WPL Captures US Trust Cup; Guillermo Terrera Named MVP; Audi, Colorado Play For Triple Crown Of Polo Sunday At Grand Champions Polo Club
|WPL won its first tournament of the World Polo League Saturday at Valiente Polo Farm.
By Sharon Robb
Playing with the league’s youngest player, WPL (Poroto Cambiaso, 3, Santi Torres, 6, Guillermo Terrera, 8, Diego Cavanagh, 9) defeated Alegria (Freddie Mannix, 8, Jesse Bray, 6, Santi Wulff, 5, Juan Martin Obregon, 5), 14-10, to capture the US Trust Cup, the Triple Crown of Polo subsidiary game and $60,000 in prize money.
Argentine 8-goaler Guillermo Terrera was selected Most Valuable Player after turning in one of his finest performances of the 26-goal season.
“I am very happy with winning, always,” Terrera said. “It is our last game of the season in the World Polo League. Everything was perfect. The season went really well. I will be back next year.”
Trailing 5-2 after the opening chukker, WPL dug itself out of a hole to end the second chukker, 6-6, before taking the lead in the third chukker.
“It is not easy to come back when you are down on the scoreboard before you start,” Terrera said. “They started scoring but luckily we played our game without panicking. We tied it up and then went ahead.
“It was a team effort,” said Terrera, who enjoyed playing with 13-year-old Poroto Cambiaso, the league’s youngest player. “It is amazing how he plays at his age. We are enjoying watching him.”
Alegria tied one last time, 7-7, before WPL regained the lead on Cavanagh’s penalty-three conversion late in the third chukker. WPL never relinquished the lead after that. Alegria could get no closer than two goals, 9-7 at the half, and 12-10 late in the fifth chukker.
“We went in losing by handicap, 3-0, but we just said to ourselves do not look at the score,” Torres said. “We just had it 0-0 in our heads, slowly get our goals back and go from there and not to rush.”
After a slow start in the WPL, Alegria finished with one tournament win, the Molina Cup, the Palm Beach Open subsidiary and US Trust Cup runner-up finish.
“The team came into itself halfway through the season,” Mannix said. “It’s too bad we couldn’t finish with (injured) Gringo (Colombres), he was an integral part of the team. But this is sports, you have to adapt and adjust. If there is a wall in front of you, you have to go over, under or through it and we kind of came up a bit short today.”
WPL had balanced scoring. Cavanagh led with a game-high five goals. Cambiaso, Torres and Terrera each had three goals.
“I am very happy, this was a great, fun team,” Cavanagh said. “Alegria was a really tough team. They have been showing it. I’m really happy we won it.
“We had a second and fourth really strong chukkers,” Cavanagh said. “They were key chukkers. The second was to tie and the fourth was to stretch the lead. The winning is nice.”
Torres was one of the successful players during the WPL’s inaugural season. He won the All Star Challenge Tournament with Valiente; was runner-up in the Founders Cup with Valiente and won the Palm Beach Open with SD Farms. He filled in for an injured Agustin Nero in the WPL lineup to finish with a subsidiary tournament win.
“I had a great season, it was very enjoyable,” Torres said. “It was better than other seasons. It was fun.
“I have mixed emotions this is my last game of the season, but I’m happy it was a good season,” the 25-year-old Torres said. “I thought I was done but I had to sub in for a few more games and have a little bit more fun.”
Obregon led Alegria with four goals. Bray had two and Mannix added one goal.
The Grand Champions Best Playing Pony was Dolfina Biplaza, a gelding played by Cavanagh in the second and sixth chukker.
The American Polo Horse Association Best Playing Pony was Moonshine, played by Cambiaso in the fifth chukker.
The American Polo Horse Association was created in 2006 by the legendary Polo Hall of Famer Sunny Hale to recognize polo ponies in America and encourages events that showcase them and hard-working dedication of grooms.
In what promises to be an exciting game to end the season, Audi (Marc Ganzi, 2, Nic Roldan, 8, Pablo MacDonough, 10, Kris Kampsen, 6) will meet Colorado (Rob Jornayvaz, 2, Juan Martin Zubia, 7, Jero del Carril, 7, Adolfo Cambiaso, 10) in the Triple Crown of Polo championship at 4 p.m. at Grand Champions Polo Club Field 2. Gates open 2:30 p.m.
Audi and Colorado will be making their second appearances in a WPL tournament final, both finishing runners-up.
Designed by Tiffany & Co., the coveted Triple Crown of Polo trophy is comprised of three separate trophies that fit perfectly together to create an entire polo scene that is breathtaking in sterling silver.
The tournament winners will be inscribed on the trophy and added to an impressive list of teams that feature several top players including Sebastian Merlos, Mike Azzaro, Tommy Biddle, Adam Snow, Nic Roldan, Matias Magrini, Jeff Hall, Mariano Gonzalez, Michel Dorignac and Kris Kampsen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2019 WORLD POLO LEAGUE SCHEDULE
March 27-April 14, Triple Crown of Polo
Sunday, April 14
4 p.m., Triple Crown of Polo Championship Final, Audi vs. Colorado
Gates open 2:30 p.m., 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.