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Wed

Aug

12

CENTRAL CIRCUIT CONSTITUTION CUP - CHICAGO INVITATIONAL

Las Brisas Polo Club

6:00 PM ET

Oak Brook Polo

G-Squared

Wed

Aug

12

CENTRAL CIRCUIT CONSTITUTION CUP - CHICAGO INVITATIONAL

Las Brisas Polo Club

6:00 PM ET

Las Brisas

Passion For Polo (PFP)

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Aug

14

CENTRAL CIRCUIT CONSTITUTION CUP - CHICAGO INVITATIONAL

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Aug

14

PACIFIC COAST OPEN

Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

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2016 USPA BUTLER HANDICAP PLAYER BIOS

Jun 24, 2016 1:58 PM

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greenwich polo club

AIRSTREAM

Benjamin Avendano (A)

Benjamin Avendano (A)

18 year old American player, Benjamin Avendano began playing polo with his father Gonzalo Avendano and two brothers at their family farm “Patagones” in Wellington, Florida. He later moved to Argentina where he strengthened his skills competing in 12, 16, 20 and 22-goal tournaments, culminating in his 2014 Copa Diamante (22-goal) win with Patagones. During the 2015 high-goal season he played as a substitute for Lucchese in the Joe Barry Memorial 20-Goal at the International Polo Club. Similarly, this past season he substituted for 2016 U.S. Open Polo Championship® winning team Orchard Hill during their 20 and 26-goal tournaments. This is Benjamin’s first time competing at Greenwich Polo Club.


Guillermo Aguero (6)

Guillermo Aguero (6)

Argentine player, Guillermo Aguero is the son of former 7-goaler, Abel Agustin “Negro” Aguero. Guillermo began playing polo at age 14 at Mashomack Polo Club in Millbrook, New York. He quickly became a two-time winner of the USPA Chairman’s Cup in 1995 with Mill Pond and again in 1997 with Twin Ponds. From 2008 – 2011 he played for the internationally recognized Lechuza Caracas Polo team during the high-goal Florida winter seasons. He is the winner of the 2000 USPA Gold Cup® with Isla Carroll, and won the USPA Monty Waterbury in 2012 with Circa. Most recently in 2015, he won the Eastern Challenge with Casablanca, alongside current Airstream teammate Kris Kampsen at Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Florida.


matias magrini polo

Matias Magrini (8)

Argentine player Matias Magrini is the co-founder of the New Bridge Polo Club in Aiken, South Carolina established in 2000. A two-time U.S. Open Polo Championship® winner, he garnered titles in 2003 with C-Spear and in 2007 with Crab Orchard. He also received the Seymour H. Knox Award for Most Valuable Player in the U.S. Open in 2003. He has won numerous high-goal trophies including two consecutive USPA Gold Cup® titles with New Bridge in 2006 and Crab Orchard in 2007, as well as, the 2006 USPA Monty Waterbury with Peapacton. He is also a two-time USPA National Copper Cup winner, most recently winning the title with Crestview, alongside son Santino Magrini (White Birch) at Aiken Polo Club in the fall of 2015.


Kris Kampsen (6)

Kris Kampsen (6)

American player and Florida-native, Kris Kampsen began riding when he was very young and turned professional at the age of 15. His handicap increased steadily over the following four years and at 19, he carried an impressive 5-goal handicap. Kris attributes his passion of the game to mentors such as Airstream teammate, Matias Magrini and the Gracidas (legendary former 10-goalers Carlos and Memo).

His notable victories include the 1999 USPA East Coast Open with Templeton, 2003 USPA Pacific Coast Open with Duende and three consecutive U.S. Open Arena Polo Championships on Cedar Croft Farms (2013-2015), among others. Standing at 6’5” and known for his extremely fast playing style, Kris is a stand-out on the polo field.


NORTHWOOD

Louis Bacon (A)

Louis Bacon (A)

Louis Bacon began playing polo in 2000. He played primarily in England until 2009 and has since been playing in the U.S. at the Southampton Polo Club. This is his first time playing at the 20-goal tournament level.


Gonzalo Garcia del Rio (5)

Gonzalo Garcia del Rio (5)

Gonzalo Garcia del Rio first started playing polo at the age of 7 on his family's farm in Lobos, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a third generation polo player; both his grandfather and father play polo, as well as his two brothers, Marcos and current Northwood teammate, Tomas. Together, the three brothers won many kids tournaments during their youth. Gonzalo began competing with adults at the age of 15 in Argentina. His father, former 6-goaler Felipe Garcia del Rio, began playing in the United States in 1985. Following in his father’s path, in 2006 at 21 years old, Gonzalo turned pro in the U.S. He would go on to win the USPA Gold Cup® with New Bridge, alongside teammates Matias Magrini (Airstream) and well-known 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso. That same year, he also won the 2006 Mercedes Benz Challenge on Black Watch at Bridgehampton Polo Club in New York, New York, with teammates Nacho Figueras and Facundo Pieres. He spent a few years playing in Europe, primarily in the U.K. and France. He is now back enjoying the American season which he says, “is always very competitive and a lot of fun to be a part of.”


Tomas Garcia del Rio (8)

Tomas Garcia del Rio (8)

Tomas Garcia del Rio is the eldest of three Argentine brothers, all professional polo players. He first began playing polo at a young age on his family's farm in Lobos, Buenos Aires, Argentina and he started playing in the U.S. when he was 13 years old. He began competing alongside his father Felipe Garcia del Rio, a 6-goal professional polo player who was primarily at the Southampton Polo Club in Water Mill, New York. Some of the most notable teams he has played with throughout the years are Lechuza 2006-2009 (for the 22- and 26-goal winter season in Florida), Great Oaks from 2009-2010 (20-goal season at Bridgehampton Polo Club in Bridgehampton, New York), Alegria 2012 (26-goal winter season in Florida) and Valiente 2016 (26-goal winter season in Florida). He won the Hampton Cup and Mercedes Benz Challenge at Bridgehampton Polo Club in 2009 with Great Oaks and the Les Armour Cup in 2012 with Alegria. He played the 2015 USPA East Coast Open last year with Turkish Airlines. Most recently he played for Goose Creek, with youngest brother, Marcos Garcia del Rio in the USPA Monty Waterbury, in the finals he was awarded Most Valuable Player. For the USPA Butler Handicap, he is joined on Northwood by his brother, Gonzalo Garcia del Rio.


Mariano Gonzalez (7)

Mariano Gonzalez (7)

Argentine player, Mariano Gonzalez, is the son of seven-time Argentine Open winner and former 10-goaler, Daniel Gonzalez. He began riding on his grandfather’s ranch in Cordoba, Argentina and started playing polo at age 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He went professional at the age of 17, when an opportunity arose to play in Madrid, Spain. He reached a career high in 1997 with an 8-goal handicap in the US., which he held for thirteen years. He currently holds a 7-goal handicap. He has played extensively throughout North America, South America and Europe, as well as Australia and Malaysia. He is a three-time Pacific Coast Open (20-goal) winner in 1995 with Midhurst, and 1997 and 2002 with Windsor Capital at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California. He is a two-time USPA Silver Cup (20-goal) winner in 2001, again with Windsor Capital and 2006 with BTA. He is also a two-time USPA Monty Waterbury winner in 2007 with BTA and 2013 with Equuleus. Among many other notable victories, in 2006, he played and narrowly lost in the finals of the USPA Gold Cup® against current teammate, Gonzalo Garcia del Rio.


POSTAGE STAMP FARM

Annabelle Gundlach (A)

Annabelle Gundlach (A)

Annabelle Gundlach is a former show jumper and has been playing polo for a year and a half. Originally from New York City, New York, she now resides in Wellington, Florida. Only a year after discovering polo, in the Fall of 2015, she won the Tackeria Invitational and the USPA Fall Classic (12-16 goal) at Grand Champions Polo Club. Her start in polo began when she won a 5-day polo lesson package at a charity auction, for her and three friends, with professional players Nic Roldan, Kris Kampsen (Airstream) and current teammate, Brandon Phillips. She was instantly hooked and ultimately gave up show jumping, in order to pursue polo. This is her first season competing at Greenwich Polo Club, and she plans to field another high-goal team during the 2016-2017 winter season at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida.


Nick Manifold (5)

Nick Manifold (5)

Nick Manifold started playing polo when he was 19 in his native Australia. A former cricket and soccer player, Nick quickly grew to love the sport. Mentored by former White Birch polo great, Hector Barrantes, Nick honed his skills by training for three years in Argentina. Nick has been playing polo at Greenwich Polo Club since 1992 and also oversees management of the White Birch Polo Team. Nick won the USPA East Coast Open with Cold Comfort in 1994. In 1995 he won the World Cup with White Birch in Palm Beach, Florida, alongside teammates, Mariano Aguerre, Adolfo Cambiaso and Peter Brant. In addition to playing polo, Nick along with USPA Butler Handicap competitors Naco Taverna (Tupungato) and Mariano Aguerre (White Birch) breed prize-winning polo ponies at the Los Machitos Farm in Argentina.


Brandon Phillips (5)

Brandon Phillips (5)

Canadian player, Brandon Phillips grew up in King City, Ontario outside Toronto. With a family of amateur polo players and Olympic equestrians, he began riding at a young age. His professional career began when he debuted with White Birch and won the USPA C.V. Whitney 22-goal tournament in 1995, at the age of 17. Later that year he continued to compete with White Birch in the USPA Gold Cup® and the prestigious U.S. Open Polo Championship®. After leaving White Birch, for four years, he worked for and was mentored by polo great, Memo Gracida. In 2014, he represented Canada in the 14-Goal World Championship in Mexico City. Based out of Wellington, Florida, he has played with many top polo organizations including Isla Carroll, Audi, Crab Orchard and 2016 Monty Waterbury finalist, Goose Creek. He holds one Monty Waterbury title with Gallito in 2004. Most recently, he won the Fall Classic at Grand Champions Polo Club and was awarded MVP with current team, Postage Stamp Farm. A stage IV non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor he is also an ambassador for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


Joao Paulo Ganon (7)

Joao Paulo Ganon (7)

Joao Paulo Ganon was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is one of the few Brazilian high-goalers to recently appear on the U.S. polo scene. Joao Paulo was a member of the 2001 14-goal World Championship Brazilian team. In 2014, Joao Paolo made his grand debut at Greenwich Polo Club. He garnered high praise, showcasing his fantastic sportsmanship and exemplary ball control. In 2015, during the high-goal winter season in Florida he played with CT Energia for the three 20-goal tournaments held at the International Polo Club; the USPA Joe Barry Memorial, the USPA Iglehart Cup and the USPA Ylvisaker Cup. Last year he also played in the USPA East Coast Open held at Greenwich Polo Club on McLaren Greenwich, with current teammate Nick Manifold.


TUPUNGATO

Luis Rinaldini (A)

Luis Rinaldini (A)

Juan Martin Zubia (5)

Juan Martin Zubia (5)

Naco Taverna (6)

Naco Taverna (6)

Naco Taverna is a professional polo player and instructor from Argentina. He began his career as a 1-goal player at Los Machitos Polo Ranch in Argentina and has advanced through the years to become a 6-goal player. He has played for numerous high-goal organizations including team Black Watch in 2012 for the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship®, Alegria for the 2012 20-goal Florida high-goal season and Heathcote for the 2013 USPA Monty Waterbury and 2013 USPA East Coast Open. In 2014 he nearly won the USPA East Coast Open with team Palm Beach Polo, alongside current Tupungato teammate Tommy Biddle and was awarded Most Valuable Player. Naco is a fan favorite at the Greenwich Polo Club, having played since 2000, this is his sixteenth season at the club.


Tommy Biddle (5)

Tommy Biddle (5)

American player, Tommy Biddle was born into a polo family and grew up in Aiken, South Carolina. He played his first polo game at the age of 12, and went on to become a professional polo player when he turned 18. He has many career highlights including: a 2002 U.S. Open Polo Championship® title with Coca-Cola, four USPA Monty Waterbury titles and 2012 U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship title. At the height of his career, he attained an 8-goal outdoor handicap and is currently rated at 5-goals outdoors. He also maintains the only 10-goal arena handicap in the United States. In 2014, he won the Bryan Morrison Trophy against England (an arena tournament), with teammates Patrick Uretz and Will Tankard. This was the first time that England had been defeated since the event’s inception.


WHITE BIRCH

Peter Brant (1)

Peter Brant (1)

Peter Brant’s involvement in polo dates back to the 1970s, when he met polo legend Thomas B. “Tommy” Glynn at the Fairfield Hunt Club. Under Mr. Glynn’s tutelage, Brant quickly grew to love the game. In 1979, the White Birch polo team was established and soon earned a reputation as a formidable opponent. Soon after, he founded the Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut, host to the USPA East Coast Open.

Brant captured the U.S. Open Polo Championship® title in 2005 with his team White Birch. His own performance on the team led to his ranking as one of the top amateur polo players in the world. Between 1979 and 1989, he rose to a 7-goal handicap—at the time, the highest rated amateur polo player. Among Brant’s litany of prestigious polo accomplishments are two USPA C.V Whitney titles in 1995 and 1996, seven USPA Gold Cup® titles and four USPA Monty Waterbury titles. In 2014 alone, Brant along with his team White Birch won all three USPA tournaments at Greenwich Polo Club; the Monty Waterbury, the Butler Handicap and the East Coast Open.


Hilario Ulloa (9)

Hilario Ulloa (9)

Hilario Ulloa, an extremely fast and talented player has quickly made his mark on the sport. Recently raised to 10-goals in the U.S. (effective January 1, 2017) and currently rated at 9-goals, Ulloa is a two-time U.S. Open Polo Championship® winner. He garnered his U.S. Open titles in 2010 with Crab Orchard and 2014 with Alegria. In his 2014 win he scored a masterful goal in a tie-breaking sudden death chukker. During his relatively short career in the U.S., Ulloa has accumulated a series of victories including two wins in the USPA Gold Cup® in 2010 & 2013, and one USPA C.V. Whitney win in 2010. At Greenwich Polo Club with team White Birch he boasts three Monty Waterbury wins (2014-2016) and one East Coast Open Win in 2014.


Mariano Aguerre (9)

Mariano Aguerre (9)

Arguably one of the best polo players the sport has ever seen, former 10-goaler, Mariano Aguerre has racked up a list of impressive victories throughout his career. Aguerre’s international career as a professional polo player started when he won the USPA Gold Cup® with White Birch in 1987. Since then, he has gone on to win almost every high-goal polo trophy, including the Argentine Open (nine times), the USPA C.V. Whitney Cup (five times), USPA Gold Cup® (nine times) and the U.S. Open Polo Championship® (two times). In April 2014, Mariano won the U.S. Open with team Alegria, alongside current White Birch teammate Hilario Ulloa. In addition to playing polo, Aguerre breeds polo ponies. Mariano founded “Los Machitos” with professional players, Nick Manifold (Postage Stamp Farm) and Naco Taverna (Tupungato). Los Machitos, based in Argentina, is a breeding and training facility for high-goal polo horses.


Santino Magrini (1)

Santino Magrini (1)

American player, Santino Magrini, born in Florida, is the son of Argentine 8-goaler Matias Magrini. At 15-years-old Santino has reached a 1-goal handicap. Last year with team White Birch he won both the USPA Butler Handicap and the USPA Monty Waterbury and nearly won the USPA East Coast Open, in a close match-up against Audi. In 2015 he also won the USPA National Copper Cup with Crestview Genetics at Aiken Polo Club. Most recently, he won the 2016 USPA Monty Waterbury on White Birch with current teammates.


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