Monthly Archives: January 2014
The second January Tournament Finals – for the Rich Roenisch Bronzes – featured different winners on both levels.
The 6 goal championship saw Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni and her Cotterel Farms quartet (Luttrell-Benardoni, Francisco Benardoni 1, Dan Walker 2, and Ignacio Saracco 3) return to a final for the second time in the opening month, but this time they came back as winners and not the runners-up. Cheryl Schindel and Brooke Faber’s Centurion foursome (Schindel, Faber -1, Luis Saracco 4, and Tim Rudy 3) coming out of bracket play undefeated, due to excellent play, would supply the opposition but on this day Luttrell and Co. were far and away the better team and cruised to a victory by a score of 8 – 4.
The first started very slowly with no scoring, but Cotterel scored three times in the second to just one for the Centurions and added one in the third to lead 4 – 1 at the half.
Cotterel counted two more in the fourth to just one again for the Romans and added a pair in the fifth and went to the final period leading by six at 8 – 2.
The Centurions scored twice in the sixth but it would not be enough and the Luttrell- Benardoni farmhands took home the very prized awards.
Walker was the high scorer for the winners with three (1 foul) and Luis Saracco lead all scorers with all four of his team’s goals.
Ignacio Saracco was selected as the MVP and his mare, Perinola was chosen as the best playing pony.
The 12 Goal final was a rematch of the first January final with Ron Bonaguidi’s Mr. Hanalei Bay (Bonaguidi, Mariano Fassetta 6, Juan Curbello 4, and Remy Muller 2) facing Krista Bonaguidi and her Mrs. Hanalei Bay (Bonaguidi -1, Joe Henderson 4, Jason Crowder 6, and Ashton Wolf 3).
From the outset, it was obvious that Mrs. and Co. were ready to play polo – unlike the previous final where they were never really in it – as Jason Crowder took the ball from the opening throw-in and scored in less than 25 seconds to take a lead of one which held up and the first ended with Mrs. up by that one at 1 – 0.
The second period was all Mrs. with three counters to none for Mr. and the score was 4 – 0 going to the third.
Each counted one in the third and the half ended with Krista leading by a count of 5 – 1.
With ten minutes to think things over, Mr. and his Company appeared ready to play and came out very strong in the fourth to score a pair of unanswered counters and the period ended with Mrs. leading by just two at 5 – 3.
Goals were again traded in the fifth and the lead remained two going to the final chukker at 6 – 4.
The sixth started as did the fourth for Mr. Hanalei Bay as they were able to tie the count at six with about 1:45 left to go and it appeared that overtime might be necessary. Wasn’t to be however, as Crowder jumped on an errant pass and ran in the winner and Krista’s Mrs. Hanalei Bay captured the January League Title along with the Roenisch Bronzes by a count of 7 – 6.
With his explosive and very involved play, Crowder, with four goals (1 foul), was the obvious choice as the MVP and Fassetta’s outstanding mare, Chikita, grabbed Best Playing Pony honors.
Once again Eldorado will host the Pacific Coast Circuit Western Women’s Challenge along with the WCT Qualifier. It is guaranteed to be a great display of women’s polo and a lot of fun for all involved.
Three flights will be on offer, individual and team nominations are welcome. Please sign up by February 20, contact the Polo Office on (760)-342-2223 or email@example.com.
A Flight WCT Qualifier (2 to 3 Goal Teams)
B Flight USPA Pacific Coast Circuit Western Women’s Challenge (-1 to 1 Goal Teams)
C Flight Eldorado Challenge (-2 Goal Teams and below)
2 Southern California racehorses test positive for EHV-1. Polo clubs to
institute entry ban on any potentially exposed horses.
OK, stop and don’t panic – just read on…
Two Thoroughbred racehorses, one stabled at Santa Anita Racetrack in Los Angeles County and one
from a farm in Ramona in San Diego County, have tested positive for the non-neuropathic
strain of Equine Herpes Virus – 1. These horses had exposure to each other previously and have
been isolated and are being treated and seem to be recovering nicely. The California Department
of Food and Agriculture and the California Horse Racing Board officials feel this infection is
contained, although ongoing, and is being closely monitored. Racing is continuing as usual at
After discussions with the polo managers at both Eldorado and Empire Polo Clubs, even though
chances for infection here are minimal, we are instituting an entry ban on any horse that has been
stabled at either the Ramona farm or at Santa Anita within the last 30 days. Any green horse
prospect off the track or coming from any farm that may have had exposure to any of these
horses in any way will not be allowed on the polo grounds or stabling area for the remainder of
the season effective immediately. If you have any polo horse that has pastured or stabled with
horses that may have been to Santa Anita in the last 30 days we ask that they not be brought on
the grounds either. Again, this is just a mutually agreed precautionary response. We have no
ongoing or potentially ongoing infection here.
While this minor episode may be over quickly, we ask everyone to police themselves and try not
to bring any potentially exposed horse to the polo grounds. Please do not panic or overreact as
we have no knowledge that we have had any crossover of horses at this point. If anyone has any
information to the contrary, please advise me or the polo managers as soon as possible. Should
conditions change, we will be sure to update everyone.
Thank you for your cooperation
Michael Manno, DVM, MS
With outstanding crowds watching – reminiscent of mid-March – on both Opening Day, January 5 and the following Final’s Sunday, Ron Bonaguidi’s Mr. Hanalei Bay (12 Goal) and Pat Powell’s Blazers (6 Goal) grabbed the spoils in the 2014 Wendell Kerley Memorial Tournament.
The 12 Goal final was indeed interesting with Ron Bonaguidi’s Mr. Hanalei Bay riding the waves against Krista Bonaguidi’s Mrs. Hanalei Bay – yup, husband vs. wife.
Before the start, many thought that Mr. might lay back and concede a win, and the prized Chris Kerley spurs would go to ‘the Mrs.’ – in the interest of being a good husband. Not long after the start, it was very apparent that was not going to be the case – not even close – as the ultra competitive Mr. (0) along with Marianno Fassetta (6), Juan Curbelo (4), and Remy Muller (2) jumped out to an early first period lead of 4 – 1 over Mrs. (-1) who lined up with Joe Henderson (4), Jason Crowder (6), and Ashton Wolf (3). In fact, the first goal came immediately after the first throw-in.
The second wasn’t much better for the marriage as the lead was increased to four goals with the second ending at 6 – 2.
Both teams scored twice in the third and the half ended with Ron leading Krista by, once again, four goals. The count was 8 – 4.
Any thought – and there was – that anyone might have had about a reconciliation in the fourth period vanished as Fassetta and Curbelo simply destroyed anything that Krista’s group tried to muster and the chukker ended and the lead was now five goals at 10 – 5.
Scoring was once again even in the fifth – at one each – and the lead remained five going to the final.
In the sixth and with the victory in hand, after another quick counter to lead by six, Mr. and his surfers pretty much sat on their boards and Mrs. was able to score three – with Krista counting a pair. But it was too late as the game ended with a final score of 12 – 9 and Mr. Hanalei Bay would now ride the waves with brand new Kerley spurs.
Fassetta was the high scorer on the day with nine goals ( 1 foul, #4).)
In the 6 Goal, the Blazers lined up against Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni and her Cotterel Farms organization. For Powell, unable to play due to a concussion suffered the day before, Kyle Fargey (3) would lead along with Kimo Huddleston (2), Malia McCoy (.5), and Nicolas Llambias (0) (replacing Powell). Cotterel saddled up with Luttrell-Benardoni (0), Francisco Benardoni (1), Danny Walker (2), and Ignacio Saracco (3).
Taking a handicap award of one-half at the start, the Blazers played as named in the first period and took a lead of 1.5 to nil to the second.
Cotterel came back in the second to count twice to one for the Blazers and the second ended with Powell’s team leading by the handicap at 2.5 – 2.
The Blazers shut out Cotterel in the third and fourth stanzas to lead 4.5 – 2 at halftime and 5.5 – 2 going to the fifth.
Cotterel got organized in the penultimate frame and scored twice early on to make it interesting but Powell’s crew got one back to snuff the comeback and it was 6.5 – 4 with one to go.
The sixth was pretty much all Blazers as they counted four before a reply from Cotterel and the Wendell Kerley Memorial 6 goal awards went to the Blazers by a score of 10.5 – 5.
Fargey led all scorers with six goals (2 fouls, # 2’s).
Chris Kerley, the maker of the coveted spurs, was on hand to present the awards for both games, along with Wendell Kerley’s grandchildren, Ryan and Hope Kerley.
The Eldorado Pro Pool – envisioned and started by Polo Manager Graham Bray – started on the first weekend of January play, with games on Saturday and Sunday. The first game was played on the Cantina field for the lunch crowd and featured professional players John Eicher at three goals and four goal Joe Henderson.
The intent of the play is not for the professionals to play to win the game for the players, but for them to help the players to win for themselves in a tournament format. It is also worth noting that the Eldorado Pro Pool fee includes the professional and the teams are put together by polo club management.
With Eicher and Henderson directing traffic, the pool members were responsible for ‘getting it done’ on their own and it was up to them to make the plays for themselves. If you want to win – you have to make it happen. The professionals will help with direction and the odd set-up, but it’s pretty much up to you – and you will learn how to play polo.
With the success of the first weekend, the second weekend once again featured Eicher with four goal Mattthew Gonzales stepping in for Henderson. Eicher was joined by Virgil Kyle, Ryan Robertson, and Susan Adams. Jennifer Alexy, James Kidd, and Mike Ward saddled up with the always entertaining Gonzales.
The play during the second series was noticeably improved over the first weekend as the players not only were hitting the ball with more authority, but their defensive play was much better. Players who couldn’t, or wouldn’t hook during the first weekend were able to make that defensive play because they had been shown how to place themselves correctly in order to do so. It was, as well, very obvious that the participants were starting to ‘read’ plays because of the input of the ‘mentors’. “If you want the ball – get to a spot where I can hit it to you”.
During the second series, with Sunday’s contest back at the Cantina for breakfast in an announced game, Gonzales and crew – playing as Hacienda de Trampas – were victorious over Eicher and his OC Polo foursome, by a two game total count of 10 – 7.
The Pro Pool has started, and early participants not only have learned, but they have done so during tournament play because they played with professionals who are there to improve their polo – and have fun while doing it. If you’re going to travel to the Desert for just a weekend or two and want to play some tournament polo give Eldorado some thought. In order to facilitate the experience please sign up by noon on Thursday (760) 342 2223.