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Valiente Wins World Polo League All Star Challenge Title; Adolfo Cambiaso Most Valuable Player; Founder's Cup Begins Thursday

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Valiente Wins World Polo League All Star Challenge; Adolfo Cambiaso MVP; Founder's Cup Begins Friday

WELLINGTON, Fl., February 16, 2020---Valiente won its second World Polo League All Star Challenge title Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

All Star Challenge champion Valiente's Bob Jornayvaz, Diego Cavanagh, Poroto Cambiaso and Adolfo Cambiaso.


Defending champion Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz 2, Poroto Cambiaso 4, Diego Cavanagh 9, Adolfo Cambiaso 10) led for most of the game to defeat SD Farms (Sayyu Dantata 2, Santi Torres 7, Guillermo Terrera 8, Juan Martin Zubia 8), 12-10, in front of a packed house. 

Poroto Cambiaso, 14, the only returning player off last year's winning team, has now won back-to-back tournament titles in the WPL. 

Poroto Cambiaso of Valiente and Juan Martin Zubia of SD Farms race for the ball.

Polo great Adolfo Cambiaso was Most Valuable Player of the game. 

"It was great fun," Cambiaso said. "We didn't play as good as we like but obviously we controlled it. They played well. We couldn't manage to pass the ball well between us like the semifinals. I think we can improve." 

Bravita Solita, played by Poroto Cambiaso, was the American Polo Horse Association Best Playing Pony of the championship final.

Juan Martin Zubia of SD Farms waits for the ball to settle with Diego Cavanagh of Valiente defending.

Dolfina Diosa Coronada, played by Adolfo Cambiaso, was the APHA Horse of the Tournament and Argentine Breeders' Association.
 
The American Polo Horse Association was created in 2006 by the legendary Polo Hall of Famer Sunny Hale to recognize polo ponies in America and encourages events that showcase them and hard-working dedication of grooms.

Santi Torres of SD Farms works the ball between Valiente's Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso.

The World Polo League Best Playing Pony for the game was VocHo Mentelolada, played by Juan Martin Zubia.

Both teams, comprised of J5, La Dolfina and Valiente players, were competitive from the opening throw-in.

"The competitiveness is always there," Jornayvaz said. "We're going as hard and fast as we can. Just because we're friends doesn't mean we don't play hard. There was as much bumping as always. It was fast and hard. People lose their tempers still, but it was still fun. It really was a good day for us."

Santi Torres of SD Farms tries to get past Adolfo Cambiaso of Valiente.

Added Cambiaso, "We play all year-round together at La Dolfina, here and Valiente. We know each other but we play hard in the games. That's the good thing about polo. We play hard on the field but outside we are old friends and now we are going to party together." 

Valiente jumped out to leads of 2-0 and 3-1 with two goals from Adolfo Cambiaso and one goal from Poroto Cambiaso in the opening chukker.

Bob Jornayvaz of Valiente leans into this shot.

Behind Zubia's three goals and one from Torres, SD Farms outscored Valiente, 4-1, to take a 5-4 lead after the second chukker. After that it was all Valiente keeping the upper hand and playing well enough to win. SD Farms could get no closer than two goals in the second half.

"It was fun," Cavanagh said. "Fun game, fun team and we played so well together."

Cavanagh scored a game-high six goals. Adolfo Cambiaso had four goals and Poroto Cambiaso added two goals.

Guillermo Terrera of SD Farms closely defends Adolfo Cambiaso of Valiente.

For S.D. Farms, Zubia led with five goals, Torres had four and Terrera added one.

In the semifinals, SD Farms defeated Seminole Casino, 12-8, and Valiente defeated Casablanca, 9-6. Two Best Playing Ponies were selected for the semifinal games. Dolfina Diosa Coronada for Valiente and Diana for SD Farms.

It was the second tournament title of the 2020 season for Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz 2, Gonzalo Ferrari 4, Poroto Cambiaso 3, Adolfo Cambiaso 10), winners of the Sterling Cup earlier this month. 

Sayyu Dantata of SD Farms hooks Diego Cavanagh of Valiente.

"It's so much fun playing with Adolfo and Poroto," Jornayvaz said. "We clicked and that's what's so much fun, being able to do it year after year. We know each other and what the other is going to do and that's the fun of a team."

Last year's inaugural All Star Challenge winner was Valiente (Agustin Nero, Santi Torres, Pablo MacDonough, Poroto Cambiaso) after defeating Colorado (Rob Jornayvaz, Juan Martin Zubia, Rodrigo Andrade, Jero del Carril), 10-9 in overtime. MacDonough was MVP.

Former NFL player Donnell Bennett Jr. presents MVP plaque to Adolfo Cambiaso.

In the Santa Rita Abierto subsidiary game earlier on Sunday, Richard Mille (Melissa Ganzi 0, Nic Roldan 8, Lucas James 8, Alejandro Novillo Astrada 8) defeated J5/La Dolfina (Gonzalo Ferrari 4, Isidro Strada 7, Jero del Carill 7, Robertito Zedda 5), 12-8. 

Roldan scored a game-high six goals and was Most Valuable Player. Airbus, played by Zedda in the fourth chukker, was Grand Champions Best Playing Pony. Rikem, played by Novillo Astrada in the fifth chukker, was the APHA Best Playing Pony.

The always entertaining singer Tom Blake performed before and after the game for fans and sang the National Anthem.

Popular local singer Tom Blake entertained the crowd before and after the game and also sang a soulful rendition of the National Anthem.

Former Washington and Kansas City fullback Donnell Bennett, Jr. was the awards presenter. Fort Lauderdale-born Bennett, 47, was a standout at Cardinal Gibbons High School and University of Miami before playing in the NFL for eight seasons.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is the hospitality sponsor for the World Polo League. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek presents a fully integrated, energized, stylish and upscale local's casino experience, world-class dining, including its award-winning steakhouse, NYY Steak and live entertainment.

The World Polo League Best Playing Pony for the game was VocHo Mentelolada, played by Juan Martin Zubia. Photo by Horseplay Productions

Tickets, ranging from $15 to $250, for the Sunday featured WPL games at 4 p.m. at Grand Champions Polo Club are on sale now at www.worldpolo.org.

Ticket price breakdown for the new CoCo Cabana Stadium is:

VIP $250, Upper Level (rain or shine, no refunds), includes VIP parking access,  exclusive luxury-style bar and lounge seating, gourmet light dinner buffet, exclusive chef station, VIP Open bar (excluding champagne and bottle service) and VIP swag bags.

Dolfina Diosa Coronada, played by Adolfo Cambiaso, was the APHA Horse of the Tournament and Argentine Breeders' Association.
Photo by Horseplay Productions

VIP $100, Lower Level (rain or shine, no refunds), includes VIP parking access,  exclusive luxury-style bar and lounge seating, gourmet light bites and Worth Avenue retailer experience.

Valet Parking $15, select quality valet parking and general admission is free for fans who park across the field from the stadium.

Bravita Solita, played by Poroto Cambiaso, was the American Polo Horse Association Best Playing Pony of the final. Photo by Horseplay Productions

Co-founded by Grand Champions owner and president Melissa Ganzi and Valiente Polo Farm owner Bob Jornayvaz, the successful World Polo League is the only 26-goal polo in the world outside of Argentina. The WPL is preserving the highest level of polo and its rich, hallowed tradition in the U.S. 

The WPL, with 11 tournament-quality fields to play on, features the Feb. 6-16 All-Star Challenge which ended on Sunday, Feb. 19-March 1 Founders Cup which begins Friday,/. March 4-22 Palm Beach Open and March 28-April 18 Triple Crown of Polo. 

Fans at CoCo Cabana Stadium enjoying the All Star Challenge final.

The WPL schedule also features the unique April 6-12 U.S. National Mixed Doubles Championship, created by Jornayvaz. It pairs men and women players. There is also the April 9-12 WPL Beach Polo World Cup in Miami Beach.

The World Polo League 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, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Nigeria and England.

Awards table for the All Star Challenge final at CoCo Cabana Stadium.
Photos by ChukkerTV

Grand Champions and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique 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 three polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation including one field for stick-and-ball with plans to build more polo fields in the future.

For more information and to watch the games go to www.worldpolo.org for a complete library of WPL first-season games.

  
2020 WORLD POLO LEAGUE SCHEDULE

Founder's Cup Feb 19 - Mar 1
Friday 2/21 12 p.m. Scone vs J5 La Dolfina at Valiente

Friday 2/21 2pm Valiente vs Alegria at Valiente 2

Friday 2/21 4pm Seminole vs Richard Mille at Valiente 1

Saturday 2/22 12 p.m. SD Farms vs Casablanca at SD Farms field

Sunday 2/23 10:30am Amala vs Winner Valiente/Alegria at GCPC 1

Sunday 2/23  4 p.m. STM vs Winner Scone/J5 La Dolfina at GCPC 2



Mar. 4-22, Palm Beach Open
Mar. 28-Apr. 18, Triple Crown of Polo
Apr. 6-12, U.S. National Mixed Doubles Polo Championship


Games at Grand Champions Polo Club, Valiente Polo Farm and other local fields, call our hotline to receive daily game and field information.
561-644-5050



Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is the hospitality sponsor for the World Polo League. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek presents a fully integrated, energized, stylish and upscale local's casino experience, world-class dining, including its award-winning steakhouse, NYY Steak and live entertainment.

Jan-Eric Franck
"The Voice of Polo"




GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

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.




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Grand Champions Polo Club, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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