Source: News Release/Sharon Robb for PMG Inc.
Power Horse Wins Polo Gear Invitational At Grand Champions;
Juancito Bollini Named MVP
WELLINGTON, FL---Power Horse lived up to its name in the championship final of the sixth annual Polo Gear Invitational on a sun-drenched Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
The team of Juancito Bollini, Walter Scherb, Brandon Phillips and Kris Kampsen powered its way back from a four-goal deficit in the opening chukker and came from behind for a thrilling 8-7 victory over Pony Express.
It was Power Horse's second one-goal victory in the tournament. The team edged Palm House, 10-9, on Friday to advance into the final.
Bollini,17, a senior at Wellington High School who graduates in May, was named Most Valuable Player after scoring five goals including the game-winner in the final chukker.
It was Bollini's first MVP award in a Grand Champions spring season tournament. Bollini filled in for Melissa Potamkin-Ganzi, sidelined with the flu.
"I got the call to play last night," Bollini said. "I was excited to play Melissa's horses and I was excited to play this tournament. I am really happy we won.
"I have played a game or two with Kris and Brandon in the past at Grand Champions and it's always a lot of fun," Bollini said. "They pass me the ball and they're good teammates.
"I haven't played with Walter ever and I was really lucky to play with him because he is really good," Bollini said. "We had good chemistry on the field. The plan was for Kris and Brandon to be in the back and Walter and I get the ball and score the goals."
It was a victorious send-off for Scherb, who along with his three sons were on holiday and planned to return to Austria on Monday to join his wife, who gave birth to their fourth child six weeks ago.
Scherb finished with two goals and played well on both ends of the field, deflecting goal attempts by Pony Express down the stretch. Scherb, a former show jumper, started playing polo in 2009 and got hooked on it.
"I got addicted to polo and stopped show jumping and now I just play polo," Scherb said. "I like to play with Kris and Brandon and Juancito was a great player. I missed Melissa but she was sick.
"We had a good team," Scherb said. "It's always fun to play and win. Maybe we took it a little bit too easy in the first chukker. The second chukker we said we have to get equal as soon as possible and in the third chukker we tied and went ahead. We were too easy again in the fourth and in the fifth it started getting tough again. The last three minutes of the sixth were very tough. It was close."
Kampsen, a 6-goaler, did double-duty over three days, competing in both the Grand Champions spring tournament as well as the La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup on South Beach. Kampsen played with a split squad of ponies in both tournaments.
Kampsen is the only player to compete for both winning teams in the Palm City Open season-opener for ELG/Psycho Bunny and Polo Gear Invitational. It was also the second tournament Kampsen has played with Scherb in Grand Champions tournament history, winning both.
"It's always great to win," Kampsen said. "I never want to go out and not give it my all.
"We wanted to try and take advantage of Juancito, he is young and was riding Melissa's horses today," Kampsen said. "We knew he was going to outrun and out-horse the other guys."
Watching Bollini play as a teenager reminded Kampsen of his early days playing with 10-goaler Memo Gracida, Tommy Biddle, John Gobin and Wally Ganzi.
"Wally hired me and I couldn't drive because I was 16," Kampsen said. "I wasn't legal to drive to the field with the truck and trailer. I was like Juancito was today, where everybody makes you go forward, hit the ball and run where one of their good players has to come and get you or else you're going to score five goals like today."
Pony Express' Tomas Goti earned Best Playing Pony with his fifth-chukker horse Floppy.
In the championship final, Pony Express started out with a 3-0 lead by handicap and Bob Daniels' goal in the first chukker made it 4-0.
Power Horse then exploded for five unanswered goals from Scherb (1), Bollini (3) and Kampsen (1) for a 5-4 halftime lead.
Goti tied the game at 5-5 in the fifth chukker but Power Horse came back with two goals from Bollini and another one from Scherb. Goti scored the final two goals for Pony Express but Power Horse's defense led by Phillips held tough to preserve the win.
In the consolation game, Palm House came back to win the round-robin with a 4-3 win over ELG. Alejandro Pomo of Palm House was named MVP. It was team captain Glen Straub's first consolation title victory at Grand Champions.
"This is the first time I have been up here," Straub said while stepping onto the awards stand. "I enjoyed myself here. This was a very professionally run tournament."
Down 2-1 after the opening chukker, Palm House scored three goals, two from Carlucho Arellano and one from powerful hitter Tommy Biddle to take a 4-3 lead after two chukkers. The lead remained in tact after a scoreless third and final chukker.
In the first round robin game, Palm House defeated Longfield, 5-4, with Pomo and Arellano each scoring two goals. Straub scored what turned out to be the winning goal after a nice run the length of the field. Hannah Buchan and Grant Ganzi scored goals in the final minute to close the gap.
ELG defeated Longfield, 4-3, in the second round robin. Lucas Lalor scored two goals including the game-winner in a crowd of defenders. Avery Chapman and JJ Celis each added a goal. Grant Ganzi led Longfield with two goals and Nic Roldan added another.
Raul Roldan, who once played polo for the Sultan of Brunei and taught his son, 8-goaler Nic Roldan the finer points of polo, presented the awards for both games.
Polo Gear, one of the top sponsors and supporters of polo established in 1993 and incorporated in Florida, manufactures, distributes and sells polo products to players, teams and polo events worldwide.
The remaining Grand Champions spring tournaments are the May 3-5 USPA Spring Challenge; May 10-12 USPA Sun Cup; May 17-19 USPA Eastern Challenge; and May 24-27 Memorial by Piaget.
GRAND CHAMPIONS SPRING SCHEDULE
May 3-5: USPA Spring Challenge
May 10-12: The USPA Sun Cup
May 17-19: USPA Eastern Challenge
May 24-27: The Memorial by Piaget
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: On the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington.
INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Piaget. Everyone is welcome to watch 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, Women's Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.
Barnmice News story brought to you by:
GET Horsey. HUGE selection, HUGE Savings on brands you love … Always