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World Polo League, GP Mobility Advance Into Sunday's Final Of 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbuhel

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World Polo League, GP Mobility Advance Into Sunday's Final Of 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbuhel 

KITZBUHEL, Austria, January 18, 2020----World Polo League will meet GP Mobility Sunday in the highly-anticipated championship final of the 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup.

It will be a battle between the tournament's two newest teams.

In front of a soldout VIP tent, World Polo League (Marc Ganzi, 2, Juan Bautista Peluso, 3, Nic Roldan, 8), making its tournament and sponsor debut, defeated Intocast (Matthias Normann, 1, Micky Duggan, 5, Martin Juaregui, 6), 7-5.5 in the opening Bendura Bank Trophy Cup semifinal.

Nic Roldan, Juan Bautista Peluso, and Marc Ganzi

In the other semifinal, the all-Brazilian GP Mobility (Henrique Schalldach, 2, Marcus Schalldach, 2, Guilhermo Lins, 6) downed Corum (Eckhardt Juls, 1, Patrick Maleitzke, 5, Juan Ruiz-Guiñazú, 4), 8-6. Lins, the Brazilian 6-goaler scored a game-high seven goals.

A blanket of 10 centimenters of snow covered the venue overnight making the surrounding area a winter wonderland and breathtaking backdrop for the season-opening snow polo tournament's second day action.

The World Polo League and Intocast game was the most hardfought and physical game of the day. Intocast started off with a 1.5 lead on handicap. Behind the offensive power of Roldan and Peluso, World Polo League led, 6-4.5 going into the final chukker.

Marc Ganzi of World Polo League with the rideoff while pursuing the ball.

In the subsidiary semifinals, Engel & Volkers (Ana Escobedo, 1, Segundo Darritchon, 3, Jonny Good, 8) defeated Bendura Bank (Melissa Ganzi, 1, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8, Tito Gaudenzi, 3), 10-5, and Bernd Gruber  (Helmut Wieser, 0, Pato Bolanterio, 4, Santiago Marambio, 7) topped Laurent-Perrier (Sebastian Schneberger, 2, Phillip de Groot, 2, Valentin Novillo Astrada, 7), 5-3.5.

Melissa Ganzi scored all four penalty shots and assisted on a Novillo Astrada goal with an impressive lofty center pass. She scored four goals in two chukkers but it wasn't enough to dig her team out of an early first-half deficit.

Nic Roldan of World Polo League maneuvers his mallet perfectly to avoid the hook.

Four games are scheduled for Sunday. At 10:30 a.m., Bendura Bank will play Laurent-Perrier to decide seventh and eighth place finishers. At 11:45 a.m., Corum plays Intocast for the La Martina Cup to determine third and fourth place finishers. At 1 p.m., Bernd Gruber meets Engel & Volkers for the Kitzbuhel Country Club Cup and fifth and sixth place. And, at 2:15 p.m., the much-anticipated final between World Polo League and GP Mobility will commence.

The prestigious snow polo tournament attracted eight teams featuring players from 11 nations. 

Grand Champions Polo Club is well-represented with Novillo Astrada,  Gaudenzi and Melissa Ganzi. The World Polo League is sponsoring its first team with Marc Ganzi, Bautista Peluso and Roldan. Melissa and Marc Ganzi are co-founders of the WPL, along with Bob Jornayvaz. The second season of the 26-goal World Polo League begins in February.

GP Mobility will face World Polo League in Sunday's final.

In last year's event, Ciroc Vodka won its debut in the 17th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup. The team of Sebastian Schneberger, Aki Van Andel and Valentin Novillo Astrada, 7, dominated the six-team tournament in ideal weather and playing conditions.

In front of a packed house, Ciroc Vodka defeated Engel & Volkers (Kutlay Yaprak, 1, Agustin Kronhaus, 4, Adrian Laplacette, 7) in the championship final on Sunday, 9-5. Dutch player Aki Van Andel was Most Valuable Player in his debut.

In the other two games, Corum (Eckhardt Juls, 0/Enno Grans, 0, Patrick Maleitzke, 4, Juan Ruiz-Guinazu, 6) defeated Bernd Gruber (Eduardo Greghi, 0, Grant Ganzi, 3, Pierre Henri Ngoumou, 7), 7-6, to win the Kitzbuhel Country Club Cup subsidiary final. Defending champion Bendura Bank (Melissa Ganzi, 1, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8,/Isidro Strada, 7, Tito Gaudenzi, 3) trounced Maserati (Marc Aberle, 1, Thomas Winter, 5, Caspar Crasemann, 4), 13-6.5, to finish fifth.

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Bendura Bank and World Polo League teammates Nic Roldan and Juan Bautista Peluso embrace Tyrolian fashion wear in Bavarian shorts during the players' party.

The event was started in 2003 by Tito Gaudenzi and his father Reto with four teams and 1,000 fans. It has grown into one of the country's major sporting events, eight teams and attracts more than 15,000 fans over three days.

Melissa Ganzi was the first woman to win the 35th Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz in January, 2019. She was also the first woman to compete in the St. Moritz Snow Polo Tournament in 2016 and first woman to make the final in 2017. She is also first woman to win both the St. Regis World Snow Polo Tournament in Aspen for Flexjet in 2016 and 2018 Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup. Ganzi will also compete in St. Moritz with Roldan, Novillo Astrada and Bautista Peluso for Badrutt's Palace.

Jan-Erik Franck, the voice of polo who also announces the 26-goal World Polo League at Grand Champions and Valiente Polo Farm, will handle the announcing in Kitzbuhel and also at the Jan. 24-26 St. Moritz World Snow Polo Cup.

Jonny Good of Engel & Volkers has control of the ball with Bendura Bank's Tito Gaudenzi and Alejandro Novillo Astrada defending.

During the winter season in Wellington, Grand Champions is hosting 19 tournaments, the most of any club in the U.S., including five in January. The highlight of the schedule is the second season of the 26-goal World Polo League, featuring at least 11 teams and most of the best players in the sport.

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.

A sold out VIP tent stays warm and enjoys the various food from the region while watching polo.
Photos courtesy of Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbuhel.

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.

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 Melissa Ganzi when the club first opened.

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.

Metropolitan Cup
Sunday 1/19 12 p.m. Altair vs Bushwood at GCPC Field 3
Sunday 1/19 2 p.m. Amista vs Mayer Ranch at Santa Rita
Monday 1/20 11:30 a.m. Mayer Ranch vs CrossFit/El CID at GCPC Field 5
Tuesday 1/21 3:30 p.m. Amista vs Bushwood
Thursday 1/23 3:30 p.m. CrossFit/El CID vs Bushwood
Friday 1/24 2 p.m. Altair vs Amista
Friday 1/24 3:30 p.m. Mayer Ranch vs Bushwood
Sunday 1/26 10 a.m. Metropolitan Cup Final

Aspen Valley Cup
Tuesday 1/21 1 p.m. SD Farms vs Flexjet
Tuesday 1/21 1 p.m. Savanna vs Casablanca
Thursday 1/23 1 p.m SD Farms vs Casablanca
Thursday 1/23 1 p.m. Flexjet vs Savanna
Saturday 1/25 3 p.m. Aspen Valley Cup Final

Limited Edition
Sunday 1/19 10 a.m. Beverly Equestrian vs Santa Clara at GCPC Field 4
Sunday 1/19 12 p.m. Newport vs Sebucan at GCPC Field 3
Friday 1/24 11 a.m. Newport vs Santa Clara
Friday 1/24 4 p.m. Sebucan vs Beverly Equestrian
Sunday 1/26 10 a.m. The Limited Edition Final
Sunday 1/26 12 p.m. The Limited Edition Handicap Final

JAN 15-25         Sterling Cup, 18-22
JAN 26-Feb 9    $100,000 World Cup, 0-40
JAN-APR           WCT Ladies Wednesday League

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

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

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 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.


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.

ChukkerTV, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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