Wellington, FL - The first highly-anticipated 20-goal polo tournament of the Grand Champions Polo Club fall season begins Tuesday at Palm City in Boca Raton.
It is the first of two 20-goal tournaments scheduled for November. The USPA 2013 Beluga North America Cup will be held during the same week as the Palm Restaurant Invitational (Friday and Sunday), the seventh and final medium-goal tournament.
The other 20-goal tournament is the Nov.13-24 USPA National 20-Goal Championship.
During the 2012 fall season, Audi dominated the season winning back-to-back USPA North America Cup and USPA National 20-Goal Tournament titles with Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan and Carlos Gracida.
Six teams will compete in the three-day tournament that begins Tuesday with two quarterfinal games at Palm City Polo Club in Boca Raton.
In the opening quarterfinal, Beluga plays Piaget at 10 a.m. and in the second quarterfinal game, ELG (Equine Law Group) plays Psycho Bunny.
Defending champion Audi and Casablanca, coming off its third medium goal tournament victory of the fall season on Sunday at the Pedro Morrison Memorial Cup, received byes.
The tournament continues on Thursday with two semifinal games. Audi will play the winner of the ELG-Psycho Bunny game at 9:30 a.m. Casablanca plays the winner of the Beluga-Piaget game at 3:30 p.m.
Field assignments will be announced after the quarterfinal round.
The championship game is Saturday at 4 p.m. The consolation game is 2 p.m.
The tournament has attracted a Who's Who in polo players including Hector Galindo, Sugar Erskine, Jeff Blake, and former 10-goaler and Hall of Famer Carlos Gracida, all making their fall debut at Grand Champions.
"We have a very strong team," said ELG's Avery Chapman, whose team finished runner-up three times to Casablanca during the medium goal season. "This tournament is going to be faster and more consistent."
Chapman will be joined by Guille Aguero, Carlucho Arellano and Kris Kampsen, playing his first tournament as a married man. Kampsen and Ali Solimine were wed on Saturday at The Breakers in Palm Beach.
"Kris is back, he has already had an eight-year honeymoon," Chapman said. "He will take some time off in December. Hopefully, he will be recovered enough by Tuesday. We may have to send a SWAT team out for him. We are looking for the old married man to come and help us out. It should be a lot of fun."
The team lineups are:
Audi: (18) Carlos Gracida, Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan.
Beluga: (17) Misha Rodzianko, Luis Escobar, Michel Dorignac, Carlos Baez.
Casablanca: (19) Grant Ganzi, Tommy Biddle, Brandon Phillips, Mike Azzaro.
ELG: (18) Avery Chapman, Kris Kampsen, Guille Aguero, Carlucho Arellano.
Piaget: (20) Melissa Ganzi, Tommy Biddle, Juan Bollini, Piki Alberdi.
Psycho Bunny: (20) Moritz Gaedeke, Hector Galindo, Sugar Erskine, Jeff Blake.
Beluga Noble Russian Vodka will be served during Saturday's doubleheader in the Beluga VIP tent. "Beluga is having an amazing event here," said Piaget team captain Melissa Ganzi. "Beluga will have a mixologist in the VIP tent serving Beluga Noble Vodka." Beluga Noble Vodka is produced in the heart of Siberia, one of the most ecologically clean in Russia.
Beluga Noble is refined in every way. Thanks to its unique production technology, including both innovations and centuries-old traditions, the flavor of Beluga Noble has an irreproducible smoothness.
All the ingredients of Beluga Noble pass through a strict system of purification and filtration, which guarantees the maximum level of purity and quality in the final product. Beluga Noble "rests" for 30 days.
The refined design of the bottle with hand-made elements perfectly reflects the nobility of Beluga Noble. On every one of the bottles there is one important feature, a small Beluga fish, traditionally fitted by hand, making every bottle unique.
GRAND CHAMPIONS FALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 5-9, USPA 2013 Beluga North America Cup
Nov. 8-10, Palm Restaurant Invitational
Nov. 13-24, The USPA National 20-Goal Championship
Nov. 30, International Cup, Team USA vs. Chile
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.