Grand Champions Fall High-Goal Polo

For those who cannot wait until 2016 for some high-goal polo, Grand Champions Polo Club will scratch that itch with a full month of 20-goal action throughout November. The high-goal polo party starts with the USPA North American Cup from November 11-15, followed by the USPA National 20-Goal from November 15-22. Not to be outdone, over Thanksgiving break, the International Cup will pit the best polo players from South Africa against the best from the United States on November 28, the crowning match of a full day of polo play that starts with the second annual Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo Memorial exhibition match in the morning.

Wes Finlayson - Grand Champions Polo Club - 2013 Fall Season - photo by Sheryel Ashford

   As just one of four U.S. clubs to offer 20-goal tournaments, Grand Champions is the only place to catch a high-goal polo match this time of year stateside. The competition is sure to be fierce as players began to make their Wellington transition, with the USPA North American Cup booking six teams including some pretty well known polo names—Pelon Escapite, Sugar Erskine, Tommy Biddle, Jeff Hall, Facundo Obregon, and Nic Roldan to name but a few. Matches begin on Wednesday, November 11, jumping straight to the quarterfinals, setting in motion a whirlwind of a tournament with Barbarossa Leather taking on Postage Stamp Farm at 10 a.m., followed by Casablanca (2014’s USPA North American Cup winner) vs. FlexJet at 3 p.m. On Friday, November 13, Grand Champions will field the semifinals with Travieso playing the winner of Postage Stamp/Barbarossa at 10 a.m., and Audi taking on the winner of Casablanca/FlexJet at 3 p.m. The final is scheduled for Sunday, November 15 at 3 p.m., following morning qualifying matches for the USPA National 20-Goal tournament. Play for the USPA National will run through Sunday, November 22, with a six-team field (look for updates once team rosters are solidified).

Nic Roldan - Jeff Hall - Gracida - Grand Champions Polo Club - Photo by the Polo Paparazzi

   On November 28, the polo world will turn its eye to Grand Champions for the hotly contested International Cup. Team USA has dominated this tournament, winning all three previous matches, dispatching Mexico (2014), Chile (2013), and England (2012) to keep the International Cup firmly planted in U.S. soil. This year, the best of South Africa will attempt to uproot the trophy with a stout four, led by Tom de Bruin (7), Gareth Evans (6), Chris MacKenzie (5), and Selby Williamson (5) representing the Rainbow Nation. Taking the pitch for the Team USA, with a combined 24 handicap, will be Marc Ganzi (1), Jeff Hall (7), Julio Arellano (8), and Nic Roldan (8). Expect a fast and spirited match—after all, international bragging rights are on the line. As a primer to the international matchup, the second annual Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo Memorial exhibition match will precede the International Cup. Proceeds from the memorial cup will benefit the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame (general admission tickets are $20).

  • Admission to Grand Champions Polo Club is free – except for the International Cup & Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo Memorial, which will be $20 for general admission tickets. Guests are encouraged to arrive 20-30 minutes before match play begins. Viewing areas are field side, a la tailgate style. For more information about Grand Champions and match times, visit


The USPA North American Cup teams are as follows:

Audi 18

Marc Ganzi 1

Sugar Erskine 6

Carlucho Arellano 5

Jeff Blake 6

Flexjet 19

Melissa Ganzi A

Jason Crowder 6

Nic Roldan 8

Juan Bollini 5

Barbarossa Leather 17

Leo Mandelbaum 3

Julio Ezcurra 4

Martin Estrada 4

Tommy Biddle 6

Postage Stamp Farm 19

Annabelle Gundlach A

Brandon Phillips 5

Julio Arellano 8

Pelon Escapite 6

Casablanca 18

Grant Ganzi 1

Carlitos Gracida 4

Guille Aguero 6

Jeff Hall 7

Travieso 17

Tony Calle 2

JJ Celis 4

Jesse Bray 5

Facundo Obregon 6

Photos courtesy of Sheryel Ashford, Polo Paparazzi


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