Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2018 – Eight of the world’s most accomplished players came together for the Lucchese 40-Goal Polo Challenge at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida on Saturday, Feb. 17. Airstream defeated Pilot Catastrophe Services 14-7. The exhibition game is the marquee fundraising event to benefit the Polo Players Support Group (PPSG), a non-profit organization to financially help injured and ill members of the polo community. This year’s event raised over $320,000!
The game got off to a fast start with newcomer Nico Pieres scoring within the first minute of the game. A unique feature of the Lucchese 40-Goal Polo Challenge is the use of a two point line 70 yards out from goal. Sebastian Merlos was the first to score a two-pointer for Airstream. Airstream maintained a one goal advantage 5-4 headed into the half after Caset executed a pass to Adolfo Cambiaso who took the ball to goal.
Two consecutive two point goals by Cambiaso moved Airstream far ahead by the beginning of the fifth, but Hilario Ulloa fired back with two back to back goals for Pilot. Caset and Cambiaso responded with a couple of goals to increase their comfortable lead to 11-6 headed into the final chukker. The sixth opened with Cambiaso’s fifth goal of the game, doubling the scoreboard. Ulloa nailed his sixth successful effort to bring the team’s final tally to seven. Before the final horn sounded, Nico Pieres got in one last two point goal, a stunning shot which earned him the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Long Shot of the Day vote.
Having been involved in the 40-Goal every year since 2012, Sapo Caset is committed to the greater purpose of this event. “Dave Offen is the one behind all of this and I think it’s a great idea to get all of the 10-goalers together to play a good exhibition match and help,” Caset explained. “This is all for charity and it’s great that we do this to help players, grooms and other people around polo if they had an injury. I feel good to be a part of it and we should continue being involved in this way.”
Following the game, spectators walked across the field to the IPC Pavillion where guests bid on silent auction items before taking their seat for dinner and the live auction. Auction highlights included Folded Hills Winery, donated by Andy and Kim Busch, which was purchased by Mandy Quattlebaum for $16,000. The Costa Rica Vacation, donated by Santa Clara Polo, was purchased by Mike and Geannie Sheller for $13,000.
Adolfo Cambiaso’s jersey and week of polo at La Dolfina was purchased by Keith Whitman for $8500. Two catered events for 100 people catered by Bolay with entertainment by Tom Blake each sold for $7,000 to Melissa Ganzi, as well as Peter Orthwein and Steve Orthwein. Adolphus Busch’s Belleau Farm duck hunt also had two buyers at $7,000-Mandy Quattlebaum and Ryan Gilbertson. Highlights of the silent auction include mens and womens Lucchese boots and wine from the famous collection of Dave Page.
“Thanks to the generosity of the 10-goal players, their patrons, our sponsors, auction buyers and donors, attendees and volunteers, this year’s event again was a huge success and we will be able to continue helping those members of our polo family who are in need of assistance,” said Dave Offen, president and co-founder of the Polo Players Support Group.
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