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CARBONDALE, Colo., August 31, 2019---La Karina will be looking for its third tournament win of the season and Audi its first in the inaugural Labor Day Challenge Sunday at 10 a.m. at McClure River Ranch.

La Karina and Audi won hardfought semifinals Friday at Sopris Mountain Ranch and McClure River Ranch.

In the opening semifinal round Friday at Sopris Mountain Ranch, La Karina (Santos Merlos, Carlitos Gracida, Lucas Lalor, Sebastian Merlos) dominated its opening game against McClure River Ranch (Pablo Spinacci, Jared Zenni, Juancito Bollini, Stewart Armstrong) for a 7-2 victory.

Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Alejandra Foster, Hilario Ulloa, Alejandro Novillo Astrada) defeated McClure River Ranch, 3-0.

In the final three chukkers, La Karina defeated Flexjet 6-4, to advance into the championship.

In the second semifinal at McClure River Ranch, Audi (Lauren Sherry, Grant Ganzi, Salvador Ulloa, Nic Roldan) defeated Los Amigos Red (Nacho Novillo Astrada, Gussie Busch, Tincho Merlos, Paul Foster), 7-2, and Mountain Chevrolet (Michael Payne, Kris Kampsen, Alfredo Bigatti, Juan Bollini), 4-3.

The Labor Day Challenge highlights a tripleheader. In the Just For The Love Of It Cup at 11:30 p.m. Los Amigos Red plays Flexjet and in the Just For The Thrill Of It Cup at 1 p.m. Mountain Chevrolet plays McClure River Ranch.

Flexjet was leading, 4-3 going into the third and final chukker. La Karina bounced back outscoring Flexjet, 3-1, with two goals from Lalor and one from Gracida.

Gracida finished with five goals. Lalor had four goals. Sebatian and Santos Merlos each had two goals.

In another close final three chukkers, the lead changed hands four times between Audi and Mountain Chevrolet before Audi scored the game-winner in the final two minutes.

Roldan led Audi with six goals for the day. In other games, Kampsen had four goals for Mountain Chevrolet; Tincho Merlos had three goals for Los Amigos Red; and Melissa Ganzi led Flexjet with three goals.

On Labor Day, the Battle of the Sexes Plus One will pit the women against the men with a twist at McClure River Ranch at 11 a.m. McClure River Ranch Pink (Melissa Ganzi, Alejandra Foster, Lauren Sherry, Juan Bollini) will play McClure River Ranch Cream (Paul Foster, Brian Boyd, Grant Ganzi, Stewart Armstrong).

Aspen Valley Polo Club fans and players will help celebrate Labor Day, a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women, that have helped provide the social, political and economic backbone of this country. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894.

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.

The 2019 summer tournament champions are: Los Amigos Red (Paul Foster, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Juancito Bollini, Juan Bollini), Carbondale Classic; Los Amigos Blue (Alejandra Foster, Alfredo Bigatti, Pablo Spinacci, Juancito Bollini), Rocky Mountain Handicap; 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), 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 (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.

Since the Ganzis 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.

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.

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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