The sun was shining almost every day in August at the Calgary Polo Club! The month kicked off with the always exciting Barbados Challenge Trophy. Bajans Adam Deane and Marc Atwell were joined by Kyle Fargey and Pat Powell on Team Barbados, facing off against Julian Mannix, Dayelle Fargey, Gordon Ross and Rob Foster for Team Canada. The match game was close throughout – and with the crowd firmly behind them, Team Canada went into the final chukker with a 2 goal lead. But Team Barbados turned on the heat in the 4th, tying the game in the last minute of play. The crowd went wild as the teams entered an overtime shoot-out for the win. Team Barbados nailed all 4 of their penalty shots on goal; however, Team Canada only converted 3 of their 4 opportunities. Barbados defended their title over Canada for the Barbados Challenge Trophy! Best Playing Pony was awarded to Kyle Fargey’s 4th chukker horse, Milly.
In August 4-Goal action, the Hull Cup Final saw Thermal/Tekarra face off against Cam Clark Ford. For Thermal/Tekarra, Patrick Uretz scored 3 goals, Daniel Roenisch and Rob Foster scored 2 goals apiece, and Reg Whyte played a strong defensive game against opponent Gordon Ross. But it was Cam Clark Ford’s game – with Raul Ramirez and Miguel Silvestre scoring 7 goals between them, and Mitch Horne scoring 1 from the field.
The culmination of the 4-Goal league in Calgary was the Big Rock Cup. Reg Whyte and Rob Foster’s Thermal/Tekarra team and Alyson Rooney’s Blizzard team advanced to the final, over the Blazers and Cam Clark Ford. With one goal on handicap, one from Tekarra’s Rob Foster, and 2 goals from Bryan Middleton in the first half, the game was tied up going into the third. In a strong 3rd chukker, Blizzard secured a lead of 2 goals. But with 2 penalty conversions in the 4th chukker and one goal from the field, Thermal/Tekkara stole the win from Blizzard to win the Big Rock Cup.
The Calgary Cup, which has been played at the Calgary Polo Club since 1892, saw John Rooney’s Northern Blizzard team face off against Julian Mannix’s Hawks in the mid-August final. It was an offensive battle between Northern Blizzard’s Bryan Middleton and Joe Henderson, and The Hawks’ Patrick Uretz and Julian Mannix. The first half was an even game, with both teams carrying 3 goals into the second half. The Hawks’ Canelo Sylvestre and Daniel Roenisch turned on their defense against Northern Blizzard’s Scotty M. Cunninghmam and John Rooney, and the result came down to a single goal scored by Bryan Middleton in the 6th. With a win of 10-9 over the Hawks, Northern Blizzard claimed the Calgary Cup win.
The same four 9-Goal teams battled in the most prestigious tournament of the summer in western Canada: the Canadian Open. In the Consolation, Anne Evamy’s Identity Marketing faced off against Cam Clark Ford. In one of the closest games of the year, Cam Clark Ford rode onto the field with the lead in 5 of the 6 chukkers. But Tomas Collingwood and teammates were not going down without a fight. With 2 goals in the final chukker, Collingwood secured the win for Identity Marketing. Collingwood and Abbiati were tied as high-goal scorers in the Consolation game, riding away with 4 goals apiece.
The Canadian Open final was a re-creation of the Calgary Cup Final: Northern Blizzard vs The Hawks. It was a perfectly even game of 4-4 going into half time, with each team scoring 2 goals in both the 1st and 3rd chukkers. The turning point came in the 5th chukker, with Julian Mannix and Patrick Uretz scoring 2 goals apiece, to take a 3 goal lead going into the final chukker. Northern Blizzard continued to fight for the win, with 1 goal from Scotty M. Cunningham in the 6th chukker, but with the strong offense of Uretz and Mannix and the defense of Sylvestre and Roenisch, the Hawks secured the Canadian Open win. Patrick Uretz was awarded MVP, Julian Mannix was award the Canadian Open High Goal Scorer, and Bryan Middleton’s 5th chukker horse Karma was awarded Best Playing Pony.
The year-end Calgary Polo Club awards were presented at the annual Presidents Ball at the end of August. Nominees were selected by a committee of players and polo management and the award winners included: Andres Lagos – Groom of the Year Award; Julian Mannix – Horsemanship Award; Richard Cote – Most Improved Award; Alyson Rooney – Rookie of the Year Award; and Rob Foster – Sportsmanship Award.
The final polo day of the year in Calgary is the Monday that grooms look forward to all season – and not just because tournament polo is done – it’s the Kimo Cup! Grooms rallied and aligned themselves into teams (with funny names) and were joined on the field by several A and B rated players. In the A flight, Sara’s Secret prevailed overs Pat’s Peaches, and the all-girl Blizzard Babes team came in a close third. The B flight was won by the Eddie’s Angels team of Susan, Sofia, and Delfina Abbiati and friends, with the Polo Bears team as Runners-up. A final summer wind up bbq was graciously hosted by Gordon Ross and Richard Cote in the Cantina. Sunny summer polo was done; pros and grooms from the US, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay and abroad packed up their things… and the next day it rained for 24 hours straight!