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Archive for November, 2013

Spruce Meadows Recognized as #1 by TripAdvisor

November 26, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

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(SPRUCE MEADOWS, Calgary, AB): Spruce Meadows has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence and recognized for the second consecutive year as #1 of 220 Calgary and Area attractions by the world’s largest travel site. TripAdvisor has more than 1.6 million followers on Google +, is followed by more than 1 million on Twitter, and has 10 million monthly users on Facebook.

 

A place for Sport – Ashley Bond at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament

A place for Sport – Ashley Bond at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament

 

“Spruce Meadows is thrilled to be recognized by an international organization such as TripAdvisor,” says Linda Southern-Heathcott, President and CEO of Spruce Meadows. “It’s particularly gratifying given how blessed we are in the Calgary area to have so much to see and do. I think in many ways we reflect that here at Spruce Meadows. While we are certainly recognized for hosting top international sport, people now understand that there is much more going on at Spruce Meadows throughout the year. That is where TripAdvisor with its global community and interconnectivity can really spread the word.”

Spruce Meadows hosts some 300 events annually in addition to its international show jumping tournaments. Between November 29th and December 1st Spruce Meadows will host the third and final weekend of the popular Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market. This year 275 exhibitors, a vast array of entertainers, cuisine from around the world and spectacular Christmas atmosphere and décor have been experienced by thousands through the first two weekends of the Market. Record attendance is expected for the final weekend of the Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market presented by TELUS.

 

A place for Commerce – The Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market

A place for Commerce – The Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market

 

Following the Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market the grounds will welcome thousands more through the Holiday Season to enjoy Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows. This seasonal tradition see the grounds “aglow” with hundreds of thousands of lights, spectacular displays, and outdoor activities for the entire family. Beginning on December 6th visitors can enjoy a memorable and spectacular 2 KM drive through the grounds. If outdoor activity is more in mind, and Mother Nature cooperates, the Pond at Spruce Meadows will be open for old time pond hockey, skating and country curling throughout the holiday season.

 

A place for Family – The Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

A place for Family – The Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows

Spruce Meadows is a work in progress. As such, plans are already well underway for the 2014 season of sport and for a significant expansion to Christmas at Spruce Meadows, featuring an International Story Land, an expanded lights program and winter delights for children of all ages.

Turkey Trot Juniors Tournament Ends Successful Juniors Polo Season At Grand Champions Polo Club

November 25, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Brothers Lion and Sebastian Mandelbaum participate in the Pro Leadline. Photo by Scott Fisher

Brothers Lion and Sebastian Mandelbaum participate in the Pro Leadline. Photo by Scott Fisher

WELLINGTON, FL—Nov. 25, 2013—-The future of polo is in good hands if Sunday’s Turkey Trot Juniors Tournament at Grand Champions Polo Club is any indication.

The eight-year-old club held its final juniors tournament of the 2013 season for players of all ages and skill level.

The tournament, hosted by the Polo School at Grand Champions, featured a Turkey Run Round-Robin, Turkey More Than Trot, Walk Alone and Pro Leadline.

Six-year-old Finn Secunda of Polo School Yellow (3) waits patiently while his grandfather, British polo great and former 9-goaler Julian Hipwood takes a photo. Photo by Scott Fisher

Six-year-old Finn Secunda of Polo School Yellow (3) waits patiently while his grandfather, British polo great and former 9-goaler Julian Hipwood takes a photo. Photo by Scott Fisher

The three-hour event attracted three generations of polo players including British polo great and former 9-goaler Julian Hipwood watching his 6-year-old grandson Finn Secunda score four goals in the Walk Alone and American 7-goaler Jeff Hall introducing his 3-year-old son Luke to the game in the Pro Leadline.

Three chukkers of play pitting three teams were held in the Turkey Run Round-Robin on a regulation-size field.

Grand Champions' Chase Schwartz (1) avoids the hook of Cipi Echezaretta of Polo School Green (2) while teammate Riley Ganzi (3) backs her up. Photo by Scott Fisher

Grand Champions’ Chase Schwartz (1) avoids the hook of Cipi Echezaretta of Polo School Green (2) while teammate Riley Ganzi (3) backs her up. Photo by Scott Fisher

The teams were:

Grand Champions: An all-girls team featuring Chase Schwartz, Riley Ganzi, Jacqui Casey and Rachel Kelly.

Polo School Blue: Maria Celis, Matt Cohen, Ignacio Loianno, Richard Gollel.

Polo School Green: Alyssa Tranchilla, Cipi Echezaretta, Grant Braden, Juanse Olivera.

Grand Champions defeated Polo School Blue, 3-1, in the opening chukker behind two goals by Kelly and one by Schwartz.

Elizabeth Fenner of Piaget (1) attempts to hook Joseph Schwartz (2) of Audi as he hits the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Elizabeth Fenner of Piaget (1) attempts to hook Joseph Schwartz (2) of Audi as he hits the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

In the second chukker, Grand Champions and Polo School Green tied, 1-1, with Olivera and Schwartz each scoring a goal.

In the third chukker, Polo School Blue defeated Polo School Green, 2-1 with Gollel scoring the winning goal.

“I have been playing polo for about four years and riding since I was 3,” said Kelly, who travelled with her family from Vero Beach and coach Max Secunda, who introduced her to polo. “I love this sport with the big horses. I love the adrenaline and just getting to play.

Cipi Echezaretta of Polo School Green (2) backs the ball despite pressure defense from Matt Cohen of Polo School Blue (2). Photo by Scott Fisher

Cipi Echezaretta of Polo School Green (2) backs the ball despite pressure defense from Matt Cohen of Polo School Blue (2). Photo by Scott Fisher

Grand Champions' Jacqui Casey (2) tries to outrace Matt Cohen of Polo School Blue (2) for the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Grand Champions’ Jacqui Casey (2) tries to outrace Matt Cohen of Polo School Blue (2) for the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

“The game was great today, being on the girls team and feeling the girl power,” Kelly said. “I wanted to play more. I want to play in every one of these tournaments as much as I can with kids my age. I was shocked it went by so fast. I love girls playing polo. I want to see more of them play in the U.S. Open.”

Juanse Olivera, son of Juan Olivera, polo manager at PB Polo, has been playing less than two years and is already showing tremendous potential.

Grand Champions' Jacqui Casey (2) attempts to hit the ball while Cipi Echezaretta of Polo School Green (2) defends with help from teammate Grant Braden (3). Photo by Scott Fisher

Grand Champions’ Jacqui Casey (2) attempts to hit the ball while Cipi Echezaretta of Polo School Green (2) defends with help from teammate Grant Braden (3). Photo by Scott Fisher

“I like the sensation when you hit the ball,” said Olivera, a sixth grader. “I’ve been riding horses since I was little. I like playing polo with my friends. Today’s game was great because both teams were balanced and very equal. It was competitive and fun. I want to play in more tournaments.”

Two more chukkers of play on a shorter field was held during the Turkey More Than Trot three-on-three event. The teams were:

All eyes on the ball during the Walk Alone event. Photo by Scott Fisher

All eyes on the ball during the Walk Alone event. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi: Javier Celis, Joseph Schwartz, Bryce Gardiner.

Piaget: Elizabeth Fenner, Zoey Echezaretta, Will Jacobs.

The Walk Alone event featured two teams. They were:

Umpire Scott Campbell leads Lorenzo Ramirez of Polo School Yellow and other Walk Alone participants out onto the field. Photo by Scott Fisher

Umpire Scott Campbell leads Lorenzo Ramirez of Polo School Yellow and other Walk Alone participants out onto the field. Photo by Scott Fisher

Polo School Yellow: Solon Tamplin, Lorenzo Ramirez, Finn Secunda.

Polo School Purple: Able Tamplin, Nikko Ramirez, Avalon Nottingham, Luci Ramirez.

The final event of the day was the Pro Leadline with Lion and Sebastian Mandelbaum walking with their father and player Leo Mandelbaum; Luke Hall, Emmett Tamplin, Janie Barnett and Weston Mead.

“This is where it all starts,” said entertaining announcer Dale Schwetz, a full-time USPA umpire and polo player.

Professional polo player Jeff Hall helping son Luke with his mallet strap before the start of the Pro Leadline. Photo by Scott Fisher

Professional polo player Jeff Hall helping son Luke with his mallet strap before the start of the Pro Leadline. Photo by Scott Fisher

Luke Hall, 3, with his dad, professional polo player Jeff Hall, participating in the Pro Leadline in his debut. Photo by Scott Fisher

Luke Hall, 3, with his dad, professional polo player Jeff Hall, participating in the Pro Leadline in his debut. Photo by Scott Fisher

Said Hall about his very relaxed son, “He is comatose right now, I think he’s ready for a nap.”

The junior tournaments are not only attracting sons and daughters of polo players but beginning to see more boys and girls coming out for the sport with no history of polo in their family.

Nine-year-old Bryce Gardiner of Wellington has been playing polo for two years. His mother, Shauna Gardiner, is thrilled watching her son play.

“The memories I am building with my son through this sport is everything, it’s been an amazing bonding thing,” Shauna Gardiner said. “I really appreciate what Melissa is trying to do, she is truly amazing for what she does. I always wanted to tell her how much I appreciate it.

Nikko Ramirez of Polo School Purple defends Finn Secunda of Polo School Yellow as he tries to score during the Walk Alone event. Photo by Scott Fisher

Nikko Ramirez of Polo School Purple defends Finn Secunda of Polo School Yellow as he tries to score during the Walk Alone event. Photo by Scott Fisher

“It started with lessons and it’s been wonderful watching him progress. It’s nice for my husband and I to have this outlet,” Gardiner said. “We have friends who are polo people and they are always talking about how great it is. It’s hard when you don’t know about polo. Grand Champions has been so helpful.”

Tournament director Robin Sanchez would like to see the consistency of monthly junior tournaments continue. The PTF is hosting the next juniors event in late December.

“Skills are learned well in game-type situations,” Sanchez said. “That’s how you learn tactical skills. You can learn tactics stick-and-balling and doing lessons all day long but it’s a game where you learn tactical skills.

“These kids are at a level that they are starting to learn how the game works. The game-type situation helps so much in their progression and plus they get to be with their friends, have a good time and spend an afternoon outside in the fresh air doing good stuff.

“It’s great to see a new generation and it’s great to see kids having a good time,” Sanchez said. “It’s such a good family-thing. To see Julian, Max and Finn, three generations right there is phenomenal. And then kids whose parents didn’t play polo coming out here and enjoying a whole new sport is really nice to see, too.”

Grand Champions provided Miami-based food truck CheGrill serving Argentine food and refreshments for players, coaches, parents and spectators throughout the afternoon. As an added treat, gymnasts from Epic Gymnastics of Palm Beach performed for the crowd after the polo competition and before the awards presentation.

Miami-based popular food truck Che Grill is a familiar and welcome sight at Grand Champions. Argentine food and refreshments for everyone is provided by the club. Photo by Scott Fisher

Miami-based popular food truck Che Grill is a familiar and welcome sight at Grand Champions. Argentine food and refreshments for everyone is provided by the club. Photo by Scott Fisher

The Turkey Trot Juniors Tournament came just one month after the successful debut of the ProKidz Tournament, an inaugural event created and hosted by Grand Champions Polo Club where a pro played alongside three players on each team.

Grand Champions Polo Club, the nation’s fastest growing polo club, has played a key role in helping develop and promote youth polo year-round by sponsoring and hosting several tournaments along with the Polo Training Foundation.

Participants in the Turkey Trot Juniors Polo Tournament showing off their trophies. Photo by Scott Fisher

Participants in the Turkey Trot Juniors Polo Tournament showing off their trophies. Photo by Scott Fisher

Grand Champions Polo Club owners and players Marc and Melissa Ganzi along with the PTF have been instrumental in the growth of junior and youth polo and will resume hosting more junior events in 2014 at Grand Champions.

Melissa Ganzi was thrilled to see so many new faces out on Sunday.

“It is amazing to see all the new kids in the leadline,” Ganzi said. “It was nice to see all the kids who were in leadline graduate to Walk Alone. It was also nice to see that improvement and to see all the kids enjoy themselves and to watch players like Chase Schwartz anchor her team and be responsible for the win and improve so much in the last few years playing in tournaments like this.”

Parents and kids shopping at the Grand Champions Boutique. Photo by Scott Fisher

Parents and kids shopping at the Grand Champions Boutique. Photo by Scott Fisher

Ganzi, secretary-treasurer of the PTF, is a selfless supporter of the PTF which is orchestrating the growth and success of the juniors and youth programs across the nation.

“Tournaments like this are important for the growth of polo,” Ganzi said. “You can’t just focus on one thing and expect it to grow. It’s important for these kids to have opportunities and Grand Champions is committed to doing it. It is a year-round commitment that we have.”

Gymnasts from Epic Gymnastics of Palm Beach perform for the crowd. Photo by Scott Fisher

Gymnasts from Epic Gymnastics of Palm Beach perform for the crowd. Photo by Scott Fisher

GRAND CHAMPIONS FALL SCHEDULE

Nov. 30, Saturday, The Legends of Polo, 1 p.m. and International Cup, Team USA vs. Chile, 3 p.m.

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 561-644-5050.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro team Audi. Everyone is welcome to watch high and medium goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

Audi Defends Title, Wins USPA National 20-Goal Tournament; Carlos Gracida Named MVP

November 25, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

We Are The Champions. Audi defended its title in grand style with Marc Ganzi (1), Carlitos Gracida (2), Nic Roldan (3) and Carlos Gracida (4). Photo by Scott Fisher

We Are The Champions. Audi defended its title in grand style with Marc Ganzi (1), Carlitos Gracida (2), Nic Roldan (3) and Carlos Gracida (4). Photo by Scott Fisher

WELLINGTON, FL—Nov. 23, 2013—-On a balmy, sun-drenched afternoon at Grand Champions Polo Club, Audi continued its domination in the championship final of the USPA National 20-Goal Tournament.

In front of a packed house, the defending champions relied on their experience and balanced attack to hand previously unbeaten ELG its first loss of the season-ending tournament with a 13-7 victory.

For the second consecutive year, Audi swept both fall season 20-goal tournaments, winning both the USPA North American Cup and USPA National 20-Goal Tournament to keep its rich polo tradition alive.

Audi (Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan, Carlos Gracida) and ELG, (Avery Chapman, Guille Aguero, Kris Kampsen, Tommy Biddle) finished the tournament with identical 3-1 records.

“This win for sure is the sweeter,” Ganzi said. “We wanted to win today and carry this forward.

Tournament runner-up ELG teammates Tommy Biddle (4), Kris Kampsen (3), Guille Aguero (2) and Avery Chapman (1). Photo by Scott Fisher

Tournament runner-up ELG teammates Tommy Biddle (4), Kris Kampsen (3), Guille Aguero (2) and Avery Chapman (1). Photo by Scott Fisher

“The level of polo has risen here. You had two 20-goal teams in this tournament and one of them didn’t even make the Final Four and the other didn’t make the final. You had an 18- and 19-goal team in the final which indicates the level has gotten much higher.”

“Every year this tournament is getting harder and harder,” Roldan said. “Everyone is coming in with better and better horses. The fields are great, the time of year is amazing and the tournament is getting more prestigious, so it’s extremely satisfying to win this year.”

“This win was sweeter than last year because the teams are tougher and better organized,” said Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Carlos Gracida, named Most Valuable Player at age 53.

“The older I get the more satisfying this is for me,” Gracida said. “I am playing against younger players. I know that there is going to be a day that I will not be good enough to play at this level.”

Audi's Marc Ganzi (1) bumps ELG's Tommy Biddle (4) out of the play to get to the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi’s Marc Ganzi (1) bumps ELG’s Tommy Biddle (4) out of the play to get to the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Gracida admitted he had his doubts about Audi continuing its tournament winning streak.

“Before the season I didn’t think we were going to win again,” Gracida said. “We were looking at the teams on paper and our team was the same but other teams were stronger.”

The fast-paced game was physical from the opening chukker. Audi jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Roldan’s 40-yard penalty shot, Gracida’s pick-up goal off Roldan’s missed attempt with 4:15 left and one goal by handicap. Aguero scored two goals to cut Audi’s lead to one but it was the closest ELG (Equine Law Group) would get until the fourth chukker.

Audi's Carlos Gracida (4) showing his MVP form outracing defender Kris Kampsen of ELG. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi’s Carlos Gracida (4) showing his MVP form outracing defender Kris Kampsen of ELG. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi got defensive in the second chukker shutting down ELG’s long ball offense for a 7-2 lead with a tight-knit defense that was marking well and held ELG scoreless.

“We were so worried about the other team because they won so easily yesterday that we thought let’s play defense because they are so good at attacking and they didn’t expect that,” Carlos Gracida said. “They expected us to be more of an attacking team and we were more a defending team.

“We were waiting for their mistakes and we were able to shut them down. They didn’t get their long shots. We knew that Tommy has that long shot and Guille was running with the ball and we were able to be more patient and shut them down.”

Most Valuable Player Carlos Gracida of Audi is all smiles with his arm full of awards. Photo by Scott Fisher

Most Valuable Player Carlos Gracida of Audi is all smiles with his arm full of awards. Photo by Scott Fisher

ELG found its defense and shut out Audi in the third chukker but could only manage to score one goal from Biddle and was trailing 7-3 at the half.

ELG tried to get untracked in the fourth chukker taking advantage of a penalty one and 60-yard penalty shot from Biddle to trail by only two (7-5) but it was the closest they would get for the rest of the game.

Audi’s horse power in the fifth chukker and well-disciplined play overwhelmed ELG enabling Audi to pull away with a five-goal lead (11-6).

To the victors go the spoils in the form of the USPA National 20-Goal Tournament trophy. Photo by Scott Fisher

To the victors go the spoils in the form of the USPA National 20-Goal Tournament trophy. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi never allowed ELG to regroup.

“We watched the first three games of this team and they pretty much chewed everyone up pretty easily,” said Ganzi, who turned in one of his finest performances of the season. “Our plan was to isolate Tommy, to put him on an island. We basically cut their main artery, we cut off their quarterback, the guy who distributed the ball. Once they had no distribution, Guille and Kris had no where to run.

“We really tried to cut down mental errors which have always seemed to hurt us in games, so we had very few mental errors,” Ganzi said. “I think we got very even contributions from all four players today. It was truly a team effort.

“Carlos Gracida led the team today,” Ganzi said. “He is such a tactician. Two weeks of playing polo with him you learn more than you learn during an entire high goal season.”

Audi MVP Carlos Gracida (4) moves in to defend ELG's Kris Kampsen (3) in pursuit of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi MVP Carlos Gracida (4) moves in to defend ELG’s Kris Kampsen (3) in pursuit of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

The game was physical. Biddle was hit in the back with a ball in the fourth chukker, Roldan was hit on the shoulder with a mallet in the fourth chukker and Aguero was hit in the leg with a ball late in the sixth chukker. All three escaped serious injury and continued to play.

Zulu, ridden by Aguero in the first and third chukkers, was named Best Playing Pony for the second time during the fall season. The seven-year-old Dark Bay mare is owned by Halo Polo.

Roldan led Audi scoring with five goals. Ganzi added three goals. Carlos Gracida and Carlitos Gracida each had two goals. One goal was picked up by handicap.

“I thought we played well, way better than we did the other day,” Roldan said. “We just played solid and stuck to our gameplan. Carlos played amazing, Carlitos and Marc played great. We stayed patient and didn’t do any stupid fouls.

ELG's Tommy Biddle (4) driving the ball downfield for his fourth goal of the game. Photo by Scott Fisher

ELG’s Tommy Biddle (4) driving the ball downfield for his fourth goal of the game. Photo by Scott Fisher

“What makes this team special is the chemistry,” Roldan said. “We have fun. We get hot on the field but we are having fun on the field at the same time. Carlos and I jell, Marc is always pushing and playing great up front and Carlitos is young and is always putting 120 percent in the game and that’s what we need, fighters, guys that won’t give up.”

Said Carlitos Gracida, “If we don’t foul, we always win. You always have to keep playing no matter how far ahead you are. We just had to stay focused and keep playing, it didn’t matter what the score was. I am just happy we won. For the first time I feel like I am part of a team and everyone is supporting me. We are all friends.”

Audi's Nic Roldan (3) and ELG's Tommy Biddle (4) in a horse race to the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi’s Nic Roldan (3) and ELG’s Tommy Biddle (4) in a horse race to the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

For Gracida Sr., the game was sentimental playing alongside his son, Carlitos. It was a family affair with Mariano grooming for his father and brother.

“This game was very special because last week I won with my son Mariano in the Mexico Polo Open that I have been playing for four years and now this week I won this with Carlitos,” Gracida said. “He played very well. He is sharpening his game and his organization and it’s paying off.”

Audi's Carlitos Gracida (2) reaches behind ELG defender Avery Chapman's (1) horse to gain possession of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi’s Carlitos Gracida (2) reaches behind ELG defender Avery Chapman’s (1) horse to gain possession of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Biddle scored four goals for ELG including two on penalty shots. Aguero added two goals and one goal was scored on a Penalty 1.

ELG had qualified for three tournament finals and one consolation final this season and was looking for its first 20-goal title but fell short.

Officials Horton Schwartz and Dale Schwetz receive awards from Grand Champions Polo Club for a job well-done during the 20-goal tournament. Photo by Scott Fisher

Officials Horton Schwartz and Dale Schwetz receive awards from Grand Champions Polo Club for a job well-done during the 20-goal tournament. Photo by Scott Fisher

“They had a game plan to deal with us and obviously they executed it well,” Chapman said. “Success is 9/10ths preparation. Our Plan B didn’t work either.

“No one was panicked, this is a very resilient team,” Chapman said. “Obviously, we are very happy to come to the finals at 3-0. For my first 20 goal I was impressed with the preparation of my teammates, the fields were great and the club did a great job of putting on a top-notch tournament in the fall. We are very happy to make it this far, no complaints. This was really a fun team.”

Fans working up an appetite watching Cilantro's Herman Moreira prepare asado sandwiches provided by Grand Champions. Photo by Scott Fisher

Fans working up an appetite watching Cilantro’s Herman Moreira prepare asado sandwiches provided by Grand Champions. Photo by Scott Fisher

Retail manager Jennifer Guinan helps customers with their purchases in the Grand Champions Boutique. Photo by Scott Fisher

Retail manager Jennifer Guinan helps customers with their purchases in the Grand Champions Boutique. Photo by Scott Fisher

A packed house of polo fans enjoyed a perfect ending to an outstanding fall season at Grand Champions Polo Club. Photo by Scott Fisher

A packed house of polo fans enjoyed a perfect ending to an outstanding fall season at Grand Champions Polo Club. Photo by Scott Fisher

Six teams started the two-week tournament play in two divisions. Audi, Casablanca and Palm Beach Equine were in the West bracket and KIG, ELG and Piaget were in the East bracket.

Grand Champions honored officials Dale Schwetz and Horton Schwartz for their officiating during the fall season.

Fans, players and families were treated by Grand Champions to refreshments and asado sandwiches prepared by Cilantro’s owner Herman Moreira.

GRAND CHAMPIONS FALL SCHEDULE

Nov. 24, Sunday Turkey Trot Juniors Tournament, 11 a.m.

Nov. 30, Saturday, The Legends of Polo, 1 p.m. and International Cup, Team USA vs. Chile, 3 p.m.

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 561-644-5050.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro team Audi. Everyone is welcome to watch high and medium goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

Defending Champion Audi Advances Into USPA National 20-Goal Tournament Final

November 23, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Audi's Marc Ganzi (1) drives downfield with Piaget's Juan Bollini (4) in pursuit. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi’s Marc Ganzi (1) drives downfield with Piaget’s Juan Bollini (4) in pursuit. Photo by Scott Fisher

WELLINGTON, FL-Nov. 22, 2013—-Audi will return to the final of the USPA National 20-Goal Championship Tournament Saturday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

 

It has been no easy task for the defending champion which has had to battle back in every game to make it back to the championship final including its semifinal victory over Piaget on Thursday.

 

In a hard-fought, penalty-marred game, Audi came back to defeat Piaget, 9-8, behind Marc Ganzi’s winning goal with 2:37 left in the game.

 

Audi (2-1) will play the winner of Friday’s semifinal game between undefeated ELG and Casablanca. The game was rained out Thursday.

 

Audi's Carlitos Gracida (2) has his eye on the ball in flight while Piaget's Piki Alberdi (3) outraces him. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi’s Carlitos Gracida (2) has his eye on the ball in flight while Piaget’s Piki Alberdi (3) outraces him. Photo by Scott Fisher

The final 20-goal tournament of the fall season has turned out to be the most competitive of them all.

 

“The teams are so much better this year,” said Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Carlos Gracida Sr., two weeks away from getting his U.S. citizenship.

 

“The teams are better organized with better horses. This competition is getting better and better. All of the best American players are here.”

 

Added Melissa Ganzi, “Last year Audi had the best team by far.This year all the teams are good. It was open for everybody and that’s what makes polo fun when all the teams are evenly-balanced and the horses are so good. It’s anybody’s final.”

 

Piaget's Juan Bollini (4) and Audi's Carlitos Gracida (2) keep their eye on the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Piaget’s Juan Bollini (4) and Audi’s Carlitos Gracida (2) keep their eye on the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi (Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan, Carlos Gracida) relied on its experience and chemistry to end Piaget’s (Melissa Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Piki Alberdi, Juan Bollini) fall season.

 

“There was a lot of goal-scoring in the beginning and in the last two chukkers there were only a few goals scored,” Melissa Ganzi said. “There were a lot of fouls.

 

“That team has played together for a long time and it is led by a living legend, Carlos Gracida. He brings a lot of experience and he certainly brings a cool head to that team.”

 

It was a quick turnaround for Audi that played a late afternoon game against Casablanca Wednesday.

 

Audi’s Carlitos Gracida (2) maintains possession of the ball despite defensive pressure from Piaget’s Juan Bollini (4). Photo by Scott Fisher

“The horses actually played better than they did yesterday, they played very well,” Gracida Sr. said.

 

Audi started out with a two-goal lead by handicap and built on it for a 6-3 halftime advantage.

 

“They were a good team,” Gracida Sr. said. “Somehow we managed to create scoring opportunities. The two goals handicap helped a lot, we were able to get a jump but it was just like a race, they kept catching up.”

 

Piaget kept it close and trailed by only one at the end of the fourth chukker (7-6) and tied the game (7-7) early in the fifth chukker on one of Jeff Hall’s three penalty goals.

 

Audi regained the lead (8-7) late in the fifth chukker on Roldan’s goal with 55 seconds remaining.

 

Audi's Carlitos Gracida (2) drives downfield with Piaget's Jeff Hall (2) applying the pressure. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi’s Carlitos Gracida (2) drives downfield with Piaget’s Jeff Hall (2) applying the pressure. Photo by Scott Fisher

With 4:36 left in the sixth chukker, Alberdi took advantage of a loose ball and pushed a goal through to tie the game again (8-8). Hall broke away on another goal attempt but was turned away by Carlitos Gracida.

 

It was then Audi’s turn to break away with Ganzi getting loose and scoring after a well-placed pass from Gracida Sr. to give Audi a 9-8 lead.

 

Hall had one last chance with a big hit toward goal but was again denied by Carlitos Gracida. With 25 seconds left Ganzi attempted a penalty shot that was blocked by Bollini. Alberdi took possession and was attempting to bring it down field when time ran out.

 

Piaget's Piki Alberdi (3) tries to hook Audi's Nic Roldan (3) as he pursues the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Piaget’s Piki Alberdi (3) tries to hook Audi’s Nic Roldan (3) as he pursues the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

“The game could have gone either way,” Gracida Sr. said. “Even the last play with 25 seconds they had a chance. They can create a play in 20 seconds.”

 

Carlos Gracida and Ganzi each had three goals for Audi. Roldan added one.

 

Hall finished with a game-high four goals, Alberdi had three and Melissa Ganzi scored one for Piaget.

 

Piaget's Jeff Hall (2) leans into his downfield shot. Photo by Scott Fisher

Piaget’s Jeff Hall (2) leans into his downfield shot. Photo by Scott Fisher

“It was a good game, they were tough,” Hall said. “We had a chance. I had that one run there that would have put us up by one. Then they went back and scored the one.”

 

Said Roldan, “We’re just happy to get back to the final. All the teams are more even now. All the teams are competitive and well-mounted. Today we just had an off game. I am happy we are in the final.”

 

For Carlitos Gracida, it will mark his second consecutive appearance in the final.

 

“We’re happy to get the win, it’s good to get back to the final,” Gracida said. “We knew we couldn’t make fouls and not rush the game. If you make fouls, Jeff will score penalties.

 

Audi's Carlitos Gracida (2) bumps Piaget's Juan Bollini (4) as he tries to control the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Audi’s Carlitos Gracida (2) bumps Piaget’s Juan Bollini (4) as he tries to control the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

“It’s tougher this year,” Gracida said. “Now it’s really competitive. At first it started for fun and every year it’s gotten more and more competitive. It’s real polo.”

 

Six teams started the two-week tournament play in two divisions. Audi, Casablanca and Palm Beach Equine were in the West bracket and KIG, ELG and Piaget were in the East bracket.

 

GRAND CHAMPIONS FALL SCHEDULE

 

Nov. 22, USPA National 20-Goal Tournament Semifinal: Casablanca vs. ELG.

 

Nov. 23, USPA National 20-Goal Tournament Final, 3 p.m.

 

Nov. 24, Turkey Trot Juniors Tournament, 10 a.m.

 

Nov. 30, The Legends of Polo, 1 p.m. and International Cup, Team USA vs. Chile, 3 p.m.

 

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

 

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 561-644-5050.

 

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro team Audi. Everyone is welcome to watch high and medium goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

USEF Announces 2014 Developing Riders/Eventing 25 Participants

November 21, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Lexington, KY- The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and its Eventing High Performance Department is proud to announce the participants for the 2014 Developing Riders/Eventing 25 Program. For the second year, a Developing Rider will be defined as a rider (25 and under) who has achieved a qualifying result at the CCI2* level. Chef d’Equipe David O’Connor will lead the Developing Riders/Eventing 25 program and coach the accepted athletes. In addition to lessons under saddle, there will be a classroom component to this program. Topics will include theory, training and course design. There will also be presentations by guest speakers on subjects including veterinary care and stable management.

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The following horses and riders have been chosen by the Eventing Selection Committee and approved by the Eventing High Performance Committee to take part in the 2014 Developing Riders/ Eventing 25 Program. These combinations have been invited to take part in training sessions with O’Connor in California and Ocala, Florida.

 

Caitlin Silliman - Photo by Lauren R. Giannini

Caitlin Silliman – Photo by Lauren R. Giannini

California Training Session

 

The following combinations have been selected to participate in training sessions

at a location still to be confirmed, January 14-17:

 

Helen Bouscaren (San Ramon, CA) and her own Ben*

Ben is a 2004 Thoroughbred gelding

 

Cori Davis (Shingle Springs, CA) and her own A Golden Effort

A Golden Effort is a 2004 Thoroughbred gelding

 

Avery Klunick (Midland, TX) and her own and Chip Klunick’s In It To Win It

In It To Win It is a 2000 New Zealand Sport Horse gelding

 

Brynn Littlehale (Saratoga, CA) and her own Forgotten Emblem

Forgotten Emblem is a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding

 

Emily Pestl-Dimmit (Renton, WA) and Michele Pestl’s Airlington

Airlington is a 2003 Bavarian Warmblood gelding

 

MacKenna Shea (Tacoma, WA) and her own Landioso

Landioso is 2002 Bavarian Warmblood gelding

 

Kimberly Steinbuch (Castro Valley, CA) and her own Pikture This

Pikture This is a 2000 Hanoverian/Thoroughbred Cross

 

*This pair has been ‘Talent Spotted’ on to this list.

 

Florida Training Session

 

The following combinations have been selected to participate in training sessions generously hosted at Meredyth South in Ocala, FL January 20-24:

 

Nora Battig (Granite Bay, CA) and her own Steppin’ Out

Steppin’ Out is a 2005 Trakehner/Thoroughbred mare

 

Alexandra Blyskal-Sacksen (Landenberg, PA) and her own Sparrow’s Nio

Sparrow’s Nio is a 2003 Connemara/Thoroughbred gelding

 

Zach Brandt (Thousand Oaks, CA) and his own Cavallino Cocktail

Cavallino Cocktail is a 2002 Irish Sport Horse mare

 

Jenny Caras (Marietta, GA) and her own Fernhill Fortitude or Fernhill Stowaway

Fernhill Fortitude is a 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Fernhill Stowaway is a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding

 

Danielle Dichting (Roswell, GA) and her own The Graduate

The Graduate is a 1998 Sachsen-Anhaltiner gelding

 

Sarah Dunkerton (Soso, MS) and her own and Richard Dunkerton’s Matapeake

Matapeake is a 1999 Thoroughbred gelding

 

Ariel Grald (Randolph Center, VT) and Carol Rittenhouse’s LBF Oleagh’s Image*

LBF Oleagh’s Image is a 2005 Irish Sport Horse mare

 

Katherine Groesbeck (Temecula, CA) and her own Oz the Tin Man

Oz The Tin Man is a 1997 Anglo-Arabian gelding

 

Emily Renfroe (Magnolia Springs, AL) and her own Walk the Line

Walk the Line is a 2002 Hanoverian mare

 

Caitlin Silliman (Chestertown, MD) and her own Catch A Star

Catch A Star is a 2000 Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare

 

Lizzie Snow (Milwaukie, OR) and Diane Snow’s Ringfort Tinkaturk

Ringfort Tinkaturk is a 2005 Irish Sport Horse gelding

 

Julie Wolfert (Bucyrus, KS) and her own Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a 2001 Thoroughbred gelding

 

*This pair has been ‘Talent Spotted’ on to this list.

 

Florida Alternate

Meghan O’Donoghue (Carbondale, IL) and her own Pirate

Pirate is a 2002 Thoroughbred gelding

 

Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate have already been named to the World Class list and invited to participate in High Performance Training Sessions with O’Connor. Due to limited space in the 2014 Developing Riders/Eventing 25 Program, they will be invited to participate in this Florida Training Session if a spot becomes available.

 

 

Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.

 

 

The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation® is to provide leadership

for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the pursuit

of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a

foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare

of its human and equine athletes.

Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc. Selected as the Honorary Rescue of the Washington International Horse Show

November 19, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

UPPER MARLBORO, Md., Nov. 1, 2013— Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc. was selected as the honorary rescue of the Washington International Horse Show, which took place October 22-26 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

 

Sidelines Magazine Intern Christina Alex's OTTB Junior

Sidelines Magazine Intern Christina Alex’s OTTB Junior

TPR was selected for this honor through A Home For Every Horse, a program through the Equine Network, which has partnered with the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition to provide care and shelter to America’s horses. A Home For Every Horse program is sponsored by Purina, Zoetis, Absorbine, Cavallo, WeatherBeeta and Tractor Supply.

 

“We would like to thank A Home For Every Horse and their generous sponsors.  They help non-profits like ours continue the important work that is making a difference in the lives of these amazing animals,” said Kimberly Clark, founder of TPR, which works to retrain and find qualified homes for retired Thoroughbreds, as well as to educate owners, trainers and the general public about the value of retired racehorses as show and pleasure horses.

 

TPR takes in an average of 35 horses annually.  In addition to boarding, each horse receives basic care, including vaccinations, coggins, blacksmith and dental care.

The horses are retrained over a 90-day period.  Although all of the training and riding time is donated by Leighton Farm, the home of TPR, the cost of the 90-day retraining program is approximately $2,120 per horse.  Upon completion of the retraining, horses are adopted by qualified homes and the adoption fees are placed back into the program.

 

“We are grateful to A Home For Every Horse, which has provided us with free feed coupons from Purina,” said Clark.

 

Clark went on to express her gratitude for TPR being recognized at the

 

Washington International Horse Show, the country’s foremost indoor metropolitan indoor horse show.

 

The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) has been a leading equestrian

event for the past 55 years, according to their Web site.  The WIHS features events such as show jumping, dressage, hunter and equitation competition, as well as a Kids’ Day, Barn Night, special exhibits and shopping and attracts horses and riders from around the world. (www.wihs.org)

 

According to their Web site, WIHS is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and is proud to support and partner with local, military and national charities.

 

For more information about WIHS, visit www.wihs.org.

 

For more information about A Home For Every Horse, visit www.equisearch.com/a-home-for-every-horse/

 

TPR is a 501(c)(3) charity which exists to improve the lives of Thoroughbred racehorses through a comprehensive, multifaceted approach.  TPR successfully transitions and retrains racehorses for other disciplines and strives to improve the

reputation of the Thoroughbred by providing education and support.

 

For more information, please contact Terri Hirschmann and Kerrie-Anne Sparks at news@goodhorse.org or call 410-703-2657.

 

Palm Beach Equine Upsets Casablanca; ELG Remains Undefeated In USPA National 20-Goal Tournament

November 18, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Casablanca's Mike Azzaro (3) gets defensive and backs the ball away from Palm Beach Equine's goal. Photo by Scott Fisher

Casablanca’s Mike Azzaro (3) gets defensive and backs the ball away from Palm Beach Equine’s goal. Photo by Scott Fisher

WELLINGTON, FL-Nov. 17, 2013—-ELG advanced into Thursday’s semifinals and underdog Palm Beach Equine remained alive in the USPA National 20-Goal Championship Tournament Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

 

ELG won a hardfought 12-10 victory over KIG to remain undefeated at 2-0 and earn the No. 1 seed in the East bracket for the semifinal round.

 

Palm Beach Equine knocked off Casablanca with a thrilling 12-11 overtime victory against the hottest team of the fall season and remained alive with a 1-1 record in the West bracket.

 

On Tuesday, Casablanca (0-1) will try to bounce back against defending champion Audi (1-0) in a crucial West bracket game at 3:30 p.m. game.

 

Faced with a must-win situation, Palm Beach Equine (Julio Ezcurra, Carlucho Arellano, Luis Escobar, Scott Swerdlin) played its finest game of the season controlling the tempo and frustrating error-prone Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Sugar Erskine, Mike Azzaro, Hector Galindo) for most of the game.

 

Casablanca's Hector Galindo (4) goes to back the ball with Palm Beach Equine's Luis Escobar (3) defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

Casablanca’s Hector Galindo (4) goes to back the ball with Palm Beach Equine’s Luis Escobar (3) defending. Photo by Scott Fisher

With 3:37 left in overtime, Escobar got loose and found an opening to score the winning goal for the biggest upset of the tournament.

 

“This is why we play polo for plays like that and playing good polo,” Escobar said. “Win or lose, today the game was a lot of fun.”

 

Escobar was in the right place at the right time for his fourth and most important goal of the game.

 

Casablanca's Mike Azzaro (3) and Palm Beach Equine's Luis Escobar (3) in a horse race to the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Casablanca’s Mike Azzaro (3) and Palm Beach Equine’s Luis Escobar (3) in a horse race to the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

“The eyes were wide open on that goal,” Escobar said. “We got lucky. Mike hit a big ball that hit my teammate. I ended up backing the ball and was able to turn on it and started running. Mike catches up to me and I miss the ball. Scott takes it, then there’s Mike again. He waits for Scott who leaves the ball for Julio but then Mike is still there. So finally Julio makes Mike over commit the play and I was able to turn around and come and score.

 

“We are alive and kicking,” Escobar said with a smile.

 

Palm Beach Equine started off with a 3-0 lead by handicap and built on it behind the one-two scoring punch of Escobar and Arellano and well-disciplined defense.

 

“The plan was to play more organized on defense because our last game in the end we screwed that up and they played better for sure,” Ezcurra said. “This time we tried to stay focused on the whole game. That was the key.

 

“They came back in the last chukker and tied us to go into overtime but we still stayed focused,” Ezcurra said. “That winning goal was a team effort. First Luis ran to the goal, he was hooked by Mike, then Scott left me the ball. I touch it and then I took Mike out and Luis scored the goal.”

 

Casablanca's Mike Azzaro (3) tries to steal the ball away from Palm Beach Equine's Luis Escobar (3). Photo by Scott Fisher

Casablanca’s Mike Azzaro (3) tries to steal the ball away from Palm Beach Equine’s Luis Escobar (3). Photo by Scott Fisher

Palm Beach Equine led 3-2 after the first chukker and shut down Casablanca in the second chukker for a 4-2 advantage. With two goals from Azzaro in the third chukker, Casablanca outscored Palm Beach Equine, 2-1, but still trailed 6-4 at the half.

 

Palm Beach Equine took advantage of six missed scoring opportunities by Casablanca to outscore them 2-1 and lead 8-5 after four chukkers.

 

Casablanca started hitting its shots in the final two chukkers to outscore Palm Beach Equine, 6-3, in the fifth and six chukkers including a 3-0 shutout in the final chukker.

 

With Palm Beach Equine leading 11-10 with 2:10 remaining, Galindo scored to tie the game and send it into overtime.

 

Escobar and Arellano each had four goals and Ezcurra added one. Swerdlin played well defensively.

 

Palm Beach Equine's Scott Swerdlin (4) and Carlucho Arellano (2) close ranks on Casablanca's Mike Azzaro. Photo by Scott Fisher

Palm Beach Equine’s Scott Swerdlin (4) and Carlucho Arellano (2) close ranks on Casablanca’s Mike Azzaro. Photo by Scott Fisher

“This team is wonderful, it’s just a thrill to play with these guys,” Swerdlin said. “They work so hard. Luis just inspires everybody.

 

“I think the momentum changed when Carlucho hit that 80-yard nearside back shot right through the goal,” Swerdlin said. “That was an amazing shot. It pulled us all up and we said, ‘hell, we have a chance of beating these guys.'”

 

Swerdlin admitted he wasn’t sure about the outcome of the game when Casablanca sent the game into overtime.

 

“I didn’t feel it was our game. I thought Mike was going to come out and dominate us,” Swerdlin said. “He has done that so many times. It’s just that last play. He over-committed a little bit and there were four of us in a line and on that last play he couldn’t do it all by himself.

 

“We were lucky, just everything was lucky. The nice thing about being the underdogs is you’re never disappointed are you?” Swerdlin said.

 

ELG's Kris Kampsen (3) defends against KIG's Jeff Blake (2). Photo by Scott Fisher

ELG’s Kris Kampsen (3) defends against KIG’s Jeff Blake (2). Photo by Scott Fisher

In the opening game of the doubleheader, ELG (Avery Chapman, Guille Aguero, Kris Kampsen, Tommy Biddle), despite getting shut out in two chukkers by a stingy KIG (Matteo DePaolis, Jeff Blake, Brandon Phillips, Michel Doreignac) defense, played well enough to hold off KIG and remain undefeated.

 

“We’re going to have to play better, more consistent,” Biddle said. “We played well for two chukkers, then we fell asleep for two chukkers and then played well for two chukkers. We have to play six chukkers.”

 

ELG's Tommy Biddle (4) avoids the foul as KIG's Jeff Blake takes control of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

ELG’s Tommy Biddle (4) avoids the foul as KIG’s Jeff Blake takes control of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

ELG had a balanced scoring attack. Kampsen and Aguero each scored four goals. Chapman and Biddle each had two goals.

 

“We were lucky,” Aguero said. “Tommy started hitting the ball well and Avery did a great job in the last two chukkers working the man. There’s no such thing as an easy game. We expected a good game from them. Those guys are good players and played well together.”

 

ELG's Kris Kampsen (3) and KIG's Michel Dorignac (4) follow the ball into the sideboards. Photo by Scott Fisher

ELG’s Kris Kampsen (3) and KIG’s Michel Dorignac (4) follow the ball into the sideboards. Photo by Scott Fisher

For KIG, Dorignac had five goals, Phillips scored two and Blake and DePaolis each had one. KIG also picked up one goal on handicap.

 

ELG, with its hit-and-run game, jumped out to a 7-3 lead after two chukkers before KIG started reeling them in the third chukker and trailed by only one goal at the half (7-6).

 

“Those guys are all great players, I feel very fortunate to win,” Kampsen said. “We have a system of playing, hit and run, don’t get complicated. We respected each other’s calls and kept the ball moving and flowing.

 

ELG's Kris Kampsen (3) backs the ball away from KIG defender Jeff Blake (2). Photo by Scott Fisher

ELG’s Kris Kampsen (3) backs the ball away from KIG defender Jeff Blake (2). Photo by Scott Fisher

“There is never an easy game once you get to 20-goal polo,” Kampsen said. “It doesn’t matter where you are, there is never an easy game because you start playing with better players and everyone has the skills to score against you.”

 

ELG maintained its one-goal lead (9-8) after the fourth chukker and added three big goals in the fifth chukker for a 12-9 advantage after the fifth chukker. Despite being shut out in the final chukker, ELG held on for the win.

 

“Playing with your friends means you have a lot of elasticity in your game,” Chapman said. “So when you have a bad chukker or two, you know you can regroup and come on. No one is going to have a meltdown or blame anybody else.

 

“With due respect to the other team, we gave up a lot of penalties,” Chapman said. “That’s what hurt us, not the playing from the field. We didn’t give it up much on the field. We feel very fortunate to play together and looking forward to the semifinals.”

 

KIG's Matteo DePaolis (1) battles for the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

KIG’s Matteo DePaolis (1) battles for the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

With the loss, KIG (0-2) was eliminated from title contention.

 

The semifinals are Thursday and championship final on Saturday, Nov. 23.

 

Six teams entered the two-week tournament broken down into two divisons. Audi, Casablanca and Palm Beach Equine are in the West bracket and KIG, ELG and Piaget are in the East bracket. The six teams are:

 

Audi (18), Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan, Carlos Gracida.

 

Casablanca (19), Grant Ganzi, Sugar Erskine, Hector Galindo, Mike Azzaro.

 

ELG (19), Avery Chapman, Kris Kampsen, Guille Aguero, Tommy Biddle.

 

Palm Beach Equine (17), Scott Swerdlin, Julio Ezcurra, Carlucho Arellano, Luis Escobar.

 

Piaget (20), Melissa Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Piki Alberdi, Juan Bollini.

 

KIG (18) Bash Kazi/Juancito Bollini/Matteo DePaolis, Brandon Phillips, Michel Dorignac, Jeff Blake.

 

KIG's Jeff Blake (2) leans into the play trying to retrieve the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

KIG’s Jeff Blake (2) leans into the play trying to retrieve the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

GRAND CHAMPIONS FALL SCHEDULE

 

Nov. 13-23, USPA National 20-Goal Championship

 

Nov. 24, Turkey Trot Juniors Tournament, 10 a.m.

 

Nov. 30, The Legends of Polo, 1 p.m. and International Cup, Team USA vs. Chile, 3 p.m.

 

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

 

WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 561-644-5050.

 

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro team Audi. Everyone is welcome to watch high and medium goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, ProKidz Tournaments in the spring and fall, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

Langer Named U.S. Show Jumping Young Rider Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor

November 14, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Lexington, Ky– The United States Federation’s High Performance Working Group has approved the recommendation of DiAnn Langer as the U.S. Show Jumping Young Rider Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor. Both the Search Committee, chaired by Eric Straus, and the

USEF Show Jumping High Performance Committee  recommended Langer for this new position. Langer is tasked with developing and implementing a pipeline for the USEF Show Jumping discipline and will begin her new role in December 2013.

 

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DiAnn Langer 

(USEF Archive)

 

“The creation of this new position is a further demonstration of this year’s expanded mandate, and signifies more than anything else our clear and unambiguous commitment to the next generation of U.S. show jumping stars,” said U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor Robert Ridland.

 

Langer (Aiken, S.C.) has great depth of knowledge in equestrian sport having participated as a competitor, official, in addition to serving many governance roles. A former member of the United States Equestrian Team, she is licensed as a USEF “R” Judge for jumper, hunter, hunter seat equitation, and hunter breeding competitions. She has served as a member of numerous USEF and USHJA Committees and Task Forces and has been the President of the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association, the California Professional Horsemen’s Association, the CPHA Foundation, and the Los Angeles Horse Show Association. Langer, who was an International Course Designer for 11 years, is the mother of U.S. Nations Cup and Rolex FEI World Cup Final veteran, Kirsten Coe.

 

Information regarding the evolution of the U.S. Show Jumping Young Rider Chef d’Equipe/ Technical Advisor  position  can be found by clicking here:http://usefnetwork.com/news/10367/2013/8/14/applications_now_being_accepted_for.aspx

 

For additional information or with questions please contact Lizzy Chesson at (908) 326-1166 or by email lchesson@usef.org.

 

 

The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation® is to provide leadership

for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the pursuit

of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a

foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare

of its human and equine athletes.  

George Morris Travels to Rhode Island, South Carolina and Illinois For Three Weeks of Horsemastership Clinics

November 13, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – November 13, 2013 – After retiring as Chef d’Equipe of the United States Show Jumping Team, legendary horseman and coach George Morris has set his sights on developing the future of the sport by conducting clinics around the country. Over the next three weeks, he will be traveling to Rhode Island, South Carolina and Illinois where riders and auditors will have the opportunity to learn from the best in the business.

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Morris’ November Schedule Will Include:

Nov. 15-17: Black Horse Farm

Nov. 22-24: Clemson University’s T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena

Nov 29-Dec 1: Canterbury Farm/Telluride

Focusing on helping riders develop correct form and function, Morris has often been referred to as the founding father of hunt seat equitation. Second to none, his teachings, technique and style are revered around the world. Over the course of his career, Morris has been highly successful as a rider, coach, clinician, author and judge.

While the spots for the clinics filled up immediately, auditor positions are still available to gain knowledge from the esteemed Morris through observation, and a waiting list is available for riders should a spot become available.

The daily clinic schedule will include the first group of intermediate riders at 9:00 a.m., followed by advanced riders at 11 a.m. The final group of jumper riders will commence at 2:00 p.m.

For more information about the George Morris Clinics and to view future dates please visit http://www.ghmclinics.com

 

Halliday’s California homecoming sees HHS Cooley finish third in CCI***

November 11, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

The event provided an emotional homecoming for Halliday, who grew up just 30 minutes from Galway Downs where she trained and competed as a teenager.  

 

The English-based American’s decision to travel 5,400 miles across the Atlantic from her Chailey Stud base in East Sussex would be fully justified come Sunday when a clear Show Jumping round helped Cooley take a podium finish that not only qualifies him for four-star level competition but also potential selection to the US team ahead of next year’s World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.

 

The pair made a solid start to their first competition on American soil during Friday’s Dressage test by scoring 56 points, leaving them eighth overall. It would be their lowest position of the weekend however, with Cooley significantly upping the ante around the Cross Country course to come home with just 5.6 time penalties on the clock.

Copyright: John Waugh Photography

Liz Halliday and Cooley’s (HHS Cooley) end-of-season equestrian adventure to the United States paid off spectacularly last weekend when the pair finished third at the prestigious Galway Downs International CCI*** Event in southern California.
Copyright: John Waugh Photography

 

That was good enough to leave the duo fourth ahead of their Show Jumping round on Sunday. Always a strong jumper, Cooley underlined his class with a faultless performance over the fences – one of only three horses to do so on the day – to make third place his own in the final standings and finish just 2.4 marks shy of the winner.  

 

“It was an incredible week in California and amazing to receive so much support from my friends and family,” reflected Liz. “It was obviously a big gamble to travel all the way to the States to get the qualification and show what we can do, but I just tried to focus on the job and thankfully we came away with a positive result. Cooley was awesome throughout the whole event and especially stepped it up in the jumping phases. He’s taken some big strides forward this year and I’m just grateful that everything came together at Galway Downs.

 

“I really believed that Cooley was ready for a CCI*** this year, and wanted to start next season with that qualification already in the bag if I could make it work. It was also a great chance to show the selectors what sort of horse he is and that he could cope well with the big trip, which has been a useful learning curve for him. I think that after this experience he will grow up a lot as a horse and hopefully be even stronger and better next season. The only part of the week that I was disappointed with really was our Dressage score, which was nowhere near what I had hoped to get out there. But the judging was tough and, at the same time, we have some things to work on over the winter to tidy up the movements, so hopefully our next test will be much improved!”

 

Despite meeting the criteria to be considered for US team selection, Liz doesn’t expect to be competing with Cooley at the World Equestrian Games next year (23 August – 7 September), but would certainly jump at the chance if the opportunity arose.

 

“He’s come on leaps and bounds this year and I am interested to see how he comes out next year. Each event that we do he just keeps getting better and better, and I want to make sure that I keep him developing the right way and only move him up when he is ready. He’s only a nine-year-old, but has shown that he really has the guts and ability to be a top horse, so I’m more looking towards the 2016 Rio Olympics as a realistic goal for him.”

 

With their regular seasons now at a close, both Liz and Cooley have flown back to Europe and, after a short break, will begin working on preparations for 2014. The next event for Halliday and Cooley will be at Barroca d’Alva’s CIC** and CIC*** competitions in Portugal during the first two weeks of March. Until then a winter of Dressage and Show Jumping events will ensure that all of Chailey Stud’s horses remain in top shape and ready to tackle the new season.