Wellington, Fla. – May 15, 2017 – On a perfect day for polo, Audi led from start-to-finish to capture the Spring Challenge Cup on Mother’s Day Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club. Playing together for the first time in the two-day tournament, the foursome of Marc Ganzi, Guille Aguero, Lucas Lalor and Pablo Dorignac defeated Newport (Gene Goldstein, Rich Desich, Julio Arellano, Juancito Bollini), 10-8, to win its first tournament of the spring season.
“I can’t remember the last time I won a tournament, it’s been a while,” Aguero said smiling. “This is a good team and these guys are good players. This is the first time we played together but these guys know what to do it so it’s automatic. Newport played very well,” said Aguero, who will finish out at the spring season at Grand Champions before heading to Mashomack Polo Club for the summer. “It was a good game and a fun game for everybody. I enjoyed the winning.”
Newport’s Rich Desich, playing above his handicap and one of this year’s most improved players during the winter and spring seasons, was named Most Valuable Player. Last weekend Desich, playing for Audi, was named MVP in the USPA Sun Cup subsidiary game. Desich is an Ohio State alum (1994-1998) based in the Cleveland/Akron Ohio area. He started playing polo at Culver Military Academy (1991-1994). After a long layoff from the game, Desich returned to the sport, honing his skills at The Polo School at Grand Champions with the help of head instructor Juan Bollini and his son Juancito.
“I took a long break from polo,” Desich said. “The love for the horses brought me back. I wanted to come back to it. Grand Champions, Juan Bollini and Juancito and everyone involved there gets all the credit. I am very excited about playing again and so happy and grateful to Grand Champions. What Marc and Melissa are doing here is so amazing.”
Desich was thrilled with MVP honors. It was the first time he played with Arellano, one of the top players in the U.S., Bollini and Goldstein. “It’s absolutely amazing,” Desich said. “My teammates were great. They were very welcoming and teaching me about the game. After playing on Friday we got a little bit of a rhythm going today. Audi was a tough team with amazing chemistry.”
While Newport struggled with its offensive attack early in the game, Audi led 1-0, 3-2 and 5-2 after three chukkers. Arellano brought Newport within one goal, 5-4, with 4:25 left in the fourth chukker, but goals by Aguero and Ganzi extended Audi’s lead to 7-4 after four chukkers.
Newport could get no closer than two goals the remainder of the game.
For the second game in a row, Ganzi was leading scorer with a game-high four goals. Against Dutta Corp on Friday, Ganzi had five goals. Aguero had three goals, Dorignac scored two and Lalor added one goal.
Newport was led by Arellano’s three goals. Desich and Goldstein each had two goals and Bollini added one. Marc Ganzi’s second-chukker horse, Granma, an 8-year-old mare, was selected Best Playing Pony.