WELLINGTON, March 15, 2023—-Dundas won the 33rd annual Sieber Memorial Tuesday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
It was the third consecutive year Dundas has won the second 12-goal tournament of the winter season at the nation‘s largest club.
Dundas (Miki Novillo Astrada, 1, Mia Cambiaso 2, Roberto Zedda, 3, Geronimo Obregon, 5) broke open a close game in the second half to defeat Senvest Excalibor (Richard Mashaal, 0, Evan White Jr., 1, Santiago LLavallol, 5, Pedro Falabella, 6), 13-6.
It was the second time Dundas defeated Senvest Excalibor during the six-team tournament.
Mia Cambiaso, the oldest daughter of Argentine great Adolfo Cambiaso, was selected Most Valuable Player. Her horse, Dolfina Fantasia, was Best Playing Pony.
„I am so proud of Mia, I am so proud of my entire team,“ said Dundas patron Sarah Siegel Magness. „I think Mia is getting better and better every day. I‘m playing with Mia in the 12-goal in Santa Barbara so this is our warm-up.
„I love seeing women pros playing mixed tournaments. I hope it becomes a regular thing with other people besides me. I truly believe women need a shot in the mixed and you don‘t see women pros in the mix very often. It will be super exciting the more we see women in the mix coming in, it‘s going to be awesome.“
Siegel Magness watched the game from the sidelines with her husband Gary and dog Rosie. Magness broke her right leg while playing in the U.S. Women‘s Open at Port Mayaca. Teenager Miki Novillo Astrada, 16, replaced her in the Dundas lineup.
„I play with Robert and Geronimo all the time,“ Siegel Magness said. „I was just really happy to see a woman on the field. You never see women on the field besides me especially in the 12 and 16. This year we had three women.“
Four women competed in the tournament including Hope Arellano, Alecia Siedler, Cambiaso and Siegel Magness.
„I am just so proud to play with Mia and continually play with Geronimo and Robert,“ Siegel Magness said. „And we had a fantastic sub today. We played them before with me playing and we did well.“
For the U.S. Women‘s Open, Ana de La Fuente will replace Siegel Magness on undefeated Dundas (2-0) and join teammates Nina Clarkin, Mia Cambiaso and Erica Gandomcar-Sachs. Siegel Magness is expected to be sidelined for four weeks.
It was a defensive battle in the first half with both teams playing well defensively inside the 60 resulting in a close halftime score with Dundas leading, 5-4.
Dundas found its offensive game in the second half reeling off six unanswered goals in the fourth and fifth chukkers for an 11-5 lead. Even with a sub, the chemistry was evident among Dundas teammates in the second half with great anticipation and rotation.
„I told them congratulations and I was so glad they played so well,“ Siegel Magness said. „I was proud of everyone.“
Obregon was Dundas‘ leading scorer with a game-high six goals including four penalty conversions. Astrada had three goals and Cambiaso and Zedda each had two goals. For Senvest Excalibor, Falabella led with three goals, Llavallol had two and White Jr. added one.
Dundas outshot Senvest Excalibor, 21-12, led in throw-ins, 10-9, and fouls, 9-7. Senvest Excalibor led in knock-ins, 8-6. Each team scored off four penalties.
The tournament is named in honor of polo player Robert J. Sieber, Jr., who died in a polo-related accident August 22, 1984 at Oak Brook, Ill. He was 29. His legacy continues with the annual tournament. The tournament was resurrected by Melissa and Marc Ganzi ten years ago.
„It‘s a whole new tradition,“ said Rob‘s brother John Sieber, who handed out awards during the post-game ceremony. „Two of Rob‘s grandkids came down for some of the games last week so it‘s kind of nice to keep that tradition.
„It was two good teams and in the end they pulled away. The horses are unbelievable. For the captains to sponsor the teams to play, it‘s just a lot of work and I appreciate that. All the players were nice and had a good time.
„There is an old saying, ‚give from your heart and it will come back to you,‘“ Sieber said. „I hope for the Ganzi family, and not just for this tournament, but for all the polo they have given so much to, I hope it comes back to them tenfold for everything they have done.“
In last year‘s tournament, Dundas (Sarah Siegel Magness, 0, Juan Cruz Marcos, 3, Geronimo Obregon, 5, Roberto Zedda) was awarded a forfeit victory from Excalibor (Robert Mashaal, 0, Matias MacDonough, Santi Llavallol, Martin Jauregui, 5). Zetta was MVP.
In 2021, Dundas (Cable Magness, Juan Cruz Marcos, Hugo Taylor, Tatu Gomez Romero), defeated Newport (Gene Goldstein, Milo Dorignac, Michel Dorignac, Nick Manifold), 12-10. Romero was MVP.
Grand Champions, celebrating its 16th anniversary, 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 13 well-manicured fields including nine world-class fields at GCPC and four at Santa Rita.
During the winter polo season, Grand Champions, the nation‘s largest and most innovative USPA-sanctioned polo club, nestled in the heart of the world‘s winter equestrian capital, is hosting tournaments: 6, 8, 12, 20, and 26-goal leagues, WCT Finals, Polo School Ladies Weekly League and 26-goal World Polo League tournaments at both Grand Champions and Santa Rita.
Remaining season highlights for 2023 are the $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament, John T. Oxley Memorial Cup and $100,000 World Cup Tournament, a unique 0-40-goal, winner-take-all single-elimination tournament and special events including the Nic Roldan Sunset Polo and White Party, Great Futures Celebrity Polo, WPL Polo Pride and Sunset Chukkers & Cocktails.
The winter season is being live-streamed locally and worldwide on Wellington-based ChukkerTV (CTV Sports).
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 thriving. 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. 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 General Manager Cale Newman at 561-876-2930.
By Sharon Robb
Photos by Candace Ferreira