Florida Young Player Program
2012 Tackeria Cup
Santa Rita Open
April 19th 2013 @ the International Polo Club
Team Red wins the Santa Rita Open
It’s only fitting that as the season winds down to its final matches the Polo Training Foundation would take the opportunity to feature the progress of its youth polo program in the form of the Santa Rita Open, a competition for players age 16-21.
Hosted by the International Polo Club, the PTF, IPC member Melissa Ganzi and her Grand Champions Polo Club, the Santa Rita Open took the opportunity to showcase some of the bright up-and-coming young players in the game.
Three teams took part in the season-ending youth competition with a Red Team comprised of Trevor Niznik, Matias Gonzalez, Chase Schwartz, the only girl in the tournament and Ayaan Quraeshi; a White Team of Enrique Barco, Wesley Bryan, Liam Lott and Lorenzo Merlotti; and a Blue Team of Jonny Lavin (substituting for Juancito Bollini) Anthony Devrient, Clemente Devrient and Grant Ganzi.
If some of the names sound familiar, they should Gonzalez, Bryan and Merlotti all appeared on high-goal teams over the course of the season, others have fathers and/or mothers actively playing.
The White Team was eliminated after round robin play, but still produced the tournament MVP in Wesley Bryan, but it was the stickwork, accurate passing and accurate shooting of Matias Gonzalez that captured everyone’s attention. Gonzalez went on to score three of his team’s five goals in their 5-0 shutout of Blue Team. Chase Schwartz (daughter of umpire Horton Schwartz) and Ayaan Quraeshi each scored a goal in the win.
The event was named after Melissa Ganzi’s Ocala-based farm where she rests, breeds and trains polo ponies, Santa Rita Farm, named after her late grandmother.
Following the tournament, the Polo Training foundation held its annual party for the Florida Junior and Youth programs at the International Polo Club’s Mallet Grille.
Florida Junior Awards Presented:
Most Improved Players-Matias Gonzalez and Hope Arellano
Sportsmanship Award-Riley Ganzi and Christian Weisz
Florida Youth Program Awards:
Most Improved Player-Jonny Lavin
Sportsmanship Award-Matt Coppola