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***SPAM*** Sebucan Rallies, Captures US Trust Cup At Grand Champions; Whistle Uys Named MVP

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Sebucan Rallies, Captures US Trust Cup At Grand Champions; Whistle Uys Named MVP
US Trust champion Sebucan's MVP Whistle Uys, Juancito Bollini, Pablo Pulido and Carlitos Gracida. Photo by Sheryel Aschfort

WELLINGTON, Fla., October 23,  2018---On a perfect day for polo, Sebucan rallied in the fifth chukker to win the US Trust Cup Sunday at windswept Grand Champions Polo Club.


Juan Bollini of ChukkerTV backs the ball with Pablo Pulido of Sebucan defending. Photo by Sheryel Aschfort

After a scoreless fourth chukker, Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, 2, Juancito Bollini, 4, Whistle Uys, 4, Carlitos Gracida, 4) scored three goals in the fifth chukker for a thrilling 9-7 victory over ChukkerTV (Gerardo Patin, 0, Brandon Phillips, 4, Julio Gracida, 4, Juan Bollini, 5).

South African Whistle Uys was named Most Valuable Player. It was his second MVP honor of the fall season. Playing for Santa Clara, he was MVP of the season-opening Tackeria Invitational subsidiary game after scoring three goals and giving Sebucan fits on defense.

Julio Gracida of ChukkerTV tries to control the ball with cousin Carlitos Gracida of Sebucan defending. Photo by Sheryel Aschfort

Uys was born and raised in South Africa. He started playing polo at age 12. He arrived in the U.S. in 1996 and began playing professionally for Graymar Farms in 2001. His home base is Franklin, Tenn.

Uys last played at Grand Champions five years ago with Gene Goldstein, Matt Coppola and Chris Nevins and won the 12-goal title.

Juancito Bollini of Sebucan defends his father Juan Bollini of ChukkerTV.
Photo by Sheryel Aschfort

"We made some changes in the fifth chukker," Uys said. "We started to have forward momentum and put a lot of pressure on them going forward. It changed everything. Every time there was a broken play, it seemed like we came up with the ball."

Seven-year-old mare Cortina, played by Juancito Bollini in the fourth chukker and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was selected Best Playing Pony.

MVP Whistle Uys of Sebucan leans into his shot with Juan Bollini of ChukkerTV defending. Photo by Gregory Scott Ratner

Sebucan got balanced scoring from all four players. Carlitos Gracida and Pablo Pulido each had three goals. Pulido had an incredible back shot goal set up by Bollini, who scored two goals, with seven seconds left in the opening chukker. Pulido also scored at 7:01 in the third chukker on a fast break run off  the throw-in.

The lead changed hands nine times before Sebucan took charge in the fifth chukker after a scoreless fourth chukker. Uys opened the fifth chukker for a 6-5 lead followed by goals from Gracida and Juancito Bollini for an 8-5 lead going into the sixth chukker. Juan Bollini scored with 4:32 left to cut the lead to 8-7, and Carlitos Gracida converted a penalty-three at 2:44 to clinch the win. 

Awards presenter Carmen Marin presents the MVP award to Whistle Uys with a little half-pint help.
Photo by Gregory Scott Ratner

"I didn't think we played well the first four chukkers," Uys said. "We kind of held it together but it seemed like they had a better plan. They were more seasoned players. Our team is good, we had two young guys and two older guys but it seemed like we were hitting the ball but not putting it on the end of a teammate's mallet. 

"We were mismatched marking-wise," Uys said. "We had too much in the back of the game and not enough going forward. So we switched it, we put Carlitos at the back and Juancito and I in the middle and Pablo at one starting the fifth chukker and I think that's what did it." 

Travieso and Newport players with awards presenter Carmen Marin at the Just For The Love Of It awards ceremony. Photo by Gregory Scott Ratner

Uys and Graymar Farms owner Robert Lipman, a polo player for 35 years, started a horse breeding business and was proud he played all "homebred horses" in Sunday's final.

"I've been more focused on homebreds," Uys said. "Everything I played today was homebreds. Now they are coming to an age where we can start pushing them."

Just For The Love Of It MVP Juan Cruz Merlos of Newport with awards presenter Carmen Marin. Photo by Sheryel Aschfort

In the Just For The Fun Of It subsidiary game, Newport (Gene Goldstein, 1, Grant Ganzi, 2, Juan Cruz Merlos, 5, Kris Kampsen, 6) dominated Travieso (Justin Daniels, 2, Tony Calle, 3, Mariano Gracida, 4, Pablo Dorignac, 5) for an impressive 12-6 victory.

Juan Cruz Merlos, making his Grand Champions debut this fall, was Most Valuable Player. The playmaker scored one goal and was key on defense.

Team USPA teammates Grant Ganzi of Newport defends Tony Calle of Travieso. Photo by Sheryel Aschfort

Team USPA's Grant Ganzi scored a game-high five goals, Kris Kampsen had four goals and Gene Goldstein added two goals.

For Travieso, Team USPA's Justin Daniels had two goals and Tony Calle had one. Mariano Gracida also had two goals and Pablo Dorignac added one goal.

Newport  jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first chukker. Travieso clawed its way back in the next two chukkers, 4-2, to tie Newport 5-5 at the half. 

Pablo Dorignac of Travieso defends Gene Goldstein of Newport.
Photo by Gregory Scott Ratner

The second half was all Newport with Ganzi converting four penalty shots in the fourth quarter to shut out Travieso, 4-0, in that chukker. Newport outscored Travieso, 7-1, in the second half while shutting them out in the fourth and sixth chukkers.

US Trust, founded in 1853, is a wealth management and private banking company designed to address the needs of its clients, regardless of complexity. It provides investment management, wealth structuring, credit and lending services to clients. It is the first and oldest trust company in the United States.

Double-teamed by Travieso teammates Justin Daniels and Pablo Dorignac, Grant Ganzi of Newport hits the nearside reverse neck shot.
Photo by Gregory Scott Ratner

The US Trust Cup was the second of six medium-goal tournaments in addition to 20-goal action during the season. Grand Champions is one of the few USPA-sanctioned clubs that offers fall polo.

The Polo School, a 501c3 organization and stand-alone USPA club, is open at Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm. It 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 June and September through November. 

Justin Daniels of Travieso goes for the big neck shot with Juan Cruz Merlos of Newport defending. Photo by Gregory Scott Ratner

Grand Champions is one of the nation's busiest and most innovative polo clubs, hosting both medium and high goal polo in the fall highlighted by the Triple Crown of Polo Tournament and International Cup.

Among the highlights of the season are the upcoming USPA North American Cup, Nov. 3-17 USPA National 20-Goal Championship; Nov. 14 Triple Crown of Polo Tournament and Romero Britto Celebration; and Nov. 24 doubleheader featuring the Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial and International Cup.

Travieso teammates Tony Calle and Justin Daniels and Newport's Kris Kampsen and Juan Cruz Merlos in hot pursuit of the ball. Photo by Sheryel Aschfort.

This year's Nov. 24 International Cup  will feature defending champion Team USA against Azerbaijan. This year the U.S. team will put its six-year winning streak on the line against Azerbaijan, known as the Land of Fire and Ice, and one of the most improved polo teams in the world. Recently, Azerbaijan finished runner-up to Italy in the FIP European Championship.

Last year Team USA ( Grant Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Julio Arellano, Mike Azzaro) defeated Brazil, 9-7, to capture the sixth annual International Cup event. Arellano was named Most Valuable Player for the third consecutive year. Since 2012, Team USA has defeated England, Chile, Mexico, South Africa and Uruguay in International Cup history.
 
MVP Juan Cruz Merlos of Newport balances the ball and his horse in the air. Photo by Sheryel Aschfort

The well-organized fall tournaments attract players from all over the United States and world including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, England, France, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria and South Africa.

Grand Champions had its finest fall season in club history last year. Grand Champions was the only club in the nation to stage two USPA-sanctioned 20-goal fall tournaments and again is hosting two 20-goal tournament this season.

The Grand Champions Fall Invitational League is geared toward improving a player's polo skills at every level. Roster lineups change from tournament to tournament with evenly-matched teams featuring pro and amateur players.

Pablo Dorignac of Travieso works the ball with teammate Tony Calle defending Juan Cruz Merlos of Newport. Photo by Sheryel Aschfort.

The fall league features: stick-and-ball sessions during the week; two medium tournament games every weekend; ambulance and USPA umpires for all tournament games; world-class polo fields; club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players; and top-of-the-line trophies for all teams every weekend.

Club owners Marc and Melissa Ganzi, both accomplished players, take pride in teaching and sharing the exciting sport of polo with anyone interested in learning. The husband and wife team are coming off a successful summer season at their Aspen Valley Polo Club which concluded over Labor Day Weekend.

Wellington-based ChukkerTV is live streaming the entire fall season. ChukkerTV's state-of-the art technology also features team challenges and instant replay which made their debut at Grand Champions in January, 2014.

The US Trust Cup waiting patiently to be awarded. To the victor go the spoils. Photo by Gregory Scott Ratner

Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 26-goal during the winter season in addition to special events at its well-manicured fields during the fall, winter and spring seasons.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm cater 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 at the turnkey facility.

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. The mission is to help those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.
THE POLO SCHOOL 

The Polo School at Grand Champions and Director of Operations Juan Bollini are dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. The school's mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November. For lessons contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099. 
2018 FALL SCHEDULE

MEDIUM GOAL LEAGUE

October 26-28: USPA Fall Classic

November 1-4: USPA Fall Plates

November 8-11: Polo Gear Challenge 

November 15-18 Pedro Morrison Memorial 

HIGH GOAL LEAGUE

October 25-27: USPA North American Cup

November 3-17: USPA National 20-Goal Championship

November 14:  The Triple Crown of Polo Tournament, Romero Britto Celebration at Santa Rita Polo Club

November 24:  Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial and International Cup, Team USA vs. Azerbaijan.




Chukker TV is live streaming the entire fall polo schedule. ChukkerTV, featuring cutting-edge technology, was the first to introduce state-of-the-art live streaming technology and instant replay in January, 2014 at Grand Champions Polo Club. For advertising opportunities on ChukkerTV please contact Mike Ferreira at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.

DIRECTOR OF POLO: Juan Olivera, 561-644-5050, juan.olivera @gcpolo.com; hotline  561-644-5050.

INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere with food and refreshments during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.

STAY CONNECTED:
ChukkerTV, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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