Aspen – Triple Crown of Polo

CARBONDALE, CO, September 15, 2020— Seminole Casino defeated Los Amigos by a score of 8-5 to win the Triple Crown of Polo โ€“ Colorado.

By Rebecca Baldridge
Photos by ChukkerTV

In the final of the Triple Crown of Polo โ€“ Colorado at McClure River Ranch yesterday, Seminole Casino (Melissa Ganzi, Paquito de Narvaez, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Juan Bollini) faced off against Los Amigos (Paul Foster, Gussie Busch, Nic Roldan, and Jared Zenni).

Melissa Ganzi picked up a long pass from Juan Bollini to put the first goal on the board for Seminole Casino. Young Paquito Navraez, a player to watch, scored one more for Seminole Casino. Nic Roldan knocked in the first goal for Los Amigos, and Chukker One ended with Seminole Casino leading 2-1. Roldan tied things up early in the second chukker, but Alejandro Novillo Astrada put Seminole Casino back in the lead on a penalty four. Los Amigos ramped up the pressure in the third chukker, shutting out Seminole Casino as Nic Roldan put two more goals on the board, one from a penalty four. At the half, Los Amigos led by 4-3.

In the fourth chukker, Jared Zenni put his team ahead by two goals, shooting from inside the 60-yard line, with Gussie Busch keeping the path clear for him. With 1:32 left in the period, Ganzi took the ball toward the goal, and de Navraez rotated in for the finish. Ganzi found the goal again in the fifth to tie the game up at 5-all, while Seminole Casino kept Los Amigos off the board. At the beginning of the final chukker, Paquito de Navraez put Seminole Casino up by a goal at 6-5 on a penalty two. With four and half minutes left to play, de Navraez had the ball with two opponents in close pursuit. He showed some quick thinking, swatting the ball back to Novillo Astrada to evade two pursuers. Astrada passed the ball back to de Navraez who finished the play by scoring on a near side shot to goal. At the 30-second horn, de Navraez knocked in the final goal to win the match for Seminole Casino by 8-5. Coming as no surprise, 12-year-old Paquito de Navraez was named MVP. Gauchita, a chestnut mare played by de Navraez, was named WPL Best Playing Pony, while Utopia, a bay mare owned by Santa Rita polo farm and played by Alejandro Novillo Astrada, was APHA Best Playing Pony.

In the Aspen Cup, subsidiary of the Triple Crown โ€“ Colorado, White Claw (Alejandra Foster, Vinny Sangaline, Horacio Heguy and Nacho Novillo Astrada) took on McClure River Ranch (Lauren Sherry, Marc Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Brian Boyd and Paco de Navraez).

Paco de Navraez, father of Triple Crown MVP Paquito, scored the first goal of the match with Marc Ganzi following up with another. Vinny Sangaline found the posts for White Claw, ending the first chukker at 2-1 in favor of McClure River Ranch. Two great shots by Juancito Bollini put McClure River ahead 4-1, with a penalty two by Alejandra Foster putting a second goal on the board for White Claw. A shot by Ganzi put McClure River up to 5, with Nacho Novillo Astrada scoring to end the chukker 5-3 in favor of McClure River Ranch. The half ended 5-4 for McClure River, as a strong defense by White Claw kept the team in burgundy off the goal.

In the second half, Brian Boyd replaced Lauren Sherry in the number one position, and McClure River came back with a defensive push to shut out White Claw. Paco de Navraez found the goal, with Ganzi scoring on a penalty 3. In the fifth chukker, goals by de Navraez and Gazni had taken McClure River Ranch up to 9 when Alejandra Foster knocked one in for White Claw. Brian Boyd went to the posts to put 10 on the board, with Foster scoring to end the chukker at 10-6. Brian Boyd was on fire in the sixth chukker, scoring three consecutive goals, while Alejandra Foster hit the final goal for White Claw. McClure River Ranch triumphed by 13-7. Foster was the high scoring player for White Claw with four goals, while Brian Boyd and Marc Ganzi each scored four goals for McClure River Ranch.
Paco de Navraez was awarded the MVP title. His pony Sun River, played by Marc Ganzi, was the WPL Best Playing Pony.