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Newport Defends Title, Wins Limited Edition 12-Goal Series Final; Nick Manifold MVP

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Newport Defends Title, Wins Limited Edition 12-Goal Series Final; Nick Manifold MVP

WELLINGTON, Fl., January 27, 2020--Defending champion Newport held off Beverly Equestrian to win the January Limited Edition 12-Goal Series Final Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

Limited Edition 12-Goal Series champion Newport players Nick Manifold, Michel Dorignac, Lucas Escobar and Milo Escobar.





On a picture-perfect day, Newport (Milo Dorignac, 1, Lucas Escobar, 2, Michel Dorignac, 6, Nick Manifold, 3) defeated tournament favorite and previously unbeaten Beverly Equestrian (Bill Ballhaus, 0, Hilario Figueras, 3, Poroto Cambiaso, 4, Tolito Fernandez Ocampo, 5), 10-9.

Manifold, playing well above his 3-goal rating, scored a team-high five goals and was named Most Valuable Player. 

Newport teammates and father and son Milo and Michel Dorignac double team Poroto Cambiaso of Beverly Equestrian.

"You're never going to count us out," said the native Australian and former cricket and soccer player, who started playing polo when he was 19. "It was a final and you never know what's going to happen in a final.

Milo Dorignac of Newport tries to get past Bill Ballhaus of Beverly Equestrian.

"It was a fun game," Manifold said. "They are a great team. They are going to be in the finals again. I'm just happy to be here."

Creciente, played by Poroto Cambiaso, was Best Playing Pony. The horse was the American Polo Horse Association BPP at Grand Champions 2017 $100,000 World Cup (0-40).

MVP Nick Manifold of Newport about to take off on a breakaway for one of 
his game-high five goals.

The victory avenged an early season 12-8 loss to Beverly Equestrian. Newport finished 3-1. The team dedicated the win to patron Gene Goldstein, who injured his back in a practice before the first league game and was unable to play the tournament.

"Unfortunately we couldn't play with Gene," said Michel Dorignac. "It was even difficult for me to play with my son and get motivated playing without Gene. He is my sponsor and I play for him and that's what we are here for. We are here for Gene.

Lucas Escobar of Newport goes for the big hit.

"We didn't play well the first game and they played great," Dorignac said. "This time we came well-prepared. We knew they were going to be tough. We knew we had to be patient and play hard."

Newport controlled the momentum in the first half jumping out to a 3-1 lead after the first chukker. With goals from Fernandez and Cambiaso, Beverly Equestrian narrowed the gap and trailed by one, 4-3, going into the third chukker. Newport regained its two-goal cushion with two penalty conversions from Michel Dorignac to lead 6-4 at the half.

Lucas Escobar of Newport hits a neck shot past Hilario Figueras of Beverly Equestrian.

"The first time we played them they beat us by four goals," Manifold said. "This time we knew we had to play to the man. The first time we played them too soft and this time we manned-up and it was good."

The teams played evenly in a wild second half tying 6-6 after the fourth and 8-8 after the fifth. Despite two technicals on Manifold and Dorignac, Newport regained its composure to take a 10-8 lead with goals from Michel Dorignac (penalty conversion) and Manifold with three minutes left to play.

Hilario Figueras of Beverly Equestrian tries to work the ball with two defenders on him.

"We just had to keep our heads cool which was the main point," Escobar said. "We got fired up after Michel and Nick got some technicals. We just needed to calm down in the end. Milo and I cooled them down a little bit. The two young ones had to cool the older ones down." 

Figueras converted a 30-yard penalty with 2:06 left to trail by one but it was the closest Beverly Equestrian got. Manifold came up with the throw-in and after two Newport missed scoring opportunities regained possession in the final seconds.   

Tolito Fernandez Ocampo of Beverly Equestrian leans into his shot with Milo Dorignac of Newport defending.

"Today we obviously came more prepared," said Escobar, who will play Monday for Pilot against Valiente in a 20-goal Sterling Cup matchup. "The first game we were still getting used to the team because we hadn't played with each other. Our team is a good mix of young and experience which makes it great because they directed us and helped us out a lot. Today we knew what was coming, we played well and won."

Poroto Cambiaso of Beverly Equestrian and Milo Dorignac of Newport cross mallets as they go for the ball.

For Manifold, who turns 52 next week, it was a thrill to play with Dorignac's 15-year-old son Milo and 17-year-old Lucas Escobar as well as play against 14-year-old Poroto Cambiaso.

"It was great playing with Milo and Lucas and fun to play against Poroto, Hilario and Tolito," Manifold said. "They are amazing."

Hilario Figueras of Beverly Equestrian attempts to ride off Lucas Escobar of Newport.

Also scoring for Newport was Michel Dorignac with four goals and Lucas Escobar added one. Ocampo led Beverly Equestrian with five goals. Cambiaso and Figueras each had two goals.

Newport captured last year's January Limited Edition 12-Goal Series that featured eight teams. Trailing by as many as four goals in the first half, Newport (Gene Goldstein 1, Tomas Schwencke, 2, Michel Dorignac, 6, Nick Manifold, 3) rallied in the second half for a thrilling 9-8 victory over Colorado (Rob Jornayvaz, 2, Bautista Panelo, 3, Nick Johnson, 3, Robertito Zedda, 4).

Polo great Adolfo Cambiaso talking to Beverly Equestrian in the players' tent at halftime.

The 12-goal league final was the first of four finals this week at Grand Champions. On Tuesday at 4 p.m., Bushwood plays Altair Polo in the Metropolitan Cup; Wednesday the WCT Ladies League monthly tournament is 10 a.m. at Santa Rita; Aspen Valley Cup is Thursday at 3 p.m. and Sterling Cup final date is still to be announced.

Tournament MVP Nick Manifold of Newport with awards presenter Georgie Escobar.

Grand Champions is hosting 19 tournaments during the winter season, the most of any club in the U.S., including five in January.

With 18 safe and well-manicured fields, including 11-tournament grade, the club will host every level of polo for men, women and children including the second season of the World Polo League, the only 26-goal polo held outside of Argentina featuring the best players in the world.

The club attracts a large international field of players from all corners of the world  including Australia, Chile, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Nigeria and England. 

Grand Champions is coming off its finest fall season in the club's 13-year history. It was the only club in the nation to stage two 20-goal fall tournaments in addition to the International Cup and Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial. The club also hosted a full schedule of successful and highly-competitive medium goal tournaments.

Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique polo facility in Wellington with 120 stalls in five self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and four polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball and new parking lot.

Director of Operations Juan Bollini awards Limited Edition 12-Goal Series umpires Martin Aguerre and Gaston Dorignac.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm's 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, created by Club President Melissa Ganzi when the club first opened.

Grand Champions awards table for the Limited Edition 12-Goal Series Final.
Photos by Grand Champions Polo Club

The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA-sanctioned polo club, is thriving at Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm. It 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 operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. Headed by Director of Operations Juan Bollini, The Polo School has nurtured several men and women polo players now playing in the pro and amateur ranks since its inception. 
2020 WINTER SCHEDULE

JANUARY
Metropolitan Cup
Tuesday 1/28 4 p.m. Metropolitan Cup Final
 Bushwood vs. Altair

Aspen Valley Cup
Thursday 1/30 3 p.m. Aspen Valley Cup Final 
  Mashomack vs SD Farms

WCT Ladies League
Wednesday 1/29 10 a.m. at Santa Rita

Sterling Cup
Monday 1/27 10:30 a.m. Valiente vs Pilot at Valiente #1
Wednesday 1/29 10 a.m. Santa Clara vs Casablanca
Wednesday 1/29 12 p.m. SD Farms vs Valiente at Valiente
TBA  Sterling Cup Final


JAN 26-Feb 9    $100,000 World Cup, 0-40
JAN-APR           WCT Ladies Wednesday League

FEBRUARY
FEB 1-29            Halo Polo Trophy, 6
FEB 1-29            Top Pony 8 Goal
FEB 1-29            Sieber Memorial Trophy
FEB 6-16            WPL All-Star Challenge
FEB 19-MAR 1    WPL Founders Cup
FEB 25-MAR 8    $50,000 National 12-Goal

MARCH
MAR 1-29             Madelon Bourdieu Memorial
MAR 1-29             Limited Edition 8-Goal Series    
MAR 1-28             Top Pony 12-Goal Series
MAR 4-22             WPL Palm Beach Open
MAR 28-APR 18  WPL Triple Crown of Polo
MAR 31-APR 4    WCT Finals

APRIL
APR 4-19            Las Acacias, 4-8
APR 6-12            U.S. National Mixed Doubles Polo Championship

Polo Hotline 561-644-5050
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. 


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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