April 25th, 2012 Add comment
Yellow Cab drives onto Miami Beach, again
By Alex Webbe, US Senior Correspondent
You might not see a fleet of Yellow Cabs rolling down Collins Avenue on Friday afternoon, but make no mistake about it, Simon Garber and his Yellow Cab polo team will be turning eyes on the beach as they return to Miami Beach for their third run at the pinnacle of beach polo competition, the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup. Simon Garber will be riding into the competition this year with American standout Kris Kampsen and Argentina's Juan Monteverde. While a second Garber-sponsored team will also be competing with sons Shaun and Jeffrey.
The 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup is returning to the silver sands Between 20th and 22 Street in Miami Beach and will be attracting six top-caliber teams in the most competitive beach polo competition in the world.
Simon Garber¡s Yellow Cab team first appeared on the beach in 2010 and has been coming back every year since.
The Yellow Cab team:
Simonwill be returning to the beach after spending the better part of the winter playing on the unparalleled fields of southern Florida. Operating out of his stables at the Gulf Stream Polo Club in Lake Worth, Florida and his International Polo Club of Colts Neck, New Jersey, Simon has assured a competitive team by bringing American 6-goaler KrisKampsen and Argentina's Juan Monteverde (5). Following his winter campaign, he will head back north to his International Polo Club of Colts Neck in Bucks Mill Park, Colts Neck, NJ, where his club stages charity and exhibition matches when he's not competing in Bridgehampton, New York or surrounding clubs.
Kris Kampsen has played on winning teams from coast to coast, and includes wins in the Pacific Coast Open, the USPA America Cup, Robert Skene Trophy, the Knox Cup and the Mayor's Trophy. Kris was also a member of the United States team that battled the Mexican team for the Camacho Cup in 2009. It is no mistake that the six-foot-five-inch redhead has played on winning teams on the grass fields, on the snowy fields of Aspen and on the beaches of Miami. A member of championship teams in 2007 and 2008, Kris will be taking the field this year in hopes of returning to the winners circle.
Juan Monteverde is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Juan has been playing for fifteen years and has competed in Argentina, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Brazil and the United States. "We had horses at home when I was growing up," he said. "My father played, so I wanted to play. I loved it from the very first time," he added. A graduate of Buenos Aires University, Juan has honed his skills as a professional polo player and has participated in the revered Republic Cup and the Copa Provincia in Argentina. Juan competed with the Yellow Cab team this winter at the International Polo Club in Wellington and will be making his first appearance in beach polo.
The second Garber entry will be with sons Shaun and Jeffrey Garber who will ride onto the field with the Heys Luggage/ SLS Jets team. Joining them will be Nic Roldan and Brandon Phillips
Shaun isthe oldest of the Garber boys, Shaun managed to slip into a couple of chukkers last year in Miami Beach. A graduate of the prestigious Dwight School of New York City the 19-year-old started playing polo eight years ago at the family farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey. Over the past twelve years, Shaun has participated in polo competition from entry level to 20-goal tournament play in the Hamptons, including a record of consecutive Sawgrass Challenge 12-goal Pro-Am Championships at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida 2010 and 2011, and a finalist berth in 2012. Shaun has competed in Palm Beach, the Hamptons, Colts Neck, New Jersey and Argentina. He ranks his opportunity of playing polo with the great Adolfo Cambiaso in Argentina as the highlight of his polo-playing career, but enjoys playing with the family in Wellington and Colts Neck.
Eighteen-year-old Jeffrey has his sights set on Tulane University in 2012, but his college plans are not without polo. For the next four years Jeffrey will be competing with the Tulane Polo Club in intercollegiate competition during the school year and joining the family SLS Jets team when he's not in school. Another veteran of the "family polo school" in Colts Neck, New Jersey, Jeffrey was a member of the Yellow Cab team that captured consecutive Sawgrass Challenge Cup Championships in 2010 and 2010 and was a finalist in 2012. Jeffrey admits that it was the speed of the game that hooked him. "I grew up riding horses, and I just love the speed of the game. Polo is a unique sport," he adds, "there's really nothing else like it." Jeffrey has enjoyed competing in Florida, New York, Colts Neck, Pennsylvania and Argentina and is always practicing in an effort to improve his game. Jeffrey got a taste of beach polo last year and is looking forward to this year's tournament.
A native of the Toronto suburb of King City, Ontario, thirty-year-old Brandon Phillips began playing polo as a child at the Toronto Polo Club with his father and brother. "I came from a horsey family," Brandon admits, "and began by just playing some fun polo at the Toronto Polo Club when I was twelve. The more experience I got the more I wanted to learn and the better I wanted to get." One of the game's better players, and currently carrying a five goal handicap, his polo travels have taken him to England, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and the United States where he currently resides with his wife Erica. A regular on the beach polo scene, having competed in competition in both Miami Beach, where he was a past winner, Chicago, where he was a finalist and the Dominican Republic, Brandon will be a formidable opponent on the beach again this spring.
The youngest player to appear on a winning US Open team, Nic Roldan accomplished the feat with the Escue team in 1998 at the age of fifteen, when he was named "Young Player of the Year". Since that time, his talents and skills have been constantly increasing while playing in England, Argentina and the US. Over the years he has added championships in the CV Whitney Cup, the Monty Waterbury Cup, the Joe Barry memorial and the Ylvisaker Cup, among others. Born in Argentina, but a US citizen, Nic usually spends two or three months a year in Argentina practicing and playing, working on every aspect of the game under the watchful eye of fellow veterans. A hard hitting accurate shooting player, Nic's defense is as trouble-some for opposing players as his offense.
Gates open at 12:30 pm with tournament play slated to begin in the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup at 1pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 27, 28 and 29.
More than 12,000 people attend the Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup over the four days each year and the tournament attracts professional polo players from as far as Russia, Switzerland and Malaysia, as well as the very best from South America. For more information on the tournament and the events or to purchase VIP tickets, visit www.miamipolo.com or call 305-538-3809. For further information on The Polo Life, visit www.thepololife.com