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Alegria Knocks Off Richard Mille In World Polo League All-Star Challenge; Tripleheader On Sunday

Alegria Knocks Off Richard Mille In World Polo League All Star Challenge; Tripleheader On Sunday
WELLINGTON, Fl., February 9, 2020---On a great day for polo, the World Polo League All-Star Challenge matchup between Alegria and Richard Mille lived up to expectations.

In front of a packed house, Alegria (Henry Porter 3, Matias Magrini 7, Nachi du Plessis 8, Freddie Mannix 7) won a hardfought 12-10 battle against Richard Mille (Gonzalo Avendano 1, Camilo Castagnola 7, Barto Castagnola 7, Pablo MacDonough 10) in both teams' season-opener Saturday at Santa Rita Polo Farm.

Alegria teammates Henry Porter, Matias Magrini, Nachi du Plessis and Freddie Mannix.

"It was super fun," Mannix said. "Amazing way to open the season. It was fun to win. Everyone loves winning but we won playing well and that was even more gratifying.

"The horses played super well. We have been riding and practicing to get them to this moment. We have been getting the horses ready for quite some time so it was fun to put the white pants on and see how they perform.

Richard Mille teammates Pablo MacDonough, Barto Castagnola, Camilo Castagnola 
and Gonzalo Avendano.

"We were a balanced team so we want to play open polo," Mannix said. "I have a former 10-goaler in Matias with us, we have probably a future 10-goaler in Nachi and Henry is a great British player, with him the ceiling is unknown at this point. 

"It was easy to put this team together let's play with friends and good players. We have experience and know what not to do. We didn't make very many mistakes today which is good." 

Saturday's game marked the first time teenage brothers Barto, 18, and Camilo Castagnola, 16, played together on U.S. soil and they did not disappoint eager fans wanting a glimpse of two of the sport's hottest players.

Henry Porter of Alegria goes to hit while Camilo Castagnola of Richard Mille defends.

"It was good polo," Magrini said. "They are a hell of a team with Pablo and the two Castagnola boys and Gonzalo. I think we caught them early. That team is going to improve ten times."

The game was fast, furious and wide open with Alegria jumping out to a 2-1 lead in a defensive first chukker and 5-3 late in the third chukker, settling for a  5-4 halftime.

"We went into the game defensively to start to get our rhythm and then we started to open it up," Porter said. 

Brothers Camilo and Barto Castagnola of Richard Mille work together on an offensive attack.

Alegria's team chemistry was obvious especially in the second half where it controlled the momentum and took advantage of great passing and scoring opportunities while frustrating Richard Mille.

Alegria took an 8-5 lead in the fourth chukker with Mannix scoring the first of two angled neck shots to end the chukker. MacDonough's hard hit lofty goal tied the game at 8-8 with 3:37 left in the fifth chukker but it was the closest they would come.

Alegria pulled away for leads of 10-8, 11-9 and 12-9 in the final chukker. Barto Castagnola connected with his brother Camilo to trail 12-10 but Mannix stalled  a potential scoring threat with a back shot in the final minute of the game.

Barto Castagnola of Richard Mille leans out of the saddle for the ball with Freddie Mannix 
of Alegria in pursuit.

Magrini had the goal of the game with 3:53 left in the final chukker when he saw an opening and lofted a long goal from a standstill.

"This is a good, fun team," Magrini said. "Freddie is a hell of a player, Nachi is a pleasure to play with and Henry is good and I love playing with him even though I shout at him. Hopefully, he becomes a 10-goaler in the future. He has a lot of talent and potential. He needs to play this level of polo to improve."                                                                                                                                                             
Alegria got balanced scoring from its lineup. Porter scored a team-high five goals. Mannix had three goals, including two well-timed, angled neck shots in the fourth and sixth chukkers, and Magrini and du Plessis each had two goals.

Barto Castagnola of Richard Mille goes to back the ball between Matias Magrini 
and Henry Porter of Alegria.

"It was a really good game, the four of us played well together in our first game of the season," Porter said. "It was a great start. I really like this team, we seem to work very well together."

MacDonough led Richard Mille with five goals. Camilo Castagnola had three goals and Barto Castagnola added two goals.

"I think we have a nice team, but we have already been playing some tournaments," du Plessis said. "I think when their horses get better they will get better.

Freddie Mannix of Alegria rides off Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille.

"We did do good today but I don't think we should get confident with that because the other teams in this league are just starting to play and we've already played the other league so our horses are much lighter than theirs," du Plessis said. "We had a positive start but I don't think we should get over confident."

Three games are scheduled for Sunday. SD Farms plays Sebucan, making its WPL debut with Cornell alum Pablo Pulido, at 11 a.m. at Jan Pamela Field 3. Valiente plays Aspen Valley at Valiente Field 2 at 1 p.m. and in the featured game Seminole Casino Coconut Creek plays Dundas Polo at 4 p.m. on Field 2 and will feature the league's two women players, Melissa Ganzi and Sarah Siegel-Magness.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is the hospitality sponsor for the World Polo League. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek presents a fully integrated, energized, stylish and upscale local's casino experience, world-class dining, including its award-winning steakhouse, NYY Steak and live entertainment.

Matias Magrini of Alegria works the near side shot for a goal with Barto Castagnola defending.

Tickets, ranging from $15 to $250, for the Sunday 4 o'clock featured WPL games at Grand Champions Polo Club are on sale now at www.worldpolo.org.

Ticket price breakdown for the new CoCo Cabana Stadium is:

VIP $250, Upper Level (rain or shine, no refunds), includes VIP parking access,  exclusive luxury-style bar and lounge seating, gourmet light dinner buffet, exclusive chef station, VIP Open bar (excluding champagne and bottle service) and VIP swag bags.

VIP $100, Lower Level (rain or shine, no refunds), includes VIP parking access,  exclusive luxury-style bar and lounge seating, gourmet light bites and Worth Avenue retailer experience.

Valet Parking $15, select quality valet parking.

Nachi du Plessis of Alegria attempts to hook Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille.

Co-founded by Grand Champions owner and president Melissa Ganzi and Valiente Polo Farm owner Bob Jornayvaz, the successful World Polo League is the only 26-goal polo in the world outside of Argentina. The WPL is preserving the highest level of polo and its rich, hallowed tradition in the U.S. 

The WPL, with 11 tournament-quality fields to play on, features the Feb. 6-16 All-Star Challenge, Feb. 19-March 1 Founders Cup, March 4-22 Palm Beach Open and March 28-April 18 Triple Crown of Polo. 

The WPL schedule also features the unique April 6-12 U.S. National Mixed Doubles Championship, created by Jornayvaz. It pairs men and women players.

Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille gets ready to hook Nachi du Plessis of Alegria.

The WPL is open to teams that wish to compete in one or more of the tournaments. Games are offered on the flat (Open) and on Handicap.

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

Fans lined the field for Day Two of World Polo League play.
Photos by ChukkerTV

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.

For more information and to watch the games go to www.worldpolo.org for a complete library of WPL first-season games.


All Star Challenge Feb. 6-16

Sunday 2/9 11 a.m. SD Farms vs Sebucan at Jan Pamela Field 3

Sunday 2/9 1 p.m. Valiente vs Aspen Valley at Valiente Field 2 

Sunday 2/9 4 p.m. Dundas vs Seminole Casino Coconut Creek at GCPC Field 1

Feb. 19-Mar. 1, Founder's Cup
Mar. 4-22, Palm Beach Open
Mar. 28-Apr. 18, Triple Crown of Polo
Apr. 6-12, U.S. National Mixed Doubles Polo Championship

Games at Grand Champions Polo Club, Valiente Polo Farm and other local fields, call our hotline to receive daily game and field information.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is the hospitality sponsor for the World Polo League. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek presents a fully integrated, energized, stylish and upscale local's casino experience, world-class dining, including its award-winning steakhouse, NYY Steak and live entertainment.

Jan-Eric Franck
"The Voice of Polo"


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.

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Grand Champions Polo Club, 13444 Southfields Road, Wellington, FL 33414
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