WELLINGTON, Fl., March 25, 2023—The Polo Training Foundation and Kids Cancer Foundation were the biggest winners of the fifth annual Nic Roldan‘s Sunset Polo and White Party Friday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
While rapper 50 Cent stole the show at the White Party and USA Overfinch won the Sunset Polo perpetual Neil and Laura Hirsch trophy before a sellout crowd, it was the two deserving foundations that benefitted the most from the generosity of sponsors and fans.
„We have been working on this for a year,“ said Grant Ganzi, who played a integral role in the event‘s success. „I can‘t even express how impressed I am with the big turnout and everyone supporting the two amazing foundations that we are raising money for.“
USA Overfinch (Marc Ganzi, 1, Grant Ganzi, 3, Nic Roldan, 8, Polito Pieres, 10) rallied in the final two minutes to defeat Hurlingham 1875 (Henry Porter, 4, Max Charlton, 6, Freddie Mannix, 7, Tommy Beresford, 7), 5-4.
Divina, played by Grant Ganzi, was Best Playing Pony.
The fast-paced game pitted two well-balanced teams with USA Overfinch featuring the top two-rated American-born polo players, Pieres and Roldan. USA Overfinch took a 2-0 lead in the second chukker when Grant Ganzi scored on a nearside neck shot with nine seconds left. The first goal was awarded on handicap.
With a goal from Marc Ganzi with three seconds left in the third, USA Overfinch took a 3-1 halftime lead. Charlton scored back-to-back goals to open the fourth chukker to tie the game, 3-3. Grant Ganzi scored again with 1:02 left in the fourth. Charlton‘s goal early in the fifth tied the game again, 4-4, before Marc Ganzi clinched the win.
USA Overfinch was led by father and son Marc and Grant Ganzi, who each scored two goals with Marc Ganzi scoring the game-winner with 1:35 left in the game. Charlton led Hurlingham 1875 with a game-high four goals. Mannix added one.
The event was kicked off by a spirited Kids eWheels three-on-three game. The Red team (Silver Novillo Astrada, Fran Spinacci, Inda Pieres) and White team (Lorenzo Nero, Milo MacDonough, Florencio Lanusse) battled to a 2-2 tie and shared the Robert I. Goldman Sunset Polo Junior Cup presented by Goldman‘s daughter Olexa Celine.
PTF alum Jack McLean and Andrianna (Alex) Harstad, a Kids Cancer Foundation volunteer and Dreyfoos School of the Arts vocal major, kicked off the polo match with stirring renditions of each country‘s national anthem. Popular DJ Adam Lipson provided background music throughout the game.
After the five-chukker match and post-game awards ceremony featuring loads of top-shelf swag from golf bags to custom-made jackets for the players thanks to the generosity of sponsors, fans were treated to great food, drink and entertainment.
American rapper, actor, record producer and businessman 50 Cent, wearing his trademark New York Yankees baseball cap, got the party started with his award-winning music that had the crowd dancing late into the night.
The Polo Training Foundation is dedicated to the future of polo in the U.S. The PTF has been instrumental in the growth of junior and youth polo players by encouraging the sport‘s development with training programs, lessons and tournaments for boys and girls.
The Kids Cancer Foundation is a non-profit charity founded in 2001, whose mission is to provide hope and support to local children and families battling childhood cancer.
„We‘re here to support two great causes,“ Roldan said. „All the contributions go straight to them. We just want to thank everyone who was a part of it. We worked our asses off to make it as beautiful as possible. Grant did an amazing job, working day in and day out.“
Hurlingham Polo 1875 is the world’s only polo brand representing the authentic home of the sport and the Hurlingham Polo Association. For over 145 years, Hurlingham Polo has supported the ‘game of kings’ as the premium lifestyle brand, it is authentically British and absolutely international.
Overfinch is the original Land Rover enhancement and tuning company redefining and creating exclusive bespoke stylish vehicles. As the originator of after-market Range Rover tuning, Overfinch has an unrivaled history of achievement and ground-breaking product development. Famed for the pairing of handcrafted gun boxes with luxury cars, Overfinch has the expertise to commission lifestyle boxes for any passion, from cigar connoisseurs to champagne aficionados and avid polo players.
Among other sponsors were: BrainJuice, Nic Roldan‘s High Goal Gin, Arthur Sleep, London‘s first shoe factory complemented by the made to measure stylings of New York‘s Angel Ramos; Casablanca Polo, who donated shirts for the USA Overfinch and eWheel players; Hurlingham 1875 which donated the Alegria team shirts; and Folded Hills Lilly Rose.
Grand Champions, the nation‘s largest polo club 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 play and 26-goal WPL tournaments at both Grand Champions and Santa Rita.
Remaining season highlights for 2023 are the $50,000 National 12-Goal final on Sunday, John T. Oxley Memorial, $100,000 World Cup Tournament, WCT Finals and special events including the Great Futures Celebrity Polo, WCT Finals, 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. November. 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.
Grand Champions Polo Club Sunday March 26, 2023 Schedule
9:30 a.m. Madelon Bourdieu 6 Goal Final
Smithfield vs Limehouse
GCPC Field 3
10 a.m. $50,000 National 12 Goal Final
Dracarys vs Rafool Polo
GCPC Field 1
4 p.m. World Polo League
Palm Beach Open Final
Casablanca vs Dead End
GCPC Field 2
By Sharon Robb
Photos by Candace Ferreira