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WPL Captures World Polo League Polo Pride; Vinny Sangaline Named MVP

WELLINGTON, Fla., April 29, 2024---In a fun, festive atmosphere, WPL won the fourth  annual World Polo League Polo Pride Saturday at windswept Grand Champions Polo Club.

By Sharon Robb

Photos by Candace Ferreira

WPL (Kylie Jones, -2/Jason Alexander-Mohr, -2; Sterling Jones, 0, Vinny Sangaline, 1, Adolfo Cambiaso, 10) defeated Avatar Financial Group (Gonzalo Llosa, 0, Tyler Thompson, 0, Ryan Cronin, 1, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7), 2-0, to clinch the six-chukker round robin victory. CTV Sports (Talbot Logan, 0, Jonathan Hays, 0, Agustin Arellano, 3, Jason Crowder, 6) finished third.

For the second time in four days, Vinny Sangaline, who scored a tournament-high four goals, was named Most Valuable Player. He was also MVP after scoring a game-high six goals including the game-winner for Don Julio in the Miami Polo Cup.

"This is exciting, everyone is here and everyone is amazing," said Sangaline's mother Becky Schmeits, also an avid polo player.

It didn't hurt that the WPL had Argentine 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso, the greatest polo player of all time, making his WPL Polo Pride debut. And Cambiaso did not disappoint, delighting the fans with a 60-yard safety conversion to open the final with a 1-0 lead in the first chukker. Sangaline scored the second insurance goal.

In early matches, Avatar defeated CTV Sports, 3-1, and WPL edged CTV Sports, 3-2 with the winning goal scored by Logan with Cambiaso on his hip.  

Other scorers were: Talbot Logan had two goals with Cambiaso closely defending him throughout the game; Tyler Thompson with two goals, Gonzalo Llosa had one; and Jonathan Hays had one goal.

Between chukkers fans were dazzled by drag queens Daisy Deadpetals, Sheilita Taylor and Erika Noelle in various stages of Madonna and her songs throughout her career and play lists by DJ Dazza and DJ Troubles.

"An amazing day at World Polo Pride, playing against great friends and Adolfo Cambiaso," Talbot Logan wrote on his social media. "Snuck two goals by Adolfo and got hooked by him on my way to score a third. My polo life is complete!!!"

Added Sterling Jones on his social media: "Thank you Adolfo Cambiaso for playing in the World Polo Pride Finals. Never thought I would get to play alongside such a legend. This is a HUGE statement to the world. Allyship matters. Thank you Melissa Ganzi for always creating magical moments for so many."

Two Best Playing Pony blankets were awarded. Chilena, a 14-year-old chestnut mare played by Jonathan Hays amd owned by Saratoga Polo School, was the World Polo League BPP.

Ensenada Cuacura aka Aiken, played by Cambiaso and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was the American Polo Horse Association BPP. The 8-year-old chestnut mare was from Cura Clone E01x B05 Dolfina Cuartetera clone.

The main reason for WPL Polo Pride was not lost during the Madonna-themed fun, great food, music, entertaining drag queens from Palm Beach-based Next Level Talent, and rainbow-colored wrapped goal posts. The annual event creates a culture of togetherness and equality to inspire and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in sports and beyond while inspiring awareness for inclusiveness.

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, celebrating its 17th anniversary, hosts a wide range of tournaments: 6, 8, 12, 20, and 26-goal leagues, The Polo School Women's Polo League, WCT Finals, several PTF junior tournaments, World Polo League, WPL Polo Pride and Sunset Chukkers & Cocktails at both Grand Champions and Santa Rita.

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.

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 Polo Manager Cale Newman at 561-876-2930.



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