Photo credit to David Lominska, polographics.com
The USPA Regional Presidents Cup 8 goal final at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club featured a showdown between Long Beach/Florado and Dark Horse/Piocho, the two teams that each won the first two 8 goal tournaments. Both teams were aiming to win the tiebreaker but only one could come out on top.
The game started out in with both teams playing tentatively and testing each other, but in the 2nd chukker the action started to heat up as Long Beach got 2 field goals apiece from Henry Walker and Tony Uretz (replacing Grant Mayer, who had been called away on urgent family business). Dark Horse went to the penalty shot line several times to try to close the gap, but the shots would not fall and Long Beach extended their lead to 6-3 in the 3rd chukker, with Santiago Wulff making several great plays and scoring a coast to coast field goal on a flashy grey mare in that chukker.
After halftime Dark Horse battled back to within two, as Alfonso Giannico and Max Menini added goals for the team in red, but Wulff added another goal to keep a comfortable two goal lead for his team. In the 5th chukker, the Long Beach players really went for it and added three more goals while holding Dark Horse to just one field goal. 14 year old Charlie Walker displayed a maturity beyond his years, marking higher rated players on defense and stretching the field on offense to help his team during that key stretch. The score was 10-6 after the 5th and the Long Beach team played very smart tactics in the 6th to hold that lead and avoid foul trouble, taking that score to the final bell and giving Long Beach/Florado the Presidents Cup with the final score remaining at 10-6
BPP was “Emi” for Santiago Wulff, a mare that is named after his daughter
MVP was Charlie Walker, who played a great game to make the difference for his team in the final.
Both Charlie Walker and Emi started playing polo in the SBPRC coaching league and have now moved up to competitive league polo. In future years we hope to see many more people (and maybe some other Best Playing Ponies) doing the same thing!
In the consolation final, Restoration Hardware won 10-9 over Edelweiss
This concludes the 8 goal season at SBPRC, next weekend we have the Last Chance Tournament to wrap up the 2013 season.