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EXCITEMENT AHEAD OF INAUGURAL SEASON OF WELLINGTON POLO TOUR- AN ARTICLE BY CLICKPOLO

Jan 17, 2022 9:34 PM

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Tim Gannon (center) in 2000 when Outback won the United States Open Polo Championship® with Phil Heatley, Lolo Castagnola, Sunny Hale and Adolfo Cambiaso.
Tim Gannon (center) in 2000 when Outback won the United States Open Polo Championship® with Phil Heatley, Lolo Castagnola, Sunny Hale and Adolfo Cambiaso.

Tim Gannon is a man with a long history in polo, playing in hundreds of tournaments throughout his career. After a few years away from the sport, Gannon returns in a new role as chairman of the Wellington Polo Tour, which is set to be the new Outback League.

How do you feel about this new challenge?

"We’re very happy with the organization's first year launch. There are so many teams! We didn't expect this many teams in the first year so we are happy to run the league with 12 teams."

Why do you think so many teams signed up?

"I think primarily because of the reputation of the Outback League tournaments and the way we ran the 16-goal 10 years ago."

Dundas' Sarah Siegel-Magness joins Maureen Brennan as the two women competing in the Wellington Polo Tour. ©David Lominska
Dundas' Sarah Siegel-Magness joins Maureen Brennan as the two women competing in the Wellington Polo Tour. ©David Lominska

How will the Wellington Polo Tour be similar to those historic tournaments?

"They were run on two concepts: fairness, including the umpires who made sure the tournaments were run fairly with the handicap system and the substitution rules in play. Secondly, it was a competition with evenly matched teams and great polo fields. We can make a huge difference here."

What impact do you believe the Wellington Polo Tour can make?

"The polo fields we have in this tournament are far better than what we had for the Outback League and the way the fields are maintained. We are going to have a lot of fun.

"Also we are going to celebrate polo the way it was done years ago so that people who play polo also enjoy the social aspect of hanging out together, hearing good stories and the overall friendship of what polo is meant to be. It is a game played amongst friends, and since we are thinking about the future, our goal is to run this Wellington Polo Tour for years to come."

Patagones Team Owner Gonzalo Avendaño will see his team compete in both the 16-goal and 18-goal in Wellington. ©David Lominska
Patagones Team Owner Gonzalo Avendaño will see his team compete in both the 16-goal and 18-goal in Wellington. ©David Lominska

What are the Wellington Polo Tour's plans for the future?

"We hope that the Wellington Polo Tour's goal becomes the central mantra of the region, and we hope that we can expand the principles of this concept of fairness, great competition and fun throughout all of polo.

With a field of 12 competitive teams, excitement is growing for the inaugural season. 'I am super excited to play this extremely competitive 16 goal and I am excited for the new Wellington Polo Tour in Florida, with so much competition,' Dundas’ Sarah Siegel-Magness expressed. Team owner of Palm Beach Equine, Scott Swerdlin, echoed those thoughts. “We have a large number of teams who want to participate and they are a great group of team owners and professionals,” Swerdlin commented. “The emphasis is going to be on having fun and enjoying the competition and the camaraderie. With Tim Gannon at the helm our season will be spectacular. Not only will we have very competitive polo, but the social aspect of this group will remain unmatched. I am looking forward to returning to the days where we played competitive polo and then we all went to dinner or participated in a fantastic party.”

Team owner Scott Swerdlin will lead his Palm Beach Equine team into the Wellington Polo Tour. ©David Lominska
Team owner Scott Swerdlin will lead his Palm Beach Equine team in the Wellington Polo Tour. ©David Lominska

The demand for 16-goal polo is evident with the amount of teams supporting the inaugural season.

"The Wellington Polo Tour 16-goal is exactly what was needed here in Wellington,” stated Iconica Team Owner Maureen Brennan. “It is reminiscent of the 14-goal Outback League, which was so competitive and popular, and a great platform before getting to the high goal. The fact that there are 12 teams in January demonstrates how this level of polo is in high demand. USPA tournaments played by USPA rules and officiated by USPA umpires gives the league structure and the teams confidence knowing what they can expect.”

Iconica's Maureen Brennan competing in the high-goal in Wellington, Florida. ©David Lominska
Iconica's Maureen Brennan competing in the high-goal in Wellington, Florida. ©David Lominska

"In my seventeen years of being a club owner in Wellington and participating in all levels of polo, I have never seen a season so busy, with so many teams at all levels and everybody more united towards the same direction: the greatness of American Polo with Wellington at the center!" Patagones’ Gonzalo Avendaño exclaimed.

WELLINGTON POLO TOUR ROSTERS

  1. Patagones (16) Benjamin Avendano (2), Joaquin Avendano (3), Jesse Bray* (6), Santiago Wulff (5)
  2. Iconica (16) Maureen Brennan (0), Manuel Elizalde (7), Peke Gonzalez* (7), Juan Semper (2)
  3. SD Farms (16) Sayyu Dantata Jr. (1), Carlos Gracida Jr. (4), Tommy Collingwood (5), Agustin Obregon (6)
  4. Santa Clara (16) Francisco Escobar (0), Pipe Vercellino (5), Geronimo Obregon* (5), Luis Escobar (4)
  5. Palm Beach Equine (16) Scott Swerdlin (0), Kristos "Keko" Magrini* (3), Gringo Colombres (8), Dylan Rossiter (5)
  6. Slava Polo (16) Igor Segreyev (0), Juan Monteverde (5), Michel Dorignac (6), Marcos Alberdi (5)
  7. Tonkawa (16) Jeff Hildebrand (0), Matt Coppola* (5), Gallego Martinez Ferrario (6), Nacho Badiola (5)
  8. Dundas (16) Sara Sigel-Magness (0), Mariano Fasseta (4), Jejo Taranco (8), Segundo Saravi (4)
  9. Loudmouth (16) Andrew Seibert (0), Kris Kampsen (6), Lerin Zubiaurre (7), Nick Manifold (3)
  10. Hawaii Polo Life (16) Chris Dawson (1), Jake Klentner (1), Diego Cavannagh (9), Tatu Gomez Romero (5)
  11. G-Squared (16) Larry Aschebrook (0), Juan Martin Obregon (5), Mariano "Nino" Obregon Jr. (7), Matias Obregon (4)

WELLINGTON POLO TOUR SCHEDULE

January 19 - February 12: Outback Invitational

February 15 - March 12: Continental Cup

March 14 - April 9: State of Florida Cup

For more information and latest updates, please visit the Wellington Polo Tour website.

*Peke Gonzalez and Kristos ‘Keko’ Magrini are Active Team USPA Members. Jesse Bray, Geronimo Obregon and Matt Coppola are Graduating Team USPA Members. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.

USPA

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