|WELLINGTON, FL, November 3, 2020— Casablanca defeated La Indiana by 8 to 6 in the final match of the Tackeria Invitational.
In the final match of the Tackeria Invitational, which took place on Sunday, Casablanca. (Nico Harriott, Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan and Santi Bermudez) met La Indiana (Matthew Gonzalez, Michael Bickford, Nick Manifold, and Jeff Hall) at Santa Rita Polo Farm. Casablanca, with a team handicap of 12 compared to La Indiana’s 13, started the match with one goal on the board.
Both teams got off to a very strong start, and it was more than three minutes before Nic Roldan fired off one of his trademark long shots downfield to Grant Ganzi, who finished the play and put the ball through. After a brief delay for weather, the second chukker started with 2-0 on the board for Casablanca and Kris Kampsen substituting for La Indiana’s Jeff Hall. Matt Gonzalez put the first goal on the board for La Indiana, and around 2:56 Nick Manifold impressed by snatching one of Roldan’s long shots out of the air. Michael Bickford picked up a loose ball from Nico Harriott and knocked in the final goal of the chukker to end it at 2 all.
At the beginning of the third chukker, Kris Kampsen took control of the ball at the bowl-in and scored to put his team ahead 3-2.With Grant Ganzi successfully shooting on goal with a penalty three and Bickford on a penalty two, the half ended 3-4 in favor of La Indiana. Casablanca came out with a strong defense at the beginning of the second half and a goal by Ganzi saw the chukker end at 4 all.
Both teams were playing a strong defense, making it difficult to score. Play was close, with more fouls and few breakaways in a very physical game. Roughly two minutes into the chukker, Roldan scored to put Casablanca ahead for the first time in the match. A goal by Ganzi was disallowed on a penalty five-A, but in a stroke of luck for Casablanca Kris Kampsen accidentally knocked the ball through the posts.
A final goal by Harriott ended the chukker with Casablanca ahead 7-4. In the last period, La Indiana fought back hard with goals by Bickford and Gonzalez, bringing them into striking distance at 6-7, but a final shot by Grant Ganzi won the game for Casablanca at 8-7. Grant Ganzi was the match MVP, while 6-year old Mochitos Canola was the Best Playing Pony.
Tackeria Invitational runners-up Newport (Gene Goldstein, Michel Dorignac, Horacio Heguy and Juan Bollini) and Sebucan (Marc Ganzi, Pablo Pulido, Sugar Erskine, and Pablo Spinacci) met in the Fall Classic.
The match got off to a slow start, with Sebucan failing to get on the board during the first chukker while Gene Goldstein scored for Newport. In the second period, neither team scored on goal, but Juan Bollini converted a penalty two shot for Newport while Marc Ganzi took advantage of a penalty three to get Sebucan on the board. Pablo Spinacci was on fire in the third chukker, hitting a long pass downfield for Pablo Pulido to complete, and then scoring another three goals to end the half 5-2 for Sebucan.
Unfortunately for Sebucan, their momentum slowed in the fourth chukker and they failed to score while Michel Dorignac put two goals on the board to narrow Sebucan’s lead to one with a score of 4-5. In the fifth chukker, Marc Ganzi got a breakaway to put the score up to 6-4 for Sebucan. From that point, Newport seized the initiative with Gene Goldstein picking up a loose ball and scoring on a neck shot from around 42 yards. Michel Dorignac converted a penalty six, and Goldstein found the goal once more to end the chukker with a 7- 6 lead for Newport. In the final chukker, Pablo Pulido scored to tie things up at 7-all, but a conversion on a penalty two by Juan Bollini won the match for Newport.
Michel Dorignac was named MVP, while Open Moreseh was Best Playing Pony.
Although Grand Champions will be closed to spectators, ChukkerTV will livestream the entire 2020 polo series so fans can still enjoy the best polo the US has to offer. ChukkerTV was the first to introduce state-of-the-art live streaming technology and instant replay in January 2014 at Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Florida.