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Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match Sunday At Grand Champions Polo Club

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Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match Sunday At Grand Champions Polo Club
WELLINGTON, Fl., March 6, 2019---Grand Champions Polo Club will kick off one of its busiest months of the year with the sixth annual Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match on Sunday. 

By Sharon Robb

The nation's largest and innovative polo club has assembled top players, sponsors and horses for a good cause and morning of fun polo that begins at 10 a.m.

Nacho Figueras, the sport's ambassador, heads the star-studded event that raises money for the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.

Neil Hirsch hoists the trophy with Grand Champions winning team of Jeff Desich, Rich Desich, Nacho Novillo Astrada and Nacho Figueras.

The star power of several top polo players is always a positive draw in raising funds for the facility that serves hundreds of children. Among pro players are 10-goaler Pablo MacDonough, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Magoo Laprida, Inaki Laprida and Juan Bollini.

Team sponsors and rosters for the four-chukker round robin are:

Sebilion: Sarah Magness, Dawn Jones, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini.

Grand Champions: Riley Ganzi, Nacho Figueras, Santos Bollini, Pablo MacDonough.

Equuleus Polo Team: Tom Coid, Inaki Laprida, Magoo Laprida, Joe DiMenna.

Defending champion is Grand Champions. The team of Jeff Desich, Rich Desich, Nacho Novillo Astrada and Nacho Figueras won the round robin with wins over Sebilion and two-time defending champion Equuleus. Rich Desich, a product of The Polo School at Grand Champions, was Most Valuable Player.

Crowd pleaser Nacho Figueras takes possession of the ball. 

Figueras, competing for Black Watch in the inaugural World Polo League this season, is the sport's international ambassador and one of the most well-recognized polo players in the world. Figueras said there are two reasons he keeps coming back for the event.

"First, the kids and the fact we can help these wonderful kids," Figueras said. "And then Neil, who is the biggest supporter of this foundation and this Boys & Girls Club. Neil is a polo friend of mine and he has been a big supporter of mine for a long, long time so it is an honor being by his side."

Grand Champions president Melissa Ganzi and her husband Marc are excited to host the event for the sixth year in a row. Each year the annual charity event has been embraced by the polo community.

Riley Ganzi, a freshman at Georgetown, will return to play in the charity event. 

"What Neil has done for the community of Wellington is just above and beyond," Melissa Ganzi said. "He takes such pride in what he is doing in the community. The boys and girls club makes a difference in so many people's lives.

"Neil Hirsch has set a great example for our polo community by giving back to those who need us most here in Wellington and that's our children," Ganzi said. "The celebrity match is making an impact on the club members, their families and our community."

Said Hirsch, "The kids keep me coming back. To see these kids every day. They come to the club after school. They are in a safe place, great environment and safe from the streets. That keeps me going."

Proceeds from the fundraiser celebrity match and Great Futures Polo Day Brunch at International Polo Club Palm Beach at 12:30 p.m., featuring a live auction and game, benefit the boys and girls club. Individual tickets for the brunch and afternoon game are $1,000 per person.

Juan Bollini works the ball out of the air during last year's round robin and will play again this year.

The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys and Girls Club of Wellington along with twelve other Boys and Girls Clubs in Palm Beach County and more than 1,100 in the United States, provides services including after-school activities and camp opportunities in a safe environment to underprivileged kids, ages 6-18.

Those interested in sponsorship packages or attending the brunch can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 561-683-3287.

Sunday morning's polo match is free to the public. Sponsors and guests are invited along with all of the supporters of the Boys & Girls Club including the club's children and their families to attend.

The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington is located at 1080 Wellington Trace. The non-profit organization is open year-round and serves 7,000 children.

The Great Futures event heads a full schedule of polo for March Madness at Grand Champions highlighted by the 26-goal World Polo League, $50,000 National 12-Goal, John T. Oxley Memorial, $100,000 World Cup (0-40) and Women's Weekly League.

Awards table for the Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match. File Photos

During the winter polo season, Grand Champions, the nation's largest and innovative USPA-sanctioned polo club, is hosting 24 tournaments: 6, 8, 12, 20, and 0 to 40 goals, WCT Finals and women's weekly league play and 26-goal World Polo League tournaments at both Grand Champions, Valiente Polo Farm and several other fields in the area.

Grand Champions tournaments attract a large international field of players from all corners of the world  including India, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Costa Rica, Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Germany, Uruguay, Azerbaijan, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, Venezuela and England.

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.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels and ages. Its' 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 Grand Champions President Melissa Ganzi when the club first opened in 2007.

The Polo School, a stand-alone USPA-sanctioned polo club, 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 June 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.

Mar. 1-23, Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (6-goal)
Mar. 1-23, Limited Edition 8-Goal Series
Mar. 1-23, Top Pony 12-Goal Series
March 1-31, $50,000 National 12-Goal
Mar. 1-16, John T. Oxley Memorial (20 Goal)
Mar. 3-24, $100,000 World Cup (0-40 goal)
Mar. 6-24, World Polo League, Palm Beach Open, at Grand Champions & Valiente
Mar. 27-Apr. 14, World Polo League, Triple Crown of Polo, at Grand Champions & Valiente
Women's League (6-12 goal), Every Wednesday at Santa Rita Polo Farm

Apr. 5-20, Las Acacias (4-8 goal)
Apr. 6-20, National President's Cup
April 2-6: Sunny Hale's Legacy WCT Finals, (8 goals, 16 goals, Open) at Grand Champions.


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 June and September through November. For lessons contact Juan Bollini at 561-346-1099. 

Chukker TV is live streaming the entire winter polo schedule. 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.


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.

ChukkerTV, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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