WELLINGTON, FL-October 30, 2016-Palm Beach Polo made history Saturday by capturing the first medium goal tournament ever held at the new Santa Rita Polo Farm.
Palm Beach Polo, leading by only one after five chukkers, added two more goals in the final chukker to defeat Santa Rita, 7-4, on a windy and rainy afternoon.
|Carlucho Arellano of Palm Beach Polo tries to ride off his defender.|
Palm Beach Polo’s talented foursome of Glenn Straub, Martin Estrada, Carlitos Gracida and Carlucho Arellano took the lead on Straub’s second goal of the game and never relinquished it.
Straub, who finished with two goals and played well defensively, was named Most Valuable Player.
|Palm Beach Polo teammates Carlucho Arellano and Glenn Straub work together with Santos Bollini defending.|
Onyx, a bay mare and daughter of Open Quarzo (sire) and Nube (dam), bred and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm and ridden by Gracida, was named Best Playing Pony.
Palm Beach Polo had balanced scoring. Arellano, making his fall season debut this week at Grand Champions Polo Club, led scoring with three goals. Carlitos Gracida and Straub each had two goals.
|Carlucho Arellano of Palm Beach Polo defends Jesse Bray of Santa Rita.|
Santa Rita (Riley Ganzi, Jared Sheldon, Jesse Bray, Juan Bollini/Santos Bollini/Roddy Matthews) kept the game close but could not match Palm Beach Polo’s chemistry or final chukker scoring power. Bray scored all four of his team’s goals.
In the opening chukker, Straub gave Palm Beach Polo a 1-0 lead before Bray tied it at 1-1. Straub scored his second goal and Palm Beach Polo’s defense shut out Santa Rita for a 2-1 lead in the second chukker.
|Riley Ganzi of Santa Rita attempts to hook Glenn Straub of Palm Beach Polo. Photos by Alex Pacheco.|
Arellano and Bray each scored one goal in the third, fourth and fifth chukkers. With Palm Beach Polo leading, 5-4, going in the final chukker, Gracida scored back-to-back goals to put the game away.
Wellington-based ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, is live streaming the entire fall season worldwide with polo announcer Dale Schwetz calling the action.
|Mt. Sopris Cup winners Carlucho Arellano, MVP Glenn Straub, Martin Estrada and Carlitos Gracida.|
ChukkerTV’s state-of-the art technology features team challenges and instant replay which made their debut at Grand Champions in January, 2014.
Grand Champions, with nine well-manicured fields, is enjoying its finest fall season in the ten-year history of the club.
The club has hosted five successful tournaments. In addition to Palm Beach Polo winning the Mt. Sopris Cup, the other winners were Flexjet (MVP Riley Ganzi, Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Jason Crowder) won the season-opening Tackeria Invitational with a 7-6 victory over Casablanca. U.S. Trust (Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, MVP Jared Shelton, Nic Roldan) won the U.S. Trust Cup with a 5.5-3 win over Flexjet. Casablanca (Jared Sheldon, Grant Ganzi, Tony Calle, MVP Jesse Bray) won the Fall Classic with an 11-9 victory over Flexjet. Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, MVP Marc Ganzi, JJ Celis, Nic Roldan) won the Palm Restaurant Invitational with a 10-9 win over Flexjet.
|Marc Ganzi presents Glenn Straub with his MVP award.|
The remaining medium goal tournaments at Grand Champions Polo Club are: Nov. 1-6 Fall Plates and Nov. 8-13 Polo Gear Challenge.
Grand Champions 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 only polo club in the U.S. to offer the unique program.
The Polo School, a 501c3 organization, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.
|Best Playing Pony Onyx ridden by Carlitos Gracida.
All photos by Alex Pacheco.
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 561-373-0073.
2016 FALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 1-6, Fall Plates
Nov. 8-13, Polo Gear Challenge
Nov. 12-20, USPA National 20-Goal
Nov. 16-23, USPA North American Cup
Nov. 26, Carlos Gracida Memorial Legends of Polo and fifth annual International Cup, Team USA vs. Uruguay.