Monthly Archives: March 2016
For the third final in a row, Northern Blizzard (John Rooney 1, Joe Henderson 4, Dayelle Fargey 1, Jimmy Wright 1) continued their dominance of M3 (Madelyn Cobb, Jared Sheldon 4, Peter Blake 3, Alonzo Cruz, Andrea Brereton sub for inj Cobb) as they rode to a very low scoring victory by a final count of 5 – 2.
With their usual extremely quick start, M3 was all over Northern Blizzard early but could not score. No matter what they did, Sheldon and Blake – who broke open frequently – were unable to find the goal. The Canadian invaders didn’t fare much better when opportunities came their way and the result was almost 11 minutes of polo being played until the first goal was scored – from the field and off the mallet of Henderson. Sheldon tied the count in the third period with an open goal conversion from 15 yards but Henderson’s second of the half gave Rooney and Co. a lead of one at 2 – 1 going to the second half. The low score was not indicative of the open and exciting play that featured close to twenty missed opportunities to that point in time.
The fourth chukker action was much the same as the first three – fast and open. With Henderson counting his third and a goal by Fargey, the northern invaders now led by three with two periods to go.
In the penultimate frame, Henderson increased the difference to four but Brereton scored from the field for M3 to come within three once again.
The sixth continued to feature open and fast polo but goals were not to be found and the very entertaining game was over and Northern Blizzard had won a third 2016 championship.
Chris Maloney and his Twin Palms foursome (Maloney 1, Graham Bray 3, Santiago Wulff 5, Remy Du Celliee Muller 3) ascended the presentation platform for the third time in four 2016 attempts as they defeated Jennifer Alexy and Luna Polo ( Alexy, Jared Sheldon 4, Joseph Stuart 4, Nicolas Maciel 4 – sub for Lindor Novillo 4) by a final score of 12 – 7.
Luna Polo – arriving in the final via a shootout win over Cotterel Farms and Highwood – was able to stay reasonably close in the early going but Twin Palms was simply too strong and gradually pulled away after a close first chukker (2 – 2) to lead by three at the half (7 – 4).
An 11 – 5 count after five indicated that it was, once again, Maloney and Co.’s day as they had little to do in the final frame in order to grab the spoils for the third Sunday in a row.
Wulff led the scoring for the winners with six goals (one penalty four) while Maloney (two open goal) and Du Celliee Muller each counted three.
For Luna Polo, Sheldon – in another strong effort – counted five times (two open goals), with Stuart and Maciel added one apiece.
With the win, Twin Palms looked very ready to move on the 2016 Skins Tournament.
The Chopin Challenge, played on Sunday March 13 in front of another great crowd, featured 12 goal teams Chopin Vodka (Ron Mathison, Marcello Rodriguez-Abbiati 5, Mariano Fassetta 5, Chad Bowmen 2) and Tequila Clase Azul (Jenny Lutterell-Benardoni, Francisco Benardoni 2, Ruben Coscia 5, Juan Curbelo 5).
The early going – after the initial bowl in by Dana Chandler, the COO and GM of Chopin Imports – saw Clase Azul leading by one at 3 – 2 after the first chukker and they continued to hold that advantage with no scoring by either team in the second.
The third period was all Chopin as they absolutely poured it on and scored five unanswered goals to lead by four (7 – 3) going to the Chopin Divot Stomp.
Although Clase Azul outscored Chopin 6 – 5 in the second half, it wasn’t enough and Chopin, riding the effect of that strong third chukker, went on to win by a final count of 12 – 9.
After starting things off, Dana Chandler was back – this time on the presentation platform – to present the awards to both the runners up and the champions.
With victories in the preliminary games on Saturday, Eldorado and Triangle Bar Farms met on Sunday in the final game of the extremely well played and exciting USPA National Youth Tournament Series Qualifying Tournament.
Eldorado jumped out very quickly to take a 3 – 1 advantage after the first period. Triangle Bar recovered somewhat in the second and trailed by just one at the half with a count of 4 – 3.
In the third, Eldorado increased their lead by two and went to the final period with a three goal bulge at 6 – 3. Triangle Bar recovered again – clearly having the momentum – and closed the gap to just one with 90 seconds remaining. However, Eldorado was able to control play in the last minute and as a result were able to hang on and win by final score of 6 – 5.
In the consolation round-robin, Antelope was victorious over Hackett and Coors.
The all-star selections included – in alphabetical order – Alonzo Andrade Cruz, Joe Coors, Thomas Costello, Rhandy Heredia, Alexis Payan, Bautista Von Wernich, Cory Williams.
With all games played on the Cantina field and thoroughly enjoyed by large numbers on both days, it is very apparent that the USPA NYTS program is a winner.
ELDORADO – Jonathan Garnica -.5, Thomas Costello 0, Rexy Vicardo -1, Cory Williams -1
TRIANGLE BAR FARM – Alonzo Cruz 0, Randy Heredia -.5, Hope Kerley -1, Sofia Von Wernich -1
ANTELOPE – Grant Palmer -1, Bautista Von Wernich 0, Riley Jordan -1, Cassidy Wood -1
HACKETT – Bayne Bossom -1, Alexis Payan 0, Sydney Jordan -1, Megan Varchetto -1
COORS – Joe Coors -1, Sage Ellington-Lawrence 0, Nick Roth -1, Mia Sweeney -1
For the second year in a row, Springbok rode to victory in Pacific Coast Women’s Challenge and WCT Qualifier.
The win was earned with a 6 – 1 victory over Paniola/Ponytail Polo.
Malia McCoy, for the second year in a row, got the nod as the MVP and Velvet, owned and played by Caroline Anier, was chosen as the Best Playing Pony – the second year in a row that an Anier horse has been awarded the title.
With a final game 6 – 5.5 win over RB and the Seniors, La Patrona captured the B Flight Championship.
SPRINGBOK (16) – Kate Weber 4, Jennifer Alexy 5, Malia McCoy 4, Athena Malin 3
PANIOLA/PONYTAIL POLO(16) – Caroline Anier 7, Roxy Keyfauver 4, Erin Brittin 3, Suasan Guggenheim 2
LA PATRONA (10) – Claudia Uretz 2, Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni 3, Megan Judge 3, Jillian Tiejte 2
RB & THE SENOIRS (9) – CAroline Anier 7, Kit Neacy 1, Lynni Hutton 1, Becky Schaller 0
PRIMA POLO (10) – Dayelle Fargey 7, Jenny Alter 0, Kim Ross 0, Bridget Sibson 3
SAYULITA POLO (10) – Julie Fernandez 2, Catlin Dix 5, Josephine Hermans 2, Kim Bergman 1
For the second time in two weeks, John Rooney and his Northern Blizzard polo team (Rooney 1, Joe Henderson 4, Dayelle Fargey 1, Jim Wright 1) would face off in a final game against Madelyn Cobb and her M3 group (Cobb, Jared Sheldon 4, Peter Blake 3, Alonzo Cruz). In the previous meeting – the Eldorado Cup – the northern invaders won in a somewhat convincing manner by a count of 12 – 8. However, there would be a rather big difference in this contest as Wright – a big contributor two weeks previous – would not be able to play. With broken ribs sustained in a practice game fall keeping him on the side, the former Team USPA member would be replaced by college student Tony Uretz. No such change was necessary for M3 and they would have exactly the same line-up as before.
At the outset, M3 jumped all over Northern Blizzard as Sheldon scored on a quick run off the initial throw-in and Cobb grabbed a perfect pass out of the ensuing line-up and went straight to goal on a great run of 145 yards. The Rooney group recovered somewhat and was able to prevent M3 from inflicting anymore damage, but at the same time, they were unable to score. The first ended with Cobb and Co. leading by a pair at 2 – 0.
The second period started much the same as the first as M3 jumped out quickly and Blake scored to increase the lead to three and it appeared that Northern Blizzard might be in a little trouble due to their modified lineup. However, with Fargey exerting a huge defensive presence, the oilers were able to recover and eventually put some pressure on M3 that led to a pair of open goal conversions from Henderson and Rooney. As a result the count was now 3 – 2 to favor M3.
The third frame featured a complete turnaround by Northern Blizzard as Uretz found his legs and the explosive M3 offence was silenced. With Fargey continuing to run interference, Henderson converted a penalty two and Rooney and Uretz counted from the field and the half was over with the northerners up by two at 5 – 3.
M3 found the magic again in the early fourth as Sheldon scored on a quick jump and run to narrow the count to just one. Northern Blizzard was then able to come back as an open goal award was converted by Rooney and the fourth was over with the count at 6 – 4.
Henderson scored from the field in the early penultimate frame and the Canadian lead was now three. Sheldon – never far from the action – got loose to strike twice and that lead again was narrowed to just one. Uretz was then able to score a pair of his own – one on an exceptional reaction to pickup a loose ball – and the chukker ended with Rooney and Co. up by three at 9 – 6.
Given the fact that M3 could explode offensively at any time, Northern Blizzard were not about to sit back on a three goal advantage. The result was a fourth counter by Uretz in the early sixth and the lead was now four. However, M3 wasn’t going anywhere and continued to push which resulted in a safety conversion by Sheldon to come to within three. That would be it though and Rooney and his Northern Blizzard teammates had won the Fish Creek Cup by a final count of 10 – 7.
Because of her strong and relentless defensive play, Fargey was selected as the MVP and Virginia, owned and played by Henderson in the fifth, went back to the barn wearing the Best Playing Pony blanket. It is worth noting that Virginia was introduced to polo by Fargey.