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Bush League Wins Pacific Coast Governor’s Cup

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BUSH LEAGUE – Virgil Kyle, Ryan Robertson, Jose Rodriguez, Ulysses Escapite

The final game of the 2019 USPA Pacific Coast Governor’s Cup – with $7,500 for the winners and $2500 to the runners-up) featured two team names that had been there before. Bush League’s Virgil Kyle and Ryan Robertson saddled up for their third finals appearance in four years and Cheryl Schindel had played in the 2015 decider.

The start was fast for the Centurions (Cheryl Schindel -.5, Luis Saracco 3, Ignacio Saracco 2, Santiago Mendez 1.5) as Ignacio Saracco scored in the first 90 seconds to give the Grand Prairie, Alberta group a lead of one. However, that would be their only lead of the afternoon as Bush League (Virgil Kyle .5, Ryan Robertson .5, Ulysses Escapite 4, Jose Rodriguez 1) came back quickly to apply pressure that resulted in a Robertson penalty three conversion followed by a field goal from Escapite. The first was over and the country boys led 2 – 1.
The Romans got even in the second frame as Luis Saracco scored on a penalty two award but Bush League’s Escapite nailed a penalty four strike to again lead by one at the half (3 – 2).
Ignacio Saracco scored his second field goal in the early third period to again tie the count. Rodriguez then counted a pair of well earned field goals and Robertson scored his second open goal opportunity – a spot penalty two – and the third was over with country boys up by three (6 – 3).
In the fourth, Rodriguez scored his third of the contest and the Bush League lead was now four goals at 7 – 3. With the Centurions needing to score five unanswered goals to win, time – not to mention a strong Bush league defence – was a big factor. Luis Saracco was able to count a pair of field goals but it wasn’t nearly enough and Bush league won their second Governor’s Cup title in three years – with the identical lineup.
With his “nose in every play”, Rodriguez was the obvious choice as the MVP and Ygritte, owned by Kyle and played by Rodriguez in the third was selected as the Best Playing Pony.
On an afternoon that was presented by Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Ed Adams, Master of Whisky, and representing Oban & Lagavulin presnted the victors with bottles of Oban.
The Governor of the Pacific Coast Circuit, Danny Walker, presented the trophies and checks to both teams.
Tony Gregg

CENTURIONS – Cheryl Schindel, Ignacio Saracco, Luis Saracco, Topo Mendez
BEST PLAYING PONY – YGRITTE Played by Jose Rodriguez owned by Virgil Kyle

Skins Money Split – Highwood Wins Rossmore Decisively

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HIGHWOOD – Ron Mathison, Francisco Rodriguez-Mera, Marcos Llambias, Marcelo Abbiati

The format of the Polo Skins Game, played in conjuction with the USPA Rossmore Cup, allows that on occasion, the number of chukkers won can be even and, at the same time, one team can win the overall count by many goals.
Such was the case on Sunday afternoon, March 24th – presented by Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky – as Ben Soleimani’s Bensoleimani.com (Ben Soleimani, Santiago Von Wernich 5, Remi Du Celliee Muller 3, Tomi Alberdi 4) and Canadian Ron Matherson’s Highwood (Ron Matherson, Marcelo Rodriguez-Abbiati 4, Marcos Llambias 4, Francisco Rodriguez-Mera 4) met in the 25th annual Skins contest with each team winning three chukkers – to split the $30,000 available – and Highwood winning the Rossmore Cup by a final count of 13 – 8.
In front of a typical Skins crowd – huge with a party atmosphere – and on a perfect afternoon, the first period saw the early money going to Highwood as Rodriguez-Abbiati and Llambias scored field goals with an open goal reply from Bensoleimani.com’s Alberdi with a spot hit from inside thirty yards. Highwood $5000 and a Rossmore lead at 2- 1.
The second frame featured extremely tight play with three penalty three coversions – a pair from the Soleimani group’s Alberdi and a single from Highwood’s Rodriguez-Mera. Bensoleimani.com $5000 and the Rossmore tied at 3 – 3.
The designers continued the second period pressure into the third as Alberdi counted another penalty three award along with a field goal. The lone Highwood goal came from Rodriguez-Mera with another 40 yard free-throw conversion and Bensoleimani.com won their second skin and now had banked $10,000 and led the Rossmore at 5 – 4.
Following the Sophia halftime divot stomp, play in the fourth chukker opened up considerably and was all Highwood as Rodriguez-Mera scored three field goals with nary a reply from the rug merchants. The addition of the $5000 gave the Canadian crew $10,000 and a Rossmore lead of two at 7 – 5.
The Soleimani group recovered in the fifth period as Alberdi counted another penalty three award along with a field goal and Von Wernich counted one from the field. Highwood kept it close with a pair of 40 yard open goal counters from Rodriguez-Mera but the skin was Bensoleimani.com’s and gave them a total of $15,000. However, Highwood continued to lead the Rossmore at 9 – 8.
With many on hand thinking that the designers would come out strong in the sixth – they didn’t. Instead the strength was with the Canadians as they took absolute control and ran over the Soleimani group to score four unanswered goals – Rodriguez-Mera with three more open goal counters – a two from the spot, a two, and a three – and another field goal from Llambias. Bensoleimani.com was powerless as Highwood grabbed the final $5,000 to even the count at $15,000 each. With the deluge, Highwood won the Rossmore Cup by a large margin at 13 – 8.
With each team winning three chukkers to split the money, the difference in the Rossmore Cup was two strong chukkers from Highwood in which they scored seven unananswered goals. As mentioned earlier, in the Skins, an even game by the money count can be – and was – much different in the overall score.
With his strong effort inside the game to move the ball to advantageous spots along with his strong defensive play, Llambias was selected as the MVP and as such, he was the recipient of a check for $2,500.
Argentina, owned and played by Rodriguez-Abbiati in the fouth was chosen as the Best Playing Pony. Along with the BPP Blanket, Argentina garnered a $2,500 award.
Ed Adams, Master of Whisky and representing Oban & Lagavulin, presented bottles of Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky to the winners.
Mike Ward, the President of the Eldorado Polo Club, was on hand to award the $5,000 Skins checks as well as the USPA Rossmore Cup to Highwood.
Tony Gregg

BENSOLEIMANI.COM – Tomy Alberdi, Santiago Von Wernich, Remy Du Celliee Muller, Ben Soleimani
BEST PLAYING PONY – ARGENTINA – Marcelo Abbiati
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – MARCOS LLAMBIAS

USPA Pacific Coast Governor’s Cup – March 24

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THERMAL 6
Reg Whyte 0
Bayne Bossom 2
Earnie Ezcurra 2
Felipe Sordelli 2

CENTURIONS 6
Cheryl Schindel -.5
Luis Saracco 3
Ignacio Saracco 2
Santiago Mendez 1.5

MOTHER CHUKKERS 5.5
Suzannah Forbes -1
Ignacio Deltour 4
Dayelle Fargey 2
Catlin Dix .5

BUSH LEAGUE 6
Virgil Kyle .5
Ryan Robertson .5
Ulysses Escapite 4
Jose Rodriguez 1

Sat Mar 16;Centurions vs Thermal, Bush League vs Mother Chukkers
Sun Mar 17; Thermal vs Bush League, Mother Chukkers vs Centurions
Sat Mar 23; Bush League vs Centurions, Thermal vs Mother Chukkers
Sat Mar 23; Thermal eliminated in shootout
Sun Mar 24; Governor’s Cup Final – Centurions vs Bush League

Centurions               2   1  d Mother Chukkers, Bush League l Thermal
Bush League           2    1  d Mother Chukkers, Thermal l Centurions
Thermal                    2   1   d Centurions, Mother Chukkers   l Bush League
Mother Chukkers      0   3   l Bush League, Centurions, Thermal

Rossmore Skins Cup -Standings March 24

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FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK 12
Danny Walker 2
Matthew Walker 2
Santiago Trotz 5
Jimmy Wright 3

HIGHWOOD 12
Ron Mathison 0
Francisco Mera-Rodriguez 4
Marcos Llambias 4
Mariano Gutierrez 4

Bensoleimani.com 12
Ben Soleimani 0
Santiago Von Wernich 5
Tomy Alberdi 4
Remy Du Celiee Muller 3

TWIN PALMS 12
Chris Maloney 1
Graham Bray 3
Ruben Coscia 4
Ulysses Escapite 4

Fri Mar 15; Farmers & Merchants vs Twin Palms, Bensoleimani.com vs Highwood
Sun Mar 17; FMB vs Bensoleimani.com, Twin Palms vs Highwood
Fri Mar 22; Twin Palms vs Bensoleimani.com, Highwood vs FMB
Sun Mar 24; Polo Skins Game – Bensoleimani.com vs Highwood

Bensoleimani.com   3  0  d Highwood, FMB, Twin Palms
Highwood                 2  1 d Twin Palms, FMB l Bensoleimani.com
FMB                         1  2  d Twin Palms   l Bensoeimani.com, Highwood
Twin Palms               0  3  l FMB, Highwood, Bensoleimani.com

Perfect Sunday Presented by Ketel One Botanicals

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Saint Patrick’s Day Sunday Polo – presented by Ketel One Botanicals – in front of a huge crowd, featured, first of all, a USPA 6 Goal Governor’s Cup tournament game followed by a USPA 12 Goal Rossmore Cup Skins qualifier.

The Governor’s Cup action featured Thermal (Reg Whyte, Bayne Bossom 2, Earnie Ezcurra 2 Felipe Sordelli 2) going up against Bush League (Virgil Kyle .5, Ryan Robertson .5, Ulysses Escapite 4, Jose Rodriquez 1).

With Thermal leading after the first three chukkers (3 – 0, 3 – 2, 4 – 3), Bush League came back in the fourth period to force an overtime frame with the count tied at six. With the throw-in to start the decider inside 40 yards and right of the Thermal goal, Escapite needed only 18 seconds to score the winner. With the 7 – 6  win, Bush league remained undefeated in qualifying play.

The second game, on this perfect afternoon for polo, saw Highwood (Ron Matheson, Marcello Rodriquez-Abbiati 4, Marcos Llambias 4, Francisco Rodriquez-Mera 4) mount up against Twin Palms (Chris Maloney 1, Graham Bray 3, Ruben Coscia 4, Ulysses Escapite 4).

After three periods, Highwood led by a count of 7 – 3. Twin Palms came back in the fourth and early fifth and tied the score at seven. However, Highwood regrouped and rode to a 12 – 7 victory.

With the Ketel One Botanical ladies present, players were presented with Ketel One Botanicals after both games.

Tony Gregg

Bush League Victorious in March 6 Goal

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BUSH LEAGUE – Virgil Kyle, Ryan Robertson, Jose Rodriguez, Ulysses Escapite

The final game of the March 6 Goal League featured Palm Desert (Dan Horn, Malia McCoy 1, Joseph Stuart 3, Alonso Andrade 1) lining up against Bush League (Virgil Kyle .5, Ryan Robertson .5, Ulysses Escapite 4, Jose Rodriguez 1). For Bush League it was to be a warm-up event for the USPA 2019 Pacific Coast Governor’s Cup – a tournament they won in 2017 with the same roster.

With a handicap award of one-half goal, Palm Desert started quickly as Stuart scored early. Rodriguez and Kyle replied for Bush League and the first ended with the minor leaguers leading by the handicap difference at 2 – 1.5.

The Bush League lead increased in the second via a penalty one call against Palm Desert but was short lived as Stuart scored his second and Andrade counted one as well. At the half, it was Palm Desert up at 3.5 – 3.

The third was a back and forth as Bush League counted three times – Escapite twice (one penalty 4) and Robertson – and Palm Desert two times – Stuart and Andrade (a penalty 3). Going to the final frame Bush League led again at 6 – 5.5.

Kyle scored the only goal of the fourth period and that would be enough as Escapite did a masterful job of running down the clock that prevented any kind of comeback by Palm Desert. The result was a 7 – 5.5 win for Bush League.

Escapite, always organized and influential, was selected as the MVP.

Blackjack, owned by Dayelle Fargey and Abby Riggs and played by Escapite in the fourth, earned the title of Best Playing Pony.

Tony Gregg

Ulysses Escapite – MVP
Best Playing Pony – BLACK JACK Played by Ulysses Escapite, Owned by Abby Riggs & Dayelle Fargey

Bensoleimani.com Takes Beal 12 Over Chateau d’Esclans

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BENSOLEIMANI.COM – Tomy Alberdi, Remy Mueller, Ben Sloeimani, Santi Von Wernich

The USPA Carlton and Keleen Beal Cup 12 Goal final turned out to be a game of split momentum for five chukkers and then then a battle to the finish the sixth.

From the start, Bensoleimani.com (Ben Soleimani, Santiago Von Wernich 5, Tomy Alberdi 4, Remy Du Celliee Muller 3) took control over Chateau d’Escalns (Ron Mathison, Marcos Llambias 4, Francisco Rodriguez-Mera 4, Patrick Uretz 4 – sub for inj Marcello Rodriguez-Abbiati 4) with immediate and sustained pressure. The result was two goals from Alberdi – one from the field and a penalty three conversion to lead after one at 2 – 0.

The early second saw the momentum stay with the designers as Du Celiee Muller and Von Wernich each scored singles to lead by four. However, the late second saw a switch in momentum as Chateau d’Esclans recovered to find pressure of their own that was rewarded with a spot penalty two opportunity that was easily converted by Rodriguez-Mera and the second was over with Soleimani.com up by three at 4 – 1.

The switch in strength to favor the vintners continued into the third frame as Rodriguez-Mera counted two goals – another free hit from 10 yards and a field goal to narrow the deficit to just a goal at 4 – 3 going into the Sophia Halftime Divot Stomp.

The fourth period featured continued momentum for Chateau d’Esclans as Rodriguez-Mera counted a pair of open goal strikes and a spectacular neck shot from 65 yards and well to the right – the announcer’s shot of the day – to now lead for the first time in the game. At this point, it appeared that the vintners were on their way. Not quite as Bensoleimani.com was able to stop the six goal run as Alberdi scored on a massive penalty four effort. Notwithstanding, Chateau d’Esclans led after the frame by a count of 6 – 5. This was the vintners first lead at the end of a chukker.

With the penalty strike in the fourth, the momentum was now firmly back in the camp of Bensoleimani.com in the penultimate stanza as Alberti made three more goals  – two open goal awards and one from the field. Chateau d’Esclans were able to stop the four goal run with Rodriguez-Mera launching a 60 yard penalty conversion of his own. However, the designers led again at 8 – 7 going to the final.

With scoring runs of four, six, and four again, momentum had indeed been a factor for both teams coming into the sixth period. The final frame, however, saw back and fourth scoring  – all field goals – as Alberdi counted his seventh of the game to lead by two. Rodriguez-Mera brought Chateau d’Esclans back to within one but Von Wernich gave the Soleimani group another lead of two. Uretz then scored, to once again bring the winery to within one. But that would be it for the vintners and Alberdi counted another to give Bensoleimani.com the 2019 Beal Cup by a final count of 11 – 9.

With his strong play and superb foul shooting abilities, Alberdi was chosen as the MVP and Felina, played by Rodriguez-Mera in the sixth wore the Best Playing Pony cooler back to the barn.

Recent Polo Hall of Fame inductee Karlene Beal Garber, along with her husband Dick, was on hand to present the awards.

Tony Gregg

MVP – Tomy Alberdi
Best Playing Pony – FELINA Francisco Rodriguez Mera

March League 6 Goal – Teams/Standings Mar 10

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THERMAL 6
Reg Whyte 0
Bayne Bossom 2
Earnie Ezcurra 2
Felipe Sordelli 2

PALM DESERT 6
Dan Horn 0
Joseph Stuart 3
Malia McCoy 1
Luciano Vazquez 2

MOTHER CHUKKERS/TIMING 6
Suzannah Forbes -1
Nicole Ball 0
Ignacio Deltour 4
Rodrigo Salinas 3

BUSH LEAGUE 6
Virgil Kyle .5
Ryan Robertson .5
Ulysses Escapite 4
Jose Rodriguez 1

Sat Mar 2; Thermal vs Palm Desert, Bush League vs Mother Chukkers/Timing
Sun Mar 3; Palm Desert vs Bush League, Mother Chukkers/Timing vs Thermal
Sat Mar 9; Bush League vs Thermal, Palm Desert vs Mother Chukkers/Timing
Sun Mar 10; Palm Desert vs Bush League

Bush League             3   0   d Mother Chukkers/Timing, Palm Desert, Thermal
Palm Desert              2   1   d Thermal, Mother Chukkers/Timing l Bush League
Thermal                     1   2   d Mother Chukkers/Timing l Palm Desert, Bush League
Mthr Chkrs/Tmng      0   3   l Bush League, Thermal, Palm Desert

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