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USPA National 20 Goal, Banyan Cup highlight action in season-ending weekend at Grand Champions

Tommy Biddle © Candace Ferreira

WELLINGTON, November 17, 2022—The final weekend of fall polo at Grand Champions Polo Club will feature two tournaments.

The coveted USPA National 20 Goal, featuring Santa Rita and Travieso in the championship final, will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. on Field 3.

The club‘s historic and second highly-anticipated high goal tournament held its semifinals on Nov. 8, Tuesday with Santa Rita (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Nic Roldan, 8, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 7, Juan Bollini) defeating Casablanca (Segundo Merlos, 3, Jason Crowder, 5, Grant Ganzi, 3, Tomacho Pieres, 6), 13-9, and Travieso (Teo Calle, 0, Sugar Erskine, 6, Kris Kampsen, 6, Tommy Biddle, 5) edging NetJets (Jesse Bray, 7, Marc Ganzi, 1, Agustin Obregon 6, Juan Sanchez Elia, 5), 11-9.

There are a few lineup changes for the final. Playing for Santa Rita are Gene Goldstein, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan and Juan Bollini. For Travieso, Tony Calle will replace his dad.

In last year‘s USPA National 20 Goal, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Jason Crowder, 6, Nic Roldan, 8, Juan Bollini, 4) stunned defending champion Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, 3, Kris Kampsen, 6, Jeff Hall, 6, Tommy Biddle, 5) in a wild 12-11 overtime finish with Bollini scoring the winning goal. Roldan was named MVP after winning a record seventh National 20 Goal title.

The National 20 Goal was first played at the now-defunct Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton, Florida, in 2007. Won by Houston-based team BTA (Chrys Beal, Mariano Gonzalez, Francisco Lanusse, Santiago Trotz) in a narrow victory over Audi 13-12, the trophy then went into hiatus until 2011.

Resurrected by Grand Champions Polo Club, the tournament has consistently fielded four to six competitive teams over the past ten years. Audi has dominated the competition with four total wins, including back-to-back victories in 2012 and 2013 with an identical team (Marc Ganzi, Carlos Gracida Jr., Nic Roldan, Carlos Gracida).

The Banyan Cup is the final medium goal tournament of the season. Two teams will compete Friday at 11 a.m. with the final set for Sunday, also at 11 a.m. Both games are at Santa Rita Polo Farm. The Roxbury Raiders (Josh Silverman, Teo Calle, Jason Crowder, Tommy Biddle) plays Newport (Gene Goldstein, Sugar Erskine, Nic Roldan, Tito Gaudenzi).

The last time the Banyan Cup was held was Nov. 24, 2020. Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan, Grant Ganzi) defeated World Polo League (Gussie Busch, Pablo Spinacci, Horacio Heguy, Michel Dorignac), 14-9. Pulido was MVP and Little Nell was Best Playing Pony.

One of the nation‘s busiest and innovative polo clubs celebrating its 16th anniversary, has been hosting both medium goal and high goal leagues throughout the fall. 

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

The Grand Champions Fall Invitational, geared toward improving a player‘s polo skills at every level, has been a great opportunity for players and sponsors to prepare for the winter season highlighted by the 26-goal World Polo League, now entering its fifth season at Grand Champions.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique private 100-acre polo facility in Wellington with more than 150 stalls in several self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation and stick-and-ball fields.

Wellington-based ChukkerTV is live streaming the entire fall season. 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 and Santa Rita Polo Farm hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 26-goal 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.

The Polo School, a 501c3 organization and stand-alone USPA club, 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 operates in Wellington January through June and October through November. For more information on the Fall Leagues or Polo School contact Juan Bollini at  561-346-1099 or Cale Newman at 561-876-2930

By Sharon Robb
Photos by Candace Ferreira

2022 Banyan Cup Schedule

Friday 11/18
11 a.m. The Roxbury Raiders vs Newport at Santa Rita

Sunday 11/20
11 a.m. Banyan Cup Final at Santa Rita

2022 USPA National 20 Goal Schedule

Saturday 11/19
11 a.m. Santa Rita vs Travieso at GCPC 3

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