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CARBONDALE, Colo., August 15, 2019---Two tournaments highlight this weekend's schedule as summer polo winds down at Aspen Valley Polo Club.

The Rocky Mountain Open and Rocky Mountain Handicap tournaments will be held at Sopris Mountain Ranch and McClure River Ranch.

The 12th and 13th tournaments of the summer polo season, begin Friday and Saturday. The Rocky Mountain Open starts Friday with two semifinal games at Sopris Mountain Ranch. The Rocky Mountain Handicap begins Saturday at McClure River Ranch with one game.

The Rocky Mountain Open team rosters are:

Audi: Marc Ganzi, Jared Zenni, Lucas Lalor, Nic Roldan.

La Karina: Brian Boyd, Carlitos Gracida, Sebastian Merlos, Kris Kampsen.

McClure River Ranch: Stewart Armstrong, Gussie Busch, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Pablo Spinacci.

Mountain Chevrolet: Michael Payne, Grant Ganzi, Salvador Ulloa, Hilario Ulloa.

The Rocky Mountain Open tournament begins Friday with two semifinal games at Sopris Mountain Ranch. At 10:30 a.m., Mountain Chevrolet plays McClure River Ranch and at 11:45 a.m. Audi plays La Karina. The winner advances into Sunday's final at McClure River Ranch Field 1 at 10 a.m. The losers will play the Just For The Love Of It Cup at 12:30 p.m.

The Rocky Mountain Handicap rosters are:

Los Amigos Red: Paul Foster, Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Tincho Merlos.

Los Amigos Blue: Alejandra Foster, Pablo Spinacci, Juancito Bollini, Alfredo Bigatti.

The Rocky Mountain Handicap opens Saturday at 11 a.m. at McClure River Ranch Field 2 with Los Amigos Red and Los Amigos Blue. The score will continue into Sunday's final at 11:15 a.m. at McClure River Ranch Field 1.

Defending champion La Karina is going after its third tournament win of the season. La Karina won the USPA North American Cup and Mount Sopris Cup.

In last year's Rocky Mountain Open final, La Karina (Brian Boyd, Marc Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Stewart Armstrong) won its third tournament of the 2018 summer season, with an 8-5 victory over Aspen Valley Polo Club (Melissa Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Eloy Vallina/David Vallina, Juan Bollini). Roldan was named Most Valuable Player.

The Rocky Mountain Open is named after the major mountain range in western North America that stretches more than 3,000 miles from British Columbia south to the Rio Grande in New Mexico. The eastern edge of the Rockies rise dramatically in the Interior Plains of central North America including Colorado’s highest peak Mount Elbert with the highest peak of 14,440 feet above sea level.

Coming off its most successful summer season, Aspen Valley Polo Club lined up a star-studded field of players including Hilario Ulloa, Sapo Caset, Alejandro and Nacho Novillo Astrada, Tincho and Sebastian Merlos and Nic Roldan for the summer to compete with and against patrons and amateur players. It has been the most competitive and highest level of polo in club history.

The 2019 summer tournament champions are: Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Juan Martin Obregon, Sapo Caset, Mason Wroe), 119th USPA Silver Cup; La Karina (Brian Boyd, Lauren Sherry, Carlitos Gracida, Sebastian Merlos), Mount Sopris Cup; Los Amigos Red (Alejandra Foster, Gabriel Gracida, Juan Bollini, Paul Foster), High Alpine Cup; Los Amigos Blue (Alejandra Foster, Alejandro Poma, Salvador Ulloa, Juan Bollini), Emma Challenge; Piocho Ranch (Gussie Busch, Nacho Figueras, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Tom Barrack), Basalt Handicap; La Karina (Brian Boyd, Carlitos Gracida, Sebastian Merlos, Kris Kampsen), USPA North American Cup; Mountain Chevrolet (Michael Payne, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Nacho Novillo Astrada), ChukkerTV Challenge; Los Amigos Red (Hilario Figueras, Paul Foster, Lucas Lalor, Nacho Novillo Astrada), Craig Sakin Memorial; and Piocho Ranch (Tom Barrack, Gabriel Gracida, Nacho Figueras, Salvador Ulloa), the season-opening Independence Cup winners.

With the majestic 12,965-foot summit of Mount Sopris as a backdrop, Aspen Valley Polo Club is one of the busiest and fastest growing USPA-sanctioned clubs in the nation with a membership increase of 75 percent over five seasons.

Since Marc and Melissa Ganzi founded the club in 2014, polo has increased in popularity in Aspen and surrounding cities with the club’s offerings of various weekly grass and arena tournaments, Tuesday Arena & Asado Nights, Kidz Polo, The Polo School headed by former 8-goaler Juan Bollini, and Polo On Demand. In addition, the club offers practice sessions for teams competing in the club tournaments.

Aspen Valley Polo Club has had a positive impact in the area hosting kids polo camps, teaching lessons and several charitable events at the club that have benefitted local charities including the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation.

Aspen Peak Magazine has featured the club and its polo and charity events several times and recently featured players Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Tony Calle and Nic Roldan in a cover story.

The Ganzis are avid players and patrons and "have created a polo paradise" according to Piocho Ranch padron Tom Barrack. "You can go all over the world but you can't have these kind of people, players and horses in this setting. It's really a gift." Players, sponsors, community leaders and fans share Barrack's sentiments.

All ages are welcome to enjoy polo at Aspen Valley Polo Club. Admission, food and refreshments are free for fans in a relaxed, laidback atmosphere. An added feature is the club's Jumbotron which made its debut last summer for the fans' enjoyment, Aspen Valley Polo Club Boutique and new electronic scoreboard.

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