The main event of the closing afternoon of the 2017 season, featured the Pacific Coast Women’s Challenge – WCT Qualifier A Flight final between Springbok (Kate Weber 4, Catlin Dix 4, Jennifer Alexy 5, Caroline Anier 6) facing off against Prima Polo (Jenny Alter 1, Dayelle Fargey 7, Abby Riggs 5, Tiffany Busch 7) in what turned to be a very physical and entertaining contest.
Having to give up a handicap award of one-half, Prima Polo struck first as Busch counted the first of her three on the afternoon. Soringbok’s Anier countered soon after and the first chukker ended with the two time defending champions leading by the handicap difference (1.5 – 1).
Jennifer Alexy, riding the eventual Best Playing Pony – Izzy – scored the only goal of the second and the count was 2.5 – 1 in favor of Springbok going to the break.
As the enthusiastic crowd stomped divots and conversed – with Ruffino Prosecco in hand – Prima Polo was speaking amongst themselves as well, and whatever was said seemed to work in the third as a strong team effort allowed Busch to score a pair of goals to take a lead of one-half. However, Dix notched a goal and Springbok again led by the handicap grant (3.5 – 3).
The fourth was very physical and very close with neither team able to gain any type of an advantage. But with just over 90 seconds to go, Dix was able to grab the ball and run 150 yards to score her second of the game and Springbok had successfully defended their 2016 title by a final tally of 4.5 to 3.
Dix, because of her aggressive and opportunistic play, was selected as the MVP and as mentioned earlier, Izzy, owned by Diego Larregli and played by Alexy was honored as the Best Playing Pony – the second horse played by Alexy on this day to be recognized as such.
The Women’s Challenge Upper B Flight saw Deer Creek (Lynni Hutton 1, Julie Fernandez 2, Caroline Anier 6, Audrey Persano 3) play Ohana (Erin Brittin 2, Stephanie Davidson, Abby Riggs 5, CAtlin Dix 4). A very strong first chukker allowed Deer Creek to move on to an 8 – 5.5 victory.
Anier was awarded the title of MVP and Pientha, played by Persano and owned by Fernandez was chosen as the Best Playing Pony.
The Lower B Flight was won by DG’S Girls (Shelley Geiler 2, Keli Newton, Jennifer Alexy 5, Heather Perkins 2) over Sunset Warriors (Susan Guggenheim 2, Julie Empey 1, Tanya Paneno 2, Carla Gallichotte 2).
Keli Newton was named as the MVP and Marley, played by Alexy in the second chukker was tabbed as the Best Playing Pony.
A FLIGHT (WCT Qualifier)
PRIMA POLO (20) – Jenny Alter 1, Dayelle Fargey 7, Tiffany Busch 7, Abby Riggs 5.
SPRINGBOK (19) – Caroline Anier 6, Jennifer Alexy 5,Kathleen Weber 4, Catlin Dix 4.
DEER CREEK (12) – Lynni Hutton 1, Julie Fernandez 2, Audry Persano 3, Caroline Anier 6.
IDENTITY POLO (11) – Anne Evamy 3, Ruth Peters 1, Zinta Braukis, Dayelle Fargey 7.
OHANA (11) – Erin Britton 2, Stephanie Davidson, Abby Riggs 5, Catlin Dix 4.
SISTER WIVES (12) – Debra Vermoch 1, Leigh Brecheen 3, Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni 4, Melania Jones 4.
URBAN DOG (10) – Kim Garsed 2, Ann Terranova, Cybele Jordan 4, Roxy Keyfauver 4.
DG’S GIRLS (9) – Shelley Geiler 2, Heather Perkins 2, Kelli Newton, Jennifer Alexy 5.
SUNSET WARRIORS (7) – Tanya Paneno 2, Julie Empey 1, Susan Guggenheim 2, Carla Gallichotte 2.
Check daily game schedule for times Saturday and Sunday
On a ‘perfect day in sunny Southern California’, the 2017 Pacific Coast Governor’s Cup final was played at the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio. The ultimate push – on Sunday, March 26 – featured Virgil Kyle and Ryan Robertson and their Bush League foursome (Kyle, Robertson, Ulysses Escapite 4, Jose Rodriguez 1) going up against Leigh Brecheen and Danny Walker’s Farmers and Merchants Bank organization (Brecheen, Walker 2, Matthew Walker 2, Antonio Juarez 1).
From the start it was obvious that Bush League had come prepared as Rodriguez took a pass from the initial bowl-in and simply ran free to score the first goal of the game. The ensuing bowl-in at center turned into more of the same as Escapite grabbed the ball and found Roberson free near the Farmer and Merchants’ goal and the lead was now two. The initial push continued as Robertson picked up the ball and ran from mid-field to score and it was now three to nothing and the large crowd was buzzing. However, Farmers and Merchants came back in a hurry as huge pressure allowed Matt Walker a penalty three opportunity that he converted, Juarez scored from the field, as did Danny Walker, and the game was tied to end the first.
The second featured nowhere near the scoring that was seen in the first. In fact, there wasn’t any as chances were missed and opportunities to advance were not taken. The result was a 3 – 3 tie at halftime.
The bankers came to work in the third frame as Danny Walker scored from the field and converted a penalty two offering and Farmers and Merchants led by a pair going to the final frame at 5 – 3 and many thought it might be over.
Coming out for the fourth, Bush League most certainly didn’t think it was over as they pressed and pressed hard. The result was a free-throw opportunity that Robertson converted. Escapite then took control and counted his first of the day and the momentum had changed. The continued pressure from Bush League allowed another open goal opportunity that Escapite capitalized on and it was over as Bush League had won their first Governor’s Cup by a score of 6 – 5.
Not only had Bush League defeated Farmers and Merchants Bank to take the USPA hardware, it was presented by the man they had just overcome as Danny Walker is the Governor of the Pacific Coast Circuit.
Because he was able to control play when needed and instill confidence in his teammates, Escapite was given MVP honors. Garabinada, played by Danny Walker in the third chukker was chosen as the Best Playing Pony.
The Eldorado Polo Club’s 23rd annual Polo Skins Game was played on Sunday, March 26, 2017. While the Skins always creates much anticipation along with a huge fieldside party , the addition of the USPA Rossmore Cup Tournament this season brought the frenzy to an even higher level. Add in the fact that this year’s contest was going to be live streamed by the USPA.
The Polo Skins format is exactly like a golf skins competition where each chukker is played as a ‘Skin’. If a chukker is won, the winner receives the money available. If the teams are tied after a chukker, the amount that was available is then added to the amount to be played for in the next chukker. For the 2017 challenge, the team that scored the most goals overall would put their name on the Rossmore Cup.
The 2017 game, at 12 goals, was played in front of huge Clubhouse and west berm crowd and an immense gathering of partying faithful lining the entire east side, featured Idaho’s Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni and her Cotterell Farms polo team (Luttrell-Benardoni, Ruben Coscia 5, Juan Curbelo 5, Matthew Fonseca 2) riding out against Canadian John Rooney and his Northern Blizzard line-up (Rooney 1, Joe Henderson 4, Patrick Uretz 4, Peter Blake 3).
At the start, Cotterell took immediate control and was rewarded with a penalty three opportunity that Curbelo easily converted. The first period wasn’t half over as Luttrell-Benardoni grabbed a long pass and impressively ran 145 yards to increase the lead to two goals and it appeared the farmers were going to run away with the initial $3500 and take a rather nice lead in the Rossmore. Not so fast however, as Northern Blizzard came back with a big offensive thrust resulting in a Uretz penalty four strike and a free throw conversion from 40 yards. As a result the Rossmore was tied at two and the initial $3500 would be added to the $3500 from the second to make the second chukker worth $7000.
The momentum that the Canadian invaders grabbed in the first carried – as did the money – to the second as Uretz converted a penalty two from the spot to now lead by one. Ruben Coscia got that back with a field goal and the count was now tied at three apiece. However, Northern Blizzard jumped right back and were once again rewarded with another penalty two opportunity that Uretz converted. With just over 30 seconds remaining in the period and the $7000 comfortably in Canadian hands, Blake grabbed the ball and ran 260 yards to score. The point didn’t matter for the money, but with the Rossmore Cup in play, it would count in the overall score which now stood at 5 – 3 in favor of Rooney and his oilmen.
The third frame, worth $3500, featured many scoring chances but not much scoring as Curbelo grabbed the only goal of the period – from the field – which was enough to put that money into the Cotterell account. The result was a $3500 halftime lead for Northern Blizzard and a lead of one at 5 – 4 for the USPA Silver.
The small advantage that Cotterell had in the third became bigger in the fourth as Fonseca counted twice and Coscia grabbed his second goal. The three goals – to none for Northern Blizzard – easily gave the Idahoans the $3500 to tie the dollar count at $7000 and they now led the Rossmore by a pair at 7 – 5.
The Canadians, quiet on the scoreboard for two chukkers, started to recover in the fifth as Uretz scored from the field to lead by one for the money. Curbelo got that back for the farmhands to lead again by a pair in the overall count but Uretz was able to grab another field goal and the fifth ended with Northern Blizzard cashing the $3500 royalty and closing to within one for the Rossmore.
The sixth was played even with Northern Blizzard’s Blake scoring on a superb effort from 90 yards and Cotterell’s Curbelo replying with his third from the field and the chukker ended with Cotterell winning the Rossmore Cup by one goal at 9 – 8. However, and as great as the farmhands felt with the victory, there was still $3500 on the table. As a result, an overtime chukker would be necessary.
The extra frame didn’t last very long as Luttrell-Benardoni, with a long, strong, and perfectly placed neckshot from well right of the Northern Blizzard goal set up Fonseca 30 yards out and he made no mistake to score. That combined effort gave Cotterell the $3500 carryover and a tie in the money total at $10,500 each.
Because of her strong and aggressive effort in playing the front end and her ability to get to and move the play, Luttrell-Benardoni was selected as the MVP. Negra, played by Coscia in the sixth period, went back to the barn wearing the Best Playing Pony blanket.
A – NORTHERN BLIZZARD (12) – John Rooney 1, Joe Henderson4, Patrick Uretz 4, Peter Blake 3.
B – HIGHWOOD (12) – Ron Mathison, Marcello Rodriguez-Abbiati 4, Mariano Fassetta 5, Remy Du Celliee Muller 3.
C – COTTEREL FARMS (12) – Jennifer Luttrell-Benardoni, Ruben Coscia 5, Juan Curbelo 5, Matthew Fonseca 2.
D – TWIN PALMS (12) – Chris Maloney 1, Graham Bray 3, Jared Sheldon 4, Joseph Stuart 4.
NORTHERN BLIZZARD 2 1 d Cotterell Farms, Highwood l Twin Palms
COTTERELL FARMS 2 1 d Twin Palms, Highwood l Northern Blizzard
HIGHWOOD 1 2 d Twin Palms l Northern Blizzard, Cotterel Farms
TWIN PALMS 1 2 d Northern Blizzard l Highwood, Cotterel Farms
Fri Mar 17; Northern Blizzard vs Cotterell Farms, Twin Palms vs Highwood
Sun Mar 19; Highwood vs Northern Blizzard , Twin Palms vs Cotterell Farms
Fri Mar 24; Cotterell Farms vs Highwood, Northern Blizzard vs Twin Palms
Sun Mar 26; Final Rossmore Cup/Skins Game – Northern Blizzard vs Cotterell Farms
A – FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK (5) – Dan Walker 2, Leigh Brecheen, Matthew Walker 2, Antonio Juarez 1.
B – LUNA POLO (5.5) – Jennifer Alexy .5, David Carlson -1, Diego Larregli 2, Gasto Von Wernich 4.
C – BUSH LEAGUE (5) – Virgil Kyle, Ryan Robertson, Ulysses Escapite 4, Jose Rodriguez 1.
D – PRIMA POLO (6) – Jenny Alter -1, Scott Walker, Jared Sheldon 4, Peter Blake 3.
E – IDENTITY POLO (6) – Anne Evamy, Malia McCoy 1, James a’Court 1, Matias Obregon 4.
F -BLAZERS (6) – Pat Powell, Kyle Fargey 3, Alvaro Tadeo 2, Alonso Cruz 1.
FARMERS & MERCHANTS 2 1 d Prima Polo, Identity Polo l Blazers
BUSH LEAGUE 2 1 d Blazers, Identity Polo l Prima Polo
BLAZERS 2 1 d Farmers & Merchants, Luna Polo l Bush League
LUNA POLO 2 1 d Identity Polo, Prima Polo l Blazers
PRIMA POLO 1 2 d Bush League l Farmers & Merchants, Luna Polo
IDENTITY POLO 0 3 l Luna Polo, Bush League, Farmers & Merchants
Sat Mar 18; Farmers & Merchants vs Prima Polo, Luna Polo vs Identity Polo, Bush League vs Blazers
Sun Mar 19; Blazers vs Farmers & Merchants, Prima Polo vs Luna Polo, Identity Polo vs Bush League
Thur Mar 23; Identity vs Farmers & Merchants, Luna Polo vs Blazers, Bush League vs Prima Polo
Sat Mar 25; Farmers & Merchants vs Luna Polo, Bush League vs Blazers
Sun Mar 26; Final – Bush League vs Farmers & Merchants
Cross Bracket. Four teams with best records will play semi-finals – 1st vs 4th, 2nd vs 3rd.
The final of the March 6 Goal tournament featured Thomas Ravenel and his Brookland Plantation foursome (Ravenel, Ignacio Deltour 3, Rodrigo Salinas 3, Abby Riggs) going up against Jennifer Alexy and David Carlson with their Luna Polo group (Alexy .5, Carlson -1, Diego Larregli 2, Gaston Von Wernich 4). The game, played on the day of the February full moon, saw the southern charmers lead early and go on to win by a count of 6 – 3.5.
Having to give up a half goal at the start, Brookland Plantation controlled the first period and led with a score of 3 – .5 going to the second.
Luna Polo started to shine a little in the second as both teams scored once giving a halftime score of 4 – 1.5.
The satellites then went on to light up the third chukker by scoring a pair of counters, to none for the Southerners, and trailed by just one-half with one to play at 4 – 3.5.
In the fourth however, Southern hospitality blocked out the light of the full moon as Brookland Plantation scored twice and earned the March 6 Goal title.
Deltour scored three times for the winners (one open goal conversion), Salinas had a pair, and Riggs struck once.
All Luna’s goals – besides the handicap award – came from Von Wernich (one a penalty four).
If the March 12 Goal tournament is any indication, John Rooney’s Northern Blizzard polo team appears to be ready for the 23rd annual Skins Tournament after defeating Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni’s Cotterel Farms by a score of 10 – 8, on the warmest day of the year at a near record 96 degrees. Not that Cotterell wasn’t indicating that they were ready as well – they were indeed making a statement by mounting up for their third 12 goal final in as many tries.
On this day, presented by Ketel One Vodka, Northern Blizzard rode out with a fairly new roster – Rooney (1 goal) with long time teammate Joe Henderson (4) along with newcomers Patrick Uretz (4) and Peter Blake (3). Cotterell Farms fielded the same foursome that has brought them so much success in this 2017 season – Luttrell-Benardoni, Ruben Coscia (5), Juan Curbelo (5), and Matthew Fonseca (2).
After playing well in the qualifying games, the northerners got off to a quick start in this one and held a one goal edge after the first period at 2 – 1.
The cold north wind continued to blow in the second frame as Rooney and Co. led by two at 4 – 2 going to the third chukker.
Cotterell bounced back in the third to outscore Northern Blizzard by a count of 3 – 2 and the half ended with the northern invaders up by just one goal at 6 – 5.
The Rooney group came back in the fourth as they outscored the Idahoans by one at 2 – 1 and now led by two going to the penultimate chukker at 8 – 6.
Cotterell scored the only goal of the fifth to trail by just one going to the final (8 – 7).
The sixth ultimately belonged to Northern Blizzard with a pair on the board to just one for Cotterell and it was over with the Canadians taking the bottles of Ketel One and the March 12 Goal Championship.
For the winners, Henderson scored four goals (one penalty four conversion), Uretz had four (one penalty three opportunity), and Peter Blake counted a pair.
The replies for Cotterell saw Curbelo with five (0ne penalty two) and Coscia with three.
A – BROOKLAND PLANTATION (6) – Thomas Ravenel, Rodrigo Salinas 3, Ignacio Deltour 3, Abby Riggs.
B – BUSH LEAGUE (5) – Virgil Kyle, Ryan Robertson, Ulysses Escapite 4, Jose Rodriguez 1.
C – BLAZERS (6) – Pat Powell, Kyle Fargey 3, Alvaro Tadeo 2, Alonso Cruz 1.
D – LUNA POLO (5.5) – Jennifer Alexy .5, David Carlson -1, Diego Larregli 2, Gaston Von Wernich 4.
E – FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK (5.5) – Dan Walker 2, Leigh Brecheen, Matthew Walker 2, Dayelle Fargey 1.
BROOKLAND PLANTATION 100% 2 0 d Luna Polo, Farmers & Merchants
LUNA POLO 66.6% 2 1 d Bush League, Blazers l Brookland Plantation
BLAZERS 50% 1 1 d Farmers & Merchants l Luna Polo
BUSH LEAGUE 50% 1 1 d Farmer & Merchants l Luna Polo
FARMERS & MERCHANTS 0 3 l Bush League, Blazers, Brookland Plantation
Sat Mar 4; Brookland Plantation vs Luna Polo, Bush League vs Farmers & Merchants Bank
Sun Mar5; Farmer & Merchants Bank vs Blazers, Luna Polo vs Bush League
Sat Mar 11; Brookland Plantation vs Farmers & Merchants Bank, Blazers vs Luna Polo
Sun Mar 12; Final – Brookland Plantation vs Luna Polo
Bracket #1 will receive 50%/win, Bracket #2 will receive 33.3%/win.
A – NORTHERN BLIZZARD (12) – John Rooney 1, Joe Henderson 4, Patrick Uretz 4, Peter Blake 3.
B – TWIN PALMS (12) – Chris Maloney 1, Graham Bray 3, Jared Sheldon 4, Joseph Stuart 4.
C – HIGHWOOD (12) – Ron Mathison, Marcello Rodriguez-Abbiati 4, Mariano Fassetta 5, Remy Du Celliee Muller 3.
D – COTTEREL FARMS (12) – Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni, Ruben Coscia 5, Juan Curbelo 5, Matthew Fonseca 2.
NORTHERN BLIZZARD 2 0 d Twin Palms, Cotterel Farms
COTTEREL FARMS 2 1 d Highwood, Twin Palms l Northern Blizzard
TWIN PALMS 1 2 d Highwood l Northern Blizzard, Cotterel Farms
HIGHWOOD 0 2 l Cotterel Farms, Northern Blizzard
Fri Mar 3; Northern Blizzard vs Twin Palms, Highwood vs Cotterel Farms
Sun Mar 5; Cotterel Farms vs Northern Blizzard, Twin Palms vs Highwood
Fri Mar 10;Highwood vs Northern Blizzard, Cotterel vs Twin Palms
Sun Mar 12; Final – Cotterel Farms vs Northern Blizzard← Older posts