Audi Remains Unbeaten In Triple Crown Of Polo; Alegria Plays Colorado In Key Matchup Saturday At Valiente
WELLINGTON, Fl., April 6, 2019----Audi turned in its finest performance of the high goal season to remain undefeated in the Triple Crown of Polo Friday at Valiente Polo Farm.
Audi (Marc Ganzi, 2, Nic Roldan, 8, Pablo MacDonough, 10, Kris Kampsen, 6) led from start-to-finish to defeat Grand Champions (Grant Ganzi, 3, Juancito Bollini, 4, Juan Martin Nero, 10, Rodrigo Andrade, 9), 12-10 in a battle of unbeaten teams. Both pro teams are based at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Audi (2-0) plays WPL (1-1) in its final bracket game Sunday in the feature game at 4 p.m. at Grand Champions Polo Club's Field 2. In the two early Sunday games, Grand Champions plays Mandarina at 10 a.m. at Jan Pamela Field 3 and Valiente plays Black Watch at Valiente Polo Farm Field 2 at 1 p.m.
With a balanced attack along with horsepower and firepower, Audi led 7-2 after two chukkers including a 3-0 second chukker. Grand Champions bounced back to shut out Audi, 3-0, in the third chukker to close the gap to two goals, trailing 7-5 at the half.
"It wasn't complacency at all on our parts in the third chukker," Kampsen said. "They are a great team. They came out and played a great chukker. They showed why they have two of the best players in the world and Juancito and Grant are playing great.
"We played much better today," Kampsen said. "Every game we are getting a little bit better as a team. We are more comfortable with each other. I'm hoping to get to the final again. I want a rematch (with Adolfo Cambiaso). I don't like to lose that bad."
In the Palm Beach Open final, Audi lost to SD Farms, 11-6. Cambiaso scored a game-high five goals and was MVP.
Audi regained its momentum in the second half scoring at will and leading by as many as five in the fourth chukker, 10-5, and 12-7 late in the fifth chukker. Grand Champions tried to rally in the final chukker, outscoring Audi, 3-1, but could get no closer than two goals.
"We did play well from the first chukker but sometimes we do have some mental lapses," Roldan said. "We got a little comfortable at some points in the game and they came back. Grand Champions is clearly a very strong team. They have four players who play incredibly well but we stuck to our system and kept our mistakes to a minimum. We have been playing well and getting better and better."
In the fifth chukker, MacDonough escaped serious injury when his horse stumbled and landed on the field partially on MacDonough's left ankle. After a 15-minute injury timeout and being treated by paramedics, MacDonough was able to return to the game. However, he was forced to sit out the afternoon WPL U.S. National Mixed Doubles Championships. He was replaced by Alejandro Novillo Astrada.
After the game MacDonough was again treated by paramedics in the players' tent while soaking his ankle in an ice chest.
"It was more painful when I was walking," MacDonough said. "When I got on the horse it was a lot better. I wanted to keep playing."
Roldan led Audi with a team-high five goals. Ganzi had three goals and MacDonough and Kampsen each had two goals.
MacDonough was pleased with the way his team worked together to control the tempo for most of the game.
"We played really well," MacDonough said. "We had a few bad miniutes in the third chukker, we didn't play like we were early in the game and it cost us a few goals. One mistake is one goal. It was good that we got back again and focused. We did play a really good game.
"We are not in yet, but I would like to get to the finals again. We have to win the next game to go the semis. It is a very hard tournament. We are going to be fighting hard to get in."
Nero had a game-high eight goals for Grand Champions. Andrade and Bollini each scored one goal.
In a key World Polo League matchup on Saturday afternoon, undefeated Colorado (2-0) (Rob Jornayvaz, 2, Juan Martin Zubia, 7, Adolfo Cambiaso, 10, Jero del Carril, 7) plays Alegria (1-1) (Freddie Mannix, 8, Juan Martin Obregon, 5, Gringo Colombres, 7, Jesse Bray, 6) at 4 p.m. at Valiente Polo Farm Field One.
"We have a big game against Cambiaso," Mannix said. "Nothing is impossible. We will be putting all the guns pointed at that game."
The WPL is being live streamed on ESPN Deportes and ChukkerTV/Polo Channel/Horseplay with Gus Whitelaw calling the action. For more information go to www.worldpolo.org.
Co-founded by Grand Champions owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi and Valiente Polo Farm owner Bob Jornayvaz, the World Polo League is the only 26-goal polo in the world outside of Argentina. The WPL is preserving the highest level of polo and its rich, hallowed tradition in the U.S.
The WPL has its own set of simpler fan-friendly rules to improve the flow and action of the game.
The WPL, with 11 tournament-quality fields to play on, features the All-Star Challenge Draw Tournament, Founders Cup, Palm Beach Open and Triple Crown of Polo. The WPL is open to teams that wish to compete in one or more of the tournaments. Games are offered on the flat (Open) and on Handicap.
The World Polo League has attracted a large international field of players from all corners of the world including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria, New Zealand, Uruguay and U.S.
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 three polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball with plans to build more polo fields in the future.