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Newport Captures Wellington Open; Nic Roldan MVP; Horacio Heguy Honored With Living Legend Award

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Newport Captures Wellington Open; Nic Roldan MVP; Horacio Heguy Honored With Living Legend Award

WELLINGTON, November 24, 2019---Newport made club history Friday capturing the first-ever Wellington Open at Grand Champions Polo Club.

Wellington Open champion Newport players Gene Goldstein, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan and Grant Ganzi.


Newport (Gene Goldstein, 1, Grant Ganzi, 3, Juancito Bollini, 4, Nic Roldan, 8) defeated Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Horacio Heguy, 6, Juan Bollini, 5), 9-8.

Roldan, the top-rated American player ranked at 8 goals, was named Most Valuable Player.

Pablo Spinacci of Flexjet attempts to hook Grant Ganzi of Newport.

"We had a great lineup, that was a fun team," Roldan said. "It was a team effort. Everybody played great. It was a good game.

"I think this tournament is going to grow," Roldan said. "It's a good tournament and nice it's named after our hometown."

Horatio Heguy of Flexjet works the ball past defender Juancito Bollini of Newport.

Silva, a 6-year-old mare, owned and played by Spinacci, was selected Best Playing Pony.

In the tournament's subsidiary game Just For The Joy Of It on a rain-soaked Sunday, Sebucan (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Pablo Pulido, 2, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Juan Bollini, 5) defeated Newport (Gene Goldstein, 1, Grant Ganzi, 3, Horatio Heguy, 6, Juancito Bollini, 4), 13-10.

Nic Roldan of Newport goes for the near side back shot.

Pulido, a Cornell alum whose 20-goal Sebucan team will play in Wednesday's USPA National 20-Goal final against Audi, was named Amateur MVP.

Argentine Open six-time champion Horatio Heguy was given the Living Legend Award by Grand Champions Polo Club during the post-game subsidiary awards.

Juancito Bollini of Newport is double teamed by Flexjet's Pablo Spinacci and Horacio Heguy.

Suspect, a 17-year-old mare played by Melissa Ganzi, owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm and purchased from Joey Casey, was Best Playing Pony.

In the Wellington Open final, the game was close from start to finish. Newport took a 2-1 lead in the opening chukker with goals from Goldstein and Roldan. Flexjet came right back with a 2-1 second chukker with goals from Spinacci and Ganzi for a 3-3 tie. The teams played a scoreless third chukker.

Grant Ganzi of Newport avoids the hook of defender Juan Bollini of Flexjet.

In the second half, Newport outscored Flexjet, 6-5, and led throughout the half. Newport shut out Flexjet, 2-0, in the fourth chukker followed by a 2-2 tie. In the sixth chukker, Goldstein scored with 1:13 left for a 9-7 lead. Spinacci scored in the final seconds to close the gap to one. 

"The key was moving the ball and being consistent," Roldan said. "Gene scored some great goals especially one or two in the end that were important."

Juancito Bollini of Newport tries to avoid the hook of Pablo Spinacci of Flexjet.

Newport got balanced scoring from its lineup. Gene Goldstein scored a team-high three goals including what turned out to be the winning goal. Grant Ganzi, Bollini and Roldan each had two goals.

"We had a fun team," said Grant Ganzi. "Gene was playing well up front. He made some good passes and scored some key goals. Nic played amazing. We just played simple and open. We got it together in the second half and just played well. It's so much easier when you play open, simple polo."

Juancito Bollini of Newport is double teamed by Flexjet teammates Melissa Ganzi and Horacio Heguy.

For Flexjet, Melissa Ganzi scored a game-high four goals. Spinacci and Juan Bollin each had two goals. 

In the subsidiary game, both teams played well in the first half despite a steady rain.

Horacio Heguy of Flexjet looks to be levitating the polo ball between two Newport defenders.

Melissa Ganzi and Pulido shared team-high leading scorer honors each with five goals. Spinacci added three goals.

For Newport, Goldstein scored a game-high six goals. Heguy and Juancito Bollini each had two goals. 

Gene Goldstein of Newport works the near side with Pablo Spinacci
 of Flexjet defending.

The tournament was sponsored by Romeo Merino, a high-end clothing line of sweaters, cardigans, polos and scarves.

The winners of the first five 2019 tournaments at Grand Champions were: Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Pierre Henri Ngoumou), Pedro Morrison Memorial; Newport (Gene Goldstein, Jason Crowder, Kris Kampsen, Juan Bollini), Fall Plates Tournament; Sebucan (Santos Bollini, Pablo Pulido, Nic Roldan, Kris Kampsen), Fall Classic; Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Kris Kampsen, Pablo Spinacci, Juan Bollini), Tackeria Invitational; and Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Brandon Phillips, Jason Crowder), US Trust Cup. The Polo Gear Challenge final, postponed by rain, is yet to be played.

Gene Goldstein of Newport goes for the hook on Pablo Spinacci of Flexjet.

During the 2019 fall season, the nation's largest and busiest polo club, hosts both medium and high goal polo, highlighted by the Nov. 30th International Cup featuring Team USA against France and Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial.
 
The well-organized fall tournaments attract players from all over the United States and world including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, England, France, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Uruguay, Switzerland, Nigeria and South Africa.

Best Playing Pony Silva,  played and owned by Pablo Spinacci of Flexjet.

Grand Champions had its finest fall season in club history last year. It was the only club in the nation to stage two USPA-sanctioned 20-goal fall tournaments.

The fall season serves as a tuneup for the winter season for players and green horses. The winter season will feature the second season of the highly-successful 26-goal World Polo League at Grand Champions and Valiente Polo Farm with the best polo players in the world.

Nic Roldan of Newport receives his MVP plaque from awards presenter Andrea Heukerott.

The Grand Champions Fall Invitational League is geared toward improving a player's polo skills at every level. Roster lineups change from tournament to tournament with evenly-matched teams featuring pro and amateur players.

What's a little rain when you are having fun playing polo at Grand Champions.
Photo by: Cassandra Pugliese

The club takes pride in teaching and sharing the exciting sport of polo with anyone interested in learning. The fall league features: stick-and-ball sessions during the week; two tournament games every weekend; ambulance and umpires for all tournament games; world-class polo fields; club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players; and top-of-the-line trophies for all teams every weekend. Food and refreshments are available for players and fans after the finals.

Six-time Argentine Open champion Horatio Heguy receives the Living Legend Award from presenter Andrea Heukerott. Photo by: Cassandra Pugliese

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm cater to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. Its' expert staff can customize a complete playing experience including horses, pros and certified umpires in addition to lessons and practice sessions as part of its' Polo On Demand program at the turnkey facility.

Grand Champions awards table for the inaugural Wellington Open.
Photos by Grand Champions Polo Club

The Polo School, a 501c3 organization and stand-alone USPA club, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its' mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo at every economic and ability level. Scholarships are available. The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA club, operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. For more information on the Fall Leagues or Polo School contact Juan Bollini at  561-346-1099.

2019 Grand Champions Fall Schedule

USPA National 20 Goal 
Wednesday 11/27 3 p.m.
USPA National 20 Goal Open Final
Audi vs Sebucan

Nov. 30 1 p.m.
Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial

Nov. 30 3 p.m.
2019 International Cup, USA vs. France

THE POLO SCHOOL 

The Polo School at Grand Champions and Director of Operations Juan Bollini are dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. The school's mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. For lessons contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099. 


Chukker TV will live-streame the entire fall polo schedule. ChukkerTV, featuring cutting-edge technology, was the first to introduce state-of-the-art live streaming technology and instant replay in January, 2014 at Grand Champions Polo Club. For advertising opportunities on ChukkerTV please contact Mike Ferreira at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.

DIRECTOR OF POLO: Juan Olivera, 561-644-5050, juan.olivera@gcpolo.com; hotline  561-644-5050.

INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere with food and refreshments during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.

STAY CONNECTED:
ChukkerTV, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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