Audi Opens 26-Goal Season Sunday Against Orchard Hill In USPA Gold Cup At IPC
By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo ClubGrand Champions Polo Club-based pro teams Audi and Flexjet are gearing up for the 26-goal season at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Audi makes its 2017 season and 26-goal debut on Sunday in the USPA Gold Cup. Audi, one of the sport's winningest organizations, is one of four teams in the field. Coca-Cola, Orchard Hill and Valiente are also entered.
The talented Audi foursome of Marc Ganzi, 2 goals, Tomacho Pieres, 6 goals, and 9-goalers Gonzalito Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade will meet Orchard Hill in the tournament opener and featured stadium game at Engel & Volkers Field at3 p.m. Coca-Cola and Valiente will open the tournament at 10 a.m.
Marc Ganzi.Valiente, led by 10-goal polo great Adolfo Cambiaso, is coming off its 26-goal C.V. Whitney Cup victory. Coca-Cola, led by Julio Arellano, won the 20-goal Ylvisaker Cup.
The USPA Gold Cup is the second jewel in polo's Triple Crown in the U.S. and second 26-goal tournament at IPC. It was established in 1974 at Oak Brook Polo Club in Oak Brook, Ill. and also featured four teams.
Audi last won the USPA Gold Cup in 2015 with Marc and Grant Ganzi, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade and Fred Mannix, 16-15 winners over Orchard Hill. Audi was runner-up to Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Alejo Taranco, Facundo Sola, Adolfo Cambiaso) last year. Facundo Sola scored the winning goal with 2:57 left for a 12-11 win.
The tournament will be live-streamed on the USPA Polo Network at uspolo.org with content provided by production company and Wellington-based ChukkerTV. All games will also be available for on-demand viewing.
Gonzalito Pieres.Flexjet will make its IPC 2017 season-debut in the 26-goal USPA Butler Handicap Cup. The Flexjet lineup is Melissa Ganzi, Rodrigo Andrade, Gonzalito Pieres and Nic Roldan.
Audi and Flexjet will both compete in the prestigious U.S. Open. Audi will feature Marc Ganzi, Magoo Laprida, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Nic Roldan. Flexjet's roster is Melissa Ganzi, Nico Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade.
"Melissa and I have enjoyed playing the U.S. Open at IPC for the last 10 years," Marc Ganzi said. "We value IPC as members and neighbors."
Audi won the 2009 U.S. Open with Marc Ganzi, Nico Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres and been in the finals in 2010 and 2011.
Rated No. 1 by Consumer Reports as the best auto brand overall, Audi is a valued sponsor with a rich winning tradition in polo. The German automobile manufacturer designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury automobiles throughout the world including West Palm Beach.
Rodrigo Andrade. File PhotosFlexjet LLC, a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies since 2013, offers travelers access to the world's most luxurious fleet of private jets. They are committed to creating premium travel experiences and providing access to the most modern, technologically-advanced aircraft in the industry on a daily basis, going above and beyond world-class private travel experiences.
Grand Champions Polo Club caters 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, the only polo club in the U.S. to offer the unique program.
The Polo School at Grand Champions, a 501c3 organization, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.