NORTH AMERICAN CUP®
Established in 1974, the North American Cup has been a staple in American and Canadian polo for several decades played at the 16- to 20-goal level. The first winners of the tournament Tulsa boasted Hall of Famers John T. Oxley and Dr. William “Billy” Linfoot along with Corky Linfoot and Jason “Jim” MacGinley. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Calgary Polo Club in Okotoks, Alberta was host to the tournament with Millarville dominating the competition from 2000 to 2007.
Residing at Grand Champions Polo Club (GCPC), in Wellington, Florida, since 2011, the North American Cup relocated in 2019 to sister club Aspen Valley Polo Club (Aspen, Colorado) and returned to GCPC in 2020, with Casablanca earning back-to-back victories in 2020 and 2021. Since 2011, Nic Roldan currently leads the competition with seven titles (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2020, 2022), followed by Grant Ganzi earning five North American Cup victories (2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021).
In 2022, Santa Rita (Melissa Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini) went head-to-head against two-time defending North American Cup champions Casablanca (Tomacho Pieres, Jason Crowder, Grant Ganzi, Juan Sanchez Elia). Leading from start to finish, Santa Rita's synergy and five-goal performance from Roldan ultimately led them to the 12-9 triumph. Read article here.
This year's edition of the North American Cup will field four talented teams featuring numerous GCPC staples. 2022 champions Melissa Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Juan Bollini Sr. return to defend their title under the new moniker Maltese Falcons. Setting their sights on a third (2020, 2021) North American Cup title, last year's finalists Casablanca will add Martin Jauregui and 2017 victor Stuart "Sugar" Erskine to their roster. Audi will seek a return to the podium for the first time since 2017 led by four-time champion (2009, 2014, 2019, 2021) Kris Kampsen, with 2020 titleholder Juan "Juancito" Bollini Jr. joining Grand Champions to round-out the prestigious competition. Representing Team USPA is alumnus Grant Ganzi (Casablanca).
Photo: 2022 North American Cup Champions: Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Melissa Ganzi, Nic Roldan. ©David Lominska