Top-Seed Goose Creek Plays Beverly Equestrian Friday In 20-Goal Molina Cup Opener
By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo ClubGrand Champions Polo Club, the nation's busiest polo club, will host its second consecutive high goal tournament of the winter season with the inaugural Molina Cup.
The Molina Cup, a first-year 20-goal tournament, comes on the heels of the successful and historical Sterling Cup that ends on Thursday with the final between Casablanca and Travieso at 4 p.m.
Maureen Brennan. File PhotoThe two-week tournament features a star-studded lineup of some of the world's top players including Magoo Laprida, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Matias Magrini, Mariano Gonzalez, Tomas Garcia del Rio, Sebastian Merlos and Diego Cavanagh.
Opening tournament action begins on Friday with Goose Creek, making its winter debut at Grand Champions, playing Beverly Equestrian at 2 p.m.
The six-team draw was held Tuesday at the Wellington National Golf Club. After the draw, teams, sponsors and invited guests were treated to a sit down dinner party hosted by Marc and Melissa Ganzi, owners of Grand Champions Polo Club and National Golf Club owner Doug Marty.
Marc Ganzi introduces Doug Marty, owner of the Wellington National Golf Club.Team rosters representing six countries (Argentina, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, United States) are:
Beverly Equestrian: Magoo Laprida, 8, Inaki Laprida, 7, Carlucho Arellano, 5, Bill Balhaus, 0.
Casablanca: Grant Ganzi, 2, Juancito Bollini, 3, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8, Jesse Bray, 5.
Dutta Corp: Timmy Dutta, 0; Carlitos Gracida, 4; Piki Diaz Alberdi, 7; Matias Magrini, 8.
Goose Creek: Maureen Brennan, 1, Peke Gonzalez, 4, Tomas Garcia del Rio, 8, Mariano Gonzalez, 7.
Travieso: Teo Calle, 1, Hugo Barabucci, 6, Sebastian Merlos, 9, Costi Caset, 4.
Valiente: Rob Jornayvaz, 1, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Diego Cavanagh, 8, Roberto Zedda, 4.
Maureen Brennan of Goose Creek with Peter Rizzo at the Molina Cup draw.There are two tournament brackets. Goose Creek is the top seed followed by Beverly Equestrian (2) and Valiente (3) in Bracket One and Casablanca (4), Travieso (5) and Dutta Corp (6) in Bracket Two. Teams will play within their bracket to determine semifinalists.
The 120-year-old handcrafted silver Molina Cup trophy was given to Marc Ganzi by Alfredo Molina, Chairman of the Phoenix-based Molina Group and owner of Molina Fine Jewelers.
Tony Calle of Travieso draws the No. 5 seed for the Molina Cup.Ganzi was competing in the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships this past fall and admired Molina's work. Molina designed the winning trophy presented to Aspen Valley Polo Club (Melissa Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nic Roldan) for the second consecutive year after winning the Scottsdale event.
"At Molina Fine Jewelers we strive for passion, perfection and the perfect pairing," Molina said.
The tournament is being live-streamed on ChukkerTV, worldwide leaders in polo broadcasting.
Juan Olivera talking with players about Molina Cup schedule.Photos by ChukkerTV.
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.