, featuring some of the world's top players including 10-goalers Pablo MacDonough, Jeta Castagnola and Juan Martin Nero, former 10-goaler Gonzalito Pieres, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and hometown favorite Nic Roldan, the second highest ranked American player at 8 goals. The WPL has been filling the void created when the U.S. Polo Association, the sport's governing body, announced it was lowering high goal polo to 18-22 goals and would not have 26-goal polo.Other high goal season highlights are the Feb. 1-11 Sterling Cup (20 goals), Feb. 1-March 31 USPA Butler Handicap (18-22 goals), Feb. 7-24 $100,000 World Cup (0-40 goals) and Feb. 27-March 10 Santa Rita Abierto (20 goals).Other January tournaments are the Metropolitan 6 Goal Cup, Aspen Valley 8-Goal and Limited Edition 12-Goal Series. The GCPC Women's Weekly Women's Polo League also gets under way Jan. 24 and runs through April. It is the longest running women's league in the nation. Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique private 102-acre polo facility in Wellington with 212 stalls in nine self-contained barns, two tracks, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and four polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation and short work arena. The club has 11 well-manicured world-class fields at GCPC and Santa Rita. The entire winter season will be live-streamed locally and worldwide on Wellington-based CTV Sports. Grand Champions is the only USPA club live streaming all of its tournaments.Grand Champions Polo Club caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. 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.The Polo School, now located at the former Pony Express facility, operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. The 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. The Polo School has nurtured several junior, men and women polo players now playing in the pro and amateur ranks since its inception. For more information on leagues or Polo School contact Director of Operations Juan Bollini at  561-346-1099 or Cale Newman at 561-876-2930.

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