Grand Champions Polo Club Hosts Buzz Welker Tournament; Sponsoring Two Youth Events At IPC
Written by: Sharon Robb
WELLINGTON, FL—March 18, 2013—Grand Champions Polo Club is helping to develop and promote youth polo throughout the year by sponsoring and hosting several tournaments.
Grand Champions is the title sponsor of two Polo Training Foundation Youth Player Program events in March and April.
The first event is on Friday, March 22, at International Polo Club Palm Beach at 4 p.m. The Grand Champions Cup will feature advanced level players, ages 16-21.
On Friday, April 19th, Grand Champions will also host the Santa Rita Cup, also at IPC.
In the Grand Champions Cup, sixteen players will compete on four teams. The teams will play two chukkers apiece to determine the final and consolation round teams.
Players are Marcus Alberdi, Enrique Barco, Michael Bellissimo, Wesley Bryan, Juancito Bollini, Matias Sosa, Chase Schwartz, Jared Zenni, Matt Coppola, Justin Daniels, Clemente Devrient, Wesley Finlayson, Tomas Alberdi, Lauren Biddle, Mili Galindo and Jonny Lavine.
Youth polo will be in the spotlight once again on Monday, March 25th when Grand Champions Polo Club plays host to the annual Buzz Welker Memorial Tournament.
Many of the players entered are the next generation of sons and daughters of current men and women polo players.
“The kids are amazing,” said Piaget player-sponsor Melissa Ganzi, co-host of the event with her husband, Marc. Both are team captains of pro teams Piaget and Audi, respectively.
The tournament is named in honor of Buzz Welker, a former polo player who shared his love for the game with anyone who would listen, from experienced to novice players.
Before his life ended, Welker played in 16 countries and played with several celebrities including Prince Charles, the Sultan of Brunei and Tommy Lee Jones.
Welker died from an aggressive form of cancer on Nov. 27, 2006 at age 69. He was the founder and leader of the Franklin Polo Association and headed major polo clubs in Texas, Florida and Dominican Republic.
The tournament begins 3 p.m. Trophies will be awarded at 6:30 p.m.
Advanced players will compete first followed by intermediate and lower levels. There will also be a walk-trot and lead-line for young children to end the day at 6 p.m.
Those entered include: Agustin, Hope and Lucas Arellano; Blake Ashcroft; Mia, Miguelito and Tonia Astrada; Benjamin, Joaquin and Santiago Avendano; Jacobo Bacariza; Nikola and Sasha Bahlsen; River Blake; Santos Bollini; Malia Bryan; Adolfito and Mia Cambiaso; Jacqui Casey; Javier and Maria Celis; Matteo and Pierre Chaux; Brandon Cochrane; Matt Cohen; Benjamin, Justin and Landen Daniels; Anthony Devrient; Lucas and Nicolas Escobar; Buhl and Elizabeth Fenner; Oliver Firestone; Grant and Riley Ganzi; Bryce Gardiner; Carl Gittens Jr.; Bryce Gardiner; Richard Gollel; Matias Gonzalez; Christos and Santino Magrini; Carlos Martinez; Jack McLean; Olivia, Segundo, Santos and Tincho Merlos; Josh Odrich; Benjamin Quiroga; Lorenzo and Lucianna Ramirez; Finn Secunda; Donovan Stratemann; Boone Stribling Jr.; Alyssa Tranchilla; Cinderella and Malicia Von Faulkenhausen; Christian and Mackenzie Weisz.
Defending 2012 champions are: Division I, Mighty Mallets; Division II, Grand Champions I; Division III, County Line Feed; Division IV, Grand Champions II; Division V, The MorningLine; and Division VII: Tackeria II.
The Florida Junior Polo Program currently allows participation up through the age of 15. A new aspect of the program has added the Young Players Program for players ages 16-21, an age group that has been overlooked in the past. During the 2013 season, the PTF Young Players Program will have one tournament game a month.