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Colorado Remains Undefeated, WPL Wins; Audi Plays Grand Champions And U.S. National Mixed Doubles Makes Its Debut Friday At Valiente

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Colorado Remains Undefeated, WPL Wins; Audi Plays Grand Champions And U.S. National Mixed Doubles Makes Its Debut Friday At Valiente
WELLINGTON, Fl., April 5, 2019----Colorado remained unbeaten and WPL won its first game Thursday in the Triple Crown of Polo while the World Polo League will make a little more history on Friday with a unique first-of-its kind game. 

By Sharon Robb 

The World Polo League U.S. National Mixed Doubles Championship, featuring two men and two women with combined handicaps, will be the feature game Friday at 4 p.m. at Valiente PoloFarm.

Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Mia Novillo Astrada, Mia Cambiaso, Adolfo Cambiaso) will play Audi (Marc Ganzi, Pablo MacDonough/Juan Martin Nero, Nina Clarkin, Mili Sanchez). The game will pit 10-goalers Cambiaso and Clarkin against each other.

"That will be fun, really fun," Adolfo Cambiaso said. 

Guillermo Terrera of WPL watches his attempted goal hit.

Added Bob Jornayvaz, "Polo is all about having fun and we are going to have fun."

In the only WPL action on Friday, Audi (Marc Ganzi, 2, Nic Roldan, 8, Pablo MacDonough, 10, Kris Kampsen, 6) and Grand Champions (Grant Ganzi, 3, Juancito Bollini, 4, Juan Martin Nero, 10, Rodrigo Andrade, 9) will meet in the battle of the unbeatens at 10 a.m. at Valiente Polo Farm Field 2.

Agustin Nero of WPL tries to ride off Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Mandarina.
 
In World Polo League action on Thursday, WPL (Chris Dawson, 2, Guillermo Terrera, 8, Agustin Nero, 6, Diego Cavanagh, 9) defeated Mandarina (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Alfredo Bigatti, 8, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8, Pablo Spinacci, 6), 11-7, for its first win of the Triple Crown of Polo tournament at windswept Grand Champions Polo Club.

WPL had its work cut out for it in the opening chukker. Mandarina opened with a 4-0 lead on handicap and quickly jumped out to a 6-1 cushion with 2:46 left in the second chukker.

Chris Dawson of WPL watches teammate Agustin Nero go for the big hit downfield.
 
In the fast-paced, wide open game, WPL started to claw its way back scoring three unanswered goals to trail, 6-4, at the half. The WPL's momentum continued in the second half when Terrera worked his way through a crowd of defenders to score and trail by one, 6-5. 

Dawson, making his 26-goal debut, scored the tying goal with 1:38 left in the fourth chukker. After that, it was all WPL with three more unanswered goals before Mandarina scored its first goal in the second half when Novillo Astrada scooped up the ball at his own 60-yard line and raced to score despite Nero closely defending.

Agustin Nero of WPL and Alfredo Bigatti of Mandarina battle for the ball.
 
Terrera scored four of his six goals in the second half.

"It was a little bit tricky because we were 6-1, but we gave them four or five goals," Terrera said. "In the plays we were winning, but losing on the scoreboard. We kept our minds on our plays and not the scoreboard.

"This was a big game for us to win because now we have a chance to go to the semis," Terrera said. 

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Mandarina hits the near side shot.
 
For Dawson, president and founder of Hawaii Polo Life and USPA Circuit Governor of the Hawaiian Islands, it was a dream come true to play high goal alongside and against some of the best polo players in the world. Dawson praised Robertito Zedda and the Jornayvaz family for the opportunity to play in the WPL game.

Agustin Nero of WPL tries to hook Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Mandarina.
 
"I was lucky to get a chance to play on this team," Dawson said. "They make it really easy. It's very fast, really nice guys and super well-organized. The horses are amazing. It's world-class polo, world-class guys, world-class fields on world-class horses. This was a guest appearance for me. It was a taste and it tasted really good.

"My team today was a dream team," Dawson said. "I had a lot of fun. It was a gift. The tempo takes a little getting used to. The ball is changing direction so fast. The line is changing so quickly. It is distinctly different from 20 and 22 goal polo for sure."

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Mandarina works the near side with Agustin Nero of WPL defending.
 
Novillo Astrada was disappointed with the loss but pleased the team never let up. Mandarina missed three scoring opportunities in the final chukker.

"We made some mistakes and they took advantage of that," Novillo Astrada said. "We never gave up. We fought to the end. In the last chukker we had a few chances to score and we were not able to score and get closer on the scoreboard."

Jero del Carril of Colorado hits the ball with Alejandro Taranco of Valiente defending.
 
Terrera led WPL with six goals. Cavanagh added three goals and Dawson and Nero each had one goal. Novillo Astrada led Mandarina with three goals and Spinacci added one. WPL evened its record to 1-1 in Bracket II play, setting up an interesting matchup with Audi in Sunday's feature game at GCPC. Mandarina dropped to 0-2 and will play Grand Champions also on Sunday.

Juan Martin Zubia of Colorado uses both horses for his neck shot past Alejandro Taranco of Valiente.
 
In the second game of the WPL doubleheader, Colorado (Rob Jornayvaz, 2, Juan Martin Zubia, 7, Jero del Carril, 7, Adolfo Cambiaso, 10) left no doubt it is the tournament favorite with a 14-12 victory over Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, 2, Santi Torres, 6, Pelon Stirling, 10, Alejandro Tarranco, 8) at blustery Valiente Polo Farm.

Jero del Carril of Colorado tries to ride off Alejandro Taranco of Valiente.
 
Don't let the score fool you. Colorado was a well-oiled machine from the opening throw-in running up a 9-3 halftime lead and 14-7 advantage after five chukkers. It wasn't until the final three minutes, Valiente scored five unanswered goals before time ran out.

Adolfo Cambiaso of Colorado and Santi Torres of Valiente battle for possession.
 
"We started well more or less, played well in the second and third chukkers and then nothing, we had a free gap in the last two," Cambiaso said. 

"For me it's fun to play with Rob once in a while because we don't play much together," said Cambiaso who usually plays with his father, Bob Jornayvaz. "We are not looking ahead to the final yet, we need to win the next game first."

Santi Torres of Valiente reaches for the ball with Jero del Carril of Colorado in pursuit.
 
The 19-year-old Zubia had a team-high six goals for Colorado. Del Carril had four goals, Cambiaso added three and Jornayvaz had one. For Valiente, Stirling led the team with six goals. Torres and Tarranco each had three goals. Colorado is 2-0 and Valiente is 1-1 in Bracket I play.

The WPL is being live streamed on ESPN Deportes and ChukkerTV/Polo Channel/Horseplay with Gus Whitelaw calling the action. For more information go to www.worldpolo.org.

Juan Martin Zubia of Colorado leans back to retrieve the ball from Alejandro Taranco of Valiente.
 
Co-founded by Grand Champions owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi and Valiente Polo Farm owner Bob Jornayvaz, the World Polo League is the only 26-goal polo in the world outside of Argentina. The WPL is preserving the highest level of polo and its rich, hallowed tradition in the U.S. 

The WPL has its own set of simpler fan-friendly rules to improve the flow and action of the game.

Santi Torres of Valiente pursues Adolfo Cambiaso of Colorado as he works the ball out of the air.
 
The WPL, with 11 tournament-quality fields to play on, features the All-Star Challenge Draw Tournament, Founders Cup, Palm Beach Open and Triple Crown of Polo. The WPL is open to teams that wish to compete in one or more of the tournaments. Games are offered on the flat (Open) and on Handicap.

Adolfo Cambiaso of Colorado looking for teammate Juan Martin Zubia downfield.
 
The World Polo League has attracted a large international field of players from all corners of the world  including  Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria, New Zealand, Uruguay and U.S.

Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique polo facility in Wellington with 120 stalls in five self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and three polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball with plans to build more polo fields in the future.

Rob Jornayvaz of Colorado defends Alejandro Taranco of Valiente as he backs the ball.
Photos by Ramon Casares
 
2019 WORLD POLO LEAGUE SCHEDULE


APRIL
March 27-April 14, Triple Crown of Polo
 

Friday, 4/5:
10 a.m. Audi vs. Grand Champions at Valiente Field 2
 
WPL U.S. National Mixed Doubles Championship Finals
4:00 p.m. Valiente vs Audi at Valiente Field 1


Saturday, 4/6:
4 p.m. Colorado vs Alegria at Valiente Field 1


Sunday, 4/7:
10 a.m. Grand Champions vs Mandarina at Jan Pamela Field 3
1 p.m. Valiente vs Black Watch at Valiente Field 2
4 p.m. Audi vs WPL at GCPC Field 2 



Wednesday, 4/10:
11 a.m. Subsidiary Semifinal
4 p.m. Subsidiary Semifinal

Thursday, 4/11:
11 a.m. Triple Crown of Polo Semifinal
4 p.m. Triple Crown of Polo Semifinal

Saturday, 4/13:
Subsidiary Final

Sunday, 4/14:
4 p.m. Triple Crown of Polo Championship Final, GCPC Field 2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WPL Hotline: 833-POLO-411
Games at Grand Champions Polo Club, Valiente Polo Farm and other local fields, call our hotline to receive daily game and field information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chukker TV is live streaming the entire World Polo League season with film material content provided by Polo Channel. 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 please contact Mike Ferreira at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Rob Jornayvaz at Polo Channel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For Daily Game information call our hotline at 1-833-POLO-411
 
 
Jan-Eric Franck
"The Voice of Polo"
 
ESPN West Palm (106.3FM) and ESPN Deportes (760AM) signed an exclusive contract with the World Polo League and will target the West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami markets with various broadcasts, commercials and exposure on radio, ESPN.com, ESPN app and social media platforms to promote the exciting new 26-goal league. With nearly two decades of sustained success in sports and entertainment broadcasting, Josh Cohen is among the most influential, respected and popular on-air personalities and live event hosts in South Florida. Julian Zaldivar has been a part of ESPN West Palm team and ESPN Deportes760AM manager since its inception. He is the host of Comunidad ESPN Monday through Friday that features all-sports talk and interviews with the Latino community leaders from the local Hispanic market.


 
Josh Cohen
Julian Zaldivar
 
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.
 

 
 
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Grand Champions Polo Club, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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