CARBONDALE, Colo., July 21, 2016---Tincho Merlos and Nic Roldan, fresh off playing in England, will make their summer debut in this weekend’s Basalt Handicap Cup at Aspen Valley Polo Club.
After three successful tournaments, the fourth week of the summer polo season gets under way Friday with a season-high five teams.
Competition begins Friday to determine Sunday’s finalists. In the opening game at 11 a.m. (MST), two-time summer tournament winner Travieso, featuring Argentine 9-goaler Tincho Merlos, will play La Karina at Sopris Mountain Ranch Field.
In the second game at 3 p.m. (MST), a round robin with Tonkawa, Flexjet and Los Amigos will be held at High Mesa Ranch Field. Roldan, America’s top player rated at eight goals, will make his summer debut with Tonkawa.
Merlos and Roldan were teammates on La Indiana that made it to the finals of the Cartier Queens Cup and Gold Cup before losing.
The Basalt Handicap is named after the town that began as a railroad town and was named for the basaltic rock formation on Basalt Mountain.
Last year La Karina (Peter Holowesko, Brian Boyd, Nic Roldan, Carlitos Gracida) captured the Basalt Handicap Cup with victories over FlexJet (Melissa Ganzi/Riley Ganzi, Chris Dawson, Mariano Gracida, Juan Bollini), 2-1, and Aspen Valley Polo (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Lucas Lalor, Stewart Armstrong), 4-3 in a round robin format. Boyd was named MVP.
With the breathtaking 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, the fourth of nine summer tournaments is expected to be the most competitive.
The teams’ player lineups are:
Flexjet (13): Ale Poma, Marc Ganzi, Sebastian Merlos, Alex Gooding.
La Karina (13): Brian Boyd, Tony Calle, Julio Novillo Astrada, Stewart Armstrong.
Los Amigos (12): Paul/Alejandra Foster, Gabriel Gracida, Lucas Lalor, Carlitos Gracida.
Tonkawa (11): Melissa Ganzi, Jeff Hildebrand, Nic Roldan, Jimmy Seward.
Travieso (13): Teo Calle, Grant Ganzi, Tincho Merlos, Juancito Bollini.
Travieso is coming off title wins in the ChukkerTV Challenge Cup and Craig Sakin Memorial. Travieso is one of the most successful polo teams in its’ short history at Grand Champions in Wellington, Fla. and Aspen Valley Polo Clubs.
Travieso has won the Craig Sakin Memorial (Teo Calle, Tony Calle, Lucas Lalor, Carlitos Gracida) and ChukkerTV Challenge Cup (Alex Gooding, Teo Calle, Sebastian Merlos, Brian Boyd). Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi/Secundo Merlos, Sebastian Merlos, Carlitos Gracida) won the season-opener Independence Cup arena polo final.
Aspen has become the “Hamptons of the West,” with a rich history in polo for nearly forty years. A town, mountain and ski resort all rolled into one in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is fast becoming a polo destination and one of summer’s hottest tickets.
Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the nation’s fastest growing USPA-sanctioned clubs with an increase of 75 percent since last season.
Polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding cities with the club’s offerings of various weekly tournaments, Gladiator Arena Polo, Kids Polo and Polo School at the club owned by Marc and Melissa Ganzi since 2014, in addition to practice sessions for teams competing in the weekend tournaments.
Both Marc and Melissa Ganzi are avid players and patrons and “have put new life into polo” in the area according to local player Alex Gooding.
ChukkerTV, leaders in polo broadcasting, is live streaming the entire 2016 schedule including the prestigious Louis Vuitton Cup and Rocky Mountain Cup.
ChukkerTV, featuring cutting-edge technology, was the first to introduce state-of-the-art live streaming technology in January, 2014 at Grand Champions Polo Club, Aspen Valley’s sister club.
ASPEN VALLEY 2016 SUMMER SCHEDULE
Basalt Handicap Cup, Friday, 11 a.m. (MST), La Karina vs. Travieso, Sopris Mountain Ranch; 3 p.m. (MST), Tonkawa vs. Flexjet vs. Los Amigos, High Mesa Ranch; Saturday, 11 a.m., Kidz Polo, Sopris Mountain Ranch; Sunday, 11 a.m. Final, Kids Foot Mallet Exhibition, 1 p.m. Subsidiary Final.
July 27-31, Emma Challenge
Aug. 3-7, Louis Vuitton Cup
Aug. 10, ChukkerTV Arena Challenge
Aug. 12-14, Mount Sopris Cup
Aug. 10-21, Rocky Mountain Open
CLUB ADDRESS: 3275 County Road 100, Carbondale, Colo. 81623
POLO HOTLINE: 970-710-1663
ASPEN VALLEY POLO CLUB
The exclusive Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the nation’s fastest-growing clubs. It offers polo in the summer for players and spectators. The Polo School is available to adults and juniors. It offers individual and group lessons for all levels and ages. For spectators there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Aspen Valley Polo Club Boutique. Everyone is welcome to watch polo in a relaxed atmosphere with complimentary food and refreshments. Admission and parking are free. For Polo On Demand price rates of group and private lessons, arena chukkers, grass chukkers and individualized “Polo Experience” packages email email@example.com or log onto www.aspenvalleypoloclub.com.