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Audi, Sebucan Play Wednesday For USPA National 20-Goal Title At Grand Champions

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Audi, Sebucan Play Wednesday For  USPA National 20-Goal Title At Grand Champions

WELLINGTON, Fla., November 24, 2019---Audi and Sebucan advanced into the championship final of the USPA National 20-Goal Tournament Saturday at Grand Champions Polo Club.


On a perfect day for polo, Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, 2, Jason Crowder, 6, Kris Kampsen, 6, Tommy Biddle, 5) advanced into the final with a thrilling 11-10 victory over Aspen Valley (Grant Ganzi, 3, Juancito Bollini, 4, Horacio Heguy, 6, Jeff Blake, 6), in the opening semifinal game in front of a good local crowd and worldwide USPA Polo Network audience.

Kris Kampsen of Sebucan and Horacio Heguy of Aspen Valley battle for the ball.

"It's always great to be in a final," Kampsen said. 

It will be Sebucan's second 20-goal final appearance in club history.

"It's fun to be in the final," said Pulido, a Cornell alum. "It was a good game, the field played great, the horses were great and my teammates were great, so I can't complain, and it was a beautiful day.

"It was fun to play with these guys. They kept on talking to me and making sure I was in the game." 

Tommy Biddle of Sebucan drives downfield.

In the second semifinal, Audi (Sugar Erskine, 6, Nic Roldan, 8, Brandon Phillips, 4) advanced with a 14-10 win over France (Louis Jarrige, 3, Julien Reynes, 4, Edouard Pan, 4, Pierre Henri Ngoumou, 6).

The final is Wednesday, Nov. 27th at 3 p.m.

In the opening game, Sebucan dominated the throw-ins and took control early leading 2-1 and 3-1 to take a 5-2 lead after two chukkers. Aspen Valley outscored Sebucan, 3-2, behind two goals by Blake and penalty conversion by Ganzi to trail 7-5 at the half. 

Grant Ganzi of Aspen Valley follows up his hit despite being double teamed by Sebucan's Jason Crowder and Kris Kampsen.

"The first half went down much better, the second half was messy," Pulido said. "We just kept on rotating. Sometimes Tommy and Kris went offensive and Jason and I defensive. It worked well. The first half we were quicker to the ball and it was much more open. The second half they kept hanging onto the ball."

Sebucan led 9-5 early in the fourth chukker before Aspen Valley started reeling them in and shut them out, 3-0, in the fifth chukker. Aspen Valley scored four unanswered goals, including three by Ganzi, to tie the game at 9-9 with 2:02 left in the fifth chukker.

Jason Crowder of Sebucan goes to hook Juancito Bollini of Aspen Valley.

Sebucan regained its momentum with 3:37 left in the final chukker when Crowder hit an incredible near side back shot for a 10-9 lead. Aspen Valley missed a scoring opportunity a minute later. Biddle scored with a out-of-the-saddle neck shot for an 11-9 lead with 1:38 left and then had a great defensive save with a back shot on a potential goal run.

"The team played great," Crowder said. "There was great communication out there. We were talking the whole time. We were one cohesive unit and that's how you play polo. It was really fun to play with these guys. Tommy, Kris and Pablo, they were awesome. Now we're in the final."

Grant Ganzi of Aspen Valley attempts to hit downfield with Pablo Pulido of Sebucan defending.

Bollini cut the lead to one with a goal with 36 seconds left. Aspen Valley won the final throw-in but ran out of time.

"That team is never going to give up," Crowder said. "I have played with every one of those guys except Horacio. They are all fighters. And you know Horacio is a fighter. I don't need to play with him to know that he is an animal. I knew they were going to come back but we held strong."

"The key in that last chukker was keeping our heads into the game, not lose our cool, try to play well, not make mistakes and not foul," Kampsen said. 

Jason Crowder of Sebucan hits a back shot with Juancito Bollini of 
Aspen Valley defending.

Kampsen scored a game-high four goals. Pulido and Crowder each had three goals and Biddle added one goal which ended up being the game-winner.

"They played really well, those guys just had bad luck today," Kampsen said. "Some of their penalties didn't go in, a few of their breakaways didn't hit.

"I thought that was a very good team on paper. Horacio is a legend in polo. Jeff Blake is a great player, it's always a battle to play against him. Juancito and Grant have been playing really well.

Kris Kampsen of Sebucan works the near side with Jeff Blake of Aspen Valley defending.

"We had a really good game. We were very confident. I felt like we had good position. We talked a lot between each other and it made a huge difference."
 
Kampsen is enjoying one of his best years in polo with three 20-goal wins during the winter season, two 26-goal World Polo League finals appearances and now three fall tournament wins.

Ganzi led Aspen Valley with a game-high five goals. Bollini had three goals and Blake added two goals.

Kris Kampsen of Sebucan works the near side shot with the ball in the air.

AUDI 14, FRANCE 10

France, a 17-goal team, started off with  3-0 lead in the opening chukker but it didn't take long for Audi to tie the game with 2:33 left in the chukker.

Audi scored three consecutive goals to open the second chukker. France got its first goal from the field when Pan scored with 1:58 left to trail 6-4 after the second chukker.

France missed two scoring opportunities in the third goal but still trailed by only two, 8-6, at the half.

Nic Roldan of Audi gets ready to hit a near side shot with Julien Reynes of France defending.

France came within one goal twice, 8-7, in the fourth and 9-8 in the fifth before Audi pulled away for a 13-8 lead early in the sixth chukker.

"We came out strong but had a poor third and fourth chukker," Roldan said. "Their system in the beginning wasn't working for them and we capitalized on that. They obviously figured it out and improved a lot.

"It was a tough game. We have a fun team. All four players scored some great goals. It was a good game for us to get our confidence going for Sebucan, which obviously is going to be a very tough team to play against. Sebucan has a lot of experience and knowledge. The four of them seem to jell. It's going to be tough."

Pierre Henri Ngoumou of France tries to work the ball past Brandon Phillips of Audi.

Roldan scored a game-high six goals, Phillips had two and Erskine added one goal.

For France, Jarrige led a team-high three goals, Pan had two and Reynes and Ngoumou each added one goal. The team also picked up three goals on handicap.

Despite losing, it was a great tuneup for France for its Nov. 30th showdown with Team USA in the eighth annual International Cup.

The past two years Casablanca has won the coveted USPA National 20-Goal title. 

Sugar Erskine of Audi goes for the ball with Edouard Pan of France defending.

In 2018, Casablanca defended its title in a tightly-contested game. Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, 2, Whistle Uys, 4, Julio Gracida, 4, Pablo Spinacci, 6) defeated Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Jason Crowder, 6, Jeff Blake, 6, Juan Bollini, 5), 11-9. Spinacci was MVP.

In 2017, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Mike Azzaro, Jeff Blake) defeated defending champion Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Pablo Dorignac, Juan Bollini), 13-6. Blake was MVP. 

The National Twenty Goal was first played at the Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton in 2007. Won by Houston-based team BTA (Chrys Beal, Mariano Gonzalez, Francisco Lanusse, Santiago Trotz) in a narrow victory over Audi 13-12, the trophy then went on hiatus  until 2011. 

Nic Roldan of Audi leans into his shot with Julien Reynes of France defending.

Grand Champions resurrected the tournament and it has been played there ever since.

The tournament has consistently fielded four to six competitive teams over the past seven years. Audi has dominated the competition with three total wins, including back-to-back victories in 2012 and 2013 with an identical team (Marc Ganzi, Carlos Gracida Jr., Nic Roldan, Carlos Gracida). With four titles to his name, Nic Roldan holds the record for most National Twenty Goal tournament wins.

In addition to Casablanca, past winners of the USPA National 20-Goal Tournament include BTA, KIG, Audi, Flight Options and Flexjet.

Pierre Henri Ngoumou of France drives the ball past Nic Roldan of Audi.

The winners of the first five 2019 medium goal fall tournaments at Grand Champions were: Casablanca (Marc Ganzi, 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 was postponed by rain.

During the 2019 fall season, the nation's largest and busiest polo club, hosts both medium and high goal polo including six medium goal and two 20-goal. It is highlighted by the International Cup featuring Team USA against France and  Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial.
 
Edouard Pan of France works the sideboards with Brandon Phillips of Audi defending.

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.

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.

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.

Audi teammates Brandon Phillips and Nic Roldan
 happy with the win.

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.

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.

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.  The Morrison family, after enjoying the Pedro Morrison Memorial with family and friends, are the most recent contributors of $5,000 to The Polo School. 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

Wellington Open 20
Sunday 11/24 10 a.m 
Just For The Joy Of It Cup Final
Sebucan vs Newport

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

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

UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION

The United States Polo Association® was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its member clubs and registered players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts.

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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