Grand Champions Sponsors Santa Rita Open PTF Season-Ender Friday At IPC
WELLINGTON, FL-April 18, 2013 - The Polo Training Foundation, which has played a
major role in the development of junior and youth polo players, will host the season-ending
Santa Rita Open on Friday at 4 p.m. at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
The Santa Rita Open, for youth players ages 16-21, is sponsored by Wellington-based
Grand Champions Polo Club.
The event is named after Melissa Ganzi's Ocala-based farm Santa Rita which was named
after her grandmother, who passed away on Dec. 29, 2012. The Ganzis rest, breed
and train polo ponies at the farm.
Melissa Ganzi, recently-elected secretary-treasurer of the Polo Training Foundation,
has been a selfless supporter of junior and youth polo for years and been involved
with the PTF orchestrating the growth and success of the juniors and youth programs
across the nation.
"I can't say enough good things about Melissa Ganzi," said PTF executive director
Danny Scheraga. "She has been on the Board of Directors and now she is an officer.
What she is doing with the Polo School at Grand Champions has been wonderful. She
is there financially and she is on our committee for fundraising. She has great
ideas for the growth of polo."
Grand Champions sponsors several tournaments each year including Friday's event
which will feature twelve players on three teams.
The White Team is Enrique Barco, Wesley Bryan, Liam Lott and Lorenzo Merlotti.
The Red Team is Trevor Niznik, Matias Gonzalez, Chase Schwartz and Ayaan Quraeshi.
The Blue Team is Juancito Bollini, Anthony Devrient, Clemente Devrient and Grant
Ganzi, son of Marc and Melissa Ganzi.
Bryan, Merlotti, Gonzalez and Bollini have all competed in either 20- or 26-goal
polo this season replacing team padrons.
Scheraga has focused on promoting training programs offered by the PTF which celebrated
its 45th anniversary last year. The PTF has played an integral role in the growth
of polo at all levels of ability.
"What's happened in the last three or four years is our organizational structure
has gotten better about the tournaments," Scheraga said. "The fact there is lower
goal polo (4-6 goals) in Florida has also helped the development of these players.
"We have concentrated on improving the tournaments and now the upper level kids
have places to play," Scheraga said. "We are real excited about starting the youth
tournaments for 16 to 21 year olds. Before they had nowhere to play at all. The
top kids skill level is phenomenal.
"Next year we are going to start going back to the coaching leagues for our lead
line through lower level intermediate kids and have practice on Saturday mornings."
Scheraga praised Jennifer McLeavy, who runs the Wellington-based Junior Polo and
Youth programs and organizes the monthly PTF tournaments during the season.
The PTF Polo Party is also scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at The Mallet Grille.
The PTF will make its Florida Junior and Youth Program Awards presentations.
The PTF is introducing new yearly awards, highlighting Sportsmanship and Most Improved
Players of the season for both the Florida Junior Polo Program and Florida Youth
Player Program. The party will feature dinner, dancing and open bar. Tickets are