Alegria Stuns Grand Champions, SD Farms Wins Debut In Palm Beach Open; Doubleheader On Tap For Thursday  
WELLINGTON, Fl., March 7, 2019---Welcome to the World Polo League Sayyu Dantata and SD Farms and Gringo Colombres of Alegria.

In a stunning upset to open the World Polo League's third tournament of its inaugural season, Alegria (Freddie Mannix, 8, Jesse Bray, 6, Gringo Colombres, 6, Juan Martin Obregon, 5) knocked off Founders Cup champion Grand Champions (Grant Ganzi, 3, Juancito Bollini, 4, Rodrigo Andrade, 9, Juan Martin Nero, 10), 12-10, on a brisk and windy Wednesday at Jan Pamela Field.

SD Farms (Sayyu Dantata, 2, Santi Torres, 6, Guillermo Terrera, 8, Adolfo Cambiaso, 10) looked impressive in its debut with a 16-11 victory over Black Watch (Juan Cruz Merlos, 6, Nacho Figueras, 6, Pite Merlos, 8, Tommy Biddle, 5) at Valiente Polo Farm.

WPL's newest team and SD Farms teammates Sayyu Dantata, Santi Torres, Guillermo Terrera and Adolfo Cambiaso.

In the opening game, Gringo Colombres made his World Polo League debut with Alegria. Colombres, coming off three 20-goal tournament wins with Dutta Corp, turned out to be the missing piece of the puzzle with his aggressive, scrappy, ball-hawking ways for Alegria.

Looking stronger with each game, Alegria turned in its finest performance leading from start-to-finish to win its second consecutive game after a slow start in league play.

"We played as a team," Mannix said. "We know we didn't want to go like we did the last tournament. It was no fun to lose like we did against the big teams. Today we showed that we could play really good polo. It was fun. I had a good time and look at all these guys faces here. Everyone had a great day, every one played well. Jesse scored some amazing goals, Juan Martin had good all-around defense, Gringo had some amazing goals and I did what I needed to do."

Rodrigo Andrade of Grand Champions trying to win the ball.

"Grand Champions is good," Mannix said. "Rodrigo is a champion and the same with Juan Martin and I have no doubt that the two boys one day will be great players. They are a tough team to beat. They are well-organized, have some of the advantages having a 10-goaler and some horses. Today it just seemed like our team wanted it more and played a little more concentrated at times up front."

Playing wide open polo and pressure defense, Alegria dominated most of the game and caught Grand Champions off guard to lead 8-4 at the half and 9-5 after four chukkers.
Grand Champions dug itself out of a hole in the fifth chukker and early in the sixth chukker to trail by one, 9-8, and 10-9. 

Freddie Mannix of Alegria working the ball downfield.

Grand Champions outscored Alegria, 6-4, including a 1-0 shutout in the fourth chukker, but Alegria came up with the clutch goals from Mannix, working both sides of his horse and back-to-back goals from Colombres for a 12-9 advantage. Bollini scored the final goal with 1:30 left for Grand Champions.

"It's amazing to start like this," said Colombres of his debut. "I think we played an open game today. It was fun. This was my first time with the guys playing in a game. I only played with Juan Martin when we were 15 years old, a long, long time ago. But I have played against them and we know each other well. 

"I like this wide open polo, it's like we play in Argentina, we hit and run," Colombres said. "I tried to play simple today."

Juan Martin Obregon of Alegria on his way to scoring one of his team-high five goals.

Obregon led Alegria with a team-high five goals. Colombres had four goals, Bray scored two and Mannix added one.

"We are really happy, this is a tough team to play against," said Obregon, who turned away four goal attempts with his back shots. "We pulled through. It was tough to get a good advantage. Going in at halftime with four goals on top is very difficult to maintain. We knew they were going to switch some things and really step it up. The good thing is we were able to maintain.

"When they got within one we knew we had to keep our calm and our patience," Obregon said. "The team was doing well, we didn't have to change much. It was getting one or two lucky breaks and one or two goals back on the board."

Jesse Bray of Alegria waiting on a pass with Juan Martin Nero of Grand Champions defending.

Added Bray, "We're very happy. It's good to have two wins in a row now. We finished the last tournament with a win after the first two losses and now to get another one is good. This gives us confidence. Once you start winning it makes things a little easier."

For Grand Champions, Nero scored a game-high six goals. Andrade and Bollini each had two goals.

Playing together for the first time as a team, SD Farms jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the opening chukker and kept building on it. SD Farms' firepower and horsepower was too much of a challenge for Black Watch.

Sayyu Dantata of SD Farms hits a neck shot.

For Nigerian Sayyu Dantata, it was a dream come true to play alongside the world's greatest player.

"I had a fantastic time," Dantata said. "It is amazing to play with him and in this league. It is another world of polo that I have never seen before.

Nacho Figueras of Black Watch hits downfield.

"It brings my game up," Dantata said. "It is a completely different game. It is fast paced and everybody knows exactly where everybody is. I had one practice with them and Adolfo tells you where to be. Playing on their horses is amazing, they take you to the ball and know exactly what to do. There is nothing better."

The foursome had instant chemistry. Terrera was coming off playing with Scone and Cambiaso and Torres played with Valiente during the Founders Cup.

Sayyu Dantata of SD Farms works the ball out of the air.

"They started playing better and we woke up in the last couple chukkers and finished it up," Cambiaso said. "It's not easy when you are winning like that. You lose a bit of the system, the concentration. They played well in the third and fourth and we played well in the first, second and last."

It was the first time Cambiaso played with Dantata in a game. The two had one practice before the opener.

Pite Merlos of Black Watch drives downfield with Adolfo Cambiaso of SD Farms.

"It was great playing with him, he had some really nice plays, he knows how to play polo," Cambiaso said. "He had a couple of nice team work plays and he took a couple of guys and Santi was able to score a couple of goals thanks to Sayyu. I think we played very well and I think Santi Torres is on a different level. He is playing really, really well."

Terrera led scoring for SD Farms with a game-high seven goals. Torres and Cambiaso each had four goals and Dantata added one goal.

Adolfo Cambiaso of SD Farms watches as he hits to teammate Santi Torres.

Big-hitting Biddle had a team-high six goals for Black Watch. Father and son Pite and Juan Cruz Merlos each had two goals and Figueras added one.

Another doubleheader is scheduled for Thursday. At 11 a.m., Flexjet plays Colorado at Grand Champions Polo Club's Field 3 and at 4 p.m. Valiente plays host to Audi at Valiente Polo Farm's Field 2.

Santi Torres of SD Farms watches his shot downfield with Juan Cruz Merlos of Black Watch defending.

The WPL is being live streamed on ESPN Deportes and ChukkerTV/Horseplay with Gus Whitelaw calling the action. For more information go to .

Co-founded by Grand Champions owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi and Valiente Polo Farm owner Bob Jornayvaz, the 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 has its own set of simpler fan-friendly rules to improve the flow and action of the game.

Guillermo Terrera of SD Farms watches his neck shot.

The WPL, with 14 tournament-quality fields to play on, includes the All-Star Challenge Draw Tournament, Founders Cup, Palm Beach Open and Triple Crown of Polo.

The World Polo League is open to other 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 has attracted a large international field of players from all corners of the world  including Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Uruguay and U.S.

Tommy Biddle of Black Watch tries to ride off Santi Torres of SD Farms.
Photos by Ramon Casares

Grand Champions and Valiente are also launching the U.S. National Mixed Doubles Championship, featuring two men and two women with combined handicaps, in March.

In addition to the World Polo League, season highlights for 2019 at Grand Champions are the Sterling Cup, March 1-31 $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament, March 1-16 John T. Oxley Memorial and March 3-24 $100,000 World Cup Tournament, a unique 0-40-goal, winner-take-all single-elimination tournament.

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.

March 6-24, Palm Beach Open
March 27-April 14, Triple Crown of Polo

Thursday, March 7:
11 a.m. Flexjet vs. Colorado at Grand Champions Polo Club Field 3
4 p.m. Audi vs. Valiente at Valiente Field 2

Saturday, March 9:
11 a.m. Audi vs. Flexjet at Jan Pamela Field 3
4 p.m. Grand Champions vs. Black Watch at Valiente Field 1

Sunday, March 10:
11 a.m. Valiente vs. Colorado at Valiente Field 3
4 p.m. SD Farms vs. Alegria at Grand Champions Polo Club Field 2

Wednesday, March 13:
11 a.m. Grand Champions vs Flexjet
p.m.SD Farms vs Valiente

Thursday, March 14:
11 a.m. Colorado vs. Alegria
4 p.m. Audi vs. Black Watch

Saturday, March 16:
11 a.m. SD Farms vs. Flexjet
4 p.m. Grand Champions vs. Valiente

Sunday, March 17:
11 a.m. Colorado vs. Black Watch
4 p.m. Audi vs. Alegria

Wednesday, March 20:
TBD Subsidiary semifinals

Thursday, March 21:
TBD Palm Beach Open semifinals

Saturday, March 23:
TBD Subsidiary Final

Sunday, March 24:
TBD Palm Beach Open Final, GCPC Field 2

Games at Grand Champions Polo Club, Valiente Polo Farm and other local fields.

Chukker TV is live streaming the entire World Polo League season with film material content provided by Polo Channel. 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 please contact Mike Ferreira at  or Rob Jornayvaz at Polo Channel at

Jan-Eric Franck
"The Voice of Polo"
ESPN West Palm (106.3FM) and ESPN Deportes (760AM) signed an exclusive contract with the World Polo League and will target the West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami markets with various broadcasts, commercials and exposure on radio,, ESPN app and social media platforms to promote the exciting new 26-goal league. With nearly two decades of sustained success in sports and entertainment broadcasting, Josh Cohen is among the most influential, respected and popular on-air personalities and live event hosts in South Florida. Julian Zaldivar has been a part of ESPN West Palm team and ESPN Deportes760AM manager since its inception. He is the host of Comunidad ESPN Monday through Friday that features all-sports talk and interviews with the Latino community leaders from the local Hispanic market.

Josh Cohen
Julian Zaldivar


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 @; 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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