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Altair Polo Wins Season Opener At Grand Champions Polo Club

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Altair Polo Wins Season Opener At Grand Champions Polo Club

WELLINGTON, Fl., January 13, 2020--On a near-perfect day for polo, Grand Champions Polo Club kicked off the 2020 season with the Metropolitan Cup.


Altair Polo (Ashley Busch, 0, Kylie Sheehan, 0, Leo Mandelbaum 2, Brandon Phillips, 4) defeated Mayer Ranch (Justin Daniels, 2, Clark Mayer, 1, Landon Daniels, 0.5, Brendon Stenzel, 2), 8-6.5 Sunday in 6-goal action at windswept Field 5. 

Altair Polo led from start-to-finish to win its first game of the season.

Justin Daniels of Mayer Ranch and Leo Mandelbaum of Altair Polo battle for the ball.

Phillips scored a game-high four goals including back-to-back goals in the fourth chukker, Busch had three goals and Mandelbaum added one goal. Brothers Justin, 21, and Landon Daniels, 16, each had two goals for Mayer Ranch. Mayer and Stenzel each had one goal.

Altair Polo jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the opening chukker and led 5-1 at the half. Mayer Ranch rallied in the third chukker to outscore Altair Polo, 3.5-1, to trail 6-4.5. 

Kylie Sheehan of Altair Polo tries to avoid Justin Daniels' hook.

Landon Daniels' goal to open the fourth chukker cut Altair Polo's lead to 6-5.5. Phillips came back with a goal of his own for a 7-5.5 lead. Justin Daniels' penalty conversion with 2:58 left cut the lead again, 7-6.5. Phillips then scored an insurance goal in the final two minutes to put the game away.

"We had a very good first half, the third chukker not-so-good and then we got a little better at the end," Phillips said. "It was the first time all four of us were playing together so we were figuring out a system of what works and what doesn't."

Brothers Justin and Landon Daniels of Mayer Ranch double team Kylie Sheehan.

Busch, a U.S. Polo Assn. Brand Ambassador, recently celebrated her third wedding anniversary on Jan. 7 with husband and race car driver Kurt Busch, a 27-time race winner in the NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series and Daytona 500 champion. 

The 28-year-old equestrian, who started riding at 5 and playing polo at 11, has been busy with several ventures including her swimwear clothing line Monarch Reign and starring in Racing Wives, an eight-week, one-hour docu-series that made its debut in August. She will find out next week if the show is picked up for a Season 2.

Ashley Busch of Altair Polo defends Brendon Stenzel.

"The bathing suit line is going really well, it launched at the beginning of August," Busch said. "It is exciting. I have an influencer dinner coming up to show my new spring line to editors and other influencers to get the brand name out there. It keeps me busy but I love it."

Busch was happy to be back on a polo field. In addition to 6-goal, she hopes to play higher goal tournaments later in the season.

"It was so much fun to get out there and be playing the 6-goal with Brandon, Leo and Kylie," Busch said. "We had such a good camaraderie out on the field. This was my first game and first chukkers of the season so I felt it went really well considering.

Brandon Phillips of Altair Polo tries to outrace defender Justin Daniels.

The 6-goal Metropolitan Cup, featuring five teams, is the first of three January leagues at Grand Champions. The other three 6-goal teams are:

Amista Polo: Jack Whitman, Lucas Arellano, Hope Arellano, Gillian Johnston.

Bushwood: Nick Mcleland, Paul White, Santos Merlos, Kris Kampsen.

CrossFit/El Cid: Santino Zedda, Cecilia Cochran, Jason Wates, Juanse Olivera.

Altair Polo teammates Ashley Busch and Kylie Sheehan double team Brendon Stenzel.

"Six-goal polo is fun," Phillips said. "It's January and a chance to get all the horses going. These fields are great and you can still play at a good pace. It's fun to start the season off a little more relaxed. It gets everybody in the groove and in a competitive spirit."

Grand Champions is hosting 19 tournaments during the winter season, the most of any club in the U.S., including five in January.

Leo Mandelbaum of Altair Polo works the near side with Brendon Stenzel defending.

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, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, South Africa and England. 

Brandon Phillips of Altair Polo reaches for the ball.

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 in Wellington 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.

Altair Polo teammates Leo Mandelbaum and Kylie Sheehan double team Landon Daniels.
Photos by Grand Champions Polo Club

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. 
2020 WINTER SCHEDULE

JANUARY
Metropolitan Cup
Wednesday 1/15 3:30 p.m. Altair vs CrossFit/El CID
Friday 1/17 3:30 p.m. CrossFit/El CID vs Amista 
Sunday 1/19 10 a.m. Amista vs Mayer Ranch
Monday 1/20 10 a.m. Altair vs Bushwood
Monday 1/20 11:30 a.m. Mayer Ranch vs CrossFit/El CID
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
Thursday 1/16 3 p.m Santa Clara vs Sebucan
Friday 1/17 3:30 p.m. Beverly Equestrian vs Newport
Sunday 1/19 10 a.m. Beverly Equestrian vs Santa Clara
Sunday 1/19 12 p.m. Newport vs Sebucan
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

FEBRUARY
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

MARCH
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

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


THE POLO SCHOOL 

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.


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.

STAY CONNECTED:
ChukkerTV, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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