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World Polo League Wins 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbuhel Opener

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World Polo League Wins 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbuhel Opener

KITZBUHEL, Austria, January 18, 2020----World Polo League, making its tournament debut in the heart of the Austrian Alps, won its opening game Friday in the 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup.

In front of a soldout VIP tent, World Polo League (Marc Ganzi, 2, Juan Bautista Peluso, 3, Nic Roldan, 8) held off Engel & Volkers (Ana Escobedo, 1, Segundo Darritchon, 3, Jonny Good, 8) for an 8-6.5 victory to advance into the Bendura Bank Trophy Cup semifinals against Intocast on Saturday.

The teams from 11 nations gather for the 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup 
Kitzbuhel group photo.

Roldan scored a game-high four goals including two penalty conversions. Bautista Panelo added three goals including an insurance goal late in the game. Jonny Good led Engel & Volkers with three goals.

In the other semifinal, Corum (Eckhardt Juls, 1, Patrick Maleitzke, 5, Juan Ruiz-Guiñazú, 4) will play GP Mobility (Henrique Schalldach, 2, TC Marcus Schalldach, 2, Guilhermo Lins, 6) at 2:15 p.m. 

Bendura Bank teammates Tito Gaudenzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Melissa Ganzi during the team presentation at Hotel zur Tenne.

Corum, led by Patrick Maleitzke, defeated Bernd Gruber (Helmut Wieser, 0, Pato Bolanterio, 4, Santiago Marambio, 7), 10.5-5 and GP Mobility, led by Brazilian Guilhermo Lins, topped Laurent Perrier (Sebastian Schneberger, 2, Phillip de Groot, 2, Valentin Novillo Astrada, 7), 8.5-5.

Intocast (Matthias Normann, 1, Micky Duggan, 5, Martin Juaregui, 6) knocked off 2018 champion Bendura Bank, 7.5-5 to send Bendura Bank (Melissa Ganzi, 1, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8, Tito Gaudenzi, 3) into the Kitzbuhel Country Club Cup subsidiary semifinals. 

The presentation of teams and sponsors was held Thursday at the Hotel zur Tenne.

Bendura Bank will play Engel & Volkers in Saturday's opening game at 10:30 a.m. In the second semifinal, Bernd Gruber will play Laurent Perrier at 11:45 a.m.

The eight teams featuring players from 11 nations were introduced Thursday before a large crowd at the Hotel zur Tenne in the heart of Kitzbuhel Village and then were hosted at a Welcome Party at Casino Kitzbuhel. 

Grand Champions Polo Club is well-represented with Novillo Astrada,  Gaudenzi and Melissa Ganzi. The World Polo League is sponsoring its first team with Marc Ganzi, Bautista Peluso and Roldan. Melissa and Marc Ganzi are co-founders of the WPL, along with Bob Jornayvaz. 

Nic Roldan of World Polo League is introduced before opening game. 

In last year's event, Ciroc Vodka won its debut in the 17th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup. The team of Sebastian Schneberger, Aki Van Andel and Valentin Novillo Astrada, 7, dominated the six-team tournament in ideal weather and playing conditions.
In front of a packed house, Ciroc Vodka defeated Engel & Volkers (Kutlay Yaprak, 1, Agustin Kronhaus, 4, Adrian Laplacette, 7) in the championship final on Sunday, 9-5. Dutch player Aki Van Andel was Most Valuable Player in his debut.

Jonny Good of Engel & Volkers goes for the big hit downfield with World Polo League's Nic Roldan and Juan Bautista Peluso in pursuit.

In the other two games, Corum (Eckhardt Juls, 0/Enno Grans, 0, Patrick Maleitzke, 4, Juan Ruiz-Guinazu, 6) defeated Bernd Gruber (Eduardo Greghi, 0, Grant Ganzi, 3, Pierre Henri Ngoumou, 7), 7-6, to win the Kitzbuhel Country Club Cup subsidiary final. Defending champion Bendura Bank (Melissa Ganzi, 1, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, 8,/Isidro Strada, 7, Tito Gaudenzi, 3) trounced Maserati (Marc Aberle, 1, Thomas Winter, 5, Caspar Crasemann, 4), 13-6.5, to finish fifth.

The event was started in 2003 by Tito Gaudenzi and his father Reto with four teams and 1,000 fans. It has grown into one of the country's major sporting events, eight teams and attracts more than 15,000 fans over three days.

Tito Gaudenzi of Bendura Bank goes for a neck shot goal attempt.

On Sunday at 10:30 a.m., the game for seventh and eighth place is the opening game. At 11:45 p.m., the La Martina Trophy game for third and fourth place will be held; at 1 p.m. Kitzbuhel Country Club Cup will be held for fifth and sixth place; and at 2:15 p.m. the Bendura Bank Trophy final will be held followed by the team and awards presentation at 3:45 p.m. 

Melissa Ganzi was the first woman to win the 35th Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz in January, 2019. She was also the first woman to compete in the St. Moritz Snow Polo Tournament in 2016 and first woman to make the final in 2017. She is also first woman to win both the St. Regis World Snow Polo Tournament in Aspen for Flexjet in 2016 and 2018 Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup. Ganzi will also compete in St. Moritz with Roldan, Novillo Astrada and Bautista Peluso for Badrutt's Palace.

Alejandro Novillo Astrada of Bendura Bank defends Intocast's Micky Duggan.

Jan-Erik Franck, the voice of polo who also announces the 26-goal World Polo League at Grand Champions and Valiente Polo Farm, will handle the announcing in Kitzbuhel and also at the Jan. 24-26 St. Moritz World Snow Polo Cup.

Fans enjoy opening day in the soldout 
VIP tent.
During the winter season in Wellington, Grand Champions is hosting 19 tournaments, the most of any club in the U.S., including five in January. The highlight of the schedule is the second season of the 26-goal World Polo League, featuring at least 11 teams and most of the best players in the sport.

With 18 safe and well-manicured fields, including 11-tournament grade, the club will host every level of polo for men, women and children including the second season of the World Polo League, the only 26-goal polo held outside of Argentina featuring the best players in the world.

The club attracts a large international field of players from all corners of the world  including Australia, Chile, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Nigeria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, South Africa and England.

Grand Champions is coming off its finest fall season in the club's 13-year history. It was the only club in the nation to stage two 20-goal fall tournaments in addition to the International Cup and Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial. The club also hosted a full schedule of successful and highly-competitive medium goal tournaments.

Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique polo facility inWellington with 120 stalls in five self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and four polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball and new parking lot.
Snow polo fans line the course during the fourth and final game (Engel & Volkers vs. World Polo League) of opening day action.
Photos courtesy of Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbuhel.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa
Rita Polo Farm's 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, created by Melissa Ganzi when the club first opened.

The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA-sanctioned polo club, is thriving at Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm. It is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its' mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo at every economic and ability level. Scholarships are available. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. Headed by Director of Operations Juan Bollini, The Polo School has nurtured several men and women polo players now playing in the pro and amateur ranks since its inception.


Metropolitan Cup
Sunday 1/19 12 p.m. Altair vs Bushwood at GCPC Field 3
Sunday 1/19 2 p.m. Amista vs Mayer Ranch at Santa Rita
Monday 1/20 11:30 a.m. Mayer Ranch vs CrossFit/El CID at GCPC Field 5
Tuesday 1/21 3:30 p.m. Amista vs Bushwood
Thursday 1/23 3:30 p.m. CrossFit/El CID vs Bushwood
Friday 1/24 2 p.m. Altair vs Amista
Friday 1/24 3:30 p.m. Mayer Ranch vs Bushwood
Sunday 1/26 10 a.m. Metropolitan Cup Final

Aspen Valley Cup
Tuesday 1/21 1 p.m. SD Farms vs Flexjet
Tuesday 1/21 1 p.m. Savanna vs Casablanca
Thursday 1/23 1 p.m SD Farms vs Casablanca
Thursday 1/23 1 p.m. Flexjet vs Savanna
Saturday 1/25 3 p.m. Aspen Valley Cup Final

Limited Edition
Sunday 1/19 10 a.m. Beverly Equestrian vs Santa Clara at GCPC Field 4
Sunday 1/19 12 p.m. Newport vs Sebucan at GCPC Field 3
Friday 1/24 11 a.m. Newport vs Santa Clara
Friday 1/24 4 p.m. Sebucan vs Beverly Equestrian
Sunday 1/26 10 a.m. The Limited Edition Final
Sunday 1/26 12 p.m. The Limited Edition Handicap Final

JAN 15-25         Sterling Cup, 18-22
JAN 26-Feb 9    $100,000 World Cup, 0-40
JAN-APR           WCT Ladies Wednesday League

FEB 1-29            Halo Polo Trophy, 6
FEB 1-29            Top Pony 8 Goal
FEB 1-29            Sieber Memorial Trophy
FEB 6-16            WPL All-Star Challenge
FEB 19-MAR 1    WPL Founders Cup
FEB 25-MAR 8    $50,000 National 12-Goal

MAR 1-29             Madelon Bourdieu Memorial
MAR 1-29             Limited Edition 8-Goal Series    
MAR 1-28             Top Pony 12-Goal Series
MAR 4-22             WPL Palm Beach Open
MAR 28-APR 18  WPL Triple Crown of Polo
MAR 31-APR 4    WCT Finals

APR 4-19            Las Acacias, 4-8
APR 6-12            U.S. National Mixed Doubles Polo Championship

Polo Hotline 561-644-5050

The Polo School at Grand Champions and Director of Operations Juan Bollini are dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. The school's mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. For lessons contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099. 

ChukkerTV, featuring cutting-edge technology, was the first to introduce state-of-the-art live streaming technology and instant replay in January, 2014 at Grand Champions Polo Club. For advertising opportunities on ChukkerTV please contact Mike Ferreira at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.

DIRECTOR OF POLO: Juan Olivera, 561-644-5050, juan.olivera@gcpolo.com; hotline  561-644-5050.

INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere with food and refreshments during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.

ChukkerTV, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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