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Dundas Polo, Gracida Wine Play For $100,000 World Cup Saturday At Jan Pamela

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Dundas Polo, Gracida Wine Play For $100,000 World Cup Saturday At Jan Pamela

WELLINGTON, Fl., February 14, 2020---The stage is set for the championship final of the prestigious $100,000 World Cup Saturday at 1 p.m. at Jan Pamela. 


In the opening semifinal on Tuesday, Dundas Polo (Salvador Lockey 2, Guillermo Terrera 8, Diego Cavanagh 9, Jejo Taranco 8) defeated Audi (Barto Castagnola 8, Nic Roldan 8, Pablo MacDonough 10), 9-7.

Peco Polledo of Gracida Wine works the ball with Hilario Figueras of Beverly Equestrian
 on his hip.

Terrera will play back-to-back finals this weekend. In addition to the $100,000 World Cup, Terrera will play for SD Farms in the World Polo League's All Star Challenge 26-goal final Sunday at Grand Champions at 4 p.m.

On Thursday in front of a packed house at Santa Rita Polo Farm, Gracida Wine (Carlitos Gracida 4, Juan Monteverde 5, Peco Polledo 6, Sterling Giannico 4) ended Beverly Equestrian's (Bill Ballhaus 0, Hilario Figueras 3, Poroto Cambiaso 4, Tolito Ocampo 5) charmed run with a 13-10 victory.

I know it's somewhere! Hilario Figueras of Beverly Equestrian and Sterling Giannico of Gracida Wine look in opposite directions for the ball.

Gracida, Monteverde and Polledo return off the 2018 Palm Beach Illustrated champion team. Giannico is making his winter season debut at Grand Champions filling the vacant spot left by Tommy Collingwood competing for Daily Racing Form in the Gauntlet.

"I am so happy we won," Giannico said. "The boys have already won it before and having them inviting me to the team means a lot. I had a little bit of pressure on my end to step up my game.

Carlitos Gracida of Gracida Wine scores one of his game-high seven goals.

"I have no words. I am super excited and can't wait for Saturday. I don't even want to think about Dundas right now."

The single-elimination, winner-take-all tournament is the richest prize purse offered in club history. Each player on the winning team will receive $25,000 in prize money. The six-day tournament featured ten teams from 12 to 27-goal rating.

Poroto Cambiaso of Beverly Equestrian leans out of his saddle to try and stop Carlitos Gracida's goal.

"Like two years ago, we got four goals," Gracida said. "This time I think we get eight or nine. More than anything it's important not to foul and be tight with our man on defense. It will take good defense and no fouls. Then the goals will come on their own and they will end up getting desperate and foul and we get a penalty and keep that lead.

Bill Ballhaus of Beverly Equestrian tries to hook Sterling Giannico of Gracida Wine.

"To win this would mean everything," Gracida said. "I don't have a job so this is the only opportunity I get to play right now. I am grateful for everybody involved who helps create the opportunity for me to be playing right now. I want to make the most of it and play well."

Beverly Equestrian, a 12-goal team, started off with a 7-0 lead over 19-goal Gracida Wine but was shut out in the first, fourth and sixth chukkers and could manage only three goals, two by Toledo and one by Figueras.

Peco Polledo of Gracida Wine riding hard to catch Poroto Cambiaso of Beverly Equestrian.

"Everything was the key to the game,"  Gracida said. "We all had to play well. The footing is 10-point so we knew we could make big turns and turn fast. But it's a little bit bouncy, too, so we didn't want to tap it too much. We wanted to hit the back shot and beat them on the turn. We knew their strategy was bring it and tap it, and we knew the field wasn't going to help that. We just had to stay patient and not foul. I fouled a lot but that's because I'm hungry.

Tolito Ocampo of Beverly Equestrian tries to hit a back hand past Sterling Giannico of Gracida Wine.

Gracida Wine's swarming defense was dominating. Cambiaso, a scoring threat from anywhere on the field, was double teamed for most of the game.

"If you give him the time, he scores, you can't let him go," said Giannico of the 14-year-old Cambiaso. "I think Beverly Equestrian did amazing. They are very talented and have a lot of future in front of them."

Tolito Ocampo of Beverly Equestrian tries to maintain possession with Sterling Giannico of Gracida Wine defending.

Gracida scored a game-high seven goals including four penalty conversions. Monteverde, Polledo and Giannico each scored two goals. 

In the opening semifinal at Grand Champions, 27-goal teams Audi and Dundas played a tight game. The lead changed hands eight times before Dundas took a 5-4 lead at halftime. Audi had several scoring opportunities in the first half including three open goal penalties.

Hilario Figueras of Beverly Equestrian works the near side with Juan Monteverde of Gracida Wine defending.

Dundas never relinguished its lead in the second half. Audi came within one goal trailing 6-5 with 5:12 left in the fifth chukker, but Cavanagh scored back-to-back goals to enable Dundas to pull away 8-5 late in the fifth chukker. MacDonough scored from a standstill late in the chukker. Audi could get no closer than two goals in the final chukker.

Cavanagh led Dundas with four goals, Terrera had three and Taranco added two. For Audi, MacDonough led scorers with three goals and Castagnola had two goals.

Salvador Lockey of Dundas attempts to hit a back shot.

The 2017 inaugural champion was Palm Beach Illustrated, a 21-goal underdog with players Jared Zenni, Santi Torres, Agustin Obregon and Tommy Collingwood, all young, talented rising stars.

Palm Beach Illustrated repeated as champions in 2018. Only Collingwood returned from the original team. He was joined by teammates Carlitos Gracida, Juan Monteverde and Peco Polledo.

Nic Roldan of Audi and Salvador Lockey of Dundas battle for possession.

The tournament was resurrected by Grand Champions owner and president Melissa Ganzi. It was last played at Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in the 1990s. What makes the tournament so unique is the fact it's open to teams 0-40 goal on handicap, similar to the Copa Republica in Argentina where teams of any handicap from 0-to-40 can compete. 

In 2017, the lowest rated team was Equuleus at four goals and highest ranked teams were Orchard Hill, Audi, Valiente and Flexjet at 26 goals. The 2017 tournament also featured 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso playing with his son Poroto in a U.S. tournament for the first time.

Dundas teammates Diego Cavanagh and Guillermo Terrera double team 
Barto Castagnola of Audi.

In Argentina, there are more teams in the 20-goal range that end up winning the tournament.

During the winter season in Wellington, Grand Champions is hosting 19 tournaments, the most of any club in the U.S., including four in January. The highlight of the schedule is the second season of the 26-goal World Polo League currently underway with the All Star Challenge followed by the Founder's Cup, marking the debut of 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa for Casablanca. Ulloa will replace 10-goaler and Argentine Open winner Juan Martin Nero, who re-injured his ankle.

Jejo Taranco of Dundas tries to work the ball through Audi defenders Barto Castagnola and Pablo MacDonough.

With 18 safe and well-manicured fields, including 11-tournament grade, the club is hosting every level of polo for men, women and children including the WPL, the only 26-goal polo held outside of Argentina featuring the best players in the world.

The club attracts a large international field of players from all corners of the world including Australia, Chile, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Nigeria and England.

Audi's Pablo MacDonough drives past Salvador Lockey of Dundas.

Grand Champions is coming off its finest fall season in the club's 13-year history. It was the only club in the nation to stage two 20-goal fall tournaments in addition to the International Cup and Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial. The club also hosted a full schedule of successful and highly-competitive medium goal tournaments.

Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique polo facility, nestled in the heart of the world's winter equestrian capital Wellington. It features 120 stalls in five self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and four polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball and new parking lot.

Barto Castagnola of Audi and Jejo Taranco of Dundas cross mallets for the ball.
Photos by ChukkerTV

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm's 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, created by Melissa Ganzi when the club first opened.

The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA-sanctioned polo club, is thriving 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 May and September through November. Headed by Director of Operations Juan Bollini, The Polo School has nurtured several men and women polo players now playing in the pro and amateur ranks since its inception.

2020 WINTER SCHEDULE

FEBRUARY

$100,000 World Cup
Saturday 2/15 1 p.m. Final
Gracida Wine vs Dundas at Jan Pamela Field 3

Top Pony 8 Goal
Saturday. 2/15 10 a.m. Skeneateles vs Woodrow
Monday 2/17 10 a.m. Woodrow vs Altaris
Saturday 2/22 10 a.m. WPL vs Skeneateles
Friday 2/28 Handicap Final
Saturday 2/29 Final

Halo Polo Trophy 6 Goal
Friday 2/14 4 p.m. Willowcreek vs Mayer Ranch
Sunday 2/16 TuffRider vs Mayer Ranch
Monday 2/17 Mayer Ranch vs WPL

Seiber Memorial Trophy 12 Goal
Monday 2/17 3 p.m. Novo Polo vs Palm Beach Equine 

WPL All Star Challenge
Friday 2/14 4 p.m. Semifinal 
Valiente vs Casablanca at Valiente Field 1
Sunday 2/16 4 p.m. Final at GCPC Field 2


FEB 6-16            WPL All-Star Challenge
FEB 19-MAR 1    WPL Founders Cup
FEB 25-MAR 8    $50,000 National 12-Goal


MARCH
MAR 8 10 a.m.     Great Futures Polo Day 
MAR 1-29             Madelon Bourdieu Memorial
MAR 1-29             Limited Edition 8-Goal Series    
MAR 1-28             Top Pony 12-Goal Series
MAR 4-22             WPL Palm Beach Open
MAR 28-APR 18  WPL Triple Crown of Polo
MAR 31-APR 4    WCT Finals

APRIL
APR 4-19            Las Acacias, 4-8
APR 6-12            U.S. National Mixed Doubles Polo Championship
APR 9-12            World Polo League Beach Polo World Cup, Miami Beach

FEB-APR           WCT Ladies Wednesday League


Polo Hotline 561-644-5050
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 May and September through November. For lessons contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099. 


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:
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