• Pony 8-Goal Tournament

    Dutta Corp Wins Top Pony 8-Goal Featured Game; Timmy Dutta Named MVP
    Dutta Corp was determined not to lose another big lead in the Top Pony 8-Goal Tournament during Saturday Polo at Grand Champions Polo Club.
    By Sharon Robb

    Dutta Corp (Nico Diaz Alberdi, 1, Timmy Dutta, 2, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, 5, Tim Dutta, 0) jumped out to 3-0, 5-2 and 8-2 leads in the opening three chukkers and never relented for a 14-7 victory over Smithfield.

    Awards presenter Leslie Wolfson of Miami with Dutta Corp and Smithfield players during post-game awards ceremony.

    Dutta Corp's only loss in the tournament was to Patagones which they also had a big lead only to lose late in the second half.

    "Today we kept the lead all the time, never once did we fold," Timmy Dutta said. "From the beginning we wanted to jump on them early. We came back with a different plan. We practiced it a couple days before and focused what we were weak on. We came out stronger this time."

    Timmy Dutta of Dutta Corp receiving his MVP award from Leslie Wolfson. 
    Photo by ChukkerTV

    Timmy Dutta, 16, was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Dutta scored a team-high eight goals. Lucas Diaz Alberdi added three goals and Nico Diaz Alberdi had two goals. Santi Wulff led Smithfield with four goals and Julio Escurra added three.

    "This was a huge win, we had to win to go to shootout," Dutta said. 

    Lucas Diaz Alberdi and Tim Dutta of Dutta Corp defend Julio Escurra of Smithfield.

    Playing 8-goal is helping Dutta prepare for this week's Iglehart Cup. Dutta is the youngest member of Pilot that features brothers Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres and Curtis Pilot. Pilot plays La Indiana on Thursday at noon. 

    Timmy Dutta of Dutta Corp shows winning MVP form.

    "This is a level where I have to have more of the ball and be a team player, instead of making space for my team in the high goal," Dutta said. "Here I have to slow it down and really play polo like the old times. I enjoy playing with my father, that is a big thing to me and family with the Alberdis because they are my family, too."

    Chelsea, the American Polo Horse Association best registered horse for the game.

    Dutta swept the game's top honors. Dutta's horse, Chelsea, a 9-year-old bred mare and previously ridden by Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Memo Gracida, was named American Polo Horse Association Best registered horse for the game. Her groom was awarded $250 by American Polo Horse Association executive director Tiana Smicklas.

    Santi Wulff of Smithfield goes for the neck shot past Lucas Diaz Alberdi of Dutta Corp.

    "Chelsea has been playing the high goal with me at IPC and here for a couple of years," Dutta said. "She has been playing amazing. I believe she is climbing and people are recognizing her. It's nicer getting Best Playing Pony because there are more horses on the field than players. There are a lot of quality horses out there especially here in Wellington. I'm happy she performed and was recognized."

    Nico Diaz Alberdi of Dutta Corp goes for the hook on Santi Wulff of Smithfield.

    The APHA was created in 2006 by the legendary Sunny Hale to recognize polo ponies in America and encourages events that showcase them and hard-working dedication of grooms. Hale was inducted recently posthumously into the Polo Hall of Fame.

    The Grand Champions Polo Club Best Playing Pony was Pepper, a 10-year old black thoroughbred ridden by Julio Escurra in the fourth chukker.

    Grand Champions Polo Club Best Playing Pony Pepper with rider Julio Escurra.

    Dutta Corp improved to 2-1 and Smithfield is now 2-1. With Smithfield's loss, the only remaining undefeated team in the eight-team tournament is Altair Polo (2-0). 

    Also on Saturday, Altair Polo (Ashley Busch, Keko Magrini, Brandon Phillips, Henry Porter) defeated Valiente (1-2) (Kareem Rosser, Joseph Manheim, Mariano Gracida, Rob Joynavaz), 15-13. Phillips and Porter each had six goals. Magrini had three goals. Mariano Gracida scored a game-high nine goals. 

    Santi Wulff of Smithfield goes for the big hit with Lucas Diaz Alberdi of Dutta Corp defending.

    Porter, the hero of GSA's 9-8 overtime victory over Colorado with the winning goal to send his team into Sunday's Ylvisaker Cup final against Valiente, turned hero again scoring two goals in the final chukker to lead his team. 

    Timmy Dutta of Dutta Corp drives the ball downfield with Santi Wulff of Smithfield defending.

    Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique 100-acre 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 polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation and stick-and-ball fields.

    Lucas Diaz Alberdi of Dutta Corp, horse and ball flying high downfield.

    During fall, winter and spring seasons, Grand Champions Polo Club, the nation's largest club with 11 well-manicured fields, hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 26-goal in addition to special events.

    Nico Diaz Alberdi of Dutta Corp and Santi Wulff of Smithfield battle for the ball.

    The club features monthly 6, 8 and 12-goal tournaments and women's weekly league play during the winter season in addition to two 16-20 tournaments, $50,000 National 12 Goal, $100,000 World Cup winner-take-all 0-40-goal tournament, WCT Tournament and USPA National President's Cup.

    During the 2017 winter season Grand Champions attracted a record 72 teams and another 18 teams during the spring season.

    Smithfield's John Klopp, Craig Callen and Santi Wulff chase down Nico Diaz Alberdi of Dutta Corp. Photos by Chiarofoto