Wellington, Fla. – April 24, 2018 – Aspen Valley Polo Club held the lead from start-to-finish to claim the prestigious National President’s Cup Saturday, April 21, at Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Florida. The well-balanced foursome of Rich Desich, Melissa Ganzi, Grant Ganzi and Juan Bollini defeated Deeridge Farms (Will Jacobs, Juan Olivera, Juancito Bollini, Tito Gaudenzi) 11-9.
Jacobs, 15, was named Most Valuable Player, scoring three goals including a penalty conversion. “Will played amazing today and I’m proud of him,” said Grant Ganzi who has played with Jacobs on several teams at Grand Champions, Santa Rita and Aspen Valley. “He has improved tremendously and I credit him for coming to Aspen in the summer and playing every day. That’s where I saw his greatest improvement. He’s just getting better and better and hopefully he will move up to 1-goal soon.”
Jacobs was also happy with his game despite having to play against his coach Juan Bollini. “I’m happy with the progress I’ve made as a player in two years,” Jacobs said. “I think I had a good game today. Tito and Juan were great teammates and very helpful. They passed the ball and gave me an opportunity to score.” Melissa Ganzi scored a game-high five goals. Her son Grant, four-time winner of the National President’s Cup, added four goals of his own and Desich picked up one on a penalty conversion.
Juancito Bollini led Deeridge with four goals and Gaudenzi scored two goals. “Juancito and I went at it on purpose,” Ganzi said. ” We all had so much fun, we were cheering for the good shots. Of course, we wanted to win and everyone out there was competitive.”
ATM, played by Melissa Ganzi and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was named the American Polo Horse Association’s (APHA) Best Registered Horse of the Game sponsored by the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame. The APHA was created in 2006 by Hale to recognize polo ponies in America and encourages events that showcase them and the hard-working dedication of grooms. Rowan, played by Will Jacobs and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was named Best Playing Pony.
In the afternoon Board of Governors match, Moody Blue (Carlitos Gracida, Steve Rudolph, Jake Flournoy, Chuck Stanislawski) edged out Mellow Yellow (Sheryl Sick, Vinny Sangaline, Sam Ramirez Jr., Julio Gracida) 6-5, to win the USPA Governor’s Cup.
Stanislawski and Carlitos Gracida each added two to Moody Blue’s tally while teammates Flournoy and Rudolph each had one goal. The lead changed hands eight times before Carlitos Gracida scored the game-winning goal. Responsible for three goals, Ramirez helped Mellow Yellow retain the lead 5-4 headed into the fourth and final chukker. Gracida rallied Moody Blue with two consecutive goals, a 30-yard penalty conversion to tie the game 5-all and field goal to secure the win.
The two USPA games were a culmination of the April USPA Board of Governors annual spring meetings in West Palm Beach, Florida. USPA club delegates, board members and staff were in attendance for a variety of informational presentations and committee meetings.