Eldorado News

Centurions Narrowly Win 4 Goal Constitution Cup

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With the USPA Fish Creek 4 Goal Constitution Cup final – played at southern California’s Eldorado Polo Club – set as a match-up between the Centurions (Cheryl Schindel -.5, Lesley Tims -.5, Luis Saracco 3, Ignacio Saracco 2) and CedarCreek (Nicholas Wilhem -1, Alex Green -.5, Ashton Wolf 3, Diego Cossio 2), it was determined by a great many that the Romans would easily emerge as the victors. As everyone now knows, that most certainly was not the case as CedarCreek were more than prepared to play hard nosed polo from the outset.

The prognosticators were comfortable after the first period as the Centurions – having to give up a half goal on handicap – led at the end by a count of 2 – .5.

However, the second was much different as the management group sharpened their pencils and went to work. With constant pressure, the result was CedarCreek outscoring the Centurions by a pair and led at the half with a count of 3.5 – 3.

Continued and genuine force by CedarCreek in the third period saw their lead increase with a score now of 5.5 – 3.

Needing to step up in order to win, the Centurions did in the final frame as they outscored CedarCreek by three goals to barely squeeze out a victory with a final count in their favor of 7 – 6.5 to become the USPA Fish Creek 4 Goal Constitution Cup champions for 2019.

Ignacio Saracco led the scoring for the victors with four goals, Luis Saracco had two (one foul) and Tims, with a great move, attained the game winner with little time left to go.

CedarCreek counters – besides the handicap award – came from Wolf with four open goal conversions and Cossio provided two from the field.

In a great return to Eldorado, Ignacio Saracco earned the title of MVP and Maga, played by Saracco and owned along with his brother Luis, was chosen as the Best Playing Pony.

Tony Gregg

Maga – Igancio & Luis Saracco

Antelope Jr. Wins 12 Goal Constitution Cup

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During the qualifying games of the Fish Creek Constitution Cup, Grant Palmer’s Antelope Jr. foursome (Grant Palmer 0, Felipe Vercellino 6, Jose Ignacio Martinez 3T, Peter Blake 3) started out very strong with four wins but then lost their next two games. The losses notwithstanding, the young Palmer group finished at the top and won a semi-final game to earn a spot in the final.
The opposition in the decider would come from Bensoleimani.com (Ben Soleimani 0, Santiago Von Wernich 5, Tommy Alberdi 4, Joseph Stuart 3), who started the competition slowly and improved as the tournament continued and arrived as a worthy foe. In fact, they defeated the young pronghorns in qualifying play.

On a superb afternoon – presented by Ketel One Botanicals – the early play, while fast, featured little scoring. The first goal came from Soleimani on a run from center on a perfect setup. Vercellino replied for Antelope Jr. to tie the count but Alberdi crushed a 60 yard award and the first ended with Soleimani.com leading at 2 – 1.

Von Wernich scored the only goal in a rather choppy second period to now lead by a pair at 3 – 1.

If the play didn’t open up in the third period, the scoring certainly did as the designers extended their lead. Soleimani counted his second on another nice run and Alberdi grabbed one from the field and another perfectly executed penalty four. The reply from the Palmer group saw Martinez and Vercellino convert open goal opportunities and Soleimani.com led by three at 6 – 3.

The fourth allowed the junior pronghorns to come within one as Vercellino scored twice – a penalty four and a number two. However, Stuart converted a 30 yard free-throw to lead again by two at 7 – 5.

Antelope Jr. opened up the fifth and took the lead for the first time. Martinez scored twice from the field and Vercellino scored his fourth penalty counter and added a field goal to lead by two. Alberti narrowed the gap to one with his second field goal and Antelope Jr. led 9 – 8 going to the final chukker.

In a tension filled closing stanza, the designers were not able to get even as Vercellino converted another open goal offering to now give the junior squad a two goal advantage. Alberti then scored on a penalty two from the spot to narrow the gap to just one at 10 – 9. Notwithstanding, continued pressure from the young pronghorns lead to Vercellino’s second penalty four conversion of the afternoon which ensured the win and Antelope Jr – this time defeating Bensoleimani.com – had won the 2019 USPA Fish Creek Constitution Cup by a final count of 11 – 9.

Martinez, with his strong supporting play in the middle, was selected as the MVP and Vienna, owned by Soleimani and played by Von Wernich in the second, was awarded the Best Playing Pony blanket.

Tony Gregg

Fish Creek Constitution Cup 12 Goal – Standings Feb 22

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Grant Palmer 0
Felipe Vercellino 6
Peter Blake 3
Jose Martinez 3

Chris Maloney 1
Graham Bray 3
Ruben Coscia 4
Ulysses Escapite 4

Danny Walker 2
Julian Mannix 5
Mariano Gutierrez 4
Alonzo Cruz 1

Ben Soleimani 0
Santiago Von Wernich 5
Tommy Alberdi 4
Joseph Stuart 3

Geoff Palmer 0
Santiago Trotz 5
Marco Llambias 4
Jimmy Wright 3

Ron Mathison 0
Marcello Rodriguez-Abbiati 4
Francisco Mera-Rodriguez 4
Jared Sheldon 4 injured

Fri Feb 22; Semi-finals – Antelope vs Bensoleimani.com, Antelope Jr vs Highwood
Sat Feb 23; Twin Palms vs FMB
Sun Feb 24 Finals; Bensoleimani.com vs Antelope Jr

Antelope Jr      4   1 d FMB, Hghwd, Ant, Twn Plms   l Bensol.cm
Antelope          3   2   d Twn Plms, Bensol.cm, FMB   l Ant Jr, Hghwd
Bensoleimani   3   2 d FMB, Ant Jr, Hghwd l Ant, Twin Palms
Highwood        2   3  d Ant, Twn Plms   l Ant Jr, FMB, Bensol.com
Twin Palms       2   3   d FMB, Bensol.cm l Ant, Ant Jr, Hghwd
FMB                  1   4   d Hghwd   l Ant Jr, Twn Plms, Bensol.cm, Ant

Fish Creek Constitution Cup 4 Goal – Standings Feb 23

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Virgil Kyle .5
Shannon Mendez -.5
Peter Blake 3
Jose Rodriquez 1

Lamar Rutherford -1
Reg Whyte 0
Rodrigo Salinas 3
Felipe Sordelli 2

Cheryl Schindel -.5
Lesley Tims -.5
Luis Saracco 3
Ignacio Saracco 2

Jennifer Alexy 0
Gordon Ross .5
Diego Larregli 3
Bauti Van Wernich 0

E – CedarCreek 3.5
Nicholas Wilhelm -1
Alex Green -.5
Ashton Wolf 3
Diego Cossio 2

Eileen Duffy -1
Bayne Bossom 2
Erik Wright 1.5
Alexis Payan .5

Dan Horn 0
Malia McCoy 1
Danny Juarez 3
Michael Riley Jordan 0

Bracket 1
Sat Feb 23; Centurions vs ECG/Thermal, Bush League vs Luna/Remax
Bracket 2
Sat Feb 23; Palm Desert vs CedarCreek
Final Sun Feb 24; CedarCreek vs Centurions

Centurions        3   0   d Luna/Remax, Bush League, ECG/Thermal 
Bush League     2   1   d ECG/Thermal, Luna/Remax  l Centurions
Luna/Remax     1   2   d ECG/Thermal  l Centurions, Bush League 
ECG/Thermal     0   3   l Bush League, Luna/Remax, Centurions

CedarCreek      2   0 d Alpha Omega, Palm Desert
Palm Desert     1   1   d Alpha Omega   l CedarCreek
Alpha Omega   0   2  l Palm Desert, CedarCreek

Thermal Takes Beal 4 Goal Championship

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The two teams that qualified to play the final of the 2019 4 Goal USPA Carlton and Keleen Beal Cup – CedarCreek and Thermal – had both played in January but made changes for the month of February.

Coming off a very successful January, holdovers Reg Whyte 0 and Felipe Sordelli 2, added Lamar Rutherford -1 and Rodrigo Salinas 3 to the Thermal lineup.

CedarCreek made changes as well as Nicholas Wilhelm -1 and Ashton Wolf 3 welcomed Alex Green -.5 and veteran Diego Cossio 2 to the roster to qualify for their first final.

At the start, CedarCreek was given a handicap award of a half point and play in the first period was relatively even with each team scoring a goal and Wilhelm and Co. led at 1.5 – 1.

Thermal came out in the second and took control with three unanswered field goals to easily lead at the half at 4 – 1.5.

Scoring in the third and fourth chukkers was even with one counter in each period for both teams producing a final count of 6 – 3.5 to favor Thermal. With the victory, Whyte and Sordelli had won back to back Beal 4 Goal titles.

Scoring for the winners saw Salinas with three, Sordelli had two (one open goal conversion), and Rutherford with one (the eventual game winner).

The reply came from Cossio with a pair and Wolf grabbed one.

Sordelli, with his accurate and authoritative play, was selected as the MVP and Lucas, owned and played by Salinas in the second chukker, was honored as the Best Playing Pony.

Tony Gregg

4 Goal Beal – Feb 9 Schedule/Standings

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Lamar Rutherford -1
Reg Whyte 0
Rodrigo Salinas 3
Felipe Sordelli 2

Virgil Kyle .5
Shannon Mendez -.5
Peter Blake 3
Jose Rodriguez 1

Dan Horn 0
Danny Juarez 3
Malia McCoy 1
Michael Riley Jordan 0

CedarCreek 3.5
Nicholas Wilhelm -1
Alex Green -.5
Ashton Wolf 3
Diego Cossio 2

Sat Feb 2; Thermal/Exit vs Bush League, Palm Desert vs CedarCreek
Thur Feb 7; CedarCreek vs Thermal/Exit, Bush League vs Palm Desert
Sat Feb 9; Bush League vs CedarCreek, Palm Desert vs Thermal Exit
Sun Feb 10; Final – Thermal/Exit vs CedarCreek

Thermal/Exit     2  1  d Bush League, CedarCreek   l Palm Desert 
CedarCreek     2  1 d Palm Desert, Bush League l Thermal/Exit
Bush League   1  2  d Palm Desert l Thermal/Exit, CedarCreek 
Palm Desert    1  2 d Thermal/Exit   l CedarCreek, Bush League

January NYTS Championship to Antelope

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The January 26th and 27th  National Youth Tournament Series tournament featured four youth polo teams playing a fast and very exciting brand of polo. All four games were played on field number four – the Cantina field – which provided a perfect locale to showcase the youthful talent and ability that currently exists.

Day one’s first game highlighted Antelope (Grant Palmer, Hope Kerley, Ryan Kerley, Jazmine Trotz) versus Bush League (Quin Kyle, Riley Jordan, Elise Pardue, Micaela Saracco) with Antelope emerging as the winners.

The second game on opening day featured Empire (Athena Malin, Ian Schnoebelin, Alyssa Garcia, Grace/Rose Gonzalez) and Seattle Polo (Bayne Bossom, Colby Smith, Lars Neuman, Charlize Bisogni). Seattle Polo prevailed to advance to the Sunday final.

Sunday’s competition saw Bush League stop Empire in the Consolation final by a score of 4 – 2 and the Championship went to Antelope with a 5 – 4 victory over Seattle Polo.

In NYTS tradition, seven All-Stars were selected in alphabetical order; Bayne Bossom, Riley Jordan, Hope Kerley, Ryan Kerley, Athena Malin, Grant Palmer, Ian Schnoebelin.

December, owned, trained, and played by Bossom , was selected as the Best Playing Pony.

Tony Gregg

Cotterel Farms Wins Officer’s Cup 4 Goal

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The final game of the USPA Coachella Valley Officer’s Cup featured Thermal (Reg Whyte, David Carlson, Ernesto Ezcurra 2, Felipe Sordelli 2) lining up against Cotterel Farms (Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni .5, Francisco Benardoni 1.5, Mike Kerley 1, Gabriel Saccullo 1).

Thermal came into the decider undefeated for the entire month and, as well, World Gym champions – playing as Ocean Air – while Cotterel qualified in a shootout after a so-so World Gym Tournament.

From the outset, it appeared as if Thermal’s hold on their perfect status might be in jeopardy as Cotterel outscored the unconquered foursome to lead at the end of the first at 2 – 1.

The second was scoreless and it was now obvious that Cotterel had figured out the previously successful Thermal offense and were able to keep it at bay.

Cotterel maintained their slight advantage as scoring was even in the third at one apiece. The final had indeed turned into a defensive battle with the Idahoans leading at 3 – 2.

Scoring in the fourth was, once again, even at one and the final count was 4 – 3 to favor Cotterel and they became the Officer’s Cup champions.

Cotterel scoring featured Kerley with a pair, and Benardoni and Sacullo with one each.

For Thermal, Ezcurra scored twice and Sordelli provided one.

Benardoni’s aggressive play was rewarded with his selection as the MVP and Alba, owned by Erik Wright and played by Ezcurra in the third was chosen as the Best Playing Pony.

Tony Gregg

Bush League/FMB Turn Around to Win Officer’s Cup

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The start of the first January 8 Goal Tournament (Jason Memorial) did not go well for the Bush League/Farmers and Merchants Bank entry (Virgil Kyle, Danny Walker 2, Henry Walker 2, Ulysses Escapite 4) as they finished at the bottom.

Of course, the early season can be somewhat difficult as players who haven’t played together become accustomed to each other and horses haven’t reached midseason form. Whatever the reason was for the new combination’s issues, they were mitigated for the second tournament – the USPA Coachella Valley Officer’s Cup.

The final, played on an absolutely perfect afternoon with a temperature of 77 degrees and in front of a large crowd, would feature the rejuvenated group and undefeated Antelope (Geoff Palmer, Grant Palmer, Santiago Trotz 5, Jimmy Wright 3). The pronghorns, however, were the team that Bush League/FMB still had an issue with – the result of a loss in qualifying play.

The Officer’s final started off with good scoring opportunities for both teams but the only goal came off the mallet of Geoff Palmer converting a penalty number two  offering and Antelope was up by one at 1 – 0.

The second was all Bush League/FMB as Danny Walker scored three open goal awards along with a field goal and Escapite counted from the field as well. Trotz got one for the pronghorns and it appeared that the money men might be on their way as they led 5 – 2.

With Trotz masterminding the lineup, Antelope scored three times in the third – Geoff Palmer, Trotz, and Wright) as Bush League/FMB was able to counter with just one – Escapite – and the second period lead was now just one at 6 – 5 going to the half.

Antelope drew even in the fourth as Trotz counted a field goal to tie the count at six with no reply from the financiers. It appeared that the undefeated Palmer group could very well stay that way – not.

Whatever was said in the Bush League/FMB huddle between the fourth and fifth chukkers will never be known but to say it worked would be a gross understatement. The orange and white shirts came out and absolutely dominated with four goals – two from the field by Danny Walker, a penalty number one, and an open goal counter by Walker as a result of a perfect set-up – from Escapite – on the free shot from center after the number one call. Going to the final period Bush League/FMB led by four 10 – 6.

Sensing a victory – and a halt to the Antelope winning streak – the leaders did not slow down as enormous pressure allowed Walker to convert another open goal chance and Escapite counted  from the field to now lead by six. As if it mattered, Wright scored for Antelope to come within five and it was over at 12 – 7. Bush League/FMB became the champions and at the same time handed Antelope their first loss of 2019.

Because of his very aggressive play and his ability to deliver and set up when needed, Henry Walker was selected as the Most Valuable Player to his team and Martina – owned by and played by Trotz in the fourth – was awarded the Best Playing Pony blanket.

Tony Gregg

USPA Coachella Valley Officer’s Cup 8 Goal

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LAZY 3 (7)
Louisa Musselman Fikes
Jared Sheldon 4
Peter Blake 3
Audrey Persano

Geoff Palmer
Grant Palmer
Santiago Trotz 5
Jim Wright 3 

Virgil Kyle
Dan Walker 2
Henry Walker 2
Ulysses Escapite 4

Chris Maloney 1
Ryan Robertson
Graham Bray 3
Ruben Coscia 4

Saturday January 19; Lazy 3 vs Twin Palms, Antelope vs Bush Lg/FMB
Sunday January 20; Antelope vs Lazy 3, Bush Lg/FMB vs Twin Palms
Sunday January 26; Bush Lg/FMB vs Lazy 3, Twin Palms vs Antelope
Sunday January 27; Bush League vs Antelope

Antelope                  3 0 d Bush Lg/FMB, Lazy 3, Twn Plms
Bush League/FMB   2 1 d Twn Plms, Lazy 3 l Antelope
Lazy 3                      1 2 d Twn Plms   l Antelope, Bush Lg 
Twin Palms               0 3 l Lazy 3, Bush Lg/FMB, Antelope

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