• Florida Circuit

    Florida Circuit

    After a successful fall polo season around the Florida Circuit, the winter season is just weeks away at various USPA-sanctioned clubs including International Polo Club Palm Beach, Grand Champions, Port Mayaca, Hobe Sound and Sarasota Polo Clubs.

    The 2017 Florida Circuit Sportsmanship Award and Circuit Clint Nangle Equine Welfare Award, both historical honors that are presented to USPA members who demonstrate extraordinary excellence, were recently announced.

    Mike Beck of Sarasota Polo Club was awarded the Circuit Sportsmanship Award which promotes good sportsmanship in polo and recognizes individuals who exemplify this quality.
     
    Julio Arellano
    Mike Beck
    Longtime player Julio Arellano of Everglades Polo Club was selected the Circuit Clint Nangle Equine Welfare Award for demonstrating excellence in the field of equine welfare...

    The Museum of Polo announced its 2018 inductees for the Hall of Fame. They are Sunny Hale, Jimmy Newman, Ruben Gracida, Roy Barry and horses Lovely Sage and Ruifino. The awards gala and induction ceremony and dinner is Feb. 16, 2018. Reservations are $250 each. E-mail polomuseum@att.net for tickets...

    The Polo Training Foundation announced its upcoming tournaments and events for the Florida Junior and Youth season. The 2017/2018 schedule: Dec. 28, Major Collins Clinic; Dec. 30, Major Collins Tournament and Tackeria Cup; Jan 15, Joanna Monaco Memorial and Blanco, TX Cup; Feb. 19, Avendano Memorial and Tackeria President's Day Cup; March 26, Buzz Welker Memorial and Yunghanns Charity Challenge; March 29, J. McLaughlin Sip & Shop, Worth Ave.; and April 20, PTF Polo Pary and Awards Ceremony. Online registration is available. Email floridajrpolo@yahoo.com...

    Award nominations for the 2017 General George S. Patton Jr. are due Jan. 15, 2018 and should be submitted to James Dodge at jdodge@uspolo.org. The Armed Forces Polo Committee requests USPA members nominate people who have gone above the call of duty to create opportunities for military members and their families to be involved in polo...

    A warm welcome back to Hobe Sound Polo Club which re-opened Dec. 1 under new management. The club is hosting eight 4-goal and eight 6-goal tournaments during the winter season...

    Beach polo returns to South Florida with the Jan. 4-7 Miami Beach Polo World Cup, produced by Lifestyle Companies and longtime player Tito Gaudenzi, on the beachfront of host Hotel W South Beach... 

    Congratulations to Team USA's Grant Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, three-time MVP Julio Arellano and Mike Azzaro for its sixth consecutive victory in the USPA International Cup with a 9-7 victory over Brazil. Also, congratulations to Future Legends players Will Jacobs, Santos Bollini, Juancito Bollini and MVP Mariano Gracida, winners of the Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo. It was wonderful to see so many from the polo community come out and support the fall season-ender including U.S. Polo Assn. President and CEO David Cummings and Steve Orthwein of Port Mayaca Polo Club and former USPA chairman... 

    Four players from the Florida Circuit have been announced as 2018 Team USPA candidates. They are Tony Calle, Grant Ganzi and Justin Daniels of Grand Champions and Lucas Arellano of Everglades Polo Club. They will try out in Aiken, S.C. in the spring of 2018...

    Now available online at uspolo.org is the 2018 Polo Development initiative application. The USPA program is designed to help polo clubs and polo schools grow their USPA memberships and reach financial sustainability. The deadline is Dec. 31, 2017. This year's application is to be filled out 100 percent online...

    Just a reminder, umpires who have not completed the 2017 Rules/Umpire Test must do so by Dec. 18 to maintain their certification or to become certified. Contact Head Umpire Instructor Steve Lane at slane@uspolo.org or 352-454-6611...

    I would like to encourage everyone involved in polo around the Florida Circuit to renew their USPA membership or join the USPA. There are several members who have not renewed their membership. We are also looking for new members so please encourage anyone you know interested in polo to join. The fastest and most efficient way to renew your membership or join is online at uspolo.org

    Currently, the Florida Circuit has more than 700 members. The USPA is the official national governing body for the sport of polo. It promotes the game and coordinates the activities of its member clubs and registered players. 

    USPA member benefits include: USPA member card and decal; player handicap; eligibility to compete in USPA tournaments; subscription to "This Week in Polo" email; subscription to Polo Players' Edition Magazine; USPA rulebook; USPA annual Bluebook; $1 million personal excess liability insurance accidental death and dismemberment and excess medical insurance; discounts from Polo Plus on a variety of products and services; discounts on U.S. Polo Assn. apparel; PoloSkilz access; eligibility to participate in Polo Development Clinics and annual instructors and managers forum; eligibility to become a certified polo instructor and umpire training and certification. Student members are eligible to participate in Interscholastic Polo Varsity Letter Program...

    I want to thank everyone in polo who work tirelessly to support and help grow the sport and promote polo through club activities, lessons, clinics and adult and junior tournaments.

    Have a happy and healthy holiday and New Year's. Looking forward to a successful 2018 winter season around the circuit.

    Melissa Ganzi
    Florida Circuit Governor
    United States Polo Association

    BG POLO & EQUESTRIAN VERO BEACH 
    The club opens its third season on Jan. 7 and runs through April 29 with games open to the public every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. During 16 weekends of polo, the club will host tournaments from 4 to 8 goal. The club also has a coaching league to accommodate 0-2 and 2-4 goal players. The club has been holding twice-weekly practice sessions since Nov. 1 in preparation for the upcoming season. The club held an open house on Nov. 4 with polo demonstrations, hitting cage, pony rides and information on polo and its youth polo scholarship program...Club pro Tiffany Busch was a member of the All-American team Santa Maria De Lobos that competed in the inaugural Argentine Ladies Open Polo Championship along with Dawn Laurel Jones, Erica Gandomcar and Clairssa Echezarreta. The team reached the semifinals before being eliminated with a 2-2 record...The club offers full board and seasonal board for the upcoming months. For more information call 772-999-3709 or go to www.verobeachpolo.com

     
    FLYING COW POLO CLUB
    Founded in 2015 and named after a Rustic Ranches access road and Charles Oliver Wellington, the 10-acre club is under new management for the 2017-18 season with manager Kylie Sheehan, a USPA certified polo instructor. The club hosts Thursday afternoon practice chukkers. The club will also be hosting tournaments, ladies league and green horse chukkers along with club asados. Lessons are instructed by Sheehan or Matias Sosa. For more information call 

     

     
    GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
    The club had its most successful fall season in club history hosting eight medium goal and two 20-goal tournaments (USPA North American Cup and USPA National 20-Goal), the Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo Memorial and sixth annual International Cup...Team USA with Grant Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, MVP Julio Arellano and Mike Azzaro, making his International Cup debut, defeated Brazil, 9-7, to remain undefeated at 6-0....The Future Legends team of brothers Juancito and Santos Bollini, Will Jacobs, a successful product of The Polo School, and MVP Mariano Gracida won the fourth annual Carlos Gracida Legends of Polo Memorial with a 6-5 win over Team Legends' Charlie and Stewart Armstrong, Marc Ganzi and Juan Bollini...Casablanca swept the USPA National 20-Goal and USPA North American Cups...The club's biggest winter season begins in January with the 6-goal Metropolitan Cup, 8-goal Aspen Valley Cup, 12-goal The Limited Edition Series and Women's Polo Weekly League. Highlights of the season are the Feb. 21-March 17 Sterling Cup, March 1-10 $50,000 National 12-Goal, April 3-8 Women's Championship Tournament, April 1-14 $100,000 World Cup Tournament (0-26), winner- take-all and April 12-21 USPA National President's Cup....Grand Champions Juancito Bollini was named U.S. Polo Assn. Brand Ambassador...Team USPA trained at Santa Rita Polo Farm for the XI FIP World Polo Championship in Australia where they finished fourth. Jesse Bray received the Sportsmanship Award...The club has 11 fields, USPA-certified umpires, Club Chukkers On-Demand, the Polo School and polo at every level. 
     
    HOBE SOUND POLO CLUB
    Located between Jupiter and Stuart, the club has re-opened under new management. The club is focusing on medium and low goal handicap polo. The club has six tournament grade fields and stick-and-ball field. The club is offering polo membership, tournaments and The Polo School headed by instructor Carlos Gonzalez, a 30-year veteran of the sport. The Polo School is the club's first lesson-based polo program to help attract beginners in polo. There is also the Polo Day Experience featuring corporate and social events intertwined with a day of polo. For more information call 772-222-7416 or go to www.hobesoundpoloclub.com.

     

     
    INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB PALM BEACH
    The winter season begins Dec. 28 and will run through April 22. The club's 2018 schedule is: Dec. 28-31, Herbie Pennell Cup; Jan. 3-21, Joe Barry Memorial; Jan. 25-Feb. 18, Ylvisaker Cup; Feb. 22-March 10, Iglehart Cup; March 11-31, Carlos Gracida Cup (non-USPA tournament); Feb. 22-March 4, USPA C.V. Whitney Cup; March 8-25, USPA Gold Cup; March 22-April 1, Butler Handicap and April 4-22, U.S. Open....The ninth Land Rover Palm Beach International Gay Polo Tournament will return to the club April 6-8....The club was also awarded the U.S. Open for 2019-2021. The final will be televised on CBS Primetime 2018-2020...IPC has launched The Polo School at IPC with manager Gates Gridley. Lessons are available seven days a week. Contact jgridley@equestriansport.com... The club plans to unveil an innovative practice regulation size polo field with all-weather footing during the 2018 winter season. Club officials said it would allow six to eight practice sessions seven days a week for practice and field access during inclement weather and to help alleviate the high cost of renting practice fields and increase player participation. The surface is a mixture of sand, felt, fiber and unique binding agent for a safe surface...IPC also upgraded polo fields 1, 3, 4, 5 and Outback. Each field was sprigged with TifTuf Bermuda grass, a one-of-a-kind strain of durable Bermuda grass, which is expected to lengthen the longevity and durability of the club's fields. The project was overseen by head agronomist Ray Mooney.

     

    PALM CITY POLO CLUB
    Club and founder Joey Casey announced the hiring of Katie Johnson as the club's new seasonal pro instructor. Johnson brings over 20 years of experience to the position. "Palm City Polo is very excited to welcome Katie to the team," Casey said. "She brings a fresh perspective and skill set to our polo school." Johnson, who plans to focus on horsemanship skills with her students, will be at the club from December through April as an instructor for the polo school and coaching chukkers...University of Miami men's and women's polo teams are using the club as their practice site...The club hosted its annual GPL Thanksgiving Clinic and Friendsgiving and Argentine Open watch party. The club is hosting December tournaments, the USPA Kay Colee Memorial Cup and Holiday Cup before the winter season kicks off...Geoff Richards was named MVP of the 2017 Autumn Series final...Team Spats (Bob Painter, Joey Casey, Brad Blake and Phil Tremo) won the Autumn Series with a 6-5 win over Halcyon (Hector Galindo, Bruce Schreiber, Jeff Blake, Geoff Richards)....The club put its Polo Development Iniative Grant to good use with a new scoreboard,  trophy stage, new saddles and customized saddle pads made...The turnkey club offers a beginner polo school and league polo. The club offers low and medium goal leagues.
    PORT MAYACA POLO CLUB
    The winter season kicks off with the Dec. 27-31 Holiday Family 4-6 Goal Cup. It is the first of 12 tournaments. The remaining schedule is: Jan. 17-28, Mahogany 12-Goal Cup; Jan. 14-28 Mayaca 8-Goal Challenge; Jan. 27, Everglades Foundation Benefit Match; Jan. 26-28, Cypress 6-Goal; Feb. 2-23 Live Oak 12-Goal Challenge; Feb. 4-25, Sawgrass 8-Goal; Feb. 22-24, Tabebuia Women's 12-14 Goal WCT Qualifier; March 2-25, USPA Heritage 14-Goal Cup; March 3 Molly's House Benefit; March 2-25 Shady Lady 8-Goal; and April 2-9 The Black Olive 8-Goal...Port Mayaca, with five championship fields, opened in 2008 on the western edge of Martin County in a rural setting, had a record turnout of players and fans. Anyone interested in joining the club for the season may call polo manager Laura Linfoot Townsend at 772-228-0115 (cell) or 772-577-9078 (polo office). The Polo Hotline for schedule and events is 772-218-0887...There is club stabling available for 128 horses.
    SANTA CLARA POLO CLUB
    The club, owned and operated by Luis Escobar, offers kids polo, coaching leagues, group clinics, private lessons, horse leasing and organized polo practice sessions. The club offers high quality polo lessons with personalized instruction for a skill levels and equestrian experience. The 48-acre club has two world-class polo fields, two stick-and-ball fields, two barns and irrigated exercise track. For more information contact Luis Escobar at 561-371-8808 or luisescobar@santaclarapolo.com.
    SARASOTA POLO CLUB
    The club opens its 27th season on Jan. 7 with its first public polo match at 1 p.m. Gates open 10 a.m. The season runs through April 8 with public matches every Sunday. Each Sunday game will have a sponsor host. The Jan. 7 season-opener will be sponsored by TableSeide Restaurant Group. Among other sponsors are Rolls Royce Motor Cars Tampa, Ritz Carlton Sarasota and BMO Private Bank...The club hosts competitive and fun 6- and 12-goal tournaments, Ranch and Sunshine League tournaments and arena tournaments...The Dec. 28-31 New Year's Cup 2-4 Goal will help kick off the season. The 2018 schedule is: Jan. 3-14, USPA Governor's Cup 6-Goal; Jan. 5-27, January 4-Goal; Jan. 17-28, USPA Sportsmanship Cup 6 Goal; Jan. 24-Feb. 4, USPA Constitution Cup 8-10 Goal; Feb. 1-25, February 4 Goal; Feb. 7-18, USPA Robert A Uihlein Jr. Memoria 8-10 Goal; Feb. 9-25, Wayne Brown Memorial 6-Goal; Feb 28-March 11, Schroeder Manatee Ranch Cup 8-10 Goal; March 1-18, USPA Officer's Cup 6-Goal; March 1-3, USPA Sarasota Women's Challenge; March 3-31, March 4 Goal; March 10, Ponies For Pups; March 14-April 1, USPA National Inter-Circuit 8-10 Goal; March 24, USPA National Youth Tournament Series Sarasota Junior Invitational; March 30-April 8, USPA Ringling Cup 6-Goal; April 3-15, April 4-Goal...The club offers beginner through 12-goal polo in the heart of Florida's Gulf Coast. Since 1991, the club has been providing exciting polo matches in a beautiful setting on seven well-groomed polo fields...For the first time, the club will serve as the site for  a weekly Lakewood Ranch Farmer's Market on Wednesdays to help raise awareness of the club and polo along with offering fresh local food from the local agriculture community. The club offers polo for kids to seniors and beginners to pros from 2 to 10-goals during the winter season in both the arena and grass...The season's tailgate themes include Outer Space, Cupid's Crush, St. Patrick's Day, Hollywood, Happy Easter and Around The World...For more information call 941-907-0000 or to book a lesson email kristen@sarasotapolo.com.
     
    THE VILLAGES
    According to club manager Paige McCabe,  the fall season was a success and the club is looking forward to the spring season with 6-goal and above tournaments...The Florida Circuit Women's Challenge attracted 29 players and eight teams including Gillian Johnston and Hope Arellano. Bendabout won the A-Flight final and City Fire won the B-Flight final...The venue was chosen to host several Florida Circuit tournaments including a Masters Cup, Constitution Cup and Intra-Circuit Cup...After three successful seasons as the Voice of the Villages, Dale Gavitt was featured in The Villages Daily Sun...The facility averages more than 30,000 spectators a year including 1,500 to 2,000 fans every weekend. Polo resumes March 17-19 with a season-opening 12-goal tournament. The newly-established polo school headed by instructor Mike Harris, also enjoyed success. Group lessons were held on Saturdays at Oxford Polo Club. For more information call 352-753-3229 and for lessons call 561-212-2128.
     
    UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
    This is the first season the Hurricanes have a women's team competing. The program played its first official women's match at University of Virginia and "had a lot of fun," according to coach Senter Johnson. The team also had a great trip to Harvard. "We look forward to competing in the women's southeast regional in the spring," Johnson said...The men's team is very talented and led Virginia, 10-5 at halftime before losing 18-14. "As our men get more experience we should do well this spring," Johnson said. The team's newest members are Agustin Arellano and Caesar Crasemann. Other men's players are Rodrigo De Vicuna and Michael Bellissimo. The women's team features Blake Aschroft, Arianna Soresi and Brinkley Erb. Soresi and Erb are freshmen..The teams hold their practice sessions at Palm City Polo with Joey Casey...The Hurricanes plan on competing in some of the 6-goal tournaments in Wellington this winter and other outdoor games. "The players are very excited about this," Johnson said. "This is a unique opportunity that only the UMiami program offers, to play and get exposure in Wellington."