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Happy 30th Birthday the Avendano Memorial!
By Kirsten Braden, thanks to Gonazalo Avendano
There are many polo players in Florida right now who are furiously practicing for a prestigious tournament that many polo fans might not have on their calendars. This is because the polo players range from 3 to 15 years old. We are talking of course about the Avendano Cup. And what these young athletes lack in age, they more than make up for in passion for the game and an eagerness to take part in a tournament as old as many of their parents: In fact quite a few of the children in this year’s tournament are the progeny of the first original players.
Carlos Avendano Sr.The Avendano Cup, was started by Carlos M. Avendaño, a polo player and horse breeder, who came from Argentina to play in Palm Beach Polo & Country Club in 1982.  He saw a lot of children starting to learn to play polo who had nowhere to play. At that time all the fields in Florida belonged to clubs such as Palm Beach Polo, Gulfstream and Boca Raton. There were simply no opportunities in the whole of the US for children to play.
In Argentina at that time there was a very popular children’s tournament started by the Heguy Family called Potrillos Cup. Carlos’ son Gonzalo Avendano played that cup along with many of the future high goal players of his generation, such as the Heguy cousins, the Merlos brothers, Mariano Gonzalez and so on.
Carlos and his wife made a monumental decision to create a similar tournament in the US and call it the Avendaño Memorial Tournament, in memory of Carlos” father Miguel Avendaño. They found the trophy that is still used today in an antique store in Palm Beach. With the support of the current Club Chairman William Ylvisaker, Allan Shearer the Polo Manager and people like Francisco Escobar, Carlos Arellano and many others, the birth of the first US children’s tournament came about.
Gonzalo Avendano, Carlos’ son, recollects that for the first tournament they struggled to get eight children signed up. However the now very famous names of Jose and Luis Escobar played, along with Silvia Firestone and Julio Arellano. Times have changed a lot over thirty years and this year’s Avendano Cup, traditionally held on President’s Day Monday has attracted well over one hundred children - including Benjamin, Joaquin and Santiago Avendano – grandchildren to the original founder, Lucas and Nicolas Escobar, Agustin, Hope and Lucas Arellano, Rufino, Santos and Segundo Merlos
 and Oliver Firestone…. All very familiar names…..and you might spot some very familiar faces cheering the next generation of polo on from the sidelines!
Gonazlo Avendano credits the success and longevity of the Cup to the support of many people such as Mimi Gracida, Silvia Firestone and many other polo parents. Now, the cup is run by the The Polo Training Foundation. It is also strongly supported by Gulfstream Polo Club, the Grand Champions Polo Club and the International Polo Club.
“The Avendano Cup has grown beyond the Avendano family” said Gonazalo Avendano. “We will always support it but now it belongs to American polo and every child who wants to participate. I hope that in the future, when I am not here, the tournament will continue to grow and help build character in young people and create better players.”
Come support the future generation of polo on Monday February 20th at the International Polo Club. Provisional start time 9 a.m.
For more information on the PTF please contact them at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Jennifer at: 561 670 3616

2012 Avendano Memorial Team Rosters

Tato’s Mallets – Green Shirt
Harrison Azzaro
Malia Bryan
Nico Escobar
Eddie Margalef
Patagones – Navy Shirt
Lucas Arellano
Joachin Avendano
Liam Lott
Christian Weisz
PoloLine – Light Blue Shirt
Blake Ashcroft
Jon Luke Beck
Cipi Echezeretta
Santino Magrini
Las Monjitas – Orange Shirt
Cruz Astrada
Justo Astrada
Santiago Avendano
Santiago Lavallol
Valiente – Navy Shirt
Rodrigo Barco
Agustin Bottarro
Brinkley Erb
Carlos Martinez
San Giorgio – White Shirt
Matt Cohen
Benji Daniels
Justin Daniels
Anthony Devrient
Grand Champions I – Teal Shirt
Santos Bollini
Grant Ganzi
Marianito Gonzalez
Ian MacTaggart
Red Barn – Red Shirt
Benjamin Avendano
Segundo Merlos
Tess Pimsner
Grayson Price
Piaget – Black Shirt
Manuel Astrada
Landen Daniels
Rachel Kelly
Maria Sansone
Tackeria I – Light Blue Shirt
Lucas Escobar
Paul von Gontard
Izzy Lawn
Mackenzie Weisz
La Martina – Red Shirt
Lucas Criado
Gunther Read
Teddy Rubin
Ava Sansone
Grand Champions II – Blue Shirt
Juan Cruz Collardin
Riley Ganzi
Celeste Gimonet
Cristos Magrini
Casablanca – Orange Shirt
Mia Astrada
Grand Braden
Jack McLean
Maya Stratemann
The Morning Line – Green Shirt
Hope Arellano
Cinderella von Falkenhausen
Lucas Monteverde
Boone Stribling
Audi – Black Shirt
Mia Cambiaso
Jacqui Casey
Malicia von Falkenhausen
Donovan Stratemann
Nano’s Mallets – Green Shirt
Marcos Alberdi
Lauren Biddle
Steven Jenkins
Johnny Lavine
Polographics – Red Shirt
Enrique Barco
 Javier Guerra
Ayaan Quareshi
Victorino Ruiz
Blanco TX – Blue Shirt
Agustin Arellano
Juan Bollini
Hugh Dollard
Connell Erb
Final Chukker – Yellow Shirt
Wesley Bryan
Matias Gonzalez
Juan P Solano
Manuel Villamil
Choice of Champions – Yellow Shirt
Oliver Firestone
Olivia Merlos
Alyssa Tranchilla
Rescue Me – Red Shirt
Jillian Beck
Elizabeth Fenner
Delfina Hall
Port Mayaca – White Shirt
Buhl Fenner
Juana Criado
Javier Celis
Eva Xioutas
Eagles – Navy Shirt
Miguelito Astrada
Tona Astrada
Hunter Azarro
Finn Secunda
American Polo Horse Assoc. – Red Shirt
Ramon Collardin
William McLeavy
Rufino Merlos
Santos Merlos
Tackeria II– White Shirt
Avalon Nottingham
Lorenzo Ramirez
Lucianna Ramirez
Everglades Farm Equip. – Green Shirt
Bailey Biddle
Paris Ella Sharma
Isabela Weisz
Sophia Wyatt
County Line Feed – Green Shirt
River Blake
Maria Celis
Joseph Schwartz
Samuel Wyatt
Tackeria III – White Shirt
Frankie Hall
Merideth Kelly
DJ Sansone
William Wyatt
Alex Photo – Blue Shirt
Anneke Beck
Barbora Hlachova
Brandon Prichard
William Prichard


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