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Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships delivers record-breaking afternoon

WestWorld of Scottsdale sees
more than 12K in attendance at Polo Party

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

With more than an estimated 12,000 in attendance, The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Presented by Talking Stick Resort provided spectators a one-of-a-kind celebratory afternoon.

In its eleventh year, the Scottsdale Polo Party welcomed teams from Arizona, the United Kingdom, Aspen Valley, Palm Beach and El Paso.

Ticket revenue for the 2022 event was up 12% over the record 2021, as was food and beverage sales. Guests enjoyed new culinary and beverage treats like Harkin’s Theatres’ Prosecco and Popcorn, Grimaldi’s Pizza Disco and Chandon Garden Spritz Garden Party, according to a press release.

“To set yet another ticket revenue record amidst challenging economic conditions showed again the expanse and enthusiasm for this one-of-a-kind event. We couldn’t be more grateful to the sponsors, fans and players,” said Jason Rose, who founded and owns the event.

Longtime and marquee sponsors for the event include Bentley Scottsdale; Presenting Sponsor Talking Stick Resort; Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction; Molina Fine Jewelers; Sanderson Lincoln; Earnhardt Genesis North Scottsdale; Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty; Hensley Beverage Company; Breakthru Beverage Group and Diageo.

“Between the horsepower on and off the field, it was another fantastic afternoon at the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships and perhaps our best weather conditions ever for this beautiful event,” said Beli Merdovic, general manager of Bentley Scottsdale. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day to enjoy polo and luxury.”

The event featured four matches with top players — including NHL icon Shane Doan, polo legend Nic Roldan, as well as Melissa Ganzi and Jason Crowder.

Grant Ganzi wins the Molina Cup

Sponsored by Edmiston, Aspen Valley, the nation’s fastest growing polo club won an unprecedented seventh title Saturday in front of the largest crowd of the day.

The team of Grant Ganzi, Melissa Ganzi and Nic Roldan defeated Palm Beach Polo Team (Juan Bollini, Jason Crowder and Scott Wood), 7-5, to win the coveted Molina Cup in the featured match of the day. Mr. Ganzi scored six goals for team, with Mr. Roldan scoring the other goal.

“There are very few sports where men and women compete equally but thankfully in polo we get that chance,” said Melissa Ganzi of the Aspen Valley Polo Club. “It’s always an exciting match. We love competing at this beautiful event every year and we equally look forward to seeing our friends and family when we travel to Scottsdale every November.”

In other matches, The King Charles III Salute Match pitted the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club against the Wales Polo Team. King Charles is a member of both clubs and has played with each club, including many of the players who participated in Scottsdale’s Polo Party. This day, it ended in tie 8-8 between the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club and Wales Polo Team.

Pete Webb scored the most five goals for his Wales team, while Jamie Morrison scored 4 for his team.

Another exciting match-up of the day came when retired National Hockey League and Arizona Coyotes Star Shane Doan made his polo debut representing the Arizona Polo Club. Mr. Doan played in two chukkers, helping his team beat the USA Women’s Team 8 to 3.

In that match, Arizona Polo Club Player Martin Morey scored four goals. This year’s event also included the Horse & Hound Charity Match benefiting Arizona Equine Rescue and Fetch Foundation. EPR Polo was victorious over El Paso Naranjo with a 10-5 win. Jared Sheldon scored six of EPR’s goals, but it was the charities that won big in this match.

“EPR Polo won $6,000 for Arizona Equine Rescue organization, a horse rescue and El Paso Naranja won $4,000 for Fetch Foundation, a dog rescue, in the Horses and Hounds Charity Match,” said Soleil Dolce of AZ Equine Rescue.

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