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CARBONDALE, Colo., August 19, 2019---Los Amigos Blue won its second tournament of the summer polo season Sunday at McClure River Ranch.

Los Amigos Blue (Alejandra Foster, Alfredo Bigatti, Pablo Spinacci, Juancito Bollini) defeated Los Amigos Red (Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Tincho Merlos, Paul Foster), 26-24.

The teams tied 12-12 on Saturday with the score continuing over to Sunday's final. Los Amigos Blue defeated Los Amigos Red, 14-12, in the final six chukkers.

Los Amigos Blue (Alejandra Foster, Alejandro Poma, Salvador Ulloa, Juan Bollini) also won the Emma Challenge earlier this season.

Juancito Bollini, 23, U.S. Polo Assn. Brand Ambassador, was selected Most Valuable Player. Bollini scored a game-high six goals and played well above his 4-goal handicap.

Pickens, a 7-year-old mare played by Astrada and owned by Wellington, Fla.-based Santa Rita Polo Farm, was Best Playing Pony.

In an interesting format, Los Amigos Blue and Los Amigos Red played back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday. On opening day, Los Amigos Blue jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the opening chukker.

Los Amigos Red, led by Paul Foster's eight goals, chipped away at Los Amigos Blue's lead through the next four chukkers. Foster's goal at 2:17 tied the game, 9-9, for the first time. The lead changed hands four times before the game ended with a 12-12 tie on Spinacci's goal in the closing minute.

On Sunday, Los Amigos Blue jumped out to an early lead again, 5-2, in the first chukker but it didn't take long for Los Amigos Red to catch up. Los Amigos Red outscored Los Amigos Blue, 6-3, in the second and third chukkers for an 8-8 halftime.

The lead changed hands four times before Los Amigos Blue took control and regained the lead, 11-10, at the end of the fifth chukker on Alejandra Foster's goal. Goals by Alejandra Foster, Bollini and Bigatti gave Los Amigos Blue a 14-11 lead with 1:37 left.

"We were able to play better," Bollini said. "Every game is new no matter the circumstance. I just think we were able to get our groove with the team and we just clicked today. It was one of those days where everything clicked. I was just in the right place at the right time."

The level of play and caliber of players is the highest it has ever been in the club's history. The quality of play has helped players improve.

"Playing more competitive games and higher rated players improves everybody's games," Bollini said. "It is a sure way to improve. What Marc and Melissa (Ganzi) are doing at Aspen Valley Polo Club is absolutely incredible. We are creating our own history at Aspen Valley Polo Club."

Bollini ended up playing 12 chukkers on Sunday. He also filled in for Spinacci in the Just For The Love Of It Cup in the third and final game of the day.

"I am exhausted," Bollini said. "I took a shower, ate something and had a great nap."

In addition to Bollini's six goals, Alejandra Foster had three goals and Bigatti and Spinacci each had one goal. For Los Amigos Red, Merlos and Paul Foster each had four goals. Astrada had three goals and Juan Bollini added one.

The 12th and 13th tournaments of the summer polo season wrapped up an exciting marathon day of polo, 18 chukkers over five hours that featured the Rocky Mountain Open, Rocky Mountain Handicap and Just For The Love Of It Cup subsidiary.

The Rocky Mountain Open and Handicap tournaments are 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 and Salvador 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.

Los Amigos Blue joins 2019 summer tournament champions: Mountain Chevrolet (Michael Payne, Grant Ganzi, Hilario Ulloa, Salvador Ulloa), Rocky Mountain Open; La Karina (Brian Boyd, Lauren Sherry, Carlitos Gracida, Sebastian Merlos), Mount Sopris Cup; Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Juan Martin Obregon, Sapo Caset, Mason Wroe), 119th USPA Silver 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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