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Press Release


Pelon Sterling and Hilario Ulloa

Pelon Sterling and  Julian Mannix

Julian Mannix, Jeff Hall, Sterling Giannico

Hilario Ulloa and Pelon Sterling

Nic Roldan and Sapo Caset

Adolfo Cambiaso Nic Roldan and Guillermo Terrera

Adolfo Cambiaso, Nic Roldan and Miguel Novillo Astrada

Adolfo Cambiaso 2.20.15

Marc Ganzi, Freddie Mannix, Victor Vargas, Magoo Laprida, Nico Pieres

Victor Vargas and Juan Martin Nero

Magoo Laprida, Freddie Mannix and Juan Martin Nero

Agustin Garcia Grossi and Rodrigo Andrade

Polito Pieres and Astrada

Facundo Pieres 2.20.15

F Sola and Facundo Pieres

Camillo Bautista and Polito Pieres

Click on the above photos for details and a high resolution version.

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Alegria, Valiente, Orchard Hill and Audi/Millarville win C.V. Whitney Cup Opener

Written by: Alannah Castro & Darlene Ricker
Client: International Polo Club Palm Beach
Release Date: 2015-02-20

The C.V. Whitney Cup opened Friday with four matches, kicking off the 26-goal season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). Alegria defeated Coca-Cola 13-9, Audi/Millarville won over Lechuza Caracas 10-9, Orchard Hill took Las Monjitas 16-11 and Valiente defeated FlexJet 9-7. The resulting slate for next Wednesday’s semifinals is Alegria vs. Audi/Millarville and Valiente vs. Orchard Hill.

That will make for a busy week for Valiente, which is simultaneously preparing to play Coca-Cola in Sunday’s 20-goal Ylvisaker Cup Finals. Also on Sunday, Tonkawa will take on Palm Beach Illustrated in the Haas Cup subsidiary finals.

FlexJet                                Valiente
Melissa Ganzi   A                   Bob Jornayvaz   2
Gonzalito Pieres   9                Alejo Taranco   6
Miguel Astrada   9                 Guillermo Terrera   8
Nic Roldan   8                       Adolfo Cambiaso   10

In his second game of the season at IPC, Adolfo Cambiaso again led Valiente to a win, this time over FlexJet. Valiente led throughout the entire game, with all four of its players scoring. Yet the victory came about in an uneven rhythm for Valiente, which in its last game steadily increased its momentum throughout, pouring it on in the second half. This time, however, Valiente started out strong, ending the first half with a five-point lead. Then it inexplicably stalled, remaining scoreless in the fourth chukker and making only two more goals in the game.

Even Cambiaso seemed to have a hard time wrapping his head around it. “We started really good, and then in the middle we kind of slipped down,” he said. “We got it to 7-2, and then, I don’t know, we couldn’t score. Probably (FlexJet) played better the last couple of chukkers. I’m just happy that we won our first game.”

The early signs were pointing to a hands-down Valiente victory. In the first chukker the team established a two-point lead, stretching it to a three-point advantage in the second. The first half ended with a commanding five-point lead for Valiente, three of its goals contributed by Alejo Taranco.
FlexJet galloped into the fourth chukker determined to show that it meant serious business. It rapidly racked up three points, courtesy of Gonzalito Pieres and Nic Roldan. Each team scored once in the fifth and sixth chukkers.

“I’ve got to give (FlexJet) a lot of credit,” said Valiente patron Bob Jornayvaz. “We played well in the beginning, and then they really came back and sped it up – which was fine because it became a very fast game the last two chukkers. It was a great game, so much fun!”

Roldan, always a force of nature, lit the afterburners in the second half. His second goal, which came in the fifth chukker and narrowed Valiente’s lead to just one point, had a certain vehemence to it. After getting the ball away from Valiente, he whacked it so hard that his mallet head broke off and flew through the goal posts right alongside the ball.

Cambiaso reasserted himself in the final chukker. With a minute-and-a-half left in the game, he slammed the ball down the field, catching up with it as it headed toward goal. He slowed it down in front of the goal mouth and then tapped it in. Pieres answered with a field goal for FlexJet, ending the game 9-7.

“I thought Miguel and Nic and Gonzalito played really well,” said Jornayvaz. As for Valiente, he said, “This was the first game the four of us have played together. They’ve played team practices, but I haven’t even played with them because I’ve been traveling quite a bit. I feel like I know what Adolfo’s going to do, but never having played with Guillermo or Alejo before, I didn’t know what to expect today. It was just a good, hard, physical game, and we were lucky to come out on the top side.”

Orchard Hill Shines in First 26 Goal Match--Advances to CV Whitney Semifinals

Orchard Hill powered by a tough Las Monjitas team 16-11 to win their first 26-goal game in the CV Whitney Cup. The Orchard Hill lineup featured two Pieres cousins, Facundo and Polito, united on the same team for the first time, and the family connection paid off for Orchard Hill as the cousins combined for fourteen of their team’s sixteen goals.

Las Monjitas                Orchard Hill
Camilo Bautista   A        Steve van Andel   A
Facundo Sola   8T          Ezequiel Ferrario   7
Eduardo N Astrada   9    Polito Pieres   9
Sebastian Merlos   9      Facundo Pieres   10

“It was fantastic!” said Polito Pieres about playing with his cousin Facundo Pieres. The two Pieres superstars have both experienced success and are proven goal scorers on separate teams in the past, and the combination of the two high scoring players proved explosive.

Facundo Pieres seemed equally pleased after the match. “It was our first game with the 26 goal team and we brought in some new horses as well. The new horses played well so that was good. Everything with the team was fine in practice but you never know in the games so we were a little scared. But I liked it in the game! The other team was tough but I felt we had them under control, it was a good way to start.”

The first chukker started slow with most of the goals coming from penalty conversions by Orchard Hill. The lone exception was a splendid field goal set up by a bomb of a pass from Facundo Pieres at midfield to Polito, who had a horse length on his man running to goal. Orchard Hill took an early 4-1 lead and continued to outscore their orange clad opponents in the second chukker, stretching their lead out to 7-2.

Las Monjitas came alive in the third, winning lineups, hustling the Orchard Hill attackers and feeding the ball downfield.  Facundo Sola got the first goal from the field for Las Monjitas, dancing around the goal post and the other Facundo (Pieres) to light up the scoreboard. Las Monjitas went on to outscore Orchard Hill 3-1 in the third chukker, but the lone goal from Orchard Hill should have got extra for style points, it was that spectacular. Facundo Pieres took the ball out of the air and went down field effortlessly tapping it out of the air around the defenders, finishing with a neck shot to goal that started with the ball a yard high in air when he hit it.

Las Monjitas rode the momentum from their successful third chukker into the fourth chukker, and closed within two of Orchard Hill behind goals from Facundo Sola and Sebastian Merlos. But the Pieres show resumed in the fifth chukker and stopped the Las Monjitas comeback attempt. Facundo Pieres converted two penalty shots and scored back-to-back field goals by somehow outfoxing his defenders at midfield and scoring through the unguarded goal on two brilliant runs. The four goals by Facundo Pieres in the fifth chukker gave Orchard Hill a comfortable five goal lead heading into the sixth. Las Monjitas, a team of warriors, kept on fighting to the end, but Orchard Hill maintained the lead to finish the match 16-11 and move forward to the CV Whitney semifinals.

Audi/Millarville Takes Tight Win Over Lechuza Caracas

Audi/Millarville defeated Lechuza Caracas 10-9 Friday in the 26-goal C.V. Whitney Cup at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.

Audi/Millarville                    Lechuza Caracas
Marc Ganzi   1                        Victor Vargas   1
Magoo LaPrida   8                   Nico Pieres   8
Rodrigo Andrade   9                Juan Martin Nero   10
Freddie Mannix   6                   Agustin Garcia Grossi   7

This was one of those nail-biters in which 42 minutes of polo came down to the last two minutes. With Audi/Millarville leading then by one point, 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero hit a neck shot that looked as though it was about to tie the match. With overtime nearly a foregone conclusion, the standing-room-only crowd gasped at the announcement that an independent review by the umpires had determined the shot went wide. Then with one minute remaining, Victor Vargas also shot wide, closing the door on Lechuza Caracas’s last viable chance to tie the match.

Audi/Millarville held the lead from start to finish, maintaining a three-point spread in both of the first two chukkers. Magoo LaPrida and Freddie Mannix made three goals between the two of them in the third chukker, widening the gap to five points.

The second half opened 9-4 for Audi/Millarville, which gained only one more point (made on a field goal by Rodrigo Andrade) before the final horn. Lechuza Caracas came on like gangbusters in the fifth chukker, with goals by Nico Pieres and Agustin Garcia Grossi. Grossi added another in the final chukker, with the game ending 10-9 for Audi/Millarville.

It was an impressive showing for Audi/Millarville, particularly given that the team had been put together in the past few weeks and was an eleventh-hour entry in the tournament. Friday was the first time Mannix had played a match with LaPrida and Andrade (8- and 9-goal players, respectively).

Calling it a “very pleasurable experience,” Mannix said he had ridden in two practice matches with them earlier in the week, adding, “We executed our game plan today and were able to play as a unit. We beat a very good team.” (Mannix and LaPrida meshed well in the match, creating a force to be contended with now and in the future. The two are going to be teammates next year in Argentina.)

Marc Ganzi, who played a strong, consistent game, said, “The team was put together at the last second, so there were no expectations, which is the best thing to do because you just play loose and have fun.”

Noting that his team missed several goals in the sixth, Ganzi said, “We had a chance to win by two or three (points). Rodrigo and I both had good runs but couldn’t put it in. What I like is that we played defensively really sound polo today. Most of (Lechuza Caracas’s) goals came off penalties. We didn’t give them anything easy - they had to work for everything today, and we have to take that mentality forward against Alegria.”

The C.V. Whitney Cup semifinals take place Wednesday at IPC with Alegria facing on Audi/Millarville at noon and Orchard Hill playing Valiente at 3 p.m.

Alegria At Home In The Cold Defeats Coca-Cola 13-9

Alegria defeated Coca-Cola 13-9 in the opening game of the CV Whitney Cup at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.

Coca-Cola                              Alegria
Gillian Johnston   2                 Julian Mannix   4
Sugar Erskine   6                    Hilario Ulloa   9
Pelon Sterling   10                  Mariano Aguerre   9
Jeff Hall   7                             Sterling Giannico   4

Alegria looked right at home in the morning's chilly temperatures, which had most everyone bundled up. The game started out with Coca-Cola in the lead with a one-goal handicap. Julian Mannix and his Alegria team quickly took charge once play started, scoring their first two goals in rapid succession.

Pelon Sterling showed why he is one of the best players in the world, scoring from over 100 yards out to tie the score 2-2. Mannix flipped in a tail shot to score and end the first chukker 3-2. Mariano Aguerre scored on a breakaway to start out the second chukker.

In what was undoubtedly the play of the game, Hilario Ulloa took off on a breakaway, only to be covered by defenders, so Ulloa sent a back shot pass to Aguerre, who took the ball up field and drove it in for a goal. The speed and accuracy of these defending US Open champions was a sight to behold. Mannix followed this play up by crushing a pass to Ulloa, who was already on the run and ran the ball in to score 6-2.

Ulloa started out the third chukker with a penalty conversion. On the next play, a penalty was called and Alegria challenged the call. This was the first time that the instant replay has been utilized in a high goal game at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Each team is awarded one challenge per half, and an additional challenge if the match goes into overtime.

The call was upheld and play resumed with a penalty five hit from the point of the infraction. After another penalty was called, Aguerre converted to put one up on the board for Alegria. Mannix picked Pelon Sterling's pocket to turn the ball around and sting Coca-Cola, making it 9-2 at the end of the half.

In the second half, Sterling started out with a conversion for Coca-Cola, making the score 9-3. A penalty one was awarded to Alegria, which awarded them another point. Ulloa scored the lone non-conversion goal of the fourth chukker, making the score 11-3.  In the fifth chukker, Sterling continued his string of conversions, scoring for Coca-Cola and working diligently to close the gap between their team and Alegria.

Alegria then scored the next two goals, continuing their scoring streak. A penalty one was called in favor of Coca-Cola, awarding them a point and making the score 13-6. Sugar Erskine knocked the ball out of the air to make a pass to Jeff Hall, who drove it in to score and end the fifth chukker.  Coca-Cola warmed up in the sixth chukker, with Hall making a strong pass to Sterling to score and make it 13-8. Sterling scored the final goal of the match, but it wasn't enough to overtake Alegria's solid lead.

Mannix felt that this was a solid start to the 26-goal season.

"I know Hilario [Ulloa] and Mariano [Aguerre] well, and Sterling [Giannico] fit in great," said Mannix. "It's a good first step of the season, and it's a long process, so we're happy we got the first win."  

CV Whitney Tournament play will continue on Wednesday, February 25 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach with Alegria taking on Audi/Millarville at noon and Orchard Hill playing Valiente at 3 p.m. in the semi-finals of the CV Whitney.


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