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NYTS Tournament Concludes Successful 2018 Season

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The second National Youth Tournament Series of the 2018 Eldorado season featured three very evenly matched youth teams. While several of the players had played in the National Program before, it was the first foray for others into the world of ‘National’ tournament polo.
After two days of round-robin play, Alegria (Hope Kerley, Charlize Bisogni, Piers Bossom, Conrad Kissling, {Alysa Garcia & Athena Malin – sub for inj. Bisogni}) finished in first place.
Boss Polo (Bayne Bossom, Garrett Bankhead, Haley Schneider, Taylor Olcott) were the runners-up and Lakeside (Ian Schnoebelen, Molly Agee, Hannah Stock, Elise Parde) finished third.
Five all stars were selected and became eligible to compete in the National Championship; (alphabetical order) – Molly Agee, Garrett Bankhead, Bayne Bossom, Hope Kerley, Conrad Kissling.
Peque, played by Kerley in her third Sunday chukker and owned by Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni wore the Best Playing Pony Blanket back to the barn.
Alegria 7 – Lakeside 5
Alegria 5 – Boss Polo 4
Boss Polo 6 – Lakeside 4

Tony Gregg

Ocean Mist Wins Women’s Challenge – WCT Qualifier

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Although giving up the first goal of the final game of the USPA Pacific Coast Women’s Challenge – WCT Qualifier, Ocean Mist (Carin Middleton 4, Mia Bray 3, Megan Judge 3, Heather Lake 3/Sheryl Sick 3) easily won by a 9 – 2.5 count over M3 (Madelyn Cobb 4, Jemma Contreras 1, Cybele Jordan 4, Erin Brittin 2).
With a handicap award of 1.5 goals at the start, M3 – with the early counter – then had a 2.5 goal lead. It was not to last long however, as Ocean Mist then scored nine unanswered tallies – two in the first, four in the second, and three in the third – to gain the victory.
For the champions, Lake counted three, Bray had three (two fouls), Judge struck twice and Middleton once (a foul conversion).
Cobb scored the lone M3 goal (a foul conversion).
Because of her steady, strong, and thoughtful play, Bray was selected as the MVP.
Maclo, owned by George Dill and played by Brittin in the forth chukker was awarded the Best Playing Pony blanket.
In earlier action, Deer Creek (Kate Weber 4, Caroline Anier 5, Gina Padilla 3, Leslie Tims 1) defeated Las Patronas JJCK (Jennifer Alexy 5, Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni 4, Claudia Uretz 2, Kim Garsed 2) by a final count of 6 – 5 to win the Consolation final.
Anier, playing a strong inside game, was awarded the title of MVP and Luttrell-Benardoni’s mare Anita was chosen as the Best Playing Pony – the second Easter Sunday honor for a Luttrell-Benardoni horse.

Tony Gregg

National Youth Tournament Series

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LAKESIDE – Molly Agee B.5, Ian Schnoebelen B, Elise Pardue B, Hannah Stock B.
BOSS POLO – Bayne Bossom A, Garrett Bankhead B, Taylor Olcott B, Haley Schneider B.
ALEGRIA – Conrad Kissling 1.5, Hope Kerley B, Charlize Bisogni B, Piers Bossom -1.

Teams will play Saturday and Sunday Round Robins.

Saturday – First game at 12 noon

USPA Pacific Coast Women’s Challenge WCT Qualifier

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LAS PATRONAS JJCK (13) – Jennifer Alexy 5, Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni 4, Claudia Uretz 2, Kim Garsed 2.
M3 (11) – Madelyn Cobb 4, Jemma Contreras 1, Cybele Jordan 4, Erin Brittin 2.
MANILA POLO (13) – Kate Weber 4, Gina Padilla 3, Caroline Anier 5, Lesley Tims 1.
OCEAN MIST (13) – Heather Lake 3, Carin Middleton 4, Megan Judge 3, Mia Bray 3.

SCHEDULE
Sat Mar 31 9 AM – Manilla Polo vs Ocean Mist
Sat Mar 31 10AM – Las Patronas JJCK vs M3
Sun Apr 1 – Final; M3 vs Ocean Mist

Boss Polo Wins 2018 Governor’s Cup

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The 2018 Pacific Coast Circuit Governor’s Cup final was a contest between a pair of young newcomers and a familiar face who had played in the final several times before.
In fact, Reg Whyte had not only been there before, he won the coveted trophy in 2010.
This year’s game would see Whyte and his Thermal group (Reg Whyte, Mia Bray, Patrick Uretz 4, Felipe Sordelli 2) face off with rookies Bayne Bossom and Leslie Tims’ Boss Polo partnership (Leslie Tims -1, Bayne Bossom, Jared Sheldon 4, Remy Du Celliee Muller 3) in a game that saw several swings in momentum.
From the start it was apparent that this would be quick and fast game as Uretz ran from the initial bowl-in and scored to give a very early lead to Thermal. However, Sheldon scored three goals in a row to grab a two goal bulge for Boss Polo. Bossom finished off the first period with two counters of his own and the opener was over with the youngsters leading with a count of 5 – 1.
The momentum that hurt Thermal in the first was theirs in the second frame as the pressure they exerted created defensive errors by Boss Polo. The result was three open goal awards – from 40 yards – that Uretz converted. Boss Polo still led but by just one at 5 – 4.
Chukker number three saw Boss Polo grab the momentum once again as Du Celliee Muller scored three goals and Sheldon had one. Uretz was able to reply for Thermal with one but the lead was now four for the newcomers at 9 – 5.
Thermal came within three as Sordelli scored his first but Sheldon got that back to quell a possible comeback. Sordelli was able to grab another but that would be it as Boss Polo won by a final tally of 10 – 7.
Because of his superb offensive and defensive abilities in the middle of the game, Du Celliee Muller was named the Most Valuable Player to his team.
Chiquita – played by Sheldon in his explosive first chukker – was selected as the Best Playing Pony.

Tony Gregg

Twin Palms Doubles the Skins Money and Wins Rossmore

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On an ‘absolutely perfect afternoon in sunny Southern California’ and in front of a huge and extremely involved crowd, Twin Palms (Graham Bray 3, Mason Wroe 4, Patrick Uretz 4, Mike Kerley 1 {sub for inj Chris Maloney 1}) ran to convincing $14,000 to $7,000 money win and 12 – 9 overall victory over Farmers & Merchants Bank/RH Polo (Danny Walker 2, Mariano Fassetta 5, Santiago Von Wernich 5, Catlin Dix {sub for inj Ben Soleimani}) in the 24th annual Polo Skins Games and the USPA Rossmore Cup.
With $3500 available in each chukker, the hotly contested game turned out to be a perfect example of how polo is supposed to be played – hit the ball and run.
At the outset, speed and accuracy was to be prevalent as the Walker group prevailed by one goal to lead in the Rossmore at 3 – 2 and in doing so won the $3,500 available in the first period.
Twin Palms came back in the second and outscored the bankers by an identical count of 3 – 2 and grabbed their first cash award of $3,500. The money was now even as was the Rossmore tally at 5 – 5.
The third period saw Farmers & Merchants/RH Polo score two goals to just a single from Twin Palms to grab another chunk of cash to lead at $7,000 to $3,500 and go ahead in the overall at 7 – 6.
As the very big crowd took part in the Ruffino Prosecco halftime divot stomp, the Twin Palms foursome used the time wisely and it showed in the fourth period as they outran FMB/RH by a count of 4 – 1 and in doing so won another $3,500 to get even in the money count at $7,000 and jump ahead for the Rossmore at 10 – 8.
As the classic polo continued in the penultimate frame the scoring was made difficult by great defensive work and each side counted but one goal to create the first carryover of the afternoon. This would make the sixth chukker worth $7,000. Twin Palms continued to lead in the Rossmore at 11 – 9.
The final saw just one goal – perhaps fittingly from Patrick Uretz – and Chris Maloney’s Twin Palms had doubled the money count and at the same time took the overall tally to win the Rossmore Cup ($14,000 – $7,000 and 12 – 9 overall).
For the winners, Uretz scored nine goals (four fouls), Bray had a pair, and Wroe counted one.
Fassetta struck seven times for FMB/RH and Waker had two in the loss.
In a game where he showed his ability to do everything required to play winning polo, Uretz was selected as the MVP.
Josephina, a product of the Walker breeding program, and played by Walker in the second period, was chosen as the Best Playing Pony.
Prior to the awards presentation to the winners and the runners-up, David Carlson was presented with the Robert Skene Most Improved Player Trophy.

Tony Gregg

USPA Rossmore Cup/Skins Final Set

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COTTEREL FARMS (11) – Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni, Francisco Benardoni 1, Ruben Cosia 5, Juan Curbelo 5.
FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK/RH POLO (12) – Danny Walker 2, Ben Soleimani, Mariano Fassetta 5, Santiago Von Wernich 5.
HIGHWOOD (12) – Ron Mathison, Marcelo Rodriguez-Abbiati 4, Mariano Gutierrez 4, Geronimo Obregon 4.
TWIN PALMS (12) – Chris Maloney 1, Graham Bray 5, Mason Wroe 4, Patrick Uretz 4.

STANDINGS
Twin Palms 3 0 def Cotterel, Farmers & Merchants/RH Polo, Highwood
Farmers & Merchants/RH Polo 2 1 def Highwood, Cotterel lost Twin Palms
Highwood 1 2 def Cotterel lost Farmers & Merchants/RH, Twin Palms
Cotterel Farms 0 3 lost Twin Palms, Highwood, Farmers & Merchants/RH Polo

Fri Mar 16 – Highwood vs Farmers & Merchants/RH, Cotterel vs Twin Palms
Sun Mar 18- Twin Palms vs Farmers & Merchants/RH, Cotterel vs Highwood
Fri Mar 23 – Farmers & Merchahts/RH vs Cotterel, Highwood vs Twin Palms
Sun Mar 11 – Final – Farmers & Merchants Bank/RH Polo vs Twin Palms

Two best records will play final
‘Who beat who’ and ‘shootout’ rules in effect

Governor’s Cup Final – Familiar Face vs Newcomers

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BRACKET 1
BLAZERS (6) – Pat Powell, Kyle Fargey 3, Diego Cossio 2, Malia McCoy 1.
BOSS POLO (6) – Lesley Tims -1, Bayne Bossom, Jared Sheldon 4, Remy Du Celliee Muller 3.
BEARSDEN (5.5) – Carol Farnsworth -.5, Cody Woodfin 2, Peter Blake 3, Jessica Baily 1.
HANALEI BAY (6) – Krista Bonaguidi -1, Ashton Wolf 3, Taylor Freeman 2, Matthew Fonseca 2.

BRACKET 2
BUSH LEAGUE (6) – Virgil Kyle, Ryan Robertson .5, Ulysses Escapite 4, Jose Rodriguez 1.5.
THERMAL (6) – Reg Whyte, Mia Bray, Patrick Uretz 4, Felipe Sordelli 2.
LUNA NUEVA (6) – Jennifer Alexy .5, Cheryl Schindel -.5, Diego Larregli 3, Luis Saracco 3.

Boss Polo 2 0 1 def Hanalei Bay, Blazers tied Bearsden (first)
Blazers 2 1 def Bearsden, Hanalei Bay lost Boss Polo (second)
Hanalei Bay 1 2 def Bearsden lost Boss Polo, Blazers
Bearsden 0 2 1 lost Blazers, Hanalei Bay tied Boss Polo

Thermal 1 1 def Luna Nueva lost Bush League (won shootout)
Bush League 1 1 def Thermal lost Luna Nueva (second in shootout)
Luna Nueva 1 1 def Bush League lost Thermal (eliminated in shootout)

Sat Mar 17 – Blazers vs Bearsden, Boss Polo vs Hanalei Bay
Sat Mar 17 – Bush League vs Luna Nueva
Sun Mar 18 – Boss Polo vs Blazers, Bearsden vs Hanalei Bay
Sun Mar 18 – Thermal vs Bush League
Thur Mar 22 – Hanalei Bay vs Blazers, Bearsden vs Boss Polo
Thur Mar 22 – Luna Nueva vs Thermal
Sat Mar 24 – Semi Finals; Boss Polo vs Bush League, Blazers vs Thermal
Sun Mar 25 – Final; Thermal vs Boss Polo

Play is inside the bracket
Two teams with best record in their bracket will play in cross bracket semi-final – first in one bracket plays second in the other bracket
Winners will advance to final
Three teams that that don’t advance to semi-finals will play Round-Robin for the Lt. Governor’s Cup
Shootout rules in effect

Boss Polo Wins Prelude to the Governor’s Cup

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It has been said, that if you win most of the throw-ins in a polo game you will have a strong chance of winning the game. This proved to be true for Boss Polo (Bayne Bossom, Lesley Tims -1, Jared Sheldon 4, Remy Du Celliee Muller 3) as they – in overtime – defeated Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi -1, Ashton Wolf 3, Taylor Freeman 2, Matthew Fonseca 2) in an extremely entertaining March 6 Goal final on an ‘absolutely perfect afternoon in sunny Southern California’ by a final tally of 8 – 7.
From the outset it became obvious that this was going to be a running game – out of the throw-ins quickly and go.
To that point Wolf grabbed the ball from the initial toss and scored on a superb run to gain the early lead for the Hawaiians. That one goal advantage became two as Bonaguidi caught a perfect pass and carried the ball 120 yards to rack up another counter. Not to be outdone, Sheldon then showed his ability to hit and run out of the scrums as he grabbed three in a row – the ‘natural hat trick’ – to give Boss Polo a lead of one after one at 3 – 2.
The wide open style for both sides continued in the second chukker as Sheldon scored two more for Boss Polo and Wolf and Fonseca replied for Hanalei Bay and it was 5 – 4 Boss Polo at the half.
The speed continued in the third period but defensive work was stronger as only two goals were scored. By grabbing both of those – from Freeman and Fonseca – the surfers held the lead going to the final of regulation by a count of 6- 5.
The fourth stanza saw much of the same open style of play, but a Hanalei Bay defensive error allowed Sheldon a free-throw opportunity from 30 yards which he easily converted to tie the score at six. Freeman then grabbed his second of the game and the lead was back in the hands of Bonaguidi and crew. That lead was rather short lived however as Tims alertly jumped on a loose ball in front of the Hawaiian goal and it was again tied – this time at seven and it was on to an extremely short overtime.
With the throw in toward the boards and about 120 yards out from the Hanalei Bay goal, and near the left side line, a cool and very quick Bossom grabbed the ball and ran and scored. It was over just like that – the shortest extra frame many had ever seen at no more than 10 seconds elapsed – and again showed the strengh of winning the scrums and running as Boss Polo won the March 6 Goal. Many in the very large and exuberant crowd remarked that this was, most certainly, one of the best games they had witnessed in a very long time.
With six goals, Sheldon was the obvious choice for MVP and Shock Top, owned and played by Sheldon in the second was honored as the Best Playing Pony.

Tony Gregg

Cotterel Takes Long Route to March 12 Goal Victory

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It really doesn’t matter how you get to the final game of any tournament – it’s what you do when you get there. For Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni and her Cotterel Farms aggregation (Jenny Luttrell-Benardoni, Francisco Benardoni 1, Ruben Coscia 5, Juan Curbelo 5) the route to the final was not ideal. A pair of losses to start with and it didn’t look promising. But a third game victory combined with some help, allowed the Idaho group into a shootout to determine an opponent for undefeated Highwood (Ron Mathison, Marcello Rodrigues-Abbiati 4, Geronimo Obregon 4, Mariano Gutierrez 4) – a shootout that they won.
The final then, was a rematch between the tournament’s first game combatants but the result would be much different – this time Cotterel prevailed. In fact, the Idaho farmers would never trail as they literally outran the Canadian outfit by a final score of 6 – 5.
With a handicap award of one to start with, first period counters by Curbelo and Coscia gave Cotterel a lead of three going to the second.
Gutierrez and Rodriguez-Abbiati scored for Highwood in that second to trail by just one (3 – 2).
Benardoni notched his first of the day in the third chukker to give Cotterel a lead of two but Highwood got back to within one as Gutierrez converted a penalty four strike to go to halftime (4 – 3).
Curbelo scored his second – the only goal of the fourth frame – and Idaho now led by two with two to go in regulation (5 – 3).
The penultimate stanza – like chukker number four – featured just one goal. That counter was an open goal conversion by Gutierrez from 30 yards and Mathison and Co., once again, trailed by only one going to the final frame (5 – 4).
In the sixth, Gutierrez grabbed his second goal from the field and the count was now tied at five with less than three minutes to go. An alert play from the right of the Highwood goal rewarded Benardoni with his second goal of the contest that turned out to be the winner as Cotterel prevailed by one goal at 6 – 5 and had won the March 12 Goal Tournament – the prelude to the Skins Tournament.
Benardoni, with creative and aggressive play, was selected as the Most Valuable Player to his team and Euro, owned by Mathison and played by Rodriguez-Abbiati, was rewarded with the Best Playing Pony blanket.

Tony Gregg

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