The 2013 Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club season concluded with an epic low goal tournament, 9 teams competed in a season ending polo extravaganza. Teams entered from all over Southern California, including teams and players from California Polo Club, Will Rogers Polo Club, Somis, Pasadena, San Luis Obispo, Santa Ynez, and several local players from SBPRC.
The tournament format had teams compete in four chukker matches in a playoff round, then final/consolation round.
In the four goal flight, Team Can-can high stepped their way over Shake & Bake 10-6 in the first round. On the other side of the draw, the two father/son teams faced off in a very even match. Klentner Ranch jumped out to an early lead but Charlie’s Angels fought back to win 5.5 to 5, setting up the showdown with Can-Can.
In the final, Can-can looked like they were in firm control of the game, as Ashton Wolf scored 2 goals, and Rhett Merrill and Jonathan Burrows added a field goal apiece to establish a 4-2.5 lead in the 4th chukker. But then Charlie Walker made the play of the day to rally his Angels, stealing the ball from the other team and scoring a goal. Patrick Uretz followed up with another field goal and Charlie’s Angels soared to vistory 4.5 to 4 in a close match. MVP was Ashton Wolf and BPP was Robin, ridden by Uretz and owned by Henry Walker.
The 1 goal flight had a record 5 teams. Two Wheelbarrows advanced to the finals following a 4-1 victory over Pasadena in the playoff round. Then PTC fought through a very tightly contested round robin playoff to advance as well to the final. In the Sunday final, Mike Sheller got the scoring started for PTC, followed by a field goal from Two Wheelbarrows’ Paige Beard. The teams continued to trade goals until the 4th chukker, when Alfonso Giannico scored on an end to end run to extend the lead to 5-3 for PTC, giving them the victory. Giannico led all scorers with 4 goals, but 12 year old Athena Malin, who played with speed and discipline well beyond her years, was selected MVP. BPP was Mike Sheller’s horse Chevron
Klentner Ranch won the 4 goal consolation, and Nathaniel James won the 1 goal consolation. All players enjoyed fun polo on the immaculate SBPRC fields and a delicious BBQ on Saturday night. In the bar afterwards, teams were already being put together for the 2014 season, a fitting end to a very entertaining tournament and the SBPRC 2013 polo season.
Photo credit to David Lominska, polographics.com