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Casablanca, Sebucan Play For Pedro Morrison Memorial Title Sunday At Grand Champions

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Casablanca, Sebucan Play For Pedro Morrison Memorial Title Sunday At Grand Champions 

WELLINGTON, Fla., November 16, 2019---Casablanca will play Sebucan in the championship final of the Pedro Morrison Memorial Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.


On a brisk, windswept Saturday, Casablanca (Marc Ganzi, 2, Grant Ganzi, 3, Pierre Henri Ngoumou, 6, Nic Roldan, 8) advanced with a 9-7 semifinal victory over Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, 0, Jeff Blake, 6, Juan Bollini, 5, Tommy Biddle, 5).

Pierre Henri Ngoumou of Casablanca stretches for the ball.

In a rainsoaked semifinal opener on Friday, Sebucan (Sugar Erskine, 6, Pablo Pulido, 2, Pablo Spinacci, 6, Brandon Phillips, 4) made it into the final, also with a 9-7 victory over Newport (Gene Goldstein, 1, Jason Crowder, 6, Juancito Bollini, 4, Kris Kampsen, 6).

Nic Roldan of Casablanca goes to hit the back shot.

The final begins 10 a.m. followed by the For The Joy Of It Cup subsidiary game at 11:30 a.m.

Saturday's game marked the Grand Champions Polo Club debut of French national team member Pierre Henri Ngoumou.

Former U.S. teammates Grand Ganzi of Casablanca and Jeff Blake of
 Flexjet race toward the ball.

Ngoumou, 33, and France will play the U.S. team in the Nov. 30th International Cup at Grand Champions. The 6-goal team captain has played throughout the world and was recently playing with former 10-goaler and Hall of Famer Memo Gracida in Monterrey, Mexico.

"I knew this place was amazing," Ngoumou said. "I want to thank Melissa for the opportunity to come here and everybody else. Everything is so well-organized. I love the place. I would rather be here than anywhere in the world other than France."

Casablanca teammates Pierre Henri Ngoumou and Grant Ganzi working together with Juan Bollini of Flexjet defending.

Ngoumou last visited Palm Beach in 1996 when he was 10 years old. 

"I am very happy to be back again," Ngoumou said. "I was a baby and 0 goal. I was watching polo. I dreamed to come and play high goal in Palm Beach and now it is my first time playing here and I am very happy."

Defender Tommy Biddle of Flexjet zeroes in on Pierre Henri Ngoumou of Casablanca.

Casablanca led the entire game and pulled away for a 6-2 lead behind back-to-back goals from Ngoumou and penalty conversion by Marc Ganzi.

Flexjet tried to reel in Casablanca in the second half behind the big-hitting Biddle and Ganzi, outscoring them 5-3 including a shut out in the fifth chukker but could get no closer than two in the closing seconds.

Grant Ganzi of Casablanca battles for the throw-in from umpire Roddy Matthews.

"I was a bit shy because it was my first game, it was tough to know where to go in the beginning and getting used to the field," Ngoumou said. "It was the first time getting to know the horses. I got more confidence as the team played. I think we had the game under control. They came back in a moment but we stayed in control. It was good fun."

Two of Ngoumou's French teammates arrived Friday night. They hope to play in the upcoming Wellington 20-Goal Open.

Pierre Henri Ngoumou of Casablanca goes to hook Jeff Blake of Flexjet.

Roldan and Marc Ganzi shared leading scorer honors with three goals each. Ngoumou had two and Grant Ganzi added one.

Melissa Ganzi led Flexjet with three goals including two 40-yard penalty conversions. Biddle had two goals and Blake and Bollini each had one goal.

Pierre Henri Ngoumou's wife Bonny and son Timothee watch him play for the 
first time at Grand Champions.

In Friday's semifinal, Sebucan led from start to finish. Despite a steady downpour for most of the game, the lead changed hands seven times before Sebucan took a four-goal lead, 9-5, after the fifth chukker.

Newport tried to rally in the sixth chukker with goals from Crowder and Kampsen to outscore Sebucan, 2-0, but ran out of time.

Juan Bollini of Flexjet attempts to hook Pierre Henri Ngoumou of Casablanca.

Phillips had a game-high four goals for Sebucan. Erskine had three and Spinacci added two. Goldstein led Newport with a team-high three goals. Crowder and Kampsen each had two goals.

In last year's Pedro Morrison Memorial, Aspen Valley Polo Club  (Morgan Van Overbroek, James Rogerson, Mariano Gracida, Carlitos Gracida) won the round robin tournament with a 3-1 victory over St. Moritz (Reto Gaudenzi/Daniel Crasemann, Tony Calle, Jeff Hall, Marc Ganzi), 3-1, in the final and American Polo Horse (Sebastien Le Page, Santos Bollini, Pablo Dorignac, Tito Gaudenzi), 4-2. Gracida, 28, was named Most Valuable Player. 

A packed fieldside enjoyed the Pedro Morrison Memorial semifinal on a perfect day for polo.

The tournament is named in honor of Pedro Morrison, born in Spain and University of Miami alum, died Dec. 11, 2003 in Wellington at age 49. He was an avid polo player, patron of The Sympatico Polo team and helped develop Wellington into a thriving community.

Morrison was active in several local and area charities and businesses and touched countless lives. He remains an inspiration. His work on behalf of the YMCA of the Palm Beaches continues on through Polo with Pedro. 

Brandon Phillips of Sebucan works the near side shot with Juancito Bollini
 of Newport defending.

The Pedro Morrison Memorial Tournament is the sixth and final medium-goal tournament of the fall season and may be the most competitive of them all. Twenty-goal action begins next week with the Wellington 20-Goal Open and will continue through Thanksgiving weekend.

Pablo Spinacci of Sebucan tries to control the ball with Gene Goldstein
 of Newport defending.

The winners of the first four 2019 tournaments at Grand Champions were: Newport (Gene Goldstein, Jason Crowder, Kris Kampsen, Juan Bollini), Fall Plates Tournament; Sebucan (Santos Bollini, Pablo Pulido, Nic Roldan, Kris Kampsen), Fall Classic; Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Kris Kampsen, Pablo Spinacci, Juan Bollini), Tackeria Invitational; and Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Brandon Phillips, Jason Crowder), US Trust Cup. The Polo Gear Challenge final, postponed by rain, is yet to be played.

Pablo Spinacci of Sebucan hits past Juancito Bollini of Newport.

During the 2019 fall season, the nation's largest and busiest polo club, hosts both medium and high goal polo. It is highlighted by the International Cup featuring Team USA against France; Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial, inaugural Wellington Open 20 and USPA National 20.
 
The well-organized fall tournaments attract players from all over the United States and world including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, England, France, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Uruguay, Switzerland, Nigeria and South Africa.

Pablo Pulido of Sebucan follows his hit with Jason Crowder of Newport on his hip.

Grand Champions had its finest fall season in club history last year. It was the only club in the nation to stage two USPA-sanctioned 20-goal fall tournaments.

The fall season serves as a tuneup for the winter season for players and green horses. The winter season will feature the second season of the highly-successful 26-goal World Polo League at Grand Champions and Valiente Polo Farm with the best polo players in the world.
The Grand Champions Fall Invitational League is geared toward improving a player's polo skills at every level. Roster lineups change from tournament to tournament with evenly-matched teams featuring pro and amateur players.

Kris Kampsen of Newport reaches for the ball with Pablo Spinacci of Sebucan defending.

Club owners Marc and Melissa Ganzi, both accomplished players, take pride in teaching and sharing the exciting sport of polo with anyone interested in learning. The husband and wife team are coming off their most successful and historical summer season at Grand Champions' sister club Aspen Valley Polo Club.

The fall league features: stick-and-ball sessions during the week; two tournament games every weekend; ambulance and umpires for all tournament games; world-class polo fields; club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players; and top-of-the-line trophies for all teams every weekend. Food and refreshments are available for players and fans after the finals.

Sugar Erskine of Sebucan follows his hit with Gene Goldstein of Newport close behind.

Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm cater to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. 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 at the turnkey facility.

Kris Kampsen of Newport wins the race to the ball.

The Polo School, a 501c3 organization and stand-alone USPA 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, a stand-alone USPA club, operates in Wellington January through May and September through November. For more information on the Fall Leagues or Polo School contact Juan Bollini at  561-346-1099.
2019 Grand Champions Fall Schedule

Pedro Morrison Memorial
Sunday 11/17 10 a.m. Field 2
Pedro Morrison Memorial Final
Casablanca vs Sebucan

For The Joy Of It Cup 11:30 a.m.
Newport vs Flexjet

High Goal:
Nov. 16-23, Wellington Open 20
Nov. 18-27, USPA National 20

Nov. 30 1 p.m.
Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial

Nov. 30 3 p.m.
2019 International Cup, USA vs. France

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. 


Chukker TV will live-streame the entire fall 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.


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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