Polo Returns to South Beach
By Alex Webbe
In one of the best-attended and most publicized polo eventsLive in North America, the sport of kings will return to the Miami for the staging of the 2008 Miami Beach Polo World Cup from April 25-April 27.
In its fourth year, the Miami Beach World Polo Cup has attracted six three-man teams rated from 11-13 goals to participate in the four-chukker competition.
Six sponsors have stepped up to put half a dozen teams on the sand for the event beginning with some of polo’s top players providing the entertainment.
Marc Ganzi will be trying for a three-peat when he takes to the sands with his Hennessy teammates, Chris Nevins (4) and Tommy Biddle (7).
“I am very excited to return to the beach again this year,” he said, “ this is truly one of the marquee eventsLive on our schedule as it combines the sport with the unmatched scenery of south beach and a robust line up of social activities that brings out the best in polo. The Miami Beach Polo World Cup has become an important event in the Miami community, as it gives fans and corporate sponsors the opportunity to experience polo in a unique venue with unparalleled access,” he added.
Following the tournament Ganzi will be returning to Wellington where his Grand Champions Polo Club will kick-off its spring season.
Virginia’s Michael Liss will captain a team of Juan Salinas (3) and Jeff Hall for Lamborghini Miami while England’s Lyndon Lea will make his debut on the beach with his China Grill Management team of Pelon Escapite (5) and Jason Crowder (6).
The Audi team of Melissa Ganzi, Kris Kampsen (6) and Juan Bollini, that captured the 2007 World Snow Polo Championships in Aspen, will be a formidable opponent, as will the Frank Crystal/Comcast team led by polo’s winningest player, and the highest rated player in the tournament in 9-goaler Carlos Gracida. Carlos will be joined by nephew Weston Gracida (2) and Lance Vetter.
Rounding out the field is the Setai team of Sebastian Schneberger (2), Tito Gaudenzi (2) and John Gobin (7).
Players from Argentina, England, Germany, Mexico Switzerland and the United States will take part in the three-day event.
With the Atlantic Ocean serving as a backdrop to the competition, the six teams will participate in three days of competition, which will begin on Friday, April 25 at 1:30 pm with a horse parade on the beach followed by the first of three hour-long matches followed by a daily presentation ceremony.
Lest you think there’s no social side to this polo extravaganza, think again. A VIP section will display crowds of elite fans and socialites who will be sipping champagne and mojitos and enjoying the exemplary cuisine provided by Tuscan Steak, Smith & Wollensky, China Grill and Kobe Club. Fashion shows by world-class designers and live entertainment have been created to make it the hottest event on the beach.
As part of the exciting schedule of eventsLive, The Miami Beach Polo World Cup has teamed up with The Miami Project on Saturday, April 26th to host an ocean side concert featuring the Blues Brothers, followed by a VIP dinner at the Setai to benefit the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.
The Miami Beach Polo World Cup will conclude on Sunday, April 27th, with the presentation of the La Martina Cup to the winning team, followed by the “Polo Goes Social” private pool bash at The Sagamore Hotel, just yards from the arena.
General admission to the tournament is free, and a limited number of VIP tickets are available. Three-day packages are also available. The VIP ticket holders will be allowed access to the VIP lounge, catering and an open bar provided by Moet Hennessy and Don Q Rum. For more information you are invited to visit www.miamipolo.com or call 1-866-468-7630.