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Pony Express Captures Limited Edition 8-Goal Cup; Mackie Weisz Sweeps MVP, BPP Honors

WELLINGTON, Fla., April 13, 2024----Pony Express bounced back from an early tournament loss to win the Limited Edition 8-Goal Cup Thursday at windswept Grand Champions Polo Club.


By Sharon Robb

Photos by Candace Ferreira



Pony Express (Lili Hagemeier, -1, Finn Secunda, 1, Mackie Weisz, 6, Justin Daniels, 2), playing together for the first time in the tournament, led from start to finish to defeat Amaro (Scott Sorbaro, 0, Antonio Aguerre, 2, Kris Kampsen, 6, Michael Armour, 0), 13-9.


The victory avenged Pony Express' early 13-12 tournament loss to Amaro (Kampsen converted a penalty-two with 20 seconds left to win the game).


The Wellington-born Weisz, the youngest son of polo player Andres Weisz making his 2024 season debut at Grand Champions Polo Club, swept Most Valuable Player and Best Playing Pony honors.



"I'm just excited to play polo at whatever level," Weisz said. "I try to play the same way I do in the 22-goal, with that same intensity and same focus in 8-goal. I try to translate everything over in all my years of playing. I have been able to play at a pretty decent level all my life which is good. I just try to take advantage of every opportunity that I have."


Weisz dominated the game on both ends of the field, scoring a game-high eight goals and coming up with clutch steals. His fifth chukker horse, 7-year-old mare Montemar Fanatica, from his family's breeding operation in Argentina, was Best Playing Pony.


Weisz, 21, one of America's rising young stars at 6 goals, won the 2022 USPA Gold Cup and U.S. Open at age 19 with Pilot as a 5-goaler. In 2020, he won the C.V. Whitney Cup with Las Monjitas as a 3-goaler.



On Sunday, Weisz will play for Ale Poma's Tamera team against his former team Pilot in the U.S. Open at 10 a.m. in his Wellington season-ending tournament before heading overseas April 25 to play in England.


Pony Express jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Daniels and Weisz in the opening chukker. Pony Express, playing well defensively allowing Amaro little space, extended its lead to 5-2 in the second chukker and led at halftime, 9-3.


The teams played a 2-2 fourth chukker with Pony Express maintaining its lead, 11-5.



Amaro Polo, winners of last month's Top Pony 8-Goal Tournament, never found its momentum until the fifth chukker when they outscored Pony Express, 4-1, to cut the gap to 12-9. Behind Kampsen's three goals, Amaro tried to claw its way back, scoring four unanswered goals. Amaro came within two goals, 11-9 midway through the fifth chukker.


Pony Express showed no signs of panic late in the fifth chukker with Weisz stealing the ball from Kampsen and scoring for a 12-9 lead. Pony Express went on to shut out Amaro, 1-0, in the final chukker.


"Kris is a great player," Weisz said. "He's incredible. He has a lot of experience and great horses. He's always tough to play against."



It was Pony Express' best game of the tournament.


"Game by game we were improving," Weisz said. "Our team started to jell and used each player to the best ability and really got to know each other. We watched all our game videos and came up with a game plan for this final.


"It takes some time to get to know each other and everybody's horses and chemistry," Weisz said. "It just seemed to click for all of us. It was Lilly's first big 8-goal tournament and she improved game by game, made some good plays and scored some incredible goals so I'm super happy for her. Playing with Finn, he's a really good player and great kid and has some nice horses. And Justin the same thing, he's great to play with."



In addition to Weisz eight goals, Daniels had three goals and Hagemeier and Secunda each had one goal. Kampsen, rated at 6 goals for 22 consecutive years, led Amaro with a team-high seven goals. Sorbaro added one goal.


Last year Rafool Polo (Ray Rafool, -1, Santos Bollini, 2, Henry Porter, 4, Juan Bollini, 3) hung on for a 9-8 victory over Grand Champions Polo Club (Milo MacDonough, 0, Fran Spinacci, 0, Artemio Figueras, 0, Tomacho Pieres, 6), 9-8, to win the title. Santos Bollini was named Most Valuable Player.

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