Polo Players Edition

JAN 2019

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 47 named MVP after the playmaker sparked the comeback and scored four second-half goals. "It's a great feeling to win like this, coming back in extra time," Merlos said. "I'm so sorry for Audi because they were a great challenge." Five-year-old Bliss, played by Spinacci and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was selected Best Playing Pony. In the Just For the Love Of It subsidiary, Gracida Wines (Carlitos Gracida, Whistle Uys, Mariano Gracida, Julio Gracida) defeated FlexJet (Melissa Ganzi, Pablo Dorignac, Pablo Spinacci, Juan Bollini), 11-9. The tournament kicked off the club's fall high-goal season. In the USPA National Twenty Goal played next, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Whistle Uys, Julio Gracida, Pablo Spinacci) defended its title with an 11-9 defeat of FlexJet (Melissa Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Jeff Blake, Juan Bollini). In a repeat of last year's final, Casablanca broke open a close game in the sixth chukker, outscoring FlexJet, 3- 1, to clinch the victory. Pablo Spinacci, 41, was named MVP. Playing from the back, Spinacci was the defensive leader and also scored three goals including a penalty conversion. He finished with seven goals for the tournament. "I am very happy with the game and that we won," Spinacci said. "It was a good game. I liked our team, they were easy to play with." Bliss won her second Best Playing Pony award, for the final, under Spinacci. Tornado, a 7-year-old chestnut gelding played by Uys and owned by Franklin, Tennessee-based Graymar Farm, was Best Playing Pony for the tournament. Cupid, a 7-year-old grey gelding owned by Julio Gracida was the American Polo Horse Association Best Playing Pony. Playing together for the first time in the tournament, Casablanca opened with a one-goal lead on handicap and built a 3-1 lead after two chukkers, outscoring Flexjet, 2-1 and 1-0. Behind Blake's three goals, FlexJet outscored Casablanca, 3-1, to even the score at 4-4 at the half. Behind Spinacci's two goals and another goal from Ganzi, Casablanca regained the lead, 7-6, at the end of the fourth chukker. Spinacci scored with 28 seconds left in the chukker. FlexJet bounced back to outscore Casablanca, 2-1, with goals from Crowder and Blake to take an 8-7 lead before another Grant Ganzi goal scored at the 2:15 mark tied the game, 8-8. It was all Casablanca in the final chukker. Uys scored early with 7:11 on the clock to retake the lead, 9-8. Two minutes later, Uys scored again for a 10- 8 advantage. Melissa Ganzi converted a P O L O R E P O R T Travieso's Pite Merlos, Juan Cruz Merlos, Grant Ganzi and Tony Calle took the 20-goal USPA North American Cup over Audi. USPA CEO Bob Puetz presented the National Twenty Goal trophy to Julio Gracida, Pablo Spinacci, Grant Ganzi and Whistle Uys. GABRIELLE STODD GABRIELLE STODD MVP Pablo Spinacci leads the pack in the National Twenty Goal. Whistle Uys, on Best Playing Pony Tornado, is far left.

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