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F E B R U A R Y 2 01 9

La Dolfina outlasts Las Monjitas in Palermo

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VOL. 22,



26 Bravo Brava!


by Ernesto Rodriguez

Ten-goal Clarkin leads La Dolfina to victory

30 Better by the Dozen

by Ernesto Rodriguez

Association News

USPA Bulletin Club Spotlight

12 Instructors Forum

La Dolfina continues to dominate Argentine Open

36 Snow Time

NO. 6

by Julio Arellano

14 Usefuls

photo by Sharon Robb

Richard Mille excels in Aspen

with Juan Martinez Baez

16 Equine Athlete 18 22 24 40

F E B R U A R Y 2 01 9

La Dolfina outlasts Las Monjitas in Palermo

OUR COVER Adolfo Cambiaso makes a well-placed backshot to his teammates in the Argentine Open final. Photo by Sergio Llamera

by Heather Smith Thomas Polo Scene News, notes, trends & quotes

National Youth Tournament Series Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Polo in the Pampas by Ernesto Rodriguez

42 Polo around the Globe 60 Yesteryears 64 Calendar 46 Polo Report Evergreen Secures Stagecoach Challenge

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E-mail: ©Copyright 2019 by United States Polo Association.. No part of this issue may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process without written permission of the publisher. Paul Brown illustrations are ©2018 and are reprinted by permission of Paul Brown Studios, Inc., P.O. Box 925, Hedgesville, WV 25427. Subscription rates: $45/one year, $78/two years. Other countries (air mail), $78 drawn on U.S. bank/one year, $144 drawn on U.S. bank/two years. (GST:134989508). Subscription problems call (561) 968-5208. VOL. 22, No.6 POLO Players’ Edition (ISSN #1096-2255) is published monthly by Rizzo Management Corp. 6008 Reynolds RD, Lake Worth, FL 33449 for U.S. Polo Association, 9011 Lake Worth RD, Lake Worth, FL 33467. Periodicals postage paid at West Palm Beach, FL and additional mailing offices. (USPS: 079-770). POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Polo Players’ Edition, 6008 Reynolds RD, Lake Worth, FL 33449. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement No. 40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Imex Global, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2.


U.S. Polo Assn. historically taps young polo players to be ambassadors as they are committed to showcasing the fun, passion and comradery of the sport of polo. Zenni is no exception, having proved himself an integral member of various teams in past competitions and through his experience with mentoring younger polo players. He is also committed to raising awareness for the sport and is actively involved in the American polo scene. Zenni’s latest appearance was playing in the 125th Argentine Open in December, where the world’s greatest polo players compete in the fiercest competition in the sport. UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION

Global Brand Ambassador U.S. Polo Assn. and the United States Polo Association are thrilled to announce professional polo player, Jared Zenni, as their newest global brand ambassador. Built on the heritage and authenticity of the sport of polo, U.S. Polo Assn. believes Zenni is ideal for this iconic role coming off a thrilling victory in the 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship as a member of the Daily Racing Form polo team. Zenni scored two goals in the championship— including the game winner—securing his place as a leader and one of the most recognizable faces of the sport.

Zenni said, “I am very excited to be partnering with USPAGL and USPA to continue to bring more awareness to the sport of polo and further reinforce the authenticity of U.S. Polo Assn.” “Jared demonstrates the dedication and skills necessary to continue to develop and grow as a top competitor in polo. This is a great opportunity for the USPA to support one of our most promising players competing in the United States and around the world,” said USPA CEO Robert Puetz. “His determination, knowledge and experience will help guide young players with similar goals and aspirations.” In his role as brand ambassador, Zenni will serve as both a spokesperson for USPA programs, a mentor for young American players and will be outfitted in U.S. Polo Assn. gear on and off the field as he plays in the 2019 winter, high-goal polo season in Palm Beach County, Florida. As an ambassador, he will also share stories about the sport and himself through digital platforms with U.S. Polo Assn.’s four million global social media followers who follow the sport and the brand closely. “We are beyond excited to begin our partnership with Jared. Not only is he an incredible player and role model, but he’s dedicated to improving the visibility and appeal of the sport of polo globally,” explained USPAGL President & CEO J. Michael Prince. “This is just another example of U.S. Polo Assn.’s authentic connection to the sport of polo as we continue to engage new consumers and sports’ fans around the world.” Zenni has grown significantly from a young, up-and-coming player over the last few years, showcasing his talents in various global competitions in 2017 and 2018. As a child, he was drawn to horses but admittedly was more interested in traditional American sports like basketball, football and baseball. That changed when Jared Zenni and his horse Tormenta


Zenni began accompanying his father to stick and ball sessions, and by the age of 10, he was hooked on polo. By 2017, he was considered a rising talent in the sport, having appeared in key matches in Santa Barbara, Palm Beach and Argentina. His significant contributions to his team’s win at the 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship—the highest-rated polo tournament in the U.S.—solidified his role as one of the sport’s most important athletes.


Equine Welfare As winter polo seasons are in full swing on both coasts, all USPA members and players are reminded to review the USPA Drugs and Medications Rules and Regulations. The Medication Testing Program resumed in 2018 and will continue at all levels of play moving forward in 2019. It is the responsibility of each member to familiarize themselves with the rules and also to be aware of the medication condition of the horses they are playing. The player of any horse selected for testing is the responsible party for the test results. This is particularly important if you are borrowing, leasing or just trying a horse. The USPA Medication Policy is a very reasonable format and is not structured to eliminate medications from being used. It does follow a balanced and accepted set of standards for judicious use

of medications that have been adjusted for the demands of polo while at the same time are tailored to protect the welfare of our polo ponies. Please read over the guidelines on the USPA website, As a reminder and to eliminate any confusion, anabolic steroids are prohibited substances and not permitted for administration. Players should pay particular attention to the herbal supplement section of the rules as many of these products are not regulated and their components cannot be completely verified. Any use of these products is done so at the players own risk. Additionally, any cannabis derivative product, including CBC formulations, at this time are considered a prohibited substance and players should be aware that they may trigger a positive test result if used. The testing protocol has been modified and refined over the last year. Each team to be tested will be met by a USPA representative before the game and the procedure will be explained. Horses will be selected and identified by testing personnel during the game. All horses selected will be brought to a designated and marked testing area immediately following the conclusion of the game where blood samples will be drawn by the testing veterinarians. Every effort will be made to make this testing go smoothly and quick-

ly. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. A full link to the USPA Equine Drugs and Medications Rules can be found on

USPA Rulebook With the support of the USPA Rules Committee and other USPA committees, the USPA board of governors has approved a number of changes to the USPA Outdoor Rules for 2019. These changes are designed to open up the game, make it safer and bring the Outdoor Rules more in line with the USPA’s International Rules and the HPA, FIP and AAP Rules. The 2019 USPA Rulebook is now available on the “bookshelf” tab of Handicaps Please note that a change has been made by the USPA National Handicap Committee to revert handicaps below 1 goal to numeric values effective January 1, 2019: Old handicap: New handicap: B -1 B.5 -0.5 A 0 A.5 0.5 The C (-2) handicap as been eliminated altogether.

Published by the United States Polo Association Offices at 9011 Lake Worth Rd. Lake Worth, Florida 33467 (800) 232-USPA

Chairman: Chip Campbell President: Tony Coppola Secretary: Stewart Armstrong Treasurer: Sam Ramirez Chief Executive Officer: Robert Puetz



Youth players are encouraged to compete in one of the many NYTS qualifiers around the country. Some All-Stars from the qualifiers will be invited to participate in the championships scheduled for Labor Day weekend.

Intern Program Are you interested in pursuing a career in polo? Are you a recent college graduate interested in getting involved in the polo industry? Do you want to learn more about running a club or polo school from knowledgeable professionals? If any of these sound like you, the USPA internship program might be a great fit! We are here to help connect young aspiring polo professionals with successful clubs and managers. We have opportunities ranging from the bigger to smaller clubs across the country for an array of experience levels. If you are interested, email Ali Davidge at to learn more about the opportunities available.

National Youth Tournament Series The 2019 NYTS qualifier season is just around the corner! USPA members born 8 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

after Jan. 1, 2000, holding a minimum of a -1 handicap are eligible to participate in NYTS qualifier tournaments. If you are a USPA outdoor club wanting to host a tournament, please contact Amanda Snow at or Hayley Heatley at for information.

Intercollegiate/Interscholastic The 2019 I/I tournament season is here! This year, 112 teams will be competing through four divisions to try for a chance at one of the four national titles. Both the interscholastic and intercollegiate preliminaries begin the first weekend in February, and tournaments will run through the first weekend of April. The USPA National Interscholastic Championships will be held March 18-24 at the Brookshire Polo Club in Brookshire, Texas, while the USPA National

Intercollegiate Championships will be held at Virginia Polo Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, April 1-7. Good Luck to all teams!

Varsity Letter Baseball, volleyball, soccer and now polo! The I/I program is excited to announce the application for the Interscholastic Polo Varsity Letter will open February 1. The interscholastic polo program is a competitive league in which high school students play against other polo teams in their region and across the country. Players must meet their school’s academic standards in order to compete. Students who receive the varsity letter have shown their commitment to both academic and polo excellence through their time commitment and level of play. Applications and requirements are listed on the I/I pages at

Harnessing Polo Potential


here are few jobs more rewarding and least glorified in the polo world than that of the horse trainer. While there are many layers to the process, building a solid foundation can set in motion the upward trajectory of a polo pony’s career. While top polo ponies pass through many hands before arriving on highgoal fields, it is often what happens at the very beginning that can make or break a horse’s future in the sport. The West has historically been regarded as a source for some of the best polo stock and, subsequently, trainers in the country. Husband and wife CJ and Sheila Lequerica are no exception. Mentored by one of the earliest practitioners of modern natural horsemanship, one step into their barn in Sealy, Texas, and you instantly sense the calm that pervades. The duo behind Vintage Polo Ponies Inc., they are a power couple indeed, and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to molding young equine minds and bodies, yet they remain humble to the core. Generally flying under the radar, you may never guess that Hall of Famer Memo Gracida is a regular buyer, or that they put the first miles on a staple of 10-goaler Facundo Pieres’ American string. While the Lequericas now call Texas home, along with their two children Lily and Joe Bob, they initially met around the polo fields of Indio, California. Sheila, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, grew up showing hunter jumpers. She discovered polo in college while attending Colorado State University, which propelled her into an intercollegiate polo career, along with summers dedicated to her new found hobby. Meanwhile, CJ, born and raised on his family’s cattle ranch in Central Oregon, opted to skip a formal degree for an opportunity to train with Tink Elordi,

CJ short works a horse in the arena. Trying to improve and make the horses better is what keeps him going.

a pupil of Tom Dorrance, one of the founders of the natural horsemanship movement. Years later, after a stint working a 9 to 5 job, which Sheila admittedly despised, the two joined forces at high-goal team owner Fred Mannix’s Fish Creek. “He [CJ] actually hired me to work for him starting horses at Fish Creek,” recounted Sheila. “They needed someone that could ride young horses and get them on the polo field. They were all cowboys and they knew how to break and start them, but no one played polo.” Eventually, the couple decided to break out on their own, buying some prospects to train and sell while still riding for others. “It wasn’t really a certain thing that happened, it just kind of fell into my lap,” said Sheila. “I always wanted horses in my life, I never thought it would be my profession. I didn’t know I could really do it, to tell you the truth, but I couldn’t do it without CJ. So, when he brought me

on, and then we went on our own, this became our life—instead of just a hobby.” Bumping and splashing along the long orange dirt roads inundated with standing water due to the heavy rainfall this season, the Lequerica’s large covered arena pops out first as you round the corner to their ranch. “Horse training is hard work,” says Sheila, “and Memo Gracida said it best one time, ‘if you miss a day on a green horse, it’s like missing a week.’” So, it’s no wonder they describe the arena as their saving grace. With as many as 54 horses in work during their busiest time of year, and copious amounts of rainfall throughout this season particularly, you can undoubtedly recognize the importance of such an investment. “We built it to stay dry, but in the summertime we ride all day and it’s hotter than hell here, let me tell you, but that covered arena saves our tails. We can go all day, it’s like the air conditioner is on when we ride in the shade.” The entire Lequerica family specializes in horse training. CJ’s brother Troy and sister-in-law Joscelyn can easily load up horses and drive five minutes down the road from their neighboring farm to make use of the round pen, situated under the arena roof. On this day, specifically, they are saddling two of their client’s horses, a pair of unusually large chestnut yearlings, but during colt starting season Troy will often be counted among the ranks to assist. As Sheila prepares for an afternoon practice where CJ will help groom, Troy and Joscelyn offer to pick the kids up from school. “They’ll probably have homework,” Sheila calls from the arena, “but they can clean up the barn first.” A family operation through and through, despite the demands of a rigorous horse training schedule, the POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 9


working relationships—Graymar Farms. Almost a decade into the partnership, the Lequericas have a consistent flow of 2-, 3and 4-year-old Graymar groups that cycle through their program, each staying approximately 16 months. Similarly, they train Charlie Armstrong’s babies—embryos out of clones of world-renowned American Thoroughbred Sage, who became a star of Argentine polo. The most easy-going of humans, CJ and Sheila Lequerica are the epitome of cool— knowledgeable, confident, yet insanely modest in their achievements. When asked about a favorite horse they have trained, they unanimously answer Bucky, a dapper buckskin gelding and staple of the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap with his uncharacteristic flowy mane. The 14-yearold Quarter Horse heartthrob, with numerous Best Playing Pony awards to his name, not only plays polo, but rodeos with their children, and can be roped off of to help pony and start colts. It isn’t until you prod them that you KAYLEE WROE

Lequerica’s prove it is always easier with family by your side, and CJ and Sheila’s playful natures infuse fun into every element of the process. When it comes to the day-to-day work, the Lequericas are fortunate to have had a steady flow of apprentices over the years, particularly young aspiring polo professionals. Team USPA members such as Remy Muller, Russell Stimmel and, most recently, Neil Osburg, along with his fiancé Ashlie Manno, have dedicated time to learning the trade. “We do enjoy teaching,” Sheila said. “All of those boys that have worked for us are amazing. CJ can’t stop talking enough about Neil, he has a natural feel on a horse. We’ve learned a lot from him too, it’s not just him learning from us. Everyone has something to teach.” Ten minutes in their company and you feel like family, making it easy to recognize how it is they maintain quality help, considering the heavy workload. A working operation, CJ stresses the importance of constantly fine-tuning his craft. “It’s kind of never-ending,” he said about why he has dedicated his life to the job. “Once you think you’ve figured it out, you haven’t. That’s what keeps me going. Trying to get better, trying to get the horses better. If I’m not improving, I’m quitting. Once you stop learning, it kind of all goes out the window.” The couple’s differing backgrounds in horses offer a unique perspective on training that incorporates a myriad of disciplines, including dressage—which may come as a surprise in the land of cattle and cowboy hats—but the end result is as the Lequericas put it, a soft and supple horse. While Memo Gracida asserts that both CJ and Sheila are equally talented in their own right, their dynamic partnership produces horses that reflect the best qualities of each trainer. CJ’s years of high school rodeo produce a great stop and rate in his trainees, while Sheila creates a solid handle across the neck. When any up-and-coming young horse is lacking in either, they often trade for an ideal finish. It was a chance meeting between CJ and Whistle Uys at a bar in Florida that set the stage for one of their biggest and longest

make the connection between their organization, Graymar, and a famous chestnut mare named Olé—formerly known as O’Lace—played by 10-goaler Facundo Pieres in the 2018 Florida and English seasons. Or Nic Roldan’s chestnut mare Cullette (alternate spelling Culotte), trained and sold by the Lequericas to Canadian Todd Offen, later purchased by Roldan in 2005 and has since become an essential part of his 26-goal string. The list goes on and includes Memo Gracida’s famous Sprite and Mariano Aguerre’s bay mare Denial (previously called Denali). “Whistle’s brother, Neels Uys, was working for us and rode that mare [Olé] a lot,” Sheila recalls. “Neil Osburg rode that mare too. It’s not just us, it’s kind of a group—we all put our time, we all contribute. They are not finished when they leave here. Maybe second grade—and Whistle and his guys go on to put the finishing touches on them, we just put a good foundation on them.” “Just” being the operative word.

Bucky is one of the Lequerica family’s favorite horses. Bucky not only plays polo but rodeos with the children and is used to rope young colts.


Facundo Pieres rides Olé flat out during the 2017 U.S. Open. Olé was trained at the Lequericas.

Sheila works on leg yielding with a young Graymar horse.

The Lequericas contribution to the world of polo is priceless. Using training techniques based on respect, patience and a keener sense of the innate abilities of their equine pupils, their results are proven. “I don’t think there is anyone in the United States that makes horses like them,” said Gracida. “They are people that identify talent in the horses, they protect it and they develop it.” Their passion is palpable and their hard work inspiring to those around them. When asked about advice they would give to aspiring horse trainers, Sheila said succinctly, “I would tell them it’s a lot of work. If [you] are going to be training horses and working for yourself, you better be the toughest boss you have ever had.” POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 11


















RIDE ON! Miles is the saddle will ultimately help improve your game


orses are as much as 80 percent of the game. Better riders get more from there horses so one of the greatest benefits of riding a lot is that you will get more out of each horse. A beginner rider may only get 50 percent out of their horses but as they learn to ride better, that amount will increase. The more you ride, the better bond you will form with your horses. The horses will get used to your signals instead of just knowing your groom’s or trainer’s signals. It is also good to ride your horses in a relaxed and less-stressed environment rather than only riding when you are at polo. It is beneficial for almost anyone to take riding lessons since there is always room for improvement. You can attend a polo clinic or take lessons from a polo pro or polo school or even from someone in another discipline, like a hunter, a jumper or a Western rider. The basics of riding are the same. You can use a lot of the techniques and bases of other riding disciplines and adapt it to polo. Players who work an office job may not be able to ride that often, but the bottom line is ride as much as you can. Being a better rider will make you a better player. The most common mistake amateur players make is using the reins to hold on. They put a lot of pressure on the horse’s mouth to stay balanced on top of the horse. That numbs the horse’s mouth and throughout the chukker, it will become less and less responsive. Weaker riders also tend to bounce on the horse’s back. The best way to correct both balancing yourself with the reins and bouncing on the horse’s back is by getting a stronger seat and legs. Learn to hold on with the part of your leg right below your


knee up to halfway through your thigh. The more you ride, the stronger your legs with get. When most people stand up to hit the ball or stop the horse, they just fall back on to the saddle. If you go to a nice restaurant, you sit down very carefully. When you get home, you just flop on the bed. You don’t want to do that multiple times in chukker. You are landing right on the horse’s back. Eventually, the horse is going to get tired of it or will get a sore back. You don’t want the horse to feel your weight. The faster you go, the farther forward you want to lean because when the horse slows down, gravity is going to bring you back. Think of it like giving some one a shoulder ride. If they lean forward, you are going to walk a little faster; if they lean back, you start walking backward. It is similar to you on the back of a horse. A strong leg will grip well and allow you to hold on, making the waist down almost motionless. You want to be weightless and not putting any pressure on the horse’s mouth. With a strong leg, you can guide the horse, whether it is to move laterally, turn, go faster or even stop. When you want to slow the horse down, squeeze with your knees and lower thigh, lifting your buttocks off the saddle, and bringing your shoulders back. This will naturally bring the reins back a little bit but you won’t have to yank on the mouth. It’s about giving the proper signals so the horse thinks about it and reacts. When you work on that movement while riding, the horse will eventually learn those signals mean slow down. For turning, I listened to Tommy Wayman one time. He said, “The horse is more sensitive the closer up you go.” So, the area on the neck closer to the ear is a lot more sensitive than by the shoulders. Put

your hand forward, up the horse’s neck, then ask it to turn. At the same time, push with the knee and heel of your outside leg, giving the horse all the signals that you want to turn. When you go out to practice riding, focus on just riding. Don’t bring a phone with you. Not only can a ringing phone spook some horses but if you are talking on the phone, you are not paying attention to what is going on around you. You are better off riding for 10 minutes but staying focused and tuned in while you are doing it then riding for a 30 minutes, with most of it spent on the phone. Never get too relaxed on a horse, even at a walk. Choose a horse you are comfortable with and as you improve make it a personal goal to learn to ride your most difficult horse, eventually making it feel like your nicest horse. Helmets are definitely very important, considering my last injury in July. I don’t allow my kids or grooms to ever get on a horse without a helmet. Every time you get on a horse, wear a helmet as well as riding boots or paddock boots and chaps. Riding can be dangerous so take all the precautions. Prepare properly by stretching and warming up, especially if you are coming in from an office. Unless you are going for a trail ride, put the horse in its polo bridle and saddle. Check to be sure the bridle fits the horse correctly, the curb chain is set correctly and the mouth shutter and martingale aren’t too tight or too loose. Be sure the saddle is tightened, but not overly tight. Some horses can be sensitive when the girth is tightened so always walk the horse at least a step or two after tightening the girth and before getting on. All that stuff could potentially be a reason for the horse not to react properly, so you want to get all


that established first. If you aren’t ward in the saddle. Find the posisure about tack fit, ask a knowltion where you are not sitting, you edgable person to check the tack are in a hitting position. You want for you. to be able to get in that stance in the Proper stirrup length is very saddle to hit. Practice at different important. It is like driving a car speeds. You are going to need every and the seat is too far back or too speed when you play, so practice far forward. I use the finger test. them all. Stand in the stirrups, and if the Practice riding in circles and do space between the saddle and your roll backs against a fence or in an crotch is three fingers or less, your arena along the wall. When somestirrups are too long; more than one backs the ball, you’ve got to get four fingers, stirrups are too short. your horse around. Mimic those Keep the balls of your feet on the actions you use in a game. stirrup bar for agility and mobility Change up the drills you do. and for the best riding possible. Don’t keep doing the same thing Get your reins set in your hand, over and over or your horses are checking to be sure they lay flat going to get sour. Work the horse Ride as much as you can. It will help you develop a strong leg, against the horses neck without any for a few days then maybe take it for improving your balance, minimizing your weight in the saddle and decreasing the pressure on the horse’s mouth. twists in them. a trail ride one day. Be aware of your environment. If One of the benefits pros have is it is rainy or wet outside, it might be slipother rider can say, you need to get better they usually started riding at an early age. pery so don’t make fast turns or slide stops. here or do this differently. Listen to what And most people that play polo, played It might be better to go out for a more that rider tells you and let him know some some other kind of sport when they were relaxed ride on a track or in an arena than of the things you’d like to improve on. If young, whether it was tennis or baseball so on a grass field. If bad weather is you don’t have anyone that can ride with they know how to hit a ball. But being able approaching, don’t go far. Some horses are you, you can use a camera to film yourself to ride and hit a ball, that is a whole other afraid of thunder and/or lightening. If so you or a knowledgable pro can review thing. Get more comfortable riding so you dogs are running around put them away so the footage and point out things to work don’t actually have to think about it when they don’t run around your horse or otheron. you are playing and you can focus on just wise spook it. Not every horse will be ridden the same. hitting the ball. When developing your riding style, find Some horses may be older and have been Look at a golfer when he goes to tee off. a player who is similar to your height and already doing this for many more years He’ll stand there for a minute, moving his weight and who you think rides well. than you or they may have an old injury, so legs, getting his balance and making sure Someone who is 5-feet tall is going to give just go easy on those horses. You may have he is just the right distance. We don’t have completely different signals than someanother that is more energetic and needs a that luxury. You never know where the ball body who is 6’4.” Watch him ride and play little bit extra exercise. is going to pop up, whether it is going to be and try to copy what he does. Start slow and warm the horse up. on your left or your right, or how close it When I was younger, I had Memo Spend time trotting. It helps build your leg will be to your horse. You have to be able [Gracida], Owen [Rinehart], Reggie [Ludstrength and it is the one gate where the to move the horse and set yourself up wig], they all helped me with my riding. horse is using all its leg muscles. It is kind quickly so everything is just right when Find either a trainer or pro to go out of like a jog, rather than a sprint. When you make contact with the ball. The only with you when you ride. It is safer to ride you go to the gym and get on the treadmill, way to do that is by being comfortable with someone else just in case you run into you are going to jog for a half an hour. You enough of a rider. trouble. It is always good to have someone aren’t going to do a couple of sprints and Riding isn’t one of those things you can watching you. Nobody likes to be watched, then you are done. While posting to the overdo. It’s not like coffee where one cup is and I’ll be the first one to tell you that, but trot, think about not landing hard on the good but two cups isn’t. The more you can it is helpful. It is super important to have horse’s back. It is like doing squats without ride the better. somebody to ride with and point things weight—just going up and down and not At 8-goals, Julio Arellano is one of the three highout. For example, you might think you are landing on the saddle. est-rated American players. He has numerous doing something right when in fact you Eventually move to a canter, and as you wins to his name including the U.S. Open. may be giving the horse mixed signals. The move faster, move your body weight forPOLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 13











olo player Juan MartinezBaez was playing a tournament at Point Clear Polo Club in Point Clear, Alabama in mid-October. After the tournament, he made the threehour trek home the following Monday. That night, he wasn’t feeling well and thought he was starting to get sick. Little did he know the fight for his life he was about to embark on. By the next morning he had a fever, was cold and his body ached. He chalked it up to the flu, and continued to work, taking care of horses and playing a practice game. To add insult to injury, while turning horses out, one pulled back and he injured his shoulder. Over the next two days, he continued to have flu-like symptoms but when he started seeing “floaters” in his right eye, he called his uncle, Polo Baez, to ask if he could play for him the following weekend in Point Clear. On Friday, he woke up with extreme back pain. “I had a lot of back pain so I went to the chiropractor,” Juan explained. “I was also weak and seeing black spots but I thought it was just from the fever.” When he was loading up horses for his uncle and boss, his vision in his right eye was getting worse so he arranged for someone to drive his rig. By the time they arrived in Point Clear, where he was staying with his girlfriend, Ericka Fuchsloch, he was complaining of joint pain and went to bed. By the next morning, he had no vision in his right eye so Fuchsloch took him to Thomas Hospital in Fairhope. He was swabbed for the flu, but the test was negative. Doctors suspected he was diabetic and possibly had an auto immune disease


or rheumatoid arthritis. He was told to follow up with an eye ultrasound on Wednesday and sent home. One of the players, Dr. Kennie Bramlett, is an orthopedic surgeon from Birmingham. He called Fuchsloch and asked that she bring Juan to the field so he could check on his shoulder injury. After taking one look at him, he told Fuchsloch to take him to Birmingham right away. He called his friend, Dr. Bob Morris, who is a retinal specialist. Morris agreed to see Juan at his office Monday morning. By the time Juan got there, his joint pain was worse and his left knee and right elbow were swollen, hot and painful. Morris scheduled him for emergency eye surgery, but because of the other symptoms he was having, sent him to the ER to get checked out first. There, they drained his knee and did blood work. Afraid he might permanently lose his vision, Morris had him go to Callahan Eye Hospital for the surgery before being admitted to the hospital. His eye was full of infection. After surgery, he was admitted to the infectious disease unit of University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital.

Juan was playing in Point Clear’s fall 8-goal when he started feeling sick.

The following day an orthopedic team performed open joint surgery on his right elbow, wrist and left knee to wash out the infection. When cultures came back from his joints, eye and blood, doctors determined he had Streptococcus Equi, basically the same infection found in horses with Strangles, also known as equine distemper. He began a course of antibiotics specific to the infection. He had his second eye surgery that day, and a third surgery three days later to repair a torn retina and insert a silicone bubble to help keep the retina in place, allow doctors to see the back of the eye and help prevent new infections. Doctors described the infection as “sticky,” explaining that it likes to hide in the body. He continued to have tests to


Polo player contracts serious infection from horse

ensure it was not in his organs or heart. He was still having fevers, high blood pressure and an allergy to one of the antibiotics they gave him. “When Juan was just in the hospital, the fevers were high so he was talking and rambling. [He talked about] a lot of game coaching, polo and horses. He was telling stories that didn’t make sense. When he was asleep, his right arm would move like he was hammering or tacking on shoes,” said Fuchsloch. “Coming out of anesthesia ... he tried to get out of the bed, telling the nurses he needed to pull the wraps off a horse.” He was finally stable enough to leave the hospital 10 days after he was admitted. The put a PICC line into his chest so he could receive IV antibiotics at home. Three weeks later, the PICC line was removed so he could begin a four-week course of pill antibiotics. Bramlett also did surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff. Another three weeks went by and his white blood cell count was still elevated. On Dec. 18, he had his fourth eye surgery to remove the silicone bubble and cataracts. Apparently, Juan is the fourth documented case where this infection targeted the eye. The other three permanently lost their vision. Morris and his team are very happy with Juan’s progress so far and are hopeful he will continue to progress. He still has some blurriness and some spots in his eye that don’t effect his vision. He does have a scar in his eye where doctors suspect the infection first entered his body. Fortunately, his left eye was unaffected. Bramlett performed the second part of his shoulder surgery a few weeks later. Bramlett said Juan’s case is “in the top five of my career. That’s how bizarre this was.” Fuchsloch said, “It was an extremely unique case and all the doctors were intrigued by it. We were told if Juan had waited another day, the infection could have been fatal.” According to Bramlett, there have only been 20 humans cases of Streptococ-

Juan Martinez-Baez with Dr. Bramlett, who recognized the seriousness of Juan’s issue, got him the help he needed and helped save his life. Dr. Bramlett also performed surgery on his torn rotator cuff.

cus Equi reported in the world. “He was septic in three joints and his eye ... he is lucky he wasn’t dead and when he wasn’t dead, he’s lucky he wasn’t blind,” Bramlett said. “If I had not gone to Point Clear, we’d probably have attended a funeral a week later.” They do not know how he contracted the bacteria. Doctors explained that symptoms will occur within 24-48 hours after exposure. All the horses at his farm were checked by a vet and none were sick. No one at the polo club has indicated any of their horses got or were sick when he was playing. Fortunately, Juan’s prognosis is fairly good. Recovering from the numerous surgerys will take time, as will gaining his muscles and strength back. Since the infection targeted several joints, he is at risk for developing arthritis. He also has some kidney damage from the first antibiotic, which doctors expect will repair itself in time. Since he doesn’t know how he got the disease, he says it is hard to determine how to prevent this from happening to someone else. Certainly, if you are

around a horse that is sick or you know has strangles, take precautions to avoid getting any nasal or abscess discharge from the horse on or near your eyes, nose or mouth. Human transmission is rare, however, the disease, an infection of the upper respiratory tract, is highly contagious from horse to horse. Juan has health insurance but it has a high deductible and he is currently unable to work. His son set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help him. His son wrote, “Anyone that knows my dad knows that he is a truly amazing man with one of the biggest hearts that never turns anyone down who needs help. He’s an incredible father, horse trainer, polo player that always has a smile on his face ...” Juan grew up at Club de Polo Tecamac Edo Mexico, riding with his father, grooming and making green horses. He came to the United States with his father in 1990 at 19 to groom and make green horses for Martin Estrada. He became a professional player four years later. By 2004, he reached a 6-goal handicap. He managed Brandywine Polo Club in Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania, from 2003 to 2017. A farrier and USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Juan also ran Brandywine’s polo school in 2016 and 2017. In addition, since 2012, he has been the polo manager and horse trainer at Arcola Ranch in Gallion, Alabama. Juan is currently rated 3 goals outdoors and 5 in the arena. If all goes well, Juan is expected to be able to ride in March and will hopefully be able to stick and ball and play in April. “Now I know at any moment life can change. I see life differently, I’m not so invincible,” said Juan. “I am alive today because of people that care about me and I am grateful for the support and help from my family and friends, from taking care of my horses, to phone calls and texts. I am overwhelmed by the generous donations on GoFundMe and to Polo Players’ Support Group. I can’t wait to get back to work!” POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 15















HAPPY FEET How diet affects hoof health


hat we eat affects our health, and the same is true for horses. Proper nutrition is important for every function in the body. Diet is one of the important factors that affects hoof health and growth in horses. Stephen Duren, PhD (Performance Horse Nutrition) says there has been a lot of good research over the years regarding dietary needs of livestock and horses, and some of the research has looked at hoof health. “The exciting thing about nutrition is our new knowledge about nutrigenomics and how something as simple as biotin can turn on a gene in the animal that codes for increased hoof growth, for instance,” he says. “When we encounter a horse with poor hoof quality, we try to change a number of things in an effort to improve it. We try to manipulate and modify the environment—and keep him out of the mud. We make sure his feet are trimmed and shod frequently. You don’t want to let his feet go too long and have a shoe come off. We also try to modify the diet,” says Duren. “There are certain nutrients needed for hoof growth. There is good research data on the basic nutrients that provide building blocks. The three we think about first (as being limiting—in other words the hoof won’t grow very well without them) are biotin, methionine, and zinc,” he explains. “There is some good data not only on the effectiveness of biotin (one of the B vitamins) but also what the dose rate should be. If you are adding biotin to the horse’s diet, you don’t need more than the effective dose.” 16 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

If you feed more than a horse needs, it won’t hurt him (it’s safe, and not toxic), but it also won’t have any more benefit; you are wasting your money and the horse just passes the excess on through, in the urine. “Studies have identified a threshold level that is therapeutic for those horses but beyond that it isn’t any more helpful,” Duren says. Protein Dr. Amy Gill, an equine nutritionist in Kentucky, says there’s a balance of nutrients that must be fed in specific amounts every day for new protein to be made. “The hoof wall is mostly keratin, which is protein. In order to make that protein the diet must have amino acids, vitamins and minerals—not only in the right amount but in proper ratio to one another. If one is missing, the body can’t

Nutritional imbalances can cause cracked hooves, disrupted hoof growth and mane and tail hair to break off.

make good quality protein. If you are lacking just one amino acid or zinc or biotin (which are co-factors in the process of making keratin), the horse’s body won’t make sufficient hoof horn,” she explains. “The protein associated with hoof growth is made up of sulfur-containing amino acids,” says Duren. “The most important one is methionine. This is one of the ingredients in a good hoof supplement.” Feeding extra methionine won’t hurt the horse; it is just as safe as biotin. But you don’t need extra. Protein synthesis depends on all the amino acids. “If you are missing just one, the protein won’t be formed. We think methionine is the limiting one, but we also need to make sure the diet contains enough good quality protein. A diet consisting of only 4 to 6 percent protein (like mature timothy hay) is not adequate. You need to feed either a protein supplement or a grain concentrate (which has a higher protein level) to horses on that kind of forage diet,” he says. Trace Minerals The third critical ingredient for hoof health is zinc. “This important trace mineral is involved in all the reactions of enzymes that actually form the protein,” says Duren. In other farm animals a deficiency in zinc will lead to dermatitis (skin lesions). Skin and hair are modified protein, just like hoof horn and human fingernails,” he says. Connie Larson, PhD, ZinPro Corporation, says most of their research is with cattle, but her company has done some equine studies looking at the influence of trace minerals on hoof health. “Zinc has the largest impact, in terms of minerals; it has many different

there can be too much selenium, and excess selenium can be toxic. “If that happens, hoof growth is disrupted. Copper must be able to form the bridges between keratin proteins. A lot of those proteins contain amino acids with sulfur, and if there is too much selenium the extra selenium replaces the sulfur and those bridges cannot form because the sulfur isn’t there. You’ll see hooves cracking, disrupted hoof growth, along with mane and tail hair breaking off,” she says. All of these important trace minerals must be in proper balance or something suffers.

Horses with poor hoof quality require frequent trimming and shoeing, being kept out of moisture and balanced diets.

roles in cell replication, and plays a major role in the whole process of turning protein into hoof horn,” she explains. “People always focus on zinc, but copper is important as well. While zinc helps in the process of making the keratin proteins, we also need adequate copper to form them. These two minerals work together in a symbiotic fashion. Even if you have a lot of zinc, if the copper isn’t adequate those bridges are not built,” she explains. Manganese is another important trace mineral for hoof health. “It comes into play in the final phases of taking live cells and creating the hard outer hoof capsule. It plays a role in some of the lipids produced. These are an important part of that outer layer that makes a healthy and waterproof barrier,” says Larson. Selenium is the other cornerstone for hoof health. If this trace mineral is lacking, or if there is too much of it, the hoof is not as strong and healthy. “Since it is needed in such small amounts, some of the problems we run into are horses that get too much selenium,” she explains. Soils in many regions are deficient, so many feeds, mineral mixes and supplements have selenium added. If a horse is getting multiple supplements,

Fatty Acids Fat content of diet is also important. “Normal pasture grass and hay contains 2 percent to 3 percent fat. This is essential because lipids help form the outer barrier of the hoof—which protects it from drying out or absorbing too much moisture and becoming too soft,” says Duren. “Omega 3 fatty acids really help with hoof, hair and skin quality,” says Gill. “They improve ability of cells to absorb nutrients by increasing the permeability of cell membranes—so the horse can utilize nutrients better. It plays a role in collagen formation, and collagen is a part of keratin. So the omega-three fatty acids are something we recommend for horses that need really good quality keratin formation,” she says.

Most good hoof supplements contain the basic nutrients that provide building blocks for hoof growth, including biotin, methionine and zinc.

“Omega 3 fatty acids should not be included in a processed feed because they oxidize when exposed to heat, light and oxygen, and once they oxidize they are of no use. They must be fed in a vegetarian form in the horse, and flax seed oil is the best source. It should be kept cool, in an area with low light, and well-sealed to keep out oxygen. Add it to the feed just prior to feeding so it is always fresh when eaten,” explains Gill. Balanced Diet “Hoof supplements often contain other things besides the 3 crucial ingredients—generally some of the vitamins and minerals that are needed in any diet.” says Duren. So you may see various fats, calcium, selenium, etc. These are all found in the horse’s natural diet (good pasture, grown on soil that is not deficient in important minerals) but if a horse is on a marginal or deficient diet, a hoof problem is one of the things that might show up,” he says. The research on this is well established. “We know the nutrient requirements for horses. If horse owners follow dietary guidelines that have been established, and balance the diet, most horses won’t have a nutrition issue that affects the feet,” he explains. “If a horse has marginal feet you can often help him with a good supplement. When you evaluate the supplement, it should contain biotin, methionine and zinc in the proper amounts. Be a little wary of supplements that throw everything else in there, however, because some of the extra ingredients may interfere with the rest of the diet,” Duren says. “Mixing ingredients using a handful of this and a handful of that in creating a ration makes it very difficult to know whether you are supplying complete nutrition,” says Gill. “The best thing is to use the right type of forage for the type of horse you are feeding (nutrient needs will differ for a growing young horse, mature (continued on page 56) POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 17





MAKING WHOOPIE Polo player launches baked-goods business

POLO PLAYER HOLLY HOLLERAN recently launched a business making Whoopie Pies, resurrecting her late grandmother’s

recipes. Her grandparents, Tico and Bobo, owned a bakery in Western Pennsylvania in the 1930s. “They were a one-stop shop for everything, the heartbeat of the town,” Holleran explained. After World War II, the family closed the shop to focus on running the family farm. Holleran’s brother gave their grandmother her nickname name when, as a young boy, he was unable to say grandma. The name stuck and eventually everyone in the family called her Tico. As homage to her grandmother, Holleran launched Tico’s Whoopie Pies, an online bakery, using her grandmother’s original recipes. She contracted with a bakery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to recreate the recipes and ship them around the country. These massive decadent cake-like sandwiches (at four inches across each one is nearly a third of a pound) with a generous portion of yummy, creamy filling are made from scratch in small batches, using locally sourced ingredients, and sent FedEx two-day shipping. They come in four flavors—chocolate, peanut butter, pumpkin and red velvet. You can choose all one flavor or buy a variety box to try them all. A special heart-shaped red velvet whoopie pie is being offered for Valentine’s day. “They are only a limited run,” Holleran explained. “We just do them in February for Valentine’s Day and May for Mother’s Day.” Ten percent of all purchases are donated to a charity. “Lezlie Hiner’s Work to Ride program was the first recipient of Tico’s Whoopies 10 percent program, which gives back to a non profit each month,” Tico’s Whoopies is offering heart-shaped red velvet whoopies for Valentine’s Day. Holleran said. “I am now working with the USPA to develop a fundraising program, benefiting all interscholastic and intercollegiate programs in the United States. The heartbeat of Tico’s Whoopies company philosophy is to give back, and I am thrilled to do this within the polo world.” Holleran rode from an early age, but first got involved in polo in the mid-80s while attending Skidmore College. After graduation, she stayed on to coach the school’s team for two years. In 1989, her first year coaching, the school won its only National Intercollegiate Championship title when the women’s team defeated Colorado State, 19-13. The next year, it fell, 14-13, in the final to UVa. Later, she coached a high school team in Virginia. When she moved back to Pennsylvania, she helped coach the East Coast Arena League when it was held at Brandywine Polo Club, and played at Lancaster and Maryland Polo Clubs. Today, the business is limiting Holleran’s polo time but she umpires and plays at Kelly Wells’ Marlan Farm when she can. She also has three horses and a pair of miniature donkeys that keep her busy. Holly Holleran, Danny Scheraga and Cissie To learn more or to purchase whoopie pies, go to Snow at a clinic in Cornell, circa 2008.


AND THE WINNERS ARE ... Club celebrates season by honoring members


HE TRIANGLE AREA POLO CLUB in Hurdle Mills, North Carolina, celebrated the end of its 2018 season with awards, honoring several of its members. The club’s Linfoot Most Improved Player Award went to Carson Tucker; the Equine Welfare Award went to Chelsy Miller; club tournament series champion was Tammy Havener; Silver Series Grand Champion Player of the Year was Jordan Lee; and Horse of the Year went to David Brooks’ Hot Rod. Hot Rod was Best Playing Pony in the USPA Sportsmanship Cup, plays interscholastic polo, is regularly ridden by many different players in the club’s lesson program and won three team penning events. “It that’s not enough, we also used him to rope the neighbor’s cows when they got out, not once but twice,” remarked Brooks.

Clockwise, from top left: Club Tournament Series Champion Tammy Havener with David Brooks; Pat Bodager on Horse of the Year Hot Rod; Silver Series Grand Champion Player of the Year Jordan Lee with David Brooks; Equine Welfare Award winner Chelsy Miller, DVM with David Brooks; and Most Improved Player Carson Tucker with David Brooks.




Mauna Kea hosts no-pressure, learning game With a robust youth program, chief umpire Mark Becker is working on renting an arena facility to provide a venue for a USPA clinic this month. Paula Beamer wrote, “In the older days at Waiki’i Ranch, we used to have our trophy presentations on the announcer’s pavilion steps. I wanted to bring back that tradition and asked everyone who participated in our day to stay in uniform and take part in our photo.” SMITH SIRA

HE MAUNA KEA POLO CLUB in Kamuela, Hawaii, wrapped up its fall season with a game, mixing the more advanced players with those less advanced for a no-pressure, fun, learning game. The club’s polo season normally runs from the first week in October until mid-December. This year, after hosting five tournaments over 11 weeks, the club added another Sunday, focusing on raising funds and awareness for its intercollegiate and interscholastic program.

Paula Beamer, far left, had everyone who participated in the day take part in a photo on the pavilion steps, just as players used to do in the late 80s and early 90s.

HAVE A HEART Club event raises money for hospital nurses


HE SHANNON HILL POLO CLUB in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, held a fall benefit to raise money for continuing medical education for cardiac nurses at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey. The cup also honored the 200 supporters of the Cardiac Education and Research Foundation in attendance. Guests enjoyed hotoff-the-grill Kebabs and wine under an elegant white tent. The fields were lush from an unusually rainy summer, affording fast play. In a hotly-contested match, IGEA Polo’s Dr. Adam Lipson, Steven Scott, Ann Oniskey and Peter Secor took on IMF’s Dr. Derek Lee, Zain Khakwani, Mark Mulligan and Cheryl Arnold. IGEA Polo came out on top, 5-3. The real winners were the cardiac nurses who will benefit from the $800,000 raised. Dr. Shereef Elnahal, commissioner of health for the state of New Jersey, was guest of honor. He applauded the cause, and his wife Dr. and Mrs. Shereef Elnahal celebrate with IGEA Polo’s Steven Scott, Dr. Adam Lipson, Ann Oniskey and Peter Secor at the benefit for cardiac nurses in New Jersey. presented the trophies to the winners.


THE GAUNTLET Trophy unveiled

THE USPA, USPA Global Licensing

and International Polo Club Palm Beach hosted an exclusive media day, sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, to unveil the Gauntlet of Polo trophy at the Hilton in West Palm Beach, Florida, Jan. 16. The newly revealed trophy design incorporates three rearing polo ponies, representing the C.V. Whitney, the Gold Cup and the U.S. Open Championship, standing guard around a sleek tower supporting a Gauntlet logo crafted out of sterling silver. The trophy will stand nearly 3feet tall at its highest point. Gauntlet action begins February 13. The winner-take-all purses for the C.V. Whitney and Gold Cup are $125,000 each; the purse for the U.S. Open is $250,000, and if the same team wins all three, there is a bonus of $500,000.

CORRECTION We misidentified USPA Rocky Mountain Lieutenant Governor Vincenzo Sanagline on the cover of the January issue. The name listed was Barclay Knopp, walking next to Kareem Rosser. We apologize for the error.


NYTS Join the fun this spring and summer The United States Polo Association established National Youth Tournament Series to cultivate and promote junior polo throughout the U.S. by supporting junior clinics, tournaments and national competition. By Hayley Heatley



The United States Polo Association’s National Youth Tournament Series is a fun and exciting way for youth players to compete against their peers, travel to new clubs and improve their level of play. For USPA clubs, the NYTS program provides a framework to help activate local youth members and encourage inter-club participation within the region. In 2018, 35 percent of NYTS participants played in multiple tournaments, leading players to learn about new clubs and form friendships with fellow youth players. Clubs often utilize Team USPA members and local professionals as coaches, providing unique learning opportunities for NYTS participants.

Chrys Beal presents Cory Williams with Girls’ All-Star Championship MVP.


Grant Palmer on the move in the NYTS match in Eldorado, California.

What is NYTS? The National Youth Tournament Series Program was established to provide youth players the opportunity to compete against their peers in USPA-sanctioned outdoor tournaments. At the local level, USPA outdoor clubs host one- or two-day NYTS qualifier tournaments. USPA members born after 1/1/2000 and holding a minimum -1 handicap are eligible to compete. Players register as individual players at each qualifier and are placed on teams carefully balanced by club management.

Cecil Smith Cup and the NYTS National Championship Girls’ All-Star Challenge. Players are eligible to be selected for either a zone team or the Girls’ division by receiving an All-Star award at a NYTS qualifier.

How does a player qualify for the NYTS National Championship? The NYTS qualifier season culminates in the NYTS National Championship

How can my club host a NYTS qualifier Tournament? Hosting a NYTS qualifier tournament is a great way to involve youth players in

What is a NYTS All-Star? At each qualifier, an anonymous committee selects All-Stars based on four categories; horsemanship, sportsmanship, playing ability at current handicap and ability to play as a member of a team.

NYTS Chicago

I v t n r nds t roug progra v n abl to play ag t ot ds g ll ov r t ountry. My da v v l ng to tourna nts our trad t on. I cannot or t son to g Cor

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a p on MV NYTS Louisville


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club activities. The first step is to complete a tournament application and receive approval for the anticipated date. The NYTS team will provide a promotional poster and provide guidance on registration and preparation for the tournament. A player roster must be submitted two weeks in advance of the

tournament. First and second place trophies as well as participation prizes, a Best Playing Pony blanket and All-Star medals will be sent to the club. Any club that is interested in hosting a NYTS tournament should contact Amanda Snow or Hayley Heatley

3500 Fairlane Farms Road Suite # Wellington, FL 33414

(800)903-NANO (6266) Tel: (561) 793-4911 Fax: (561) 793-4714 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 23

All for funds USC-Aiken kicks off inaugural alumni tournament PHOTOS BY ERICA HUYLER


undraising is an integral part of any I/I program, from raising funds to care for horses and entry fees, to travel expenses. You have likely heard the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” With the same idea in mind, through the USPA’s I/I Start Up & Enhancement Fundraising program, the I/I team works directly with programs to get the most out of their fundraising efforts. Funding is available to both interscholastic and intercollegiate teams to help offset the costs of putting on a fundraiser, and built into any funding request is staff support. It can be difficult for a team to come up with startup costs for a fundraiser, and a risky endeavor to put what little funds it does have into an event that may or may not be successful. For the application process, teams must provide a detailed plan for the fundraiser, including an outline of the event, expenses, expected income and estimated profit. Staff and committee members advise clubs on areas where they can cut expenses, increase revenue, share knowledge and ideas that have worked or haven’t worked with other clubs, and in turn produce a more profitable event. With the guidance of staff and the safety net of covered expenses, teams have the confidence of spending their budget and putting on a successful fundraiser. At the conclusion of the fundraiser, the club has to provide a report on the event and complete a debrief with the committee on its fundraising efforts. Further follow up includes putting a 24 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

Charlie Hutchinson jumps out front in the alumni match in Aiken.

plan in place for the following year to improve on the event. We see a wide range of requests for fundraisers, including concession sales at a home sporting event, polo galas and our most popular event, an alumni tournament. Alumni tournaments are one of our favorites to see, as they offer the most return on investment—and I’m not just talking about dollars and cents. Not only is it a great way to raise funds, but getting alumni back involved in the program is great for the team and beneficial for the sport. Alumni can offer support in different areas, from coaching, to umpiring, to clinics, marketing support and club awareness. By engaging local alumni, it is an instant fan base for the team and an income stream for donations and merchandise sales. A basic alumni tournament can be as simple as inviting past team members for a night of community chukkers. The team provides

the arena and the horses, and alumni pay a fee to play per chukker. If the team already has access to the arena and horses, all funds coming in go straight to the club. The event can expand as much as the resources allow. This past December, the USC-Aiken intercollegiate team hosted its inaugural I/I alumni tournament. As a newly reinstated team this fall, the alumni base for the USC-Aiken team is near nonexistent, however, there is a strong I/I alumni base in the Aiken area. The team capitalized on the fact that, although from different rival teams, all alumni are fans and supporters of the I/I program, and were eager to help support the new local collegiate team. The team began by putting out feelers to the local Aiken polo community to gage interest and create a master list of all the I/I alumni in the Aiken and surrounding Southeastern area. The interest was immediate, and so began the planning for the alumni event.

Savanah McFarland digs the ball out under pressure from Pam Gleason.

The event was hosted at the beautiful new Aiken Youth Polo Arena at New Bridge Polo Club, home to the Aiken I/I teams. When looking at hosting a tournament, you would expect basic expenses, such as arena rental, horse rentals, umpires, trophies, event staff and EMT. Because it was on its home turf, there was no charge for the USCAiken team to use the arena and the alumni players were responsible for mounting themselves. Event staff included team members working the game, score keeping, dragging the arena and making sure the games went off smoothly. To cover the cost of trophies and umpiring, the USC-Aiken team took the event to the next level and sanctioned it with the USPA under the new Circuit Level I/I Alumni tournament designation. Since it was a recognized USPA circuit-level event, it qualified for free trophies provided by the USPA. Additionally, the Umpires, LLC. provided a professional umpire to umpire the tournament. The only looming immediate cost to the team was providing an on-site EMT. Three teams of alumni players registered to play and a Saturday roundrobin was planned. Alumni players were charged a per-player entry fee for the tournament, and the host tournament committee made up evenly matched

teams. Additional sources of income came from selling USC-Aiken Polo team branded merchandise, as well as concessions for the players and spectators in attendance. The USC-Aiken team mastered keeping its expenses low and maximizing income streams in its planning. Not only did it utilize all the USPA support available to it, it also scheduled the game on a weekend when the Aiken interscholastic team was also hosting the Garrison Forest team for a regular season qualifier match. With several I/I games in the

weekend, it expanded the spectator base for both events, promoted arena polo in the Aiken area and was an opportunity for the USC-Aiken intercollegiate team to recruit potential players from the visiting interscholastic team. To cap off the event, the Aiken Youth Polo organization hosted a barbeque for all interscholastic, intercollegiate and alumni players and fans, where the majority of the team merchandise was sold. By the close of the weekend, the team had sold out of its wares, and made a favorable profit on the event. With the first year under its belt, planning has already begun taking place for the 2nd annual USPA Southeastern Circuit I/I Alumni tournament to benefit the USC-Aiken team. The team was debriefed and a bigger, better event will be coming your way in 2019. For I/I teams interested in applying for fundraising funds, applications are reviewed and approved on a rolling basis throughout the year. Teams must submit their applications at least four weeks prior to the event to be considered. For full application guidelines, visit the I/I pages on or contact Ali Davidge at to help start planning your event today! If your club is interested in hosting a USPA Circuit Level I/I Alumni event, please contact Lindsey Ebersbach at

Scott Brown is all smiles.


Bravo Brava!

Ten-goal Clarkin leads La Dolfina to victory

La Dolfina Brava’s Nina Clarkin leans on El Overo Z7 UAE’s Lia Salvo in the final.



or the second consecutive year, La Dolfina Brava captured the Women’s Argentine Open after defeating El Overo Z7 UAE on the last play of the final match celebrated in Palermo. By Ernesto Rodriguez • Photos by Sergio Llamera

“The first year I thought it was a dream. This time it is a reality. And it’s clear that this is unstoppable,” exclaimed Nina Clarkin, the best female player on the planet. She was extremely happy after having won her second consecutive title in the Women’s Argentine Open before a large number of people that populated Palermo’s Field 2 in the warm-up to the 125th Argentine Open final. Her smile illuminated her face and made her forget the heat, the weariness and the nerves after playing a match defined with the last hit of the ball. As happened in 2017, the tournament brought together several of the best players on the planet. In the first edition, there were six teams, while in this one four sets were presented. For three of them, it was their second time competing: La Dolfina Brava (defending champion), El Overo Z7 UAE (which in the previous contest played as Ellerstina) and Santa María de Lobos

(patron Dawn Laurel Jones presented a new lineup). And a newcomer, the All England Alegría-HPA 1875. The first day was held on Monday, Dec. 3, at the facilities the Argentine Polo Association has in Pilar—35 miles northwest of Buenos Aires. La Dolfina Brava defeated Alegría-HPA 1875 with great authority, 17-2, although the handicap difference between both quartets was only seven goals. The success of El Overo Z7 UAE against Santa María de Lobos was almost as wide, 17-3, with eight goals of handicap between them (32 to 24). In that match, Lía Salvo shined with 10 conversions. “The difference of experience between the two teams that we had played last year and the two formations that were presented now is very noticeable. If we played again in two weeks, surely the differences would be minor,” said Clarkin (author of seven goals) after the matches.

On the second date, Thursday, Dec. 6, also in Pilar, there were two extremely balanced games. In the initial game, Alegría-HPA 1875 achieved its first victory in the contest by edging Santa María de Lobos, 10-8, in a game the British dominated with the closure of the fourth chukker (9-3). In the last two periods, Santa María de Lobos reacted, thanks to the efficient hand of No. 1 Jones (best scorer of the match with five) but Alegría held on for the win. A while later, the 2017 finalists clashed. La Dolfina Brava managed the score in the two opening chukkers (4-3), but in the third, El Overo Z7 UAE changed the course to dominate the scoreboard entering the last period ahead, 9-7. In the final chukker, two goals from La Dolfina Brava forced overtime. Lía Salvo scored her seventh goal of the afternoon to give her team the ticket to the definition.

La Dolfina Brava’s Milagros Fernández Araujo, Mía Cambiaso, Nina Clarkin and Candelaria Fernández Araujo won for the second year in a row.


El Overo Z7 UAE: The third qualifying session was held on Sunday, Dec. 9. El Overo Z7 UAE kept its undefeated pace after downing Alegría-HPA 1875 by a clear 16-4. Then, La Dolfina Brava secured its place in the final with a formidable 15-0 run against Santa María de Lobos. Only 24 hours later, third place was defined in Palermo’s No. 2 field. AlegríaHPA 1875 got its second victory of the tournament, reiterating the success against Santa María de Lobos, this time by 10-4. “We tried not to lose concentration, as happened to us in our previous game, so they could not react. It was very emotional to triumph in Palermo, a dream place. It cost us a lot to build the team and this is a reward for our effort and for those who supported us in England so that we could travel to Argentina,” said Tamara Fox, best scorer of the match with four goals. Happy, despite completing the tournament without victories, Jones made her global analysis. “It is an unforgettable moment for me, as a player, and for women’s polo in general, to have been able to play the subsidiary cup in Palermo, in a match absolutely international, without Argentine players and with a public that accompanied us in large numbers. It marks the growth that

Clara Cassino Hazel Jackson-Gaona Lía Salvo Sarah Wiseman

La Dolfina Brava: Mía Cambiaso Milagros Fernández Araujo Nina Clarkin Candelaria Fernández Araujo

32 7 9 9 7

31 6 7 10 8

Santa María de Lobos: 24 Dawn Laurel Jones Page McCabe Tiva Gross Courtney Asdourian

6 6 6 6

Alegría-HPA 1875:


Lottie Lamacraft Annabel McNaught-Davis Emma Tomlinson Wood Tamara Fox

6 6 5 6

women’s polo has achieved all over the world and makes me proud of the quality that my teammates and our rivals showed.” The grand finale was held on the same stage on Sunday, Dec. 16, as the curtain raiser to the 125th Argentine Open final, with an audience that exceeded 4,000 people. El Overo Z7 UAE dominated the action early with the remarkable performance of the creative pair formed by Hazel Jackson-Gaona and Lía Salvo

and the defensive strength of Sarah Wiseman. Thus, the team took quick advantages in the initial chukker (2-0), a difference they managed to keep in the next three periods. In response, La Dolfina Brava changed its lineup, switching its two youngest players (moving Mía Cambiaso back and putting Candelaria Fernández Araujo to No. 1). The strategy seemed to work and the team managed to equal the score by the close of the fifth chukker, 7-all. There was only a chukker left and everything would be defined there. Clara Cassino converted for El Overo Z7 UAE and Nina Clarkin did the same for La Dolfina Brava as the clock progressed, looking like overtime would be needed. But the last attack was for the white and blue team, that advanced like a waterspout; the last touch of Candelaría Fernández Araujo, seconds before the last bell, sealed El Overo Z7 UAE’s fate, 9-8, giving back-to-back victories to La Dolfina Brava. “They came out very strong. We were a bit tense and it showed that we were a little slow, and I had missed a couple of feasible penalties. At half time we changed the formation and the attitude, we managed to reorganize, we started hitting the ball and running. Then our game appeared. In addition, we had the

Candelaria Fernández Araujo outruns Sarah Wiseman. Candelaria scored the winning goal just seconds before the last bell.


Hazel Jackson-Gaona’s Alcachofa was named Best Argentine Bred Horse in the final. The horse is from El Overo’s breeding. Jackson-Gaona also took home a prize for herself—her handicap was raised to 10.

necessary luck to finish by taking the victory. “Until entering the fifth chukker, it seemed that we would not have a chance. But we managed to reorganize, fight and

show everything we know how to do. Winning for the second time in Palermo is a dream. I’ve only been thinking about this for three weeks. It is so good to get to this point. I still have not completely

Adolfo Cambiaso coaches his daughter, Mia, in the final of the Women’s Argentine Open. Later that day, Adolfo and his La Dolfina team won the Argentine Open.

relaxed, but I’m very happy with everything. Having shared a team with the girls made us all grow up,” Clarkin acknowledged after receiving the cup. On the other side, there was no drama, although there was a taste of disappointment. “We stayed a bit. They began to run more. It’s a shame because we had incredible horses and everything was right to win. We have that slightly bitter taste. But it was a magnificent tournament. For me it was a pleasure to play again in Palermo. It is impressive to have brought together the best players in the world, before the men’s final, with so much audience. “It is very important for us. For me it is the most important game of the year and it is something stimulating for younger girls to be part of this. Luckily I was able to win the prize for the best horse with Alcachofa, a product bred by El Overo. It makes me very happy,” acknowledged Hazel Jackson-Gaona, who as a prize received an increase in handicap by the AAP and equaled her compatriot Clarkin as 10-goaler. Clarkin was named MVP of the final, while Clara Cassino received the Fair Play award. Fax Cherokee, played by Mía Cambiaso was Best Horse in the final, while El Overo Alcachofa won the Best Argentine Bred horse. POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 29

La Dolfina’s Pelon Stirling muscles a neckshot to Cambiaso, who scored 12 goals in the afternoon.


Better by the Dozen La Dolfina continues to dominate Argentine Open By Ernesto Rodriguez • Photos by Sergio Llamera


inning Palermo once is the dream of every polo player; winning it six times consecutively seems like a utopia; lifting the most desired cup on the planet 12 times is almost crazy. La Dolfina did it after beating Las Monjitas, 17-12.

“Cheaper by the Dozen” is a 2003 comedy in which Steve Martin—father of 12 children—tries to maintain normality while his wife embarks on a tour. “Better by the Dozen” could be the title of the film that recounts the passage of La Dolfina Sancor Seguros in the Argentine Open. The team, created by Adolfo Cambiaso, reached its 12th title in Palermo in 19 participations, a remarkable efficiency. As happened in Hurlingham (see page 40), the opening of the 125th edition of the Argentine Open was with surprises. La Ensenada, in its absolute debut in Palermo, defeated Alegría-La Irenita just as it did in its first presentation in the Hurlingham Open. After a balanced start, alternating the command of the score, the best work in the last two chukkers gave the rookies an 18-14 victory, with eight goals coming from Juan Britos. In the second round that Friday, Nov. 17, La Dolfina Polo Ranch and La Aguada offered a highlyfrictioned match. Tied at the completion of the seventh chukker, everything was defined in the last 6:30 when Diego Cavanagh’s effectiveness made the difference—a pair of goals from direct shots in the period to give the team with the lowest handicap (31) a 14-11 triumph. The following day was the Palermo debut of the three polo representatives from the U.S. La Albertina Abu Dhabi, with Nic Roldán as forward, clearly overcame La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form, with Agustín Obregón and Jared Zenni, 18-10. “It’s a dream come true—play in Palermo, win and convert two goals,” said an exultant Roldán. “We got along well in the first half, but then they got away. In each match we added an unparalleled experience,” Zenni explained in the other tent. A while later, on Field No. 1, Las Monjitas had no mercy on Cría Yatay WeWork and won by an absolute 22-9, with Guillermo Caset as top scorer with eight goals. From the second global date, the evolution of the contest happened to depend on soccer, the most popular sport in the country. River Plate and POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 31

Former 10-goaler Eduardo “Ruso” Heguy coaches 10-goaler Guillermo “Sapo” Caset in the Argentine Open final.

Boca Juniors, the most popular teams in Argentina, played on Saturday, Nov. 24 for the Libertadores de América Cup (the South American version of the UEFA Champions League) in River Plate’s stadium, located just three miles away from Palermo. The complex safety plan forced the third and fourth Open dates to be moved to Tuesday, Nov. 20 and Wednesday, Nov. 21 and then postponed the fifth and sixth dates to Sunday, Nov. 25 and Monday, Nov. 26, forcing play during the week, something very unusual. The first half of the plan was fulfilled: La Aguada was rehabilitated from its initial setback and clearly beat La Ensenada, 18-10, despite losing Ignacio Novillo Astrada to injury after a fall in the fourth chukker, while La Dolfina Sancor Seguros—the defending champion with 40 goals of handicap—had to work hard to overcome LD Polo Ranch, 15-11, despite a ninegoal handicap difference between the quartets. Just 24 hours passed before Las 32 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

Monjitas got its second win in the tournament after disposing La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form, 16-5, with 10 goals made by Sapo Caset. Ellerstina Johor—the other team with a perfect 40-goal handicap—appeared in the Cathedral and did not have problems to beat Cría Yatay WeWork, 15-5, with seven conquests by Gonzalo Pieres. Episodes of violence in the soccer prematch—River Plate’s fans attacked the Boca team’s bus when it arrived at the stadium—forced the Copa Libertadores championship match initially to be suspended, before it was moved to Spain’s capital, Madrid, on Dec. 9. The change delayed the Argentine Open schedule, forcing officials to change the order of play. The sixth date was played on Monday, Nov. 26 as scheduled, but the fifth date was moved to Tuesday, Nov. 27. In Bracket B, Cría Yatay WeWork got its first win by downing La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form, 17-7, with 10 goals from Ignacio Laprida, all from the penalty line with a 100 percent

effectiveness. In the second round, Ellerstina Johor maintained the winning step with a wide 17-9 margin against La Albertina Abu Dhabi, with Pablo Pieres as top scorer with six. On the following day, Bracket A was completed. On Field No. 2, La Dolfina Polo Ranch achieved an impressive 12-10 success against La Ensenada, with a notable performance of the South African back Ignatius du Plessis, firm in defense and clever in attack (four goals). Then, on Field No. 1, La Dolfina Sancor Seguros drew notable differences against Alegría-La Irenita, winning 16-6. The match had one last extremely emotional chukker since the eight players disputing it played horses bred by La Irenita in honor of Jorge Mac Donough, who recently passed away. He is the father of La Dolfina’s Pablo Mac Donough and Alegría-La Irenita’s Matías Mac Donough. Another event unrelated to polo forced another change of schedule. The realization of the G20 Summit forced almost all public activities in Buenos

Las Monjitas’ Hilario Ulloa and La Dolfina’s Juan Martin Nero race to the ball.

La Dolfina’s Juan Martin Nero, Pablo Mac Donough, Pelon Stirling and Adolfo Cambiaso celebrate their 12th Argentine Open victory.


Las Monjitas’ Santiago Toccalino, whose horse wore protective goggles in the match, keeps a close eye on La Dolfina’s Adolfo Cambiaso.

Aires to be deferred between Friday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 2. Therefore, play resumed on Monday, Dec. 3 with the fourth date of Bracket A. In the first turn, in Field No. 2, La Dolfina Sancor Seguros beat La Ensenada by a blunt 20-6. Later, in the Cathedral, La Aguada edged Alegría-La Irenita, 10-8, with half a dozen goals coming off the mallet of Alejandro Muzzio. Tuesday, Dec. 4 was the time for the Bracket B. On Field 2, Ellerstina Johor eliminated La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form, 20-5, which closed its participation without any wins. And in the Cathedral, Las Monjitas remained unbeaten against La Albertina Abu Dhabi, with a 16-11 victory, taking full advantage of the departure of Ignacio Toccalino by a double yellow card between the close of the seventh chukker and the start of the eighth. 34 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

La Dolfina Sancor Seguros secured its 14th consecutive ticket to the Palermo final after defeating La Aguada by a decisive 17-7 in the main match of the day of Saturday, Dec. 8. The key was the overwhelming start (6-0 in the first two chukkers) to confirm the strength of the team led by Adolfo Cambiaso, which since 2000 has only missed reaching the final of the highest tournament in the world once, in 2004. Earlier, on Field No. 2, La Dolfina Polo Ranch took advantage of a better closure and defeated Alegría-La Irenita, 18-13. The victory guaranteed LD Polo Ranch a place in the Triple Crown for 2019, while Alegría-La Irenita bid farewell to the Triple Crown without wins. Sunday, Dec. 9, was a day of strong emotions. In the first turn, Cría Yatay WeWork defeated Albertina Abu Dhabi by a tight 13-12 thanks to the great

effort by Joaquin Pittaluga (7 goals) to secure a place in the 2019 Triple Crown. Then the Cathedral was left in shock and disbelief. Las Monjitas battled every minute and with the gutsy Hilario Ulloa as leader, managed to break the process in the sixth chukker (shutting the opponent out 3-0) to surprise and eliminate Ellerstina Johor, that was left out of the Palermo final for the second time in the last 12 editions. “We knew we could do it. If with Daily Racing Form we beat Adolfito and Facu in the U.S. Open, why can not we do it in Palermo,” Ulloa explained after the match. After a one-day delay, this time for rain fall in Buenos Aires, on Sunday, Dec. 16, everything was ready for an unpublished final. The teams had only played each other once before, in the semifinal of Hurlingham, with a 11-8 victory for La Dolfina.

The city skyline looms over Palermo’s Field No. 1 as the players make their way onto the field for the start of the 125th Argentine Open.

Las Monjitas went out to play without a complex, despite the fact that three of its players were playing the biggest match on earth for the first time, and during the initial two

episodes dominated the procedure and the score, 6-3. In the third chukker, the unique Adolfito Cambiaso turned on the engines and equaled the match with

La Dolfina fans celebrate after their team won its sixth title in a row.

three penalty conversions. From there, it was all for the Cañuelas (La Dolfina’s hometown) bulldozer, which was methodically taking advantage with the guidance of its No. 1, who finished the match with 12 goals. The superiority was such that the final bell came as a relief for both teams, sealing the ultimate contest, 17-12. Las Monjitas, the squad of the Colombian patron Camilo Bautista, concluded with the satisfaction of playing the most desired match in the world after eliminating a 40-goal team. La Dolfina got its sixth consecutive title in Palermo and the 12th in its history. “If someone told me that we would reach so many triumphs in 2000, when we presented ourselves for the first time, I would have said that it is crazy. But I get used to challenges and always want more. That’s why I do not know what the roof of this quartet is,” said Cambiaso, who in addition to that dozen titles with La Dolfina, raised the cup another three times with Ellerstina in the 1990s, being only five below the greatest winner of all time, Juan Carlos Harriott. Adolfito completed his personal harvest with the Lady Susan Townley Cup that clone Dolfina B09 Cuartetera received for being the best horse in the final. POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 35

Snow Time Richard Mille excels in Aspen by Sharon Robb


he Richard Mille team, led by Richard Mille brand ambassador Pablo Mac Donough, captured the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship in Aspen, Colorado, Dec. 22.

Aspen mountain serves as a backdrop to the St. Regis Snow Polo Championship at Rio Grande Park.


Jason Crowder catches up with Nic Roldan, who balances the ball on his mallet.

In an exciting finish, first-year team Richard Mille won the coveted St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship at Aspen’s Rio Grande Park. In front of a record crowd, including a sold out VIP tent and worldwide ChukkerTV audience, Richard Mille (Marc Ganzi, Martin Pepa, Pablo Mac Donough), making its debut in the prestigious six-team tournament, defeated Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini), in a tight 6-5 battle. Argentine 10-goaler Pablo Mac Donough was named Most Valuable Player for the tournament final. It was his second major tournament win in two weeks after capturing the 125th Argentine Open with La Dolfina Sancor Seguros for the sixth consecutive year with Juan Martin Nero, Pelon Stirling and Adolfo Cambiaso. “I am glad Pablo won, I am happy for him, he just doesn’t win enough in polo, this is good for his career,” joked Flexjet’s Juan Bollini. Sponsor Richard Mille and Mac Donough were making their snow polo debuts. Mac Donough scored a gamehigh three goals and Pepa added two. The team was also awarded a gameclinching Penalty 1 in the fourth and final chukker. “Snow polo was amazing, just amazing,” Mac Donough said. “I think our team played great, and the other team too, but we were the lucky ones to win.”

Richard Mille was the official timekeeper for the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship. Mille created the RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough for its Brand Ambassador. Thirty limited-edition watches were made with a price of $900,000 each. The Richard Mille website reads, “As everyone knows, Polo is a gentleman’s sport, however, the elegance it is reputed for by no means cancels out the extraordinary violence of its confrontations between players, or their horses. As a result, every piece of equipment is subjected to the harshest treatment.” Marc Ganzi, after outstanding defensive round-robin and final games, was named the Intermix Tournament Most Valuable Player. It was the first time Ganzi made it to the final and won the tournament. Intermix is a national women’s clothing store, with a store in Aspen. “It was a great game, wide open with lots of flow, and everyone played well, but the horses were the real stars,” Marc Ganzi said. Kit Kat, a 7-year-old bay mare by Lion’s Quest out of Macuca, owned and bred by Wellington, Florida-based Santa Rita Polo Farm, and played by Alejandro Novillo Astrada, was selected Best Playing Pony. Flexjet, making its second finals appearance in three years, was led by Alejandro Novillo Astrada with two

goals. He finished as the tournament’s high-scorer with 14 goals. Melissa Ganzi and Bollini each added one goal. The team also had a Penalty 1 in the final

Carlitos Gracida bundles up for snow polo.


Martin Pepa and Alejandro Novillo Astrada reach for the ball in the final.

chukker. The final pitted husband and wife against each other. “In those situations for me, it’s kind of lose-lose,” Marc Ganzi said. “So if I lose, I lose, and if I win, I still lose. But actually, we play a lot of polo against each other. We’ve played a lot of finals against each other. She’s won, I’ve won. We take a very pragmatic approach to it, which is we are just going to go play and let the better team win and today thankfully, we were the better team.” The game was close from the opening throw-in with the teams tied 2-2 after the first chukker. Richard Mille took a 3-2 lead in the second on Mac Donough’s goal. Richard Mille held a slim 5-4 lead after a 2-2 third chukker with two goals by Novillo Astrada and goals from Pepa and Mac Donough. In the fourth and final chukker, Penalty 1 goals were awarded to each team. “It was really, really close. We would go back up one and we kept trying to surge and go up two but couldn’t find it, Marc Ganzi said. “Flexjet won this tournament two years ago, they know how to win it.” Playing conditions were ideal at Rio Grande Park on both Wednesday and Thursday. “The venue performed really well,” Marc Ganzi said. “The city and the 38 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

Aspen Skiing Co. did just an incredible job preparing it. Look at the surface, it’s perfect.” In Tuesday’s action-packed qualifying round robins at Aspen Valley Polo Club’s indoor arena in Carbondale, Flexjet advanced into the final with a 10-6 win over Aspen Valley Polo Club and a 6-5 victory over Blade and Bow. Richard Mille defeated St. Regis, 8-4, and knocked out defending champion U.S. Polo Assn., 8-7. In Thursday’s Aspen Peak Cup, Aspen

Guests were treated to St. Regis Aspen Resort rituals including fine food and beverages.

Valley Polo Club (Sarah Siegel Magness, Jason Crowder, Jesse Bray) led from startto-finish to defeat U.S. Polo Assn. (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Henry Porter), 6-3, in the subsidiary final. U.S. Polo Assn. was the official apparel outfitter for the event. Bray led scoring with a game-high five goals. Crowder added one. Bray and Crowder were members of the 2016 Flexjet team that won the snow polo title. Roldan scored all three of his team’s goals and finished with 12 for the tournament. On Wednesday, St. Regis (Nacho Figueras, Hilario Figueras, Julio Gracida) won the Blade and Bow Cup with a 10-7 victory over Blade and Bow (Brian Boyd, Gonzalito Pieres, Carlitos Gracida). Nacho Figueras led scoring with a gamehigh six goals. His oldest son, Hilario, added four goals. Pieres led Blade and Bow with three goals. Boyd and Gracida each scored two goals. In the always fun and entertaining Celebrity Chukker matchup, Richard Mille: Official Time Keeper (Alexa Dell, Sterling Jones, Pablo Mac Donough) won with a 2-0 victory over St. Regis (Saye Yabandeh, Erica Posalini, Nacho Figueras). Dell and Jones each scored one goal. It was the second consecutive year Jones was a member of the winning team. Last year he won with U.S. Polo Assn.

Pablo Mac Donough, fresh off an Argentine Open victory, dazzles the crowd.

teammates Sarah Siegel Magness and Nacho Novillo Astrada. For the first time in event history, the tournament featured the inaugural Snow

Ball to benefit the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation at St. Regis Hotel. “The most important thing to Melissa and I is to use this platform as a way to

Richard Mille teammates Marc Ganzi, Martin Pepa and MVP Pablo Mac Donough hoist the St. Regis World Snow Polo Tournament trophy.

give back to the community,” said Ganzi, a former Aspen Country Day School student. “If we can raise some money and help out, that makes us feel good.” For the sixth consecutive year, Aspen Valley Polo Club owners Melissa and Marc Ganzi, hosted the star-studded event along with polo ambassador and St. Regis Connoisseur Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina. Guests in the soldout heated VIP tent that featured Alpine Luxe furnishing, were treated to signature St. Regis Aspen Resort rituals including afternoon tea, a fine array of light fare and iconic St. Regis Bloody Mary cocktails. Mixologists were also serving the popular Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, one of this year’s new sponsors. DJ Dylan provided music between chukker grooves. The Basalt High School Choir sang the National Anthem to open both Wednesday and Thursday action. The American flag was ridden in by Kajsa Sutro on Wednesday and Hannah Hayden on Thursday. Players and sponsors were treated each night to special dinners including Thursday’s exquisite Midnight Supper at St. Regis’ seasonal EMP Winter House, featuring vintage winter decor and classic Swiss menu, details that honor traditions that date back over a century. POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 39

















THE RIGHT TIME Johor Ellerstina bests La Dolfina Sancor Seguros in the Hurlingham Open


Ensenada and Alegría/La Irenita—which brought the first big surprise of the season—or from the final match, the 38th showdown between La Dolfina Sancor Seguros and Johor Ellerstina, the two big powers of the 21st Century. In the definition of one of the oldest contests on the planet, with 80 goals on the field, a fight ensued with plenty of emotions. Adrenaline was guaranteed in the second step of the Argentine Triple Crown. The opening, at the complex the Argentine Polo Association has in Pilar, on the

outskirts of Buenos Aires, began with youthful mischief in Bracket A, with the juvenile quartet of La Ensenada, which came from the classification tournament and was a team with an average age of barely over 23 years. The young team was not frightened by the experience of Fred Mannix and Matías Mac Donough—former finalists in Palermo—and clearly beat Alegría/La Irenita by 12-8, despite having a team handicap four goals less. Half a dozen goals (including two penalties) came from Juan Britos. SERGIO LLAMERA

ohor Ellerstina reacted after a bad beginning and defeated La Dolfina Sancor Seguros, 12-11, in the final of the 125th Hurlingham Open to lift the Ayrshire Cup for the third consecutive year. The development of a tournament the magnitude of the Hurlingham Open can be counted by the beginning or the end and this year was no different. A chronological history can be made from the first throw in, launched on Tuesday, Oct. 9, to start the match between La

Johor Ellerstina’s brothers Facundo Pieres, Nico Pieres and Gonzalo Pieres and their cousin Polito Pieres won the Hurlingham Open.


In the second round, La Aguada celebrated the return of Miguel Novillo Astrada as it defeated La Dolfina Polo Ranch, 11-9. The defensive solidity of Ignacio Novillo Astrada as back and best scorer of the team with four goals was vital. The following day, on the same stage located 40 miles northwest of the Argentine capital, three players who represent U.S. polo debuted: the duel between La Albertina Abu Dhabi (with Nic Roldán as No. 1) and La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form (with Agustín Obregón in attack and Jared Zenni in the back position) narrowly went to La Albertina, 10-8, with seven goals coming from the attack duo formed by Roldán and Francisco Elizalde. A while later, in the other clash for Bracket B, Las Monjitas showed the quality of its 10-goalers Hilario Ulloa and Guillermo Caset, taking quick advantages against Cría Yatay WeWork in the second chukker (6-2). Las Monjitas managed to increase the difference in the remaining five chukkers, finishing ahead, 14-10. On Saturday, Oct. 13, the second round began. For Bracket A, on Field No. 3, La Aguada maintained its unbeaten record with a laborious triumph over the

surprisingly strong La Ensenada, 14-12, in a match defined in the last chukker. Next, Johor Ellerstina—the defending champion—made its debut with a stunning performance against La Dolfina Polo Ranch, won by an unusual margin of 16 goals (20-4), twice the difference of handicap between them. Only 24 hours passed for the presentation of the other great candidate for the title. In an exhibition of power like the one offered by Ellerstina in the previous smatch, La Dolfina Sancor Seguros swept Cría Yatay WeWork by a convincing 22-8. Previously, Las Monjitas kept the winning step with another victory of strong figures against La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form, 20-6, beyond losing Hilario Ulloa in the sixth chukker. The rain of goals continued on the third day, held on Tuesday, Oct. 16, also in Pilar. La Dolfina Polo Ranch achieved its first victory after beating La Ensenada, 1710, in a match which, in addition to many goals, there was an unusual number of fouls (22). The difference was made by Guillermo Terrera, author of seven goals. Next, Johor Ellerstina offered another recital of attacks and this time it was Alegría/La Irenita who suffered with a 23-

10 defeat, a difference supported by the hard labor in the last three episodes (11-3 for the Pieres cousins). In the first turn on Wednesday, Oct. 17, Cría Yatay WeWork had its first joy of the contest against La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form, a duel between teams that had not yet counted a win. Ten goals from Joaquín Pittaluga were vital for the 16-9 win. Then it was the turn of the collision between La Dolfina Sancor Seguros and La Albertina Abu Dhabi, a more balanced match than expected in which La Albertina gave a lot of fight. Only in the last two chukkers, when horses were being played a second chukker, did Cambiaso (best scorer with eight) and his team make the difference, prevailing, 13-8. The semifinalists were determined on back-to-back days, (Oct. 20-21), also in the AAP complex in Pilar. The first day of play was opened with a wide victory of Johor Ellerstina against La Ensenada, 147, in a fun game of fast and open action that only offered two fouls in seven chukkers. Then, La Aguada added its third victory in the same number of presentations with a 12-7 success against (continued on page 58) POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 41


Polito Pieres keeps his eye on a bouncing ball while Adolfo Cambiaso shadows him.

British Polo Day brought together the best of Indian and British players on the polo field, along with the world’s business, cultural and lifestyle leaders to enjoy the magic and majesty of Jaipur and Jodhpur. Presented by Chelsea Barracks in association with VistaJet, the Jaipur event was hosted British Polo Days held in Jaipur, Jodhpur by Her Highness Rajmata Padmini Devi of Jaipur, and the Jodhpur occasion was hosted by His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur.


Jaipur Returning for the fourth time, British Polo Day Jaipur started with a beautiful bang at the SUJÁN Rajmahal launch party, before all-out action on the polo field, and followed up by a black-tie gala at the City Palace hosted by His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur. BPD was honored to welcome the Duchess of Rutland as the British representative, and the Duchess threw the ball in to kick off proceedings on the field. BPD Royal Salute defeated Rajasthan Polo Club, 7-4, for the Chelsea Barracks

Native Marwari horses have the telltale ears pointing toward one another.

Jaipur Cup, and BPD I fell to Jaipur, 6-4, for the Rajmata Padmini Devi of Jaipur Shield. Jodhpur On the eighth year in the Blue City, guests were treated to the colors and vibrancy of Rajasthan, beginning with sunset drinks on the terrace of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, which was voted No. 1 hotel in India by Condé Nast in 2016. The first day of British Polo Day Jodhpur saw the Jodhpur Polo Team battle the

The Dutches of Rutland loves on a colorfully decorated elephant.

Chelsea Barracks Jaipur won the Rajmata Padmini Devi of Jaipur Shield.



Mundota Fort & Palace Jaipur Team for the Marwar Trophy. Also, on the opening day, the Royal Salute team was up against Mayo College, helmed by Pacho Jaipur. It was a close-run match that saw Royal Salute scoring its fourth goal in the final seconds, but it wasn’t quite enough to pip Mayo College’s five goals, leaving Pacho and his team to lift the Marwar Trophy, presented by Miles Wood, sales director at Chelsea Barracks. On the evening of the second day, guests followed a procession of fire breathers, Rajasthani trumpeters and traditional Marwari horses to the battlements of one of India’s largest forts, the majestic Mehrangahr Fort, for an event celebrating everything Indian. Peter Prentice, Royal Salute Global VIP relationships director and chairman of Keepers of The Quaich Society, led a traditional Royal Salute Quaich Experience to toast to His


British Polo Day guests were treated to an array of social activities including a fireworks display.

In Jodhpur, guests followed a procession of fire breathers, Rajasthani trumpeters and traditional Marwari horses to the battlements of one of India’s largest forts. POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 43

Highness and the Game of Kings. The following day saw the British Army VistaJet team lose by half a goal against Jodhpur II for the Umaid Bhawan Palace Cup. Jodhpur I took on Mundota for the Yuvraj Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur Plate, which resulted in an honorable draw. The cup was awarded by Bruno Gregolin of VistaJet and His Highness the Maharajah of Jodhpur. The last night was marked by a gala dinner on the lawns of the Umaid Bawan Palace hosted by His Highness Gaj Singh II Maharajah of Marwar—Jodhpur. Just over $48,000 was raised for Head Injuries Through Sport, a charity close to the heart of British Polo Day. The auction takings were greatly assisted by the sale of a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface watch engraved with the coat of arms of Marwar-Jodhpur, which went under the hammer for $18,000. Ben Vestey, CEO and Partner of British Polo Day said, “British Polo Day is delighted to be returning to India, the events that are magnificent jewels in the BPD crown. The base of partners, with over 2,000 years of combined heritage between them, says so much about the relationship building opportunities that British Polo Day creates. British business continues to prosper in India, and myself and Chairman Tom Hudson are delighted that British Polo Day can be a part of this success story.” It was a matter of great pride that former England polo captain and Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador, Malcolm Borwick played in India, his fourth, British Polo Day event, captaining the Royal Salute British Exiles team. To celebrate the occasion, Royal Salute, known as the ‘King of Whiskey’, served its signature 21-Year-Old blend as well as the limited edition Beach Polo Edition; the latest release in the annual Polo Collection created as the ultimate celebration of polo, the Sport of Kings. British Polo Day Heritage Over 100 top British and international players have played at British Polo Day since its inception, and 2018 saw H.H. Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur joining HRH The Duke of Sussex on the field at our Great Britain event in June, 44 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

The Royal Salute BPD II team took on Bentley Rajasthan in Jaipur.

Dirk Uys, Tiernan O’Rourke, Malcolm Borwick and Giles Bromley-Martin take in the view at Mehrangahr Fort in Jodhpur.

Malcolm Borwick shoots for the moon.

JODHPUR BPD II: Greg Carns Thilo Sautter Lt. Giles Bromley-Martin Malcolm Borwick

7 0 1 1 5

BPD I: Lila Pearson Jeremy Pemberton Charlie Cadogan Will Emerson

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Rajasthan: Paul Sethi Vicky Nihilani Ransher Singh Vishal Singh

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Jaipur: Tiernan O’Rourke Sunjay Kapur HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh Abhimanyu Pathak

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JAIPUR Royal Salute BPD II: Greg Carns Alston Beinhorn (US) Carlos Rivas (Venezuela) Joseph Fitszimons (US)

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Vista Jet BPD I: Lila Pearson Jeremy Pemberton Charlie Cadogan Will Emerson

Bentley Rajasthan: Paul Sethi Vicky Nihilani Ransher Singh Vishal Singh

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Chelsea Barracks Jaipur: 7 Tiernan O’Rourke -1 Sunjay Kapur 0 Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh 3 Abhimanyu Pathak 5

HH The Maharaja Gaj Singh II takes a look at the JaegerLeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface watch being auctioned.

6 0 0 1 5

alongside the world’s No. 1 polo player Argentine Adolfo Cambiaso, and the No. 1 female player Nina Clarkin. British Polo Day’s title sponsor, Chelsea Barracks sits in London’s esteemed enclave, Belgravia, one of the most sought after addresses in the world and delivers a new level of luxury and distinction to London. Richard Oakes, executive director of Chelsea Barracks, said, “We are delighted to be the title partner for British Polo Day as they celebrate their 80th event here in Jaipur. The collaboration has presented a great environment for Chelsea Barracks to forge diverse and lasting relationships across the world through a mutual love for this heritage sport.”

Kata Landon, HH The Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur and The Duke of Argyll ride in style with the Umaid Bhawan Palace as a backdrop.





Evergreen’s Carlitos Galindo wowed the crowd with five goals for his team.


mpire Polo Club in Indio, California, got off to a great start with eight teams competing in its season-opening 4-goal Stagecoach Challenge. After two weeks of play, the field was narrowed to two teams, Lockton and Evergreen, that met in the final on Jan. 6. Lockton (Tim Kelly, Joe Coors, Tommy Costello, Alejandro Gonzalez) was the first on the scoreboard with a shot to goal by Costello. Evergreen (Tom Sprung, Quinn Evans, Taylor


Freeman, Carlitos Galindo) soon responded with a Penalty 3 conversion by Freeman. Gonzalez put Lockton back on top to end the first 2-1. Freeman’s second Penalty 3 conversion knotted the score and a goal by Evans and a Penalty 1 gave Evergreen the 4-2 lead. Sadly, Coors’ horse suffered a fatal heart attack during the chukker. Gonzalez cut the deficit with a lone goal in the third and tied the score with a Penalty 3 conversion early in

the fourth. Freeman scored on a run and Galindo followed with a Penalty 6. Evans found the mark and Galindo scored his second of the chukker to double up Lockton’s score, 8-4. Evergreen kept up the pressure in the fifth. Galindo hit the target with a Penalty 4 then a field goal. Sprung split the uprights and Galindo shot through one more before Costello responded for Lockton. Time expired with Evergreen holding the 12-5 lead.






Flaming Chickens’ Elise Pardue, Hayward Pardue, Ricardo Garcia and Devin Gallemore won the 1-goal tournament at Empire. JIM BREMNER/JFBPHOTOS.COM

Evergreen Polo’s Tom Sprung, Quinn Evans, Carlitos Galindo and Taylor Freeman won the 4-goal Stagecoach Challenge.

Fawkes Engineering’s Craig Russell, Andy Schnoebelen and Clair Jenkins won the Desert Challenge Arena tournament.

In the 1-goal final played on the same day, Vashon (Kim Berman, Stephanie Davidson, Karen Reese, Juan Martin Gutierrez) faced Flaming Chickens (Devin Gallemore, Elise Pardue, Hayward Pardue, Ricardo Garcia). Flaming Chickens began with a half-goal handicap and Pardue added to it with the first score of the match. Reese responded, putting Vashon on the board. Reese added another early in the third and Gutierrez hit the mark to put Vashon ahead 3-1½. In the third, Gallemore and Davidson traded goals to maintain the difference. Flaming Chickens pecked away at the deficit in the final period, first on a goal by Elise Pardue then on a shot from Hayward Pardue to take the half-goal edge, 4½-4. Time ran out and Flaming Chickens took the trophies. In preseason arena play, players

Fawkes Engineering’s Andy Schnoebelen, Bonnie Magill and Ian Schnoebelen won the Coyote Cup round robin.

were welcomed to Calhoun Ranch, a new facility complete with an arena and grass polo field for the Desert Challenge on Dec. 2. The teams competed in a practice match the previous day. Fawkes Engineering (Clair Jenkins, Andy Schnoebelen, Craig Russell) took on Great Scott! (Scott Hartzel, Ella Bonilla, Manny Rodriguez). Great Scott! began with a one-goal handicap and a defensive first chukker left the teams otherwise scoreless. Bonilla made the first tally in the second but Schnoebelen responded for Fawkes. Jenkins scored a lone goal in the third, overcoming the handicap and tying the score at 2-2. Schnoebelen managed to slip by Rodriguez and slammed in two in a row in the fourth chukker to double up the score, 4-2. Great Scott! fought back with a goal by Bonilla but ran out of time, giving Fawkes the victory.

Fawkes carried its momentum into the Coyote Cup round robin a week later, albeit with a new lineup. The first two chukkers pitted Great Scott! (Scott Hartzel, Craig Russell, Chris Chun) against Fawkes Engineering (Ian Schnoebelen, Andy Schnoebelen, Bonnie Magill). Chun put the first two goals on the board for the Great Scott! team, adding to its one-goal handicap, for an early 3-0 lead. Ian Schnoebelen answered with a score for Fawkes, ending the first chukker 3-1. In the second chukker, Chun followed his own long shot to tap it in for a goal. Fawkes Bonnie Magill stopped several goals and managed to steal the ball and hit the target. Ian Schnoebelen scored again, but Great Scott! ended up on top 4-3. Fawkes Engineering stayed up and took on the new rival team, Spokane (Alyssa Garcia, Megan Roux and






Fawkes Engineering overcame a 4-3 deficit the first day to tie Great Scott! 8-8 the second day.

Somerset’s Heidi Clark, Fergus Gould, Pepe Rodriguez and Jonathan Garnica won the 4-goal Holiday Cup at Empire.

Catlin Dix). Fawkes Engineering quickly put four unanswered points on the board. It was a team effort with each member scoring at least one and Andy Schnoebelen scoring twice. In the second chukker of the round, Dix rallied with two goals, but the Schnoebelens were on fire. Andy scored three times and Ian once, ending the fourth chukker with an 8-2 lead for Fawkes. The last round brought the Great Scott! team back into the arena to face the Spokane ladies. Great Scott! started with a one-goal handicap, which Dix quickly overcame. Russell put one on the board, but Dix responded. Garcia and Chun traded goals, ending the chukker in a 3-3 tie. Roux pushed the girls ahead by


Sutter Buttes’ Raeann Magill, Benito Andrade, Bonnie Magill and Manny Rodriguez won the 1-goal Holiday Cup.

one, followed by a gorgeous twopointer by Garcia. This seemed to energize Chun, who posted three in a row to knot the score, 6-6. Dix stopped Chun’s momentum, skillfully walking the ball down the wall, and passing to Roux, who tapped it in for the 7-6 lead. On Sunday, teams carried over the scores. Great Scott! started with a 4-3 advantage over Fawkes Engineering. Chun’s two goals were matched by Ian Schnoebelen’s two goals. Magill added a point, ending the first chukker in a 6-6 tie. Magill traded goals with Russell and Chun in the second chukker, ending in an 8-8 tie. Fawkes Engineering stayed up to meet Spokane with the advantage of an 8-2 lead from Saturday. Fawkes scored three goals in the third

chukker to Spokane’s one, ending the chukker, 11-3. Garcia sunk a pair of Penalty 2s but Fawkes answered, ending the round, 13-5. In the last round, Great Scott! started narrowly ahead of Spokane, 67. Chun scored a goal and a horse kicked in another for Great Scott! while Spokane came up empty, ending with Great Scott! ahead, 8-7. Chun and Hartzel added goals to end, 10-7. The trophies were awarded to Fawkes Engineering, winning with the most net goals. Great Scott! took second place and Spokane third place. The Holiday Cup was played Dec. 22-23 at both the 1-goal and 4-goal level. In the 4-goal, Sommerset (Heidi Clark, Fergus Gould, Jonathan Garnica, Pepe Rodriguez) took on Granite Bay (Shane Flock, Eric


Participants in the 5th annual USPA Hering Cup at Lakeside Polo Club in Lakeside, California

Hammon, Ashton Wolf, Tommy Costello). Granite Bay got the scoring started with a pair of goals, but Gould put Sommerset on the board to keep it close. Wolf scored a lone goal in the second to give Granite the 3-1 lead. The teams matched goals in the third, maintaining a two-goal difference. In the fourth, Wolf passed to Flock, who sent the ball to goal. Flock then took the ball coast-to-coast for his second goal in minutes. Gould matched those goals with a pair of Penalty 2 conversions. The match ended with Granite Bay ahead 7-5. The score carried over to the next day. Granite Bay jumped out front with two unanswered goals in the first chukker to increase the lead to four, 95. A Penalty 2 by Costello made the lead five before Sommerset responded. Gould and Rodriguez found the mark, cutting the deficit to three. Gould and Garnica brought Sommerset within one, 10-9 in the third. Granite Bay was silenced while Gould added is third goal to tie the score at 10-all. The teams elected to break the tie with a coin toss. Sommerset came out of top. In the 1-goal, Sutter Buttes (Bonnie Magill, Raeann Magill, Benito Andrade, Manny Rodriguez) and Sayulita (Julie Fernandez, Colby

Smith, Kirsten Laverdure, Ricardo Garcia) fought for bragging rights. Fernandez struck first, putting two goals on the board for Sayulita. Rodriguez responded to tie the match at 2-2. Garcia scored twice in the next chukker while Rodriguez added one for Sutter Buttes. Magill started the third with a goal to knot the score 4-4. The Sutter Buttes team turned up the heat in the fourth chukker with each player adding a goal to end ahead, 8-4. The match resumed the next day with Fernandez and Laverdure finding the goal to cut the deficit to two, 8-6. Rodriguez added a goal to increase the difference, 9-6. Garcia scored but Raeann Magill and Rodriguez responded. Smith scored in the third, but Bonnie Magill and Rodriguez had the answer. Sayulita couldn’t seem to gain any traction until the final period when Garcia added two. Raeann Magill found the mark, but Fernandez and Laverdure shot back to cut the deficit to two, 14-12. But with time ticking away, that was the end of the scoring and Sutter Buttes took the trophies. —Susan Archer and Suki Piper contributed to this report. STAGECOACH CHALLENGE

Empire—Rob Scapa, Eric Hammon, Kyle



Fargey, Jessica Bailey; Evergreen—Tom Sprung, Carlitos Galindo, Taylor Freeman, Quinn Evans; Grande Prairie—Ross Adams, Tim Rudy, Felipe Sordelli, Piers Bossom; Hanalei Bay—Krista Bonaguidi, Bayne Bossom, Luis Soracco, Meghan Gracida; Lockton—Tim Kelly, Alejandro Gonzalez, Joseph Coors, Tommy Costello; Ridgeway Hemp—Beau Staley, Madelyn Cobb, Craig Russel, Malia McCoy; STG—John Ziegler, Juan Jo Gonzalez, Juan Marcos, Leandro Flocarri; Taqueda—Shane Flock, Jimmy Wright, Dawn Rose, Ciro Desenzani.

YOUNG GUNS TAKE 5TH USPA HERING CUP Lakeside Polo Club in Lakeside, California, celebrated its 5th annual USPA Hering Cup on a bright and sunny but pleasantly cool weekend in mid-November. It was perfect weather for polo! The cup is named for Adm. Eugene R. Hering, MD, better known as “Doc”, who, on retiring from the Navy after 25 years of service and two wars, came to the little Southern California town of Lakeside in 1955 to start his medical practice and build his polo field of dreams. For many years it was the only





Los Tres Amigos’ Shaun Cornell, Frankie Questel Sr. and Miguel Questel and Young Guns’ MVP Molly Agee, Garrett Bankhead and Ian Schnoebelen. Young Guns won.


and the Beasts were awarded second place by goal difference from the first day of play. The consolation round featured the Avengers, Boom Chukka Lukka and Polotariat. The Boomers from Poway Polo Club took the consolation prize. The featured match of the day, played in front of 250 spectators seated at field-side tables, was the 7-goal battle between the Young Guns and Los Tres Amigos. The crowd really saw some polo action that afternoon and Kimberly kept them informed and involved in the fast-paced play. With the score tied 6-6 in the fleeting moments of the last chukker, it

POLO IS FOR FUN All in the Family—Ethan Bankhead, Garrett Bankhead, Nicole Bankhead; Beauties and the Beasts—Kimberly Foy, Rik Crane, Kip Hering, Laura Lilly; Mane Attraction—Paige Kufahl, Kyle Kufahl, Drew Hobscheid, Martin Perez; The Avengers—Susan Harris, Dean Daggett, Barbara Bowers; Boom JIM BREMNER/JFBPHOTOS.COM

grass field in the San Diego area. Polo has flourished here for more than 60 years. The Bankhead family acquired the property in 2014 and has continued that tradition. This year’s matchups consisted of six 0- to 4-goal teams playing two round robins and two 7-goal teams playing two four-chukker matches. USPA umpires Dan Haley and Kimo Huddleston kept the play fast and safe while announcer Kimberly Hobscheid kept the spectators entertained and the players on time. It truly was like clockwork on the grass. In the 4-goal, Saturday’s play featured All in the Family defeating The Avengers, Beauties and the Beasts downing Boom Chukka Lukka and The Mane Attraction beating Polotariat. The 7-goal teams saw The Young Guns and Los Tres Amigos play a fast scrimmage to feel each other out. Sunday’s hard fought finals saw All In the Family handily dominate both the Beauties and the Mane Attraction to win the first leg of a round robin. The All in the Family team of the three Bankhead’s won the Hering Polo is for Fun Cup. Paige Kufahl was named MVP for her strong play and on-the-field leadership. Nicole Bankhead’s big paint gelding, Adam, was named Best Playing Pony. The Beauties and the Mane fought it out for two more chukkers, only to tie in the last second of play. The Beauties

looked like we might be headed for a boring shoot-out, but Molly Agee of The Young Guns (and Team USPA) stole the ball at mid-field, necked it across to the north sideboards, picked it up on the nearside and took it down the field with the Amigos in hot pursuit. Her opponents could only watch as she deftly flicked it through the goal for the winning score. Young Guns ride again! Molly Agee was named MVP for her smooth and well-coordinated winning play. Miguel Questel’s beautiful mare, Ballerina was named Best Playing Pony. It might be mentioned that the original Young Guns team was formed several years ago by Miguel Questel and his brother Frankie Jr. (not present). Their father, Frankie Sr., trained them, as well as the current Young Guns. What goes around comes around! —Kip Hering

Shaun Cornell, Frankie Questel Sr., Ian Schnoebelen, MVP Molly Agee, Miguel Questel and Garrett Bankhead


P O L O Patagones on the board. Dutta kept up the pressure in the second, with Alberdi and Colombres adding field goals and K a m p s e n converting a Penalty 2. Garcia del Rio converted a pair of open-goal penalties to keep Dutta Corp’s Gringo Colombres, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Timmy Dutta Patagones on the and Kris Kampsen won the 20-goal Pennell and Barry Cups. board, 6-3. Toccalino shot Chukka Lukka—Gillian Young, Sean a Penalty 3 and Garcia del Rio scored Cochran, Andy Schnoebelen; from the field while Dutta was Polotariat—Bryan Treusch, Brenda scoreless to bring Patagones within Phillips, Laura Kingsley; one, 6-5, at the half. Alberdi traded goals with Garcia HERING CUP del Rio in the fourth, and Toccalino The Young Guns—Molly Agee, Garrett traded penalty shots with Colombres Bankhead, Ian Schnoebelen; Los Tres to end the chukker, 8-7. Toccalino Amigos—Frankie Questel Sr., Miguel sunk a Penalty 4 to knot the score and Questel, Shaun Cornell. Dutta swapped goals with Joaquin Avendano to keep it level, 9-9. In the last period, Alberdi scored to break FLORIDA the tie but a Penalty 3 from Toccalino leveled it yet again. With time winding down, Colombres found the mark to give Dutta the advantage. Dutta Corp edged Patagones, 11-10, in an action-packed 20-goal Herbie Pennell Cup to open the polo season at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, on Dec. 30. Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Gringo Colombres, Kris Kampsen) and Patagones (Joaquin Avendano, Benjamin Avendano, Santi Toccalino, Thomas Garcia del Rio) were making their debut in this cup. Played prior to the New Year, they were the only teams in the tournament. Gringo Colombres got the scoring started with two quick goals in the first period. Alberdi followed with one of his own to give Dutta a 3-0 lead. Garcia del Rio easily sunk a Penalty 2 to put

Colombres was honored as MVP and Benjamin Avendano’s chestnut gelding, Fino Conejo, was named Best Playing Pony. The following week, two more teams, Santa Clara (Nico Escobar, Steve Krueger, Pelon Escapite, Luis Escobar) and SD Farms (Sayyu Dantata, Peco Polledo, Jesse Bray, Juan Martin Obregon), joined Patagones and Dutta Corp for the Joe Barry Cup. Dutta Corp seemed to be getting stronger and crushed Santa Clara 2110 in its first match. Patagones also took a first-round win over SD Farms, 11-7. In round two, Patagones edged Santa Clara, 14-9, while Dutta Corp edged SD Farms, 13-12. Dutta Corp met Patagones in round three, with Dutta Corp taking the 10-8 win. The teams would meet again in the final on Jan. 13. Patagones knew it had an up-hill battle to beat Dutta Corp. Colombres put Dutta Corp on the board, but Toccalino answered. Dutta scored but Toccalino responded. A Penalty 1 in favor of Patagones put the team on top, 3-2. Dutta knotted the score early in the second and Toccalino traded goals with Kampsen to keep it level.




Patagones’ Santi Toccalino keeps the ball out of the reach of Dutta Corps’ Kris Kampsen. The teams met in the first two 20-goal finals, with Dutta Corp winning both.




Horseware’s Barry Finnegan, Hugo Lloret, Tom McGuinness and Segundo Merlos won the Orthwein Memorial Family Cup.

Kampsen added a Penalty 2 but Toccalino responded. Kampsen scored two more goals and Colombres added another to put Dutta comfortably ahead 8-5 at the half. Colombres and Garcia del Rio swapped goals in the fourth and Dutta scored a lone goal in the fifth to enter the final chukker with Dutta ahead 10-6. Colombres’ horse slipped going around the corner, unseating Colombres and tripping Garcia del Rio and his horse. Colombres took a few minutes to get checked by paramedics and mounted back up. Garcia del Rio hit the target early in the sixth, but Colombres had the answer. Toccalino slipped the ball between the uprights but it wasn’t enough and Dutta took the win, 11-8. Colombres was named MVP for the second time this season and his dark bay gelding, 10-year-old Coquito, was Best Playing Pony. In the consolation Bobby Barry Cup, Santa Clara edged SD Farms, 98, after the teams were tied going into the final period. Nico Escobar scored the game-winner.

Best Playing Pony honors went to Robert Orthwein’s Cora, a mare started by Steve Orthwein Sr.

Family Cup at Port Mayaca Polo Club in Port Mayaca, Florida on Dec. 31. The matches began on Dec. 29 when Traveller’s Rest (Tiffany Orthwein, Lukas Orthwein, Robert Orthwein, Sloan Stefanakis) edged Tim Dutta’s Dutta Corp, 8-4½, while Horseware (Barry Finnegan, Tom McGuinness, Hugo Lloret, Segundo Merlos) downed Speedwell (Nicole Watson, Paul Von Gontard, Steve Orthwein Jr., Gus Whitlaw), 7-2½. Horseware faced Traveller’s Rest in the final. It was very competitive as

Hugo Lloret led Horseware, trading goals with the entire Traveller’s Rest team to lead 5-3½ at the half. Finnegan increased that lead with a great field goal in the third chukker. The teams battled back and forth, ending with Horseware ahead 7-5½. Finnegan was named MVP and Cora, a pretty bay mare owned by Robert Orthwein and started by Steve Orthwein Sr., was Best Playing Pony. In the consolation New Years Eve Cup, Dutta Corp defeated Speedwell, 6½-3.

HORSEWARE WINS ORTHWEIN MEMORIAL Horseware topped a four-team lineup in the Stephen Orthwein Memorial


Horseware edged Speedwell in the preliminary match to advance to the final of the Stephen Orthwein Memorial Family Cup at Port Mayaca Polo Club.


Mangorace’s Cable Magness, Gary Magness, Nico Millan and Dennis Santana won the Thanksgiving tournament in Careyes.


MANGORACE PREVAILS AT COSTA CAREYES IN MX Costa Careyes Polo Resort hosted four teams to its season-opener over Thanksgiving weekend. Careyes is located on the Pacific Ocean, south of the famous beachside resort of Puerto Vallarta. This year, the polo resort is celebrating its 50 years of existence. Four teams gathered for the opening weekend, Nov. 20-24. Gary and 14-year-old Cable Magness, Chris Falk and his 14year-old son Josh and 17-yearold daughter Sydney and Chad Morgan traveled in from California, while. Dennis Santana was a first-time visitor from the Dominican Republic. The teams also included 3-goal Tommy Elliot, now on staff at Careyes; Oscar Garibaye with his children, Mateo, 7, Emilia, 10 and Paula, 12; and the locals that have played at Careyes for many years. The ages of the players was from 7 to 74 with fun for all. Special guests for the holidays were renowned polo instructor and coach Rege Ludwig and his wife, Janet, and daughter, Kirsten, who is the polo instructor at the California Polo Club in Los Angeles,


Katy, Sydney, Josh and Chris Falk from Fresno, California, won a two-day tournament at Costa Careyes Polo Club.

and Rebecca Baldridge, special events writer for Equestrian Living. Many of the visitors were on club ponies, so after two days of practice, players were divided into 3-goal teams. Mangorace was the team to beat with two professionals, Nico Millan and Santana, on its roster. The La Constancia team had Garibaye, Hans Jimmy Giebeler and Daniel Arellano with Garibaye’s kids

Vale Aguilar, Memo Jimenez, Milo Ardissone and Pancho Aguilar won a special match game at Costa Careyes.

splitting a positon. The Cabinet Connection team included the Falk clan with Raul Ramirez, and the Careyes team had Elliot with local players Mane Yerena, Manuel Rios and Chad Morgan, playing his first tournament in eight years. Mangorace beat the local Careyes team and La Constancia took the

Cabinet Connection team by one goal. Mangorace and La Constancia were ready for the final, especially the young players as this was their first final. La Constancia was on the board first with Garibaye hitting it out of the line-up and Giebeler putting it through. Millan did the same for Mangorace and tied the game within seconds. From there on, the Mangorace team dominated, doubling up the La Constancia score at halftime, 4-2, thanks to scores from Santana and both Magnesses. La Constancia rallied with Arellano playing an outstanding offensive game and putting the scoring within reach, but Mangorace prevailed 7-5 at the end of the four-chukker game. A few weeks later, players gathered in Careyes for the 17th annual Copa de Careyes holiday tournament. Players included Marcos Schallbach and his family and Gustavo Garcia Reveiro, all from Brazil; Guillermo Li from Peru; Gary Magness, Chris Falk and Robert Payne from the U.S.; Milo Ardissone from Italy; Nico Millan from Argentina; Nicola Hodges and Elliot Sands from England; Phillippe de Caraman from Hong Kong; and the Aguilar brothers, Guillermo Steta (president of the




Participants in the holiday tournament at Costa Careyes Resort in Mexico. Guadalajara (light blue shirts) defeated Steta/Brazil in the final.

Mexican Polo Federation), Diego Solorzano, Tomas Elliot, Raul Ramirez and Guillermo Jimenez from Mexico. The players were divided into four teams at the 7- to 9-goal level. After playoff matches, an undefeated Steta/Brazil team (Guillermo Steta, Marcos Schallbach, Tomas Elliot and Diego Solorzano) faced the 2-1 record Guadalajara/ Agua Alta (Pancho Aguilar, Vale Aguilar, Milo Ardissone, Guillermo Jiminez) in the final. Solorzano scored the first goal right out of the first throw-in and with that quick goal, looked like it might be a runaway. No one scored in the second chukker but Guadalajara/Agua Alta came alive and out-scored Steta/Brazil 4-1 to end the half 5½-2. From then on, Pancho Aguilar was on fire, scoring three goals. Solorzano matched the goals but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit. Guadalajara took the 10½-6 victory. A tequila toast for all the players was organized by Giorgio Brignone, owner of the Careyes club, during the trophy presentation. Magness, Li, Milan and Ramirez defeated De Caraman, Reveiro, Henrique Schallbach and Chris Falk (filling in for Payne, who had played the first four games and had to leave)


in the consolation. Another tournament going on at the same time was for lower-goal players. The Falk family (Katy, Chris, Josh and Sydney) of Fresno, California, took the win in a two-day tournament against Sebastian Williamson, Tomas Elliot, Charlotte de Caraman and Gian Carlo Brignone, grandson of the founder of Careyes, Sr. Gian Franco Brignone. To end the visit for the out-ofcountry players, Careyes put together a special 10-goal match game. The Aguilar brothers joined Tomas Elliot and Jimenez to take on Steta, Schallbach, Solorzano and Reveiro. The Aguilars, Jimenez and Elliot were victorious, 7-5. Over 40 head of horses were shipped in for the event and the remaining players were mounted by Careyes Polo Club, Hans Giebeler and the Ardissones. The Careyes season runs from November through April. OBITUARY

DR. THOMAS OFFEN Dr. Thomas R. Offen passed away Dec. 18 from congestive heart failure. Tom

or Big T, as he was known to friends, was born Feb. 26, 1934. Tom had a lifelong passion for horses, competing in show jumping from an early age, foxhunting and eventually polo as a member of the Toronto Polo Club. Tom introduced

his four children and all his grand children to horses and polo. The Dr. Tom Offen kids’ tournament is one of the highlights of the Toronto Polo Club season. Tom enjoyed watching sons David and Todd, and grandsons Cody, Robert and Brendon compete in and win the interscholastic tournament. In the spirit of giving back, Tom co-chaired the USPA Interscholastic Committee for several years.



Dr. Offen was a passionate supporter and early participant of Polo for Heart. He died of congestive heart failure. Those wishing to honor Dr. Offen can make a donation in his name to Toronto Polo Club’s Polo for Heart benefit, now in its 40th year.

Dr. Tom was a chiropractor who touched the lives of thousands of people, hundreds of which were in the polo and equestrian worlds. In the late 1970s and early 80s, Dr. Tom was a pioneer in animal chiropractic, achieving amazing success on countless dogs and horses. Tom was also a volunteer member of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Horse Show Ring Committee for over 40 years, an activity he shared with many of his kids and grandkids. Tom battled heart and stroke disease, a hereditary condition during his later years. Tom was a passionate supporter and early participant in Polo For Heart, which is in it’s 40th year at the Toronto Polo Club. Tom’s wish was for his family to have a small celebration of life after his death. In lieu of flowers, to celebrate Tom’s life, donations to Polo For Heart would be greatly appreciated. Donations in memory of Tom can be sent to Polo For Heart, 180 Renfrew Drive, Suite 100, Markham, Ontario, Canada, L3R9Z2. Tom is survived by Margaret, his wife of 60 years; children David (Leslie), Kelly, Robyn, (Tom) and Todd, (Susan); grandchildren Nicole, Cody, Robert, Brendon, Todd, Dylan, Samantha, Ella and Jackson; and great u granddaughter, Hadley.

Dr. Tom Offen enjoyed watching his sons and grandsons compete in and win the Interscholastic tournament. He co-chaired the USPA Interscholastic Committee for years.


(continued from page 17) inactive horse, lactating mare, hardworking horse, old horse, etc.) and then select a concentrate or supplement to balance that forage to provide what the forage does not supply,” she says. “You can meet the basic requirements that way, and then add individual targeted nutrients like silicon—since silicon is something that isn’t naturally found in high enough amounts in the feed. If you have a horse with poor quality feet, this is something you must add separately, whereas most vitamins, minerals and amino acids will be provided by the forage and the concentrate product or supplement you selected,” she explains. If the horse is on good green pasture or good quality hay you don’t need to worry about the basics, but if you have a horse with poor hoof quality and you are trying to help him out, you can consider some supplements that might help. A balanced diet containing adequate

Don’t Ignore Other Factors “A hoof problem can have a nutrition origin, but there can also be other causes such as genetics and/or environment. All too often people feed a hoof supplement and figure it will be the panacea to cure all hoof problems. It does work, if they change the other causes as well,” says Duren. You can’t change the genetics of the horse, but you can change the other factors. There are obviously some genetic and individual factors, because you can have a group of horses in the exact same environment, eating the same feeds, with very different hoof quality and hoof growth rates. Why do nine of them have good feet, and one doesn’t? This points to either a genetic weakness or some subclinical problem that makes the horse less efficient at utilizing the nutrients.


Poor hoof quality can be caused by nutrition, genetics or environment.

protein, fat and trace minerals will do the most in preventing hoof issues. “Then if you have a horse with poor feet in spite of the diet, and supplement the horse and it gets better, you realize the horse had a nutrient deficit,” says Duren. If after nine months to a year of supplementation you don’t see any improvement, likely it’s not a nutrition problem; it is environment or genetic origin.” Bioavailable Nutrients The ingredients in the supplement also must be readily useable by the horse. “For instance, ZinPro makes a chelated form of zinc that’s a combination of zinc and methionine,” says Duren. “This is used in many of the hoof supplements. There is a lot of dairy research data showing what it does to improve the hoof in dairy cows.” Lori K. Warren, PhD, PAS, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, University of Florida, has done some equine studies looking at diet and hoof growth, including a study for ZinPro. She says the mineral complexes are more readily used by the body because they are already in a biological form. “We don’t have a lot of studies in horses, but we get information from other animal studies and make some assumptions. Bio-availability doesn’t just mean that the animals absorb them better, but in the body they have more impact—not only because they were absorbed but because they might continue to be associated with that amino

acid,” explains Warren. “There are other people studying various nutritional impacts on hooves, but we were very interested in sole growth. I am not sure that anyone else has ever looked at the actual diet impact on the sole. It doesn’t grow as fast as the hoof wall but tends to be a very critical part of the hoof anatomy.” Florida Study on Sole Depth Warren did a study a few years ago using lactating broodmares since they have a very high mineral requirement to begin with. “This is a critical time to make sure the diet is adequate. We

Don’t Expect Instant Results It takes a long time to see results when feeding a supplement. You can’t expect a visible change in the feet very soon,” says Duren. “You’ll see a response in the hair coat before you see a response in the hoof, because hair grows faster. The mane, tail and hair coat will show the first noticeable difference, looking healthier,” he says. It will be a more gradual response in the feet. As the hoof starts to grow out you generally start to see the difference at the top, as it grows down from the coronary band. Feeding a hoof supplement will also accelerate growth, but typically it’s 9 to 12 months before the old hoof wall is completely grown out and replaced with new, healthier horn.

started feeding the mares in this study after they foaled,” says Warren. “We fed the diets for 25 weeks—a long enough period that we would be able to see any changes in the foot. Studies on feet take a long time because the hoof grows slowly. We fed two diets that we were comparing; they both contained the same trace mineral content in terms of quantity of trace minerals provided—zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt, though we didn’t think the cobalt would have any impact on the foot itself,” she explains. “The two diets had the same quantity of trace mineral, but in one group of mares the diet contained the trace minerals in a complex form, hooked to an amino acid. The other diet was the traditional sulfate, an inorganic form that is most often used in equine diets. We supplied all of the horses’ mineral requirements with either of these forms, in the two diets, and followed these out to assess hoof growth in the two groups of mares—particularly growth of the sole,” she says. The study measured sole thickness in these mares and the researchers were able to assess this growth with digital radiographs. “I inserted a tiny bb (birdshot) into the outer hoof wall since this would show up on the radiographs and I could assess the hoof wall growth that way (looking at its position) rather than trying to measure growth with a ruler. It was nice to be able to track the growth with radiographs and they also allowed us to look at the depth of sole to see if it was responding,” Warren says. “We monitored sole depth throughout the study. The mares went through regular hoof trimming at five-week intervals, and were wearing shoes. We have sandy soil here in Florida and wanted to keep the foot from being worn away through normal wear and tear--and not being able to accurately determine its growth. The mares wore shoes with pads and non-drying packing, to preserve what growth occurred within the sole,” she explains. “In doing that (adding shoes and

A study at the University of Florida measured sole thickness in a group of mares fed trace minerals in one of two forms, with researchers assessing the growth with digital radiographs.

After 25 weeks on the diet, hoof growth didn’t show much difference or have much impact from the trace mineral source. However, it showed greater gains in sole depth.

pads), however, you never know what you might influence, but this made it easier to assess actual hoof/sole growth. We saw the normal hoof growth that you’d expect to see, and didn’t see much difference or impact of the trace mineral source on the growth of the hoof wall. When it came to the sole, however, there was some difference,” she says. “There was a dietary effect, but not greatly significant. We did see a trend, in looking at the trace mineral source, especially those amino acid complexes, in that it did encourage greater gains in sole depth—especially early on,” says Warren. “When we looked numerically at how much gain there was, we’re only talking about a millimeter, which seems like nothing, but anyone who has ever dealt

with a laminitic horse or one with very thin soles knows that every millimeter gain you can get is a bonus,” she says. “All of these mares were healthy and none of them had bad feet or particularly thin soles, starting out in the study. I don’t know what the application or outcome might be for horses that do have thin soles or bad feet. I wish we could do some studies on that kind of feet--if we could locate enough horses and see how much improvement they might have,” Warren says. Adequate zinc and copper, in whatever form, are important for the integrity of the hoof. “Studying this in individuals that have poor hoof quality to begin with would be a good study, if we could do that,” she says. POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 57


Nico Pieres was named MVP and his mare, Open Guillermina, took all three horse prizes: best horse by both the Hurlingham Club and the Argentine Polo Association and best Argentine bred horse by the Argentine Association of Polo Breeders.

(continued from page 41) Alegría/La Irenita (0-3), with eight goals by Alejandro Novillo Astrada, MVP of the match. On Sunday, La Dolfina Sancor Seguros had no mercy against La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form, not allowing it to score until the fourth chukker. La Dolfina ended up scoring a bulky 22-6 victory with Pablo Mac Donough as best scorer (nine goals). Las Monjitas remained unbeaten after downing La Albertina Abu Dhabi, 138, in a match played in the rain, something that is not usual in Argentina. The match was very even in the four initial episodes (6-6), but Las Monjitas’ 10-goalers knew how to guide their team to victory. On Saturday, Oct. 27, Ellerstina Johor got its ticket for the 10th consecutive final in Hurlingham after scoring the fourth victory of the tournament, with great authority, 19-8, against La Aguada, which had been undefeated up to that point. Pablo 58 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

Pieres was top scorer with nine goals. The day opened with La Dolfina Polo Ranch edging Alegría/La Irenita, 15-11, with Diego Cavanagh as best scorer (five goals). Bracket B closed on Sunday, Oct. 28, when La Dolfina Sancor Seguros secured its place in the second big final of the season with a tight victory against Las Monjitas, 11-8, in a match divided in two. The first chukker saw La Dolfina shut out Las Monjitas, 3-0. The remaining six chukkers had Las Monjitas running from behind to reduce the disadvantage while La Dolfina played efficiently until closing the match with the victory. The day started with a double overtime: Cría Yatay WeWork and La Albertina Abu Dhabi completed the seven regular periods with equality, 12-12, and could not break the stalemate in the first extra chukker. In the ninth chukker, Lerín Zubiaurre achieved the Golden Goal that unleashed Cría Yatay’s joy. After 10 dates of activity, on Saturday, Nov. 3, the action moved to the stately

headquarters of the Hurlingham Club, 15 miles west of Buenos Aires, for the 10th final between La Dolfina and Ellerstina for The Ayrshire Cup, and the first final between the teams showing a perfect handicap (40 goals), although they played a qualifying match in 2009 with 40 goals per side in which La Zeta won 19-13. Field 1 was crowded by more than 5,000 spectators and La Dolfina Sancor Seguros began the game trying to confirm that it could lift the second 2019 cup after its triumph at the Tortugas Open. With a methodical game and taking advantage of the unusually erratic and inaccurate play of Johor Ellerstina, La Dolfina took a three-goal advantage (74) to complete the first half. The two quartets that returned to the field after the long break were different: something seemed broken in the team from Cañuelas, while Ellerstina appeared renewed. “We knew that we had to change, we had to appear on the court,” Gonzalo Pieres would later admit.


Johor Ellerstina:


Pablo Pieres Gonzalo Pieres Nicolás Pieres Facundo Pieres

10 10 10 10

La Dolfina Sancor Seguros: 40 Adolfo Cambiaso David Stirling Pablo Mac Donough Juan Martín Nero

10 10 10 10

Las Monjitas:


Facundo Sola Hilario Ulloa Guillermo Caset Santiago Toccalino alt. Salvador Ulloa 7

9 10 10 8

La Aguada:


Alejandro Novillo Astrada Alfredo Bigatti Miguel Novillo Astrada Ignacio Novillo Astrada

La Dolfina Polo Ranch: Diego Cavanagh Guillermo Terrera Alejo Taranco Ignatius Du Plessis alt. Julián de Lusarreta 8 alt. Matías Torres Zavaleta 7 Polito Pieres and Juan Martin Nero lean in as they race down field.

That renewal was seen from the first play. Taking full advantage of the unusual defensive errors of Juan Martín Nero (best back of the planet) and the lack of precision of Adolfito Cambiaso in the execution of fouls (missed 4 of 11), the men in black, with Polito Pieres as the executing arm (four goals in 14 minutes), overwhelmed its rival and spun a 7-0 run in 17 minutes to take the lead, 11-7. To make matters worse, Adolfito Cambiaso received his second yellow card and had to leave the field temporarily. With one less player, it was Pablo Mac Donough who took the flag of La Dolfina Sancor Seguros and scored a goal to cut the drought. Ellerstina was also penalized when Nicolás Pieres scored his second yellow card, leaving the teams to play three on three for the rest of the period. A Mac Donough penalty, on the first play of the eighth, put La Dolfina within a goal (11-10). With absolute tension in the air, and less than two minutes on the clock, Nico Pieres appeared, exhibiting his

maturity as a player and scoring the goal that allowed La Zeta to breath. The last effort by Mac Donough allowed him to add a fifth goal to his personal harvest and bring La Dolfina within one, 12-11. The triumph gave the third consecutive title to Johor Ellerstina and the 10th since 1994. In addition, the win brought the team a little bit closer to La Dolfina in the classic that has La Dolfina with 24 wins and 14 losses since 2000. “There are times you play well and do not win, others in which you win without playing well. Here we started anxiously, but afterwards we calmed down and ended up playing great. It’s a very nice feeling to win the title like this,” acknowledged Nico Pieres, who received the Javier Novillo Astrada trophy for the best player of the game. To add praise, his mare Open Guillermina monopolized the three horse prizes: the Daniel Kearney Cup instituted by Hurlingham Club, and the blankets awarded by AAP and the Association of Argentine Polo Breeders.

Cría Yatay WeWork: Valerio Zubiaurre Cristian Laprida Joaquín Pittaluga Ignacio Laprida alt. Tomás Garcia del Rio 7

8 8 8 9

32 8 8 8 8

32 8 8 8 8

Alegría-La Irenita:


Juan Martín Zavaleta Clemente Zavaleta Frederick Mannix Matías Mac Donough

8 7 9 8

La Albertina Abu Dhabi:


Nicolás Roldán Francisco Elizalde Ignacio Toccalino Alfredo Cappella Barabucci

7 8 8 8

La Ensenada: Juan Britos Juan Martín Zubía Facundo Fernández Llorente Jerónimo del Carril

La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form: Agustín Obregón Ezequiel Martínez Ferrario Sebastian Merlos Jared Zenni

28 7 7 7 7

28 6 8 8 6















Innovator Lord Louis Mountbatten’s polo legacy


e ‘invented technology.’ He was the first man to … and also the first to … oh, and also the first …” wrote John Terraine, who produced the landmark 1968 documentary on the life of Lord Louis Mountbatten. Terraine remembers the ever-loquacious Mountbatten holding court with filmmakers. “‘The great thing about me …’ he announced one night, after a long, far-reaching conversation; there was a breathless pause; we sat up, tense, alert, impatient; Revelation was at hand. ‘The really important thing about me is … (unendurable tension) that I am the man who cured lameness in horses.’” Never one for modesty, they sighed. He had. The doctor who initiated the use of faradic electro-stimulation meant for humans to cure horses, initially got the idea from Lord Mountbatten who insisted it be used on one of his lame polo ponies. Lord Louis Mountbatten was an innovator. There is the Mountbatten Station Keeping Gear, among his many naval innovations; a color called Mountbatten Pink; the Mountbatten Brailler and the Mountbatten Hovercraft. He brought that same keen sense of creativity to his favorite pastime, polo. Who is Lord Mountbatten? One word describes Mountbatten—iconoclast. Aside from the man for whom Prince William and Kate named their third child, and the bit player in Netflix’s “The Crown,” who brought Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip together, he was a war hero, leader and statesman. He and wife


Lord Mountbatten, July 7, 1933

Edwina were fixtures on the society pages. Born a Prince, Queen Victoria held him in her arms. He shook hands with Babe Ruth but also broke bread with Ghandi. Noel Coward made a movie about him, Charlie Chaplin made one with him and Cole Porter wrote him into a song. All were friends. Grace Kelly kept a picture of him on her nightstand. Mountbatten, however, was a man of substance to go along with his bon vivant image. The Royal Navy officer earned the title Earl Mountbatten of Burma in WWII when he helped free South East Asia as Supreme Commander. It was he who

accepted the Japanese surrender on behalf of the British Empire. He served as First Sea Lord, Admiral of the Fleet and finally Head of the Joint Chiefs. Mountbatten was the man to usher Britain into the nuclear age. It was as Head of Combined Operations, where he held commissions in the Navy, Army and Air Force during World War II that Lord Mountbatten established a culture of reform and innovation, the naissance of his military doctrine: technological modernization and cooperation between forces. Google Pykrete. Geoffrey Pyke was one of the avantgarde minds he brought into Combined


Above: Mahatma Gandhi enjoys afternoon tea with Lord Mountbatten in Delhi, India, 1947. Below: Prince Charles and his Great Uncle Earl Louis Mountbatten discuss a common passion: polo. The two were especially close and Prince Charles often confided in Mountbatten.

Ops to foster practical creativity. “Pyke used to say although Mountbatten believed he had selected him he was wrong. It was the other way around, I chose him because of the way he had devised new tactics for playing polo,” notes his Royal Society memoir. Pyke had read Mountbatten’s book on polo and was impressed by his hunger for new ideas. The synthesis is apropos. Of all his accomplishments and endeavors, there was nothing about which he was more passionate than the Sport of Kings. As did he in many other areas, Mountbatten left an indelible mark on the game of polo with his force of personality, will to win and thirst for innovation. It was among the pomp and splendor of the Raj, surrounded by caravans of bejeweled elephants, silk and diamonds that Lord Mountbatten was first exposed POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 61


Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) awards the Duke of York Cup to his cousin and captain of the victorious Navy team, Lord Louis Mountbatten, at Ranelagh in July, 1933.

to polo, while accompanying his cousin David, the Prince of Wales on a Royal World Tour. Then 21, he would play until the age of 54. There, Mountbatten said he “found three loves, though on three very different planes.”—India, his wife Edwina … and the game of polo. The former Edward VIII later recalled, “[Mountbatten’s] interest in the manifold problems of India was confined to that part of the country bounded by the white boards of polo fields.” Ironically, Mountbatten became India’s Last Viceroy and is credited with helping usher in their Independence. “I’ve gone completely dippy about polo, which in my opinion is the best game in the world,” he wrote to his cousin Bertie, who would succeed Edward VIII as George VI when he abdicated. Though passionate, success for the eventual 5-handicap player did not come easily. A natural he was not. He wasn’t a particular deft horseman, and admittedly did not have a good eye for ball games. He had to plug away to be respectably good, yet Mountbatten was hooked. “I have really for the first time in my life become keen about a game,” Mountbatten wrote to his mother after an early match. “I’d sooner be good at polo than anything.” In his diary he recalls his first match: “I spent the whole of the first chukker 62 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N

trying to learn my place in the field and never really got near the ball … In the last chukker, to my own immense surprise, I actually hit the ball three or four times.” From that point forward Mountbatten was of a singular mind, to excel at polo. As biographer Brian Huey observed, “The pursuit of excellence was the guideline he followed throughout his life … For him winning was all. He loved to exhort his crews in the Royal Navy, his polo teams, the soldiers under his command, his staff, to better efforts with the words, ‘Remember, there are no prizes for coming second.’” He took an equestrian course with the Royal Life Guards but sought to improve his polo skills with nowhere to turn. Mountbatten saw a void in then a predominantly amateur game of the gentry.

Mountbatten, second from left, and his team win the King of Spain’s Cup at Malta.

There were no professionals to teach him. “When I once asked a famous international for advice on hitting,” Mountbatten remembered, “all he could say was: ‘My dear Dickie, strike quickly! Strike like a snake!’ A fat lot of good that was!” He took matters into his own hands. In typical Mountbatten fashion he saw a void and turned it into an opportunity. He made a scientific study of the game of polo, from top to bottom and practiced with the dogged determination and enthusiasm he brought to all pursuits. “I made a point of studying the game. I had slow-motion films made of English and American internationals, to analyze the shots … I used to practice hitting for hours on end, to obtain length and accuracy … I worked out tactics with my team on the billiard table … for the benefit of people like myself, I wrote down all the lessons I had learned in very simple language.” The result was the first, and definitive book on the fundamentals of polo. “An Introduction to Polo,” whimsically written under the nom-de-plume “Marco,” breaks down the game in scientific fashion for the beginning player. It teaches every aspect of the game in detailed fashion, with step-by-step exactitude. First published in 1931, it became a bestseller and was published for 50 years in several languages. He also published the seminal book on umpiring in 1934. The copyright and proceeds went to the Royal Navel Polo Association, which he helped to establish in 1929. “Polo is a marvelous game, because it combines so many skills: riding, of course, but you have to be particularly good, because of positioning the pony; then there is the thrill of hitting the ball at full speed—and you can hit a very long ball at polo,” recalled Mountbatten in 1968. “But the greatest satisfaction is to play

Mountbatten’s book on polo fundamentals

Lt. Cdr. Lord Louis Mountbatten, second from right, with The Bluejackets team. The team competed all over the world in the 1930s, twice winning the Ranelagh Cup.

in a really close-knit team.” The RNPA Bluejackets competed all over the world in the ‘30s, standing out at bigtime tournaments like Hurlingham and excelling in the inter-regimental tournament against the long-established Army team. Twice they won the Ranelagh Cup. When stationed at Malta, Mountbatten was a fixture at the famed Marsa, where he was also a patron. It was then he passed on the game to Prince Philip, who was stationed there with the Royal Navy after he wed then Princess Elizabeth. He also established an Adsdean team, which often competed at Cowdray Park. The man who received the sword of surrender from Imperial Japan and was awarded the Order of the Garter regarded his 110 polo Trophies among his prized possessions. Robert Neville, his teammate on the Royal Navy Polo Team once recalled, “He was the perfect captain, both on and off the field ... He inspired his teammates ... On the field he never got rattled or badtempered. And no matter how silly one was he was always forgiving and encouraging ...” Mountbatten was awarded a patent for the RNPA head, an oval-shaped polo mallet, that enhanced one’s strike. In typical Mountbatten fashion he describes its construction and virtues in detail, explaining that the tapered head forms an axis in

the direction of the strike, providing a truer hit “and a decided improvement in trajectory at a ratio of 25 to 10.” He also saw the need for a standardized set of rules for all polo-playing nations. With that in mind he penned a unified set of rules and organized a conference in 1939, only to have it interrupted by war. The ideas he codified on paper would later become the Hurlingham Polo

Mountbatten’s patent for the oval-shaped RNPA mallet head.

Rules and were likewise adopted as the Argentine standard. The international blue book was originally the brainchild of Mountbatten. Lord Mountbatten’s life was sadly struck down by an IRA bomb in 1979, but his polo heritage lives on. Guard’s Polo Club, founded by Prince Philip, established the Mountbatten Cup to honor his legacy. “We founded the cup to recognize [Lord Mountbatten’s] immense contribution to the sport,” said Guards spokesperson Diana Butler. “Although it is 40 years since his death, Mountbatten continues to influence the game [of polo].” Lord Mountbatten passed down his knowledge and passion fervor for polo not only to Philip, a 5-handicap player, but also to Prince Charles who called him a surrogate grandfather. His greatnephew, George Mountbatten and his wife Clare, the Marquis and Marchioness of Milford-Haven, are also avid polo players, playing all over the world and winning multiple awards. “We always feel proud that the Mountbatten name lives on today through the sport,” said Lady Milford-Haven, who has won tournaments all over the world since 1999. “Winning the Mountbatten Cup was very special for me. Both my husband and I have won … on separate occasions. It’s an honor to continue his legacy. I wish I had met him. People ought to remember Lord Mountbatten’s passion and enthusiasm for the sport … ‘An Introduction to Polo’ …became the bible of the sport for many years.” POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 63










J A N U A R Y 11 - F E B R U A R Y 1 0 Ylvisaker Cup (20) International, Wellington, FL

F E B R U A R Y 17 Butler Handicap (22) International, Wellington, FL

MARCH 6-24 Palm Beach Open (26) Grand Champions, Wellington, FL

JA N UA RY 2 6 - F E B RUA RY 9 The Sterling Cup (20) Grand Champions, Wellington, FL

F E B RUA RY 2 0 - 2 8 USPA Tournament (6-8) Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, FL

MARCH 7-9 Tabebuia Women’s Cup (WCT 16) Port Mayaca, Port Mayaca, FL

F E B RUA RY 1 - 10 USPA National Amateur Cup (4, 8) Empire, Indio, CA

F E B RUA RY 2 0 - M A RC H 3 The Founder’s Cup (26) Grand Champions, Wellington, FL

M A R C H 8 - 17 USPA Congressional Cup (4, 8) Empire, Indio, CA

F E B RUA RY 2 4 - M A RC H 2 3 USPA Gold Cup (22) International, Wellington, FL

MARCH 9 Molly’s House Charity Benefit Port Mayaca, Port Mayaca, FL

F E B RUA RY 27 - M A RC H 3 Sarasota Women’s Challenge Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, FL

M A R C H 1 0 - 17 Women’s U.S. Open Prelims Port Mayaca, Port Mayaca, FL

M A RC H 1 - 10 Eldorado March League (6,12) Eldorado, Indio, CA

M A RC H 15 - 2 4 USPA Rossmore Cup (12) Eldorado, Indio, CA

M A R C H 1 - 16 USPA Heritage Cup (12-16) Port Mayaca, Port Mayaca, FL

M A R C H 16 - 2 4 USPA Governor’s Cup (6) Eldorado, Indio, CA

USPA Beal Cup (4, 8, 12) Eldorado, Indio, CA F E B RUA RY 1 - 2 3 The Halo Trophy (6) The Top Pony 8-Goal (8) Sieber Memorial Trophy (12) Grand Champions, Wellington, FL F E B RUA RY 1 - 2 4 Gold Coast Classic (4-6, 8-12) 1-Goal League Arena League Palm City, Boynton Beach, FL The Woodcock (4-6) Mahogany Cup (8-12) Port Mayaca, Port Mayaca, FL F E B R U A R Y 6 - 17 USPA Officers Cup (4-8) Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, FL

All-Star Challenge (26) Grand Champions, Wellington, FL F E B RUA RY 13 - 15 Debii $$ Women’s Tournament Empire, Indio, CA F E B RUA RY 13 - 2 4 C.V. Whitney Cup (22) International, Wellington, FL F E B R U A R Y 1 5 - 17 Girls’ Interscholastic Regional Arena Empire, Indio, CA F E B RUA RY 15 - 2 4 Gen. Patton Jr. Tourney (4, 8) Empire, Indio, CA USPA Constitution Cup (4, 8, 12) Eldorado, Indio, CA F E B R U A R Y 16 40 Goal Challenge International, Wellington, FL


J.T. Oxley Memorial (20) Grand Champions, Wellington, FL MARCH 1-23 Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (6) Limited Edition 8 Goal Series Top Pony 12-Goal Series Grand Champions, Wellington, FL

MARCH 1-24 Trust Cup (4-6, 8-12) 1-Goal League Arena League Palm City, Boynton Beach, FL M A R C H 1 - 31 The Shady Lady (8-12) USPA Continental Cup (4-8) The Black Olive (4-6) Port Mayaca, Port Mayaca, FL $50K National 12-Goal Grand Champions, Wellington, FL

M A R C H 2 0 - 31 10-12 Goal League Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, FL M A R C H 21 - 3 0 Club Tournament (4-6) Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, FL MARCH 22 Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo Wanderers, Wellington, FL M A R C H 2 2 - 31 Champions Cup (8) Empire, Indio, CA MARCH 23 Women’s U.S. Open Final International, Wellington, FL M A R C H 2 3 - 31 Lions Cup (4) Empire, Indio, CA

MARCH 3-24 $100K World Cup (0-40) Grand Champions, Wellington, FL

M A R C H 2 7 - A P R I L 14 Triple Crown of Polo (26) Grand Champions, Wellington, FL

M A R C H 6 - 17 USPA National Inter Circuit (8-12) Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, FL

MARCH 30- APRIL 20 Spring Fling (4-6) Port Mayaca, Port Mayaca, FL



FA18 PRINT. A4 210 mm x 297 mm.


Profile for United States Polo Association

February 2019 Polo Players' Edition  

February 2019 Polo Players' Edition