Casablanca Wins Jimmer Newman Memorial; Juancito Bollini Named Most Valuable Player
Juancito Bollini of Casablanca works the ball down the sideboards. Photo by Scott Fisher
WELLINGTON, FL-April 17, 2014---On a rainy afternoon, Casablanca captured the tenth annual Jimmer Newman Memorial Thursday at International Polo Club.In a well-played four-chukker game featuring some of the nation's top junior polo players, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Michael Bellissimo, Juancito Bollini, Matias Gonzalez) defeated Pony Express (Benjamin Daniels, Justin Daniels, Jonny Lavine, Wes Bryan), 8-6.
Most Valuable Player Juancito Bollini of Casablanca. Photo by Scott Fisher
The Bollini Family watch Juancito Bollini of Casablanca and his MVP performance. Photo by Scott Fisher
Bollini, 20, a student at Florida Atlantic University, was named Most Valuable Player for his all-around performance. He scored two goals and played well defensively.
Matias Gonzalez of Casablanca and his pony look like they are literally flying downfield with the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher
Casablanca Matias Gonzalez scored a game-high five goals including two on penalty shots in the opening chukker. Bellissimo added one goal.
Wes Bryan of Pony Express takes control of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher
Bryan led Pony Express scoring with three goals including one penalty shot. Justin Daniels had two goals and younger brother Benjamin Daniels added one goal.Justin Daniels, a freshman at St. Andrew's School, was awarded the Nelly Loeb Perpetual Sportsmanship Award.
Justin Daniels of Pony Express, the tournament's Nelly Loeb Perpetual Sportsmanship Award winner. Photo by Scott Fisher
The Polo Training Foundation's 0-6 goal Junior Polo Championship event was the first of two junior tournaments over two days.
Casablanca teammates Matias Gonzalez, Juancito Bollini, Michael Bellissimo, Grant Ganzi, awards presenter Cale Newman, Pony Express teammates Jonny Lavine, Wes Bryan, Justin Daniels, Benjamin Daniels. Photo by Scott Fisher
Winning Casablanca teammates Matias Gonzalez, Juancito Bollini, Michael Bellissimo, Grant Ganzi and Cale Newman. Photo by Scott Fisher
On Friday, April 18 at 5 p.m., Alex Photography (Lorenzo Merlotti, Alejandro Gonzalez, Mariano Gracida, Matias Gonzalez) will play Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Lucas Alberdi, Wes Finlayson) in the George Oliver Memorial, a 6-12 goal tournament.
Matias Gonzalez of Casablanca goes for the big hit downfield. Photo by Scott Fisher
Jimmer Newman, the son of IPC polo manager Jimmy Newman, was an up-and-coming 2-goal polo player before he passed away in October 8, 2004 in Santa Barbara, Calif. at age 24.
Wes Bryan of Pony Express on a breakaway. Photo by Scott Fisher
George Oliver, a leading pro polo player from the 1930s to the 1960s died of pneumonia in his home in Sparta, N.C. He was 83. He started playing polo at 23 and maintained a 9-goal handicap until he was in his 50s. He lived in Delray Beach during his playing days.
Juancito Bollini of Casablanca drives downfield with defenders Jonny Lavine and Wes Bryan of Pony Express close by. Photo by Scott Fisher
After the game, the Polo Training Foundation is holding its annual Polo Party on Friday, April 18 at the Mallet Grille at 7 p.m. The 2014 Junior Awards will be presented. There will also be dinner, dancing and open bar.
Juancito Bollini of Casablanca backs the ball away from defender. Photo by Scott Fisher
This year's six award winners are Alyssa Tranchilla and Mackie Weisz, most improved juniors; Malia Bryan and Jack McLean, sportsmanship award; Michael Bellissimo, most improved youth and Connell Erb, youth sportsmanship award.
Grant Ganzi of Casablanca controls the ball despite defensive pressure from Wes Bryan and Benjamin Daniels of Pony Express. Photo by Scott Fisher
Matias Gonzalez of Casablanca controls the play with Justin Daniels of Pony Express defending. Photo by Scott Fisher
Grand Champions Polo Club owner Melissa Ganzi and Polo Training Foundation have been instrumental in the growth of junior and youth polo.Ganzi is secretary-treasurer of the Polo Training Foundation and committee member for the PTF Party. She and her husband Marc have been selfless supporters of the PTF orchestrating the growth and success of the juniors and youth programs across the nation.For game recaps, news, features and photos of Grand Champions Polo Club-related events, go to www.grandchampionspoloclub.org.
Casablanca's Grant Ganzi ahead of the pack with the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher
GRAND CHAMPIONS AT PALM BEACH POLO 2014 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (HOTLINE 561-373-0073)USPA NATIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP 8-GOALSATURDAY: FINAL, 3 p.m., Goose Creek vs. Casablanca, Grand Champions, Field 2.
Casablanca's Matias Gonzalez drives the ball downfield with teammate Grant Ganzi backing him up. Photo by Scott Fisher
GRAND CHAMPIONS 2014 SPRING SCHEDULE (561-644-5050)APRIL 18-20: Grand Champions Cup, Friday 11:30 a.m., 3 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.APRIL 24-27: The USPA Spring ChallengeMAY 1-4: The USPA Sun CupMAY 8-11: The USPA Eastern ChallengeMAY 15-18: The Polo Gear Challenge CupMAY 22-26: The Memorial
Matias Gonzalez of Casablanca defends Jonny Lavine of Pony Express. Photo by Scott Fisher
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUBWHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Flight Options. Everyone is welcome to watch high, medium and low goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the winter, spring and fall tournament season and other special events including International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women's Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.
Danny Scheraga of the Polo Training Foundation trying to keep the trophies dry before the awards ceremony. Photo by Scott Fisher
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