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Audi Wins USPA National 20-Goal Opener, Plays France In Saturday Semifinals At Grand Champions

Audi Wins USPA National 20-Goal Opener, Plays France In Saturday Semifinals At 
Grand Champions

WELLINGTON, Fla., November 21, 2019---The stage is now set for the semifinals of the USPA National 20-Goal Championship Saturday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

Audi (Sugar Erskine, 6, Nic Roldan, 8, Brandon Phillips, 4) broke open a close game to defeat Montemar (Mackie Weisz, 2T, Sterling Giannico, 4, Pelon Escapite, 6, Pablo Dorignac, 5), 14-12, to advance into the semifinal round against France at 12 p.m.

Pelon Escapite of Montemar reaches out of the saddle for the ball with defender Brandon Phillips of Audi close behind.

"It's great for France because they are a week away from the International Cup," Erskine said. "They play against Nic which is good. It works very well for them so maybe we need to be a little sneaky and come up with a different game plan."

In the opening semifinal at 10 a.m., Aspen Valley (Grant Ganzi, 3, Juancito Bollini, 4, Horacio Heguy, 6, Jeff Blake, 6), 16-13 winners over Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Camilo Castagnola, 6T, Juan Bollini, 5), will play Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, 2, Kris Kampsen, 6, Jason Crowder, 6, Tommy Biddle, 5).

The winners will advance into the championship final on Wednesday, Nov. 27th at 3 p.m. All games will be live streamed on USPA Polo Network with Toby Wayman calling the action.

Mackie Weisz of Montemar and Sugar Erskine of Audi battle for the throw-in.

Montemar, a 17-goal rated team, started off with a 3-0 advantage on handicap which Audi quickly made up the deficit with three goals of its own to trail by only one, 4-3, after the opening chukker.

"I think you come out very attentive and focused to details when they start with so many goals and are ahead," Erskine said. "So you come out very tight and not smiling but once their lead disappears you start playing a little bit more open."

With three goals from Roldan in the second chukker, Audi outscored Montemar 4-1 for a 7-5 lead after two chukkers.

Nic Roldan of Audi and Pelon Escapite appear to cross mallets over the ball.

The seesaw battle continued in the third chukker with Montemar outscoring Audi, 3-1, with goals from Dorignac, Giannico and Escapite to tie at the half, 8-8.

Audi regained the momentum in the second half. Audi outscored Montemar, 2-1, after Roldan found an opening to score with 1:31 remaining for a 10-9 lead. 

Escapite tied the game in the fifth chukker, 10-10, with 5:21 left. Audi then scored four unanswered goals with two goals from Erskine and goals from Roldan and Phillips.

Sterling Giannico of Montemar reaches for the ball in front of Sugar Erskine of Audi.

Goals from Giannico and Escapite closed the gap to two but Montemar could get no closer.

"It was an interesting game," Roldan said. "We started off really well. I think we got a little comfortable in the middle of the game. They put some pressure on us. 

"After halftime we decided to be closer with our men and keep moving the ball," Roldan said. "Luckily, we were able to keep a decent lead. It was a good first game.

Sterling Giannico of Montemar tries to ride off Nic Roldan of Audi.

"It was a great foursome to play with. It's always fun to play with Sugar. We haven't played in a while. And it's always fun to play with Brandon. There are some tweaks we have to do for the next game. The French team is going to come out very hungry. Hopefully, we can get into the finals."

Roldan scored a game-high six goals. Erskine had three goals and Phillips added one goal.

"I love this team, I love playing with Nic, it has been a while," Erskine said.

Escapite led Montemar with five goals. Giannico had two goals and Dorignac had one goal.

Sugar Erskine of Audi goes to hook Pelon Escapite of Montemar.

The game marked the return of hometown favorite Mackie Weisz of Wellington. The 16-year-old was coming off a successful season in Argentina.

The past two years Casablanca has won the coveted title. 

In 2018, Casablanca defended its title in a tightly-contested game. Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, 2, Whistle Uys, 4, Julio Gracida, 4, Pablo Spinacci, 6) defeated Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Jason Crowder, 6, Jeff Blake, 6, Juan Bollini, 5), 11-9. Spinacci was MVP.

Nic Roldan hits a deep neck shot past Pablo Dorignac of Montemar.

In 2017, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Mike Azzaro, Jeff Blake) defeated defending champion Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Pablo Dorignac, Juan Bollini), 13-6. Blake was MVP. Casablanca, one of the winningest teams in club history, ended up winning four of six tournaments during the 2017 fall season.

The National Twenty Goal was first played at the Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton 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 on hiatus  until 2011. 

Grand Champions resurrected the tournament and it has been played there ever since.

Sugar Erskine of Audi attempts to hook Sterling Giannico of Montemar.

The tournament has consistently fielded four to six competitive teams over the past seven years. Audi has dominated the competition with three total wins, including back-to-back victories in 2012 and 2013 with an identical team (Marc Ganzi, Carlos Gracida Jr., Nic Roldan, Carlos Gracida). With four titles to his name, Nic Roldan holds the record for most National Twenty Goal tournament wins.

In addition to Casablanca, past winners of the USPA National 20-Goal Tournament include BTA, KIG, Audi, Flight Options and Flexjet.

The inaugural Wellington Open, the club's second 20-goal tournament, will be held Friday at 10 a.m. with the final on Sunday also at 10 a.m. The tournament fills the void left by the USPA North American Cup now at Aspen Valley Polo Club.

Nic Roldan of Audi works the near side with Mackie Weisz and Pelon Escapite of Montemar in pursuit.

The winners of the first five 2019 medium goal fall tournaments at Grand Champions were: Casablanca (Marc Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Pierre Henri Ngoumou), Pedro Morrison Memorial; Newport (Gene Goldstein, Jason Crowder, Kris Kampsen, Juan Bollini), Fall Plates Tournament; Sebucan (Santos Bollini, Pablo Pulido, Nic Roldan, Kris Kampsen), Fall Classic; Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Kris Kampsen, Pablo Spinacci, Juan Bollini), Tackeria Invitational; and Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Brandon Phillips, Jason Crowder), US Trust Cup. The Polo Gear Challenge final, was postponed by rain.

During the 2019 fall season, the nation's largest and busiest polo club, hosts both medium and high goal polo. It is highlighted by the International Cup featuring Team USA against France; Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial, inaugural Wellington Open 20 and USPA National 20 Goal Tournaments.
The well-organized fall tournaments attract players from all over the United States and world including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, England, France, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Uruguay, Switzerland, Nigeria and South Africa.

Sterling Giannico of Montemar tries to avoid hook of Audi's Sugar Erskine.

Grand Champions had its finest fall season in club history last year. It was the only club in the nation to stage two USPA-sanctioned 20-goal fall tournaments.

The fall season serves as a tuneup for the winter season for players and green horses. The winter season will feature the second season of the highly-successful 26-goal World Polo League at Grand Champions and Valiente Polo Farm with the best polo players in the world.

The Grand Champions Fall Invitational League is geared toward improving a player's polo skills at every level. Roster lineups change from tournament to tournament with evenly-matched teams featuring pro and amateur players.

Club owners Marc and Melissa Ganzi, both accomplished players, take pride in teaching and sharing the exciting sport of polo with anyone interested in learning. The husband and wife team are coming off their most successful and historical summer season at Grand Champions' sister club Aspen Valley Polo Club.

Nic Roldan of Audi works the ball away from defender Sterling Giannico of Montemar.
Photos by Grand Champions Polo Club

The fall league features: stick-and-ball sessions during the week; two tournament games every weekend; ambulance and umpires for all tournament games; world-class polo fields; club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players; and top-of-the-line trophies for all teams every weekend. Food and refreshments are available for players and fans after the finals.

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. Scholarships are available. The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA club, operates in Wellington January through May and September through November.  The Morrison family, after enjoying the Pedro Morrison Memorial with family and friends, are the most recent contributors of $5,000 to The Polo School. For more information on the Fall Leagues or Polo School contact Juan Bollini at  561-346-1099.
2019 Grand Champions Fall Schedule

USPA National 20 Goal 
Saturday 11/23 10 a.m.
Semifinal Game 1 
Aspen Valley vs Sebucan

12 p.m. Semifinal Game 2
Audi vs France

Wednesday 11/27 3 p.m.
USPA National 20 Goal Open Final

Wellington 20 Goal Open Final
Friday 11/22 10 a.m.

Sunday 11/24 10 a.m 
Just For The Love Of It Cup Final

Nov. 30 1 p.m.
Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial

Nov. 30 3 p.m.
2019 International Cup, USA vs. France


The United States Polo Association® was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its member clubs and registered players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts.


The Polo School at Grand Champions and Director of Operations Juan Bollini are dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. The school's mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. For lessons contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099. 

Chukker TV will live-streame the entire fall polo schedule. 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 on ChukkerTV please contact Mike Ferreira at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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.

ChukkerTV, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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