BMW of Encinitas Wins 8-Goal USPA Spreckels Cup Match in OT

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Polo in San Diego, where surf and turf meet, is well and alive. The final tournament for the season was the 8-goal Spreckels Cup match in front of a sold out crowd on Sunday October 2. The match was held to honor the tradition of the cup and to benefit the club’s charity partner, Dress For Success San Diego, a non-profit that empowers women to succeed in the work place and improve the quality of life for their families.

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Team BMW Encinitas with Nour-Dean Anakar in the one position, Nicholas Ramos playing two, Rodrigo Salinas playing three and Doug Blumenthal at four, took on Roseville Motors with Topo Mendez at one, Juan Jose Gonzales at two, Ashton Wolf at three and Eric Hammon at four. The match was a hard fought battle from start to finish with Roseville Motors jumping out to a fast 3-1 lead in the first chuker with two goals from Mendez and one by Gonzalez. BMW Encinitas came roaring back with five-consecutive goals with Anakar and Ramos knocking in two each and Salinas adding one. The second half was a tight defensive battle with neither team able to score until the last chukker. Wolf and Mendez each scored to force overtime. Anakar converted a penalty 3 in extra time to bring home the win for Team BMW.

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The 107-year-old Spreckels Cup was presented to Team BMW Encinitas by USPA Governor-at-Large Scott Walker, USPA Committee Member Tony Yahyai and special guest, David Lewis, the grandson of John D.Spreckels. Topo Mendez won MVP and Ashton Wolf’s horse Chica won Best Playing Pony. The trophy presentation was followed by both teams soaking each other with champagne. After the Spreckels Cup presentation, the club celebrated the season finale with a members’ barbecue party.

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Becky Schaller, Kristi Hammon, Ashton Wolf, Eric Hammon and Ellen Greenhill win the pro-pool Spreckels Cup!

Congrats to the first and second place pro-pool teams who played for the Spreckels Cup earlier in the afternoon. Team Monteverde/RosevilleMotors was victorious! Kristi Hammon won MVP and Eric Hammon’s horse won Best Playing Pony.

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Marc Berry, Juan Jose Gonzales, Tony Yahyai & Nour-Dean Anakar win 2nd place of the pro-pool Spreckels Cup! On stage with announcer Steve Lewandowski and David Lewis, grandson of John D. Spreckels.

Thank you all for a wonderful summer season! We are winding down with Fall Polo through October and arena play through the end of the year. If you’re interested in lessons or playing polo, feel free to reach out to us at *protected email* or 858-481-2247. Otherwise, we’ll see you on Opening Day 2017!

Father’s Day Brunch & Rancho Santa Fe Cup Finals

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The San Diego Polo Club (SDPC) celebrated Father’s Day on Field 5 with a special Father’s Day Brunch. Guests enjoyed a brunch buffet and coffee while enjoying a day full of equestrian fun.

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Gates opened at 11:00am as guests and their fathers enjoyed items from a wonderful brunch menu that included Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits, Crème Brulee French Toast Casserole, Spice Rubbed Tri Tip and an Andouille Sausage Carving Station, along with Kale Caesar Salad, Fresh Fruit Platters, and Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

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The first polo match of the day began at 11:30am between Adeptus Nutrition/Pasion and Von Furstenburg. Diego Cossio scored twice in the 1st Chukker for Von Furstenburg followed by one goal from Ashton Wolf representing Adeptus Nutrition/Pasion. By the 3rd Chukker Von Furstenburg had leaped ahead by one point from David Samaniego. Diego Cossio locked in the win in the Final Chukker with one more goal from Von Furstenburg; the final score being 5-3.

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We had the pleasure of hosting Rhianna Wilson as our national anthem singer during the day’s intermission. Rhianna Wilson is 17 years old and will be a Senior in High School this fall.  She is a 3rd Generation San Diego Native who resides in Ramona with her family. Rhianna is a Petty Officer in her NJROTC class at school and a vocal artist for the Girls Against Abuse Musical Charity.  She has had the honor to sing the National Anthem for the SD Padres, Rodeos, SPAWAR Ceremonies, but the one that has meant the most was for NBC’s Salute to Service aboard the Midway on Veteran’s Day this past November.

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The feature match of the day began at 1:30pm between Luna Polo and Night Watch. the 1st Chukker consisted of two goals from Diego Larregli representing Luna Polo and one goal from Diego Velarde representing Night Watch.

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In the 2nd Chukker Bernie Diaz scored for Night Watch. Topo Mendez brought Luna Polo ahead by one point soon after.

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Diego Larregli scored three goals in a row for Luna Polo in the 3rd Chukker. Diego Velarde scored one for Night Watch.

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In the 4th Chukker Diego Velarde and Manny Rodriguez scored for  Night Watch, leaving the final score in Luna Polo’s favor at 6-5.

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Diego Larregli won MVP with 5 goals on the afternoon. Steve Pollack presented Diego with a pair of sunglasses, courtesy of SDPC’s Official Eyewear Sponsor, Leisure Society.

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Opening Day Exceeds Expectations

Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club has evolved into one of San Diego’s signature events, where people flock to the fields for thrilling polo, champagne, divot stomping and an incredible fashion scene. On Sunday, May 31, 2015, the San Diego Polo Club celebrated the kick-off of their 29th season in Rancho Santa Fe and 109th anniversary of polo in San Diego with a crowd exceeding 4,000, all to benefit local charity, Wounded Warrior Homes.

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One of the day’s most captured moments was at the entrance of the venue. The team at SDPC worked with local artists to build a wall made with recycled wood, succulents and plants arched with the letters “SD Polo”. Guests of all shapes and sizes posed in front of the SD Polo Wall. To see your photos, visit our Facebook Page.

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As an added feature, this year’s Opening Day showcased Southern California’s Food Truck Challenge and 3rd Annual Hot Rods for Heroes, a car and food truck competition. Over 100 hot rod cars, vintage autos and motorcycles were on display for everyone to peruse. Guests sampled food from the competing food trucks and tasted beers from San Diego’s finest craft breweries, including Ballast Point, Belching Beaver and Left Coast Brewing.

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The day started off with a game between Luna Polo (Virgil Kyle A, Jennifer Alexy A, Topo Mendez 2, Diego Lareggli 2) and San Fernando/San Judas (Roberto Estudillo A, Ramon Richard B.5, Francisco Guiquazu 3, Sam Sheike 1). Francisco Guiquazu scored the first goal on the afternoon and two total in the first chukker for San Fernando/San Judas and Topo Mendez shot one in for Luna Polo.

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In the second chukker, Jennifer Alexy, Topo Mendez and Diego Larregli all scored for Luna Polo, bringing the score 4 to 2 at half time.

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Diego Larregli came back strong with two goals in the third chukker and one in the fourth, bringing Luna Polo up to 7 goals. Francisco Guiquazu scored twice more for San Fernando/San Judas, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.

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Sempra Energy’s Executive Vice President, Jessie J. Knight  congratulated Luna Polo on their win on the trophy deck. Jessie J. Knight is chairman of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E); chairman of Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), an affiliate of SDG&E; and executive vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy. Jessie Knight was Mayor Faulconer’s chief aide when he was a City Council member and is also currently heading Mayor Faulconer’s new Chargers Stadium Task Force.

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After the first match, guests stomped the divots that were kicked up by the horses and sipped champagne! Among the stylish polo crowd were polo players, celebrities, entrepreneurs and scientists alike. Scott Eastwood, son of Clint, is currently filming 3 major motion pictures and just starred in The Longest Ride, but he found time to stomp divots and watch polo with friends.

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Guests in the VIP tent enjoyed complimentary Woodford Reserve tasters and mini-cocktails with the Kentucky bourbon and lemonade, our favorite way to enjoy the liquor.

A 1954 Bentley Mark VI Sedanca Custom owned by David Young of San Diego led the parade of teams for the featured match. The car is fully restored and the only one of its kind in existence today. He drove alongside J. Craig Venter’s 1963 vintage Jaguar XKE.

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Genomics entrepreneur and one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, J. Craig Venter pitched the first ball into play Sunday for the San Diego Polo Club’s Opening Day featured match. Venter is a biologist renowned for his contributions in sequencing the human genome and creating the first synthetic bacterial cell. He is founder and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, co-founder and executive chairman of Synthetic Genomics Inc and co-founder and CEO of Human Longevity Inc.  His new privately held company is focused on extending the healthy, high performance of the human life span. He’s been called one of the most influential scientists of our time.  He is a proud graduate of UCSD, an avid sailor and a award winning rare car collector.

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The 3:00pm match featured Team Von Fuerstenberg (Stephan Goss B, Nour-Dean Anakar A.5, Nicole DeBurg B, David Samaniego A.5, Diego Cossio 3) vs. Adeptus/La Pasion (Tracee Brunetti B, Colleen Wilson A, Ashton Wolf 3, Kimo Huddleston 2). Co-owner of Team Von Fuerstenberg, Stephan Goss had the first two goals on the afternoon, which set the tone for the remainder of the day.

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Diego Cossio scored another for their team, bringing the score 3 to 0 at half time. In the third chukker, Cossio scored again, but Kimo Huddleston retaliated by putting two in for Adeptus/La Pasion.

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Tracee Brunetti also scored one for their team in the fourth chukker. Final score was 4 to 3, Team Von Fuerstenberg.

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It was a sweet win for the underdogs and new polo players, Nicole DeBurg and Stephan Goss of Team Von Fuerstenberg. Nicole is known as the COO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, as well as past CFO of the San Diego Housing Commission. Goss, 27 year old CEO of Zeeto Media— San Diego’s fastest growing sustainable internet marketing company– was lucky enough to celebrate his first win at the San Diego Polo Club on Opening Day in front of the massive crowd. Founding Member and Vice President of the San Diego Polo Club, Nour-Dean Anakar has volunteered countless hours to SDPC and deserved the win more than anyone else.  Team Von Fuerstenberg couldn’t have been happier.

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Publisher of Riviera Magazine, Ken St. Pierre presented both teams with gift bags on the trophy deck.

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Esteemed member of OC Polo and the USPA and CEO of Leisure Society, Shane Baum presented the winners with umbrellas and gifted the MVP, Diego Cossio, with a pair of luxury sunglasses. Leisure Society is an eyewear brand created by Mr. Baum as an extension of his perspective on what life should be: spending time with family, friends, and enjoying intimate moments of absolute leisure.

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Craig Venter presented Leo, owned by Colleen Wilson of Adeptus Nutrition, with the Best Playing Pony award- carrots!

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Guests enjoyed the 7th Chukker After Party presented by Riviera Magazine with beats by DJ Here.

Recap of USPA Spreckels Cup Finals & Closing Day of Polo presented by Woodford Reserve

The San Diego Polo Club (SDPC) celebrated the end of their 28th season in Rancho Santa Fe with the United States Polo Association (USPA) Spreckels Cup & Closing Day presented by Woodford Reserve. Heels2Heal was the exclusive charity partner with specific ticket and auction proceeds benefiting San Diego Youth Services.

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Gates opened at 12:30pm and guests were lined up as early as 9:30am itching to get a good spot to watch the final match at 2pm. Players and VIPs mingled in the Woodford Reserve Lounge and sipped on bourbon infused specialty cocktails as they took awe of the 105 year old Spreckels trophy that was on display with hundreds of beautiful garden and piano roses overflowing the cup.

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The VIP tent was filled with 500 guests, including players, family, friends, sponsors, and of course, the Heels2Heal guests right in the front row. Over 1,300 guests piled into the venue, dressed to the nines in red accents, hats and chic polo outfits.

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The day started out with a classic demonstration of rider and foxhounds, presented by the Santa Fe Hunt. Established in 1969, the Santa Fe Hunt/West Hills Hounds is a Masters of Fox Hounds Association recognized Hunt located in Temecula, California. They are a diverse group of riders brought together by love of horses, open spaces, country values and riding with a fine pack of foxhounds as they work a scent. The San Diego Polo Club is honored to welcome back Terry Paine and the Santa Fe Hunt every year.

Next up was the highly anticipated fashion show presented by Heels2Heal chair and polo player, Sonya Berg the Zen Fashionista.

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Sonya is a TV Personality, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Fashion Show Designer & Producer, and philanthropist. Her “Sexy Socialite News Girls Pre-Fall Fashion Show” featured the San Diego News Girls, including Brandi Williams, Kimi Evans, Natasha Sweattle, Sabrina Fein, Tabitha Lipkin, and Staci Ortiz-Davis. Over 20 female models and 10 male models featured fall fashions from Matti D, Nicole Miller, Mister B’s, Jill Courtemanche Millinery, TRE, and Van de Vort.

After the fashion show, guests were encouraged to grab a drink at the bar or get a bite to eat and settle in for the final match of the season, the USPA Spreckels Cup Finals.

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Five teams had been competing for the chance to play in the 105 year old tournament, The USPA sanctioned Spreckels Cup. On September 28th, 2014 the top two teams fought it out for the title of Spreckels Champions. After weeks of
competing for a spot in the final game, Starmeadow/Roseville Motor Car and Twin Palms took the field for the final tournament of 2014.

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Anthony Ballard did the honors of singing the national anthem during our Opening Ceremonies. With over 25 years’ experience, Anthony’s diverse background spans opera, musical theatre, non-musicals, tap, jazz and ballet. Anthony is an active member of the San Diego Opera’s Core Chorus and has appeared in over 50 San Diego arts productions since moving to the area in 1993.

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After the anthem, Suzanne Brown from Woodford Reserve did the honors of throwing in the ceremonial first ball and starting off the first chukker!

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The first goal of chukker one was scored by Graham “the big guns” Bray for Starmeadow. Twin Palms’ Gaston Von Wernich was right behind him, scoring for his team. Playing for the trophy, Von Wernich scored the next three goals in chukker two.

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Ashton Wolf made a comeback, scoring two goals for Starmeadow. Chukker three started with a goal from Twin Palms’ Ryan Robertson. Colton Bancroft fired back, scoring one for Starmeadow. Not one to back down easily, Robertson scored the remaining goal of chukker three, lengthening his team’s lead. At halftime, the scores were Starmeadow 4 / Twin Palms 6.

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During the traditional “Pretty Woman Divot Stomp,” guests enjoyed a sample of Korbel California Champagne as they mingled with friends and replaced the divots that were kicked up by the horses during the first half of the game.

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Plowing ahead in chukker four, Robertson again scored. Passing the reins to teammate Von Wernich, Twin Palms scored their 8th goal of the game; Von Wernich’s 5th.

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Like chukker four, chukker five belonged to Twin Palms. Alvaro Tadeo scored first for his team. Robertson picked up the second goal. Going into the last chukker, the score was Starmeadow 4 / Twin Palms 10.

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In chukker six, Starmeadow fought back hard. Bancroft scored first, followed by two goals from Ashton Wolf. Following suit, Graham Bray scored narrowing the lead Twin Palms had on his team.

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The final goal was scored by Tadeo of Twin Palms. Adding in team handicaps, Starmeadow ended with nine goals. Though Starmeadow fought hard, Twin Palms was on fire. They came to win and with eleven goals, they did just that.

Watch post game interviews with Colton Bancroft and Alvaro Tadeo by Mikki & Shay.

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Both teams joined together on the trophy deck for the Trophy & Awards Presentation. First off was the most improved player award, which was awared to Virgil Kyle by previous president and founding member, Ron Bonaguidi. Kyle has excelled in his skill level in 2014.

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Second was the sportsmanship award, which went to one of our newest members, who has displayed courtesy and sportsmanship to his fellow players. Eric Hammon was the recipient of this great award.

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Our founding father, Willis Allen was very instrumental in encouraging young players to get involved in the sport of polo. The San Diego Polo Club created his namesake award to honor Willis and congratulate the best all-around young player under 30 based on horsemanship, sportsmanship and playing ability. Judy Collins, daughter of Willis Allen, presented this award to 17-year old Colton Bancroft.

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Out of the 48+ horses played in Sunday’s polo match, the best playing pony is just that– the best pony out there. Gail Greggson of the California Thoroughbred Breeder’s Foundation presented the trophy to Graham Bray for his horse P1. This horse has won 4 best playing pony awards in the last two years!

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Torry Spreckels is the great granddaughter of John D. Spreckels. She and her daughter Jessica and granddaughter Molly presented the second place team with the Spreckels trophies. Both Molly and Jessica play polo today, carrying on the Spreckels family tradition. Christine Wuthrich, the great great grand daughter of John D. Spreckels also helped present the trophies.

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All of the players were then welcomed onto the stage and everyone was gifted with a nice bottle of Woodford Reserve, a small-batch straight bourbon distilled in central Kentucky. The distillery itself is a national historical monument!

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Jose Luis & Lovie Rocha, owners of  JL Rocha, have been designing and manufacturing handmade leather shoes & jackets for over 3 generations in Mexico and now they are in the United States. Lovie & Jose Luis presented each of the winning players with a fine lambskin jacket from their collection completely made by hand.

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Scott Walker, USPA Lieutenant Governor for Southern California, presented the winning teams with their trophies as well as awarded Most Valuable Player of the game to Gaston von Wernich!

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Guests stayed until dark, dancing and partying with polo players and members. DJ Beatnick kept the energy up and rocked the beats for one of the best after parties in history!

Photos by Jim Bremner & Topher Riley. To see more, visit us on Facebook.com

3rd Annual Woodford Reserve Polo Classic

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Bourbon Chocolate Cherry Pairing

July 13th was a beautiful day for polo at the San Diego Polo Club. Patrons were in for a real treat with our wonderful sponsor Woodford Reserve offering delicious tastings of their Kentucky bourbon. It was a day filled with equestrian fun, including a lovely Pa De Dux Dressage Demo.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Bourbon 5 sources of flavor

Woodford Reserve Bourbon is hand crafted in small batches. This artisanal process allows Woodford Reserve’s all five sources of bourbon flavor to have a distinct taste and crisp, clean finish. Their tasting booth sampled the Woodford Reserve Bourbon paired with dark chocolate and dried cranberries.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Bourbon Tasting

In the first match of the day at 1pm, we had San Fernando vs Twin Palms/San Judas. In the 1st Chukker Roberto Estudillo scored the first goal of the match, followed by Ashton Wolf. Ashton then scored two more goals for Twin Palms/San Judas in the 2nd Chukker followed by one by Eugenio Garza who was subbing for Ramon Richard on Twin Palms/San Judas. In the 3rd Chukker Diego Velarde scored two goals via penalty shots for his team San Fernando. Topo Mendez scored anther as well for Twin Plams/San Judas. At the half time break it was 3-5 in favor of Twin Palms/San Judas.

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The 4th Chukker, started off with a goal by Diego Cossio, and then one by Diego Velarde, both for San Fernando. Ashton Wolf scored one as well for Twin Palms/San Judas. The 5th saw Diego Cossio again, followed by Chris Maloney scoring 2 more for Twin Palms/San Judas. The excitement got heavy in the 6th and final Chukker as Diego Velarde and Adolpho Ramos for San Fernando. Followed by Topo Mendez scoring anther for Twin Palms/San Judas to bring it to a tie. Chris Maloney scored another for Twin Palms/San Judas to break the tie, but due to a foul, it did not count, sending the match into over time. Diego Velarde finally scored the winning goal for San Fernando in the over time 7th Chukker.

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During our intermission was a lovely we had a wonderful Pa De Dux. It was a Prix St. Georges level Pas de Deux by Joy Rothe and Sarah Pinney, riding full sister and brother Oldenberg horses Rolex and Rohan. The two horses seemingly danced together to music often mirroring their upper level Dressage movements to match the beat of the music and the rhythm of the horses.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-National Anthem

We had the lovely Christina Peterson a 19 year old local pop singer/songwriter who has performed at Humphrey’s by the Bay, Petco Park, and Qualcomm Stadium. She is a student at San Diego State and also enjoys performing for non-profit organizations such as the Make a Wish Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

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We also had the very talented Jill Courtemanche Millinery showcasing her fabulous hats for people to do a little shopping for their perfect hat. Just in time for Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-First Ball Throw In

Woodford Reserve did the honors of throwing in the ceremonial first ball for the feature match.

The 2nd match of the day at 3pm was between Woodford Reserve and Herradura Tequila. John Eicher started out the first chukker of the match with a goal for Woodford Reserve. Followed up by one by Diego Larreglia. Colton Bancroft then scored one for Herradura Tequila.

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In the 2nd Chukker Virgil Kyle made another for Woodford Reserve. Graham Bray and Chris Collins also both scored for Herradura Tequila.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Action

For the 3rd Chukker there was another goal scored by Colton Bancroft, followed by Graham Bray. Virgil Kyle scored one for Woodford Reserve. At the half time it was 5-6 in favor of Woodford Reserve.

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Coming into the 4th Chukker, Herradura Tequila made another 4 goals, two by Colton Bancroft, one by Chris Collins, and one by Graham Bray. In the 5th and 6th Chukkers Graham Bray made another 2 goals and Chris Collins 1 to finish and win the game for Herradura Tequila. The match ended with a total of 7-11 in favor of Herradura Tequila.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Players

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Bourbon Herradura Tequila Winners

Written by Cara Helminski

Photos by Arielle Vey (social) & Matt Bentley (action)

USPA Spreckels Cup Finals & Closing Day

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Doesn’t it seem like Opening Day was just yesterday?  Time flies when you’re having fun!

On Friday, September 27, Twin Palms/San Fernando played Starmeadow/Monteverde for the chance to play on Sunday in the Spreckels Cup Finals.  Starmeadow/Monteverde beat Twin Palms/San Fernando 12 to 9 and confirmed their match against Hanalei Bay the following Sunday.

The 2013 San Diego Polo Summer Season came to an end on Sunday, September 29, 2013 with the USPA Spreckels Cup Finals.  In addition to the USPA Spreckels Finals, over 1,000 attendees enjoyed equestrian entertainment, an opportunity drawing to benefit Prince Harry’s charity, Sentebale, and After Party presented by Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

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We started the day with the Sundance Hills Drill Team, a group of six dedicated riders who put hours into meeting, practicing and perfecting their patterns and routines.

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The Santa Fe Hunt/West Hills Hounds is a Masters of Fox Hounds Association, MFHA, recognized Hunt located in Temecula, in southern California. They are a diverse group of riders, brought together by love of horses, open spaces, country values and riding with a fine pack of foxhounds as they work a scent.  They came out with about a dozen riders and hounds.

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Land Rover of San Diego and Porsche of San Diego had a fleet of luxury automobiles, including the 2014 Porsche Panamera.  Last Closing Day, president Ron Bonaguidi purchased a 2013 Range Rover from Land Rover of San Diego.  Ron said Jason Puga, owner of Land Rover of San Diego, is a great business man and he’ll never purchase another Range Rover from any other dealership.  His service is incredible and affordable.

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Danielle Pizorni, San Diego opera singer, blew us away with her rendition of the National Anthem.

joe-allisJoe Allis of Porsche of San Diego threw in the ceremonial first ball.  In the history of Spreckels Cup finals, there has never been a match so exciting and evenly matched as Sunday’s.  With 8 chukkers and at least 5 broken mallets, the competition was one of the best we’ve ever seen here in San Diego.

Hanalei Bay                 vs.              Starmeadow/Monteverde

Krista Bonaguidi (-1)                       Ellen Greenhill (-1)
Ashton Wolf (3)                               Colton Bancroft (0)
Mariano Fassetta (6)                       Martin Ravina (5)
David Samaniego (0)                      Graham Bray (4)

Sunday afternoon was the perfect San Diego summer day with 75 degree weather and slight ocean breeze.  Hanalei Bay and Starmeadow/Monteverde took the field, as Owner of Porsche of San Diego, Joe Allis threw in the ceremonial first ball.

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Graham Bray started the first chukker by scoring the first point on the afternoon for Starmeadow/Monteverde.  David Samaniego also took a great shot and scored one for Hanalei in the first chukker.  Teammate, Mariano Fassetta also scored two beautiful shots.  Martin Ravina scored 2 (one penalty) and Bray scored another for Starmeadow/Monteverde, bringing the score to 4 to 3.

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Things heated up for Starmeadow/Monteverde in the second chukker, as Martin Ravina scored an additional 3 goals for his team.  Krista Bonaguidi, first lady and owner of Hanalei Bay took a penalty shot for the team and scored!

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In the third chukker, goals went back and forth, 3 for Hanalei Bay, 2 for Starmeadow/Monteverde, bringing the score to 9 to 7, Starmeadow/Monteverde in the lead.

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As if the tension wasn’t enough, during the first minute of fourth chukker, Martin Ravina was given a red flag and pulled out of the game for the remainder of the chukker.  Colton Bancroft scored one, but opposing team, Hanalei Bay used this time to catch up and Mariano Fassetta scored two for his team.

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Hanalei Bay should have been able to dominate the scoreboard, but with fouls called, and time running out in the chukker, Starmeadow was able to hold on to the narrow margin, going into the 5th chukker with a full squad of players.  The time on the bench gave Ravina that extra push needed to make the game competitive going into the remaining chukkers.

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In the 5th chukker, Mariano Fassetta scored one for Hanalei and Martin Ravina scored one for Starmeadow/Monteverde.  The finals of the USPA Spreckels Cup couldn’t have been more exciting and all the guests were on the edge of their seats, some standing in the VIP tent, tense with anticipation.

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In the 6th chukker, Martin Ravina scored another for his team, bringing them ahead by one point.  With 30 seconds left in the match, Mariano Fassetta put one through, tying the game and taking it into over time.

The 7th chukker was a tough one.  Hanalei Bay’s Ashton Wolf had to call a time out due to lack of feeling in his hand and severe cramping.  At this point in the game, the horses were exhausted, the players just as tired.  At the beginning of the match, the players came on to the field, ready to fight for the win and prepared to expend every ounce of energy.  That energy was running out.  The play resumed and each team was able to defend their goals.  With less than a minute left in the 7th chukker, Colton Bancroft made a beautiful break away and, unfortunately, overshot a cut shot that would have been the most glorious win for Starmeadow/Monteverde. The 7th chukker ended, the match still tied.

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In the beginning of the 8th chukker, Colton made a second break away and all eyes were on him.  The ball went over the line and out of play.  Shortly after, eyes fell on his teammate, Graham Bray, who was on the ground.  Not many saw it happen, but Bray’s horse clipped the back of Ashton Wolf‘s horse and fell, exhausted, throwing Graham Bray to the ground, knocking the wind out of him.  Graham is one of the toughest players in San Diego, and when he’s on the ground for more than a few seconds, it’s serious.  Bray stayed on the ground for a few minutes, barely moving his legs.  After consultation from the EMT and fellow players, Graham Bray slowly rose, walked around, and mounted a fresh horse.  The play went back and forth for a minute and the ball was left in a cluster right near the Starmeadow/Monteverde goal mouth.  Mariano Fassetta’s horse started dancing around and they should have gotten out of there immediately.  A foul was called on Hanalei Bay’s David Samaniego and Martin Ravina took an undefended penalty shot, winning the USPA Spreckels Cup Finals for Starmeadow/Monteverde.  Both teams played an unbelievable game and made Spreckels Cup history as one of the most competitive games of all.

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Winners of the USPA Spreckels Cup Tournament: Starmeadow/Monteverde

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Member, Joe Cuillo and his daughter.

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Gatsby-inspired guests stomp divots during the Korbel California Champagne Divot Stomp!

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The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach presented the After Party and guests rocked out to Crush Effect DJ and live trombone and drums.

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Player, Mercedes Mafara and her friends celebrate the end of the season.  Mercedes won Most Improved Player, and her group won Gastby Best Dressed!

Thank you to our sponsors, players, members, fans, and staff for an amazing Closing Day and 2013 Summer Polo Season!  We’ll see you in June 2014.

Labor Day Tournament & White Party

Things have been heating up in San Diego and we aren’t talking about just the weather.  As the San Diego Polo Summer Season continues through August and September, the polo talent rises.  The horses are faster, the players work harder, and the crowds grow larger.

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This holiday weekend’s Labor Day Tournament started off with an 8-goal tournament match between Twin Palms/San Fernando vs. StarMeadow/Monteverde.  Things started off at an even pace in the first chukker, with Diego Velarde and Gaston VonWernich scoring for Twin Palms/San Fernando and Ellen Greenhill and Colton Bancroft scoring for StarMeadow/Monteverde.  Roberto Estudillo scored 3 goals for his team, Twin Palms/San Fernando and teammate, Diego Velarde, had a high of 5 goals.  Although StarMeadow/Monteverde played their hearts out, they just couldn’t catch up.  Twin Palms/San Fernando beat StarMeadow/Monteverde 10 to 7.

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During intermission, the Victorian Roses Riding Society performed. The Victorian Roses are a re-enactment group from Southern California who enjoy representing history and doing events that raise money for charity.  The group symbolizes the romance of the 1880’s, or the Victorian Era, in the colorful costumes they wear and each member has a “rose” moniker representing who she is in the re-enactment society.  Truly a sisterhood of dedicated women, these ladies ride in numerous parades and rodeo ceremonies and also participate in skit competitions, old-west shows, costume contests and other events.

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The feature match was the finals of the Labor Day tournament with Hanalei Bay vs. Adeptus.  Jesse Bray, who was bumped from a 2-goal handicap to a 4-goal handicap last year, started things off quickly and scored a goal for Adeptus within the first 30 seconds of the match.  Ashton Wolf, another favorite San Diego Polo player, scored 2 for Hanalei Bay in the first chukker.  Jesse Bray wouldn’t let that slide, so he scored two additional points for Adeptus in the second chukker.  By the third chukker, the score was tied up 3 to 3.

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Guests enjoyed stomping divots with their Korbel California Champagne.  During the divot stomp, guests dressed in white spread out across the green grass during the perfect summer day.

During the half time, Hanalei Bay recharged and focused on the match.  In the fourth chukker, they came out blazing.  Mariano Fassetta score 3 goals and Ashton Wolf scored 1 for Hanalei Bay.  Adeptus’ Daniel Juarez only could get one goal past the opposing team.  In the fifth chukker, Hanalei Bay kept up with an additional 3 goals by Ashton Wolf, bringing the score up to 11.  Daniel Juarez scored again in the 5th and 6th chukkers, along with Jesse Bray, but they just couldn’t catch up to Hanalei Bay, but they sure did put up a fight!  Hanalei Bay beat Adeptus 12 to 9.

If you’re looking for some more action, join us this Sunday for the USPA Rossmore Cup and our annual Salute to Military, as we honor active military, veterans, and first responders.

American Heart Association Painted the SD Polo Club RED for the Inaugural Go Red Campaign

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Sunday’s finals of the Pacific Coast Polo Tournament also celebrated the inaugural American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign.  Emceed by ABC’s Bachelorette runner up, Kiptyn Locke, the American Heart Association had their first ever San Diego STRUT to promote heart health in women, along with a silent and live auction.  The Polo Club was decked out in red and all guests sported red flair in support of the organization.  According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one killer in women, which is more than all types of cancer combined!

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Porsche of San Diego had their gorgeous automobiles on display, including the all new 2014 Porsche Cayman.

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The first match was a consolation game played between Twin Palms/San Fernando and AdeptusColleen Wilson, owner of Adeptus had a spectacular afternoon, scoring 5 goals for her team.  Roberto Estudillo of Twin Palms/San Fernando also had a fantastic game, scoring 3 for his team.  Twin Palms/San Fernando was slow to start, but caught up by half-time, making the score 5 to 5.  Adeptus shined in the 5th chukker, bringing their team up 3 more point and winning the match 8 to 7.

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During intermission, the local community participated in the Go Red STRUT, a community-based, one-of-a kind fashion show.  Led by the San Diego Polo School students and Uakea Huddleston, the STRUT included two heart disease victims, one being a 4 year old boy.  Celebrity judges AJ Machado, Chris Cantore, Natasha Stenbock, Lisa Murphy, Mia Stefanko and Kiptyn Locke, judged the “strutters” and gave out prizes to various winners.

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Just after the American Heart Association’s Go Red STRUT, our announcer and auctioneer, Steven Lewandowski raffled off items for charity!

The national anthem was sung by two American Heart Association volunteers, one of which is a heart disease survivor.

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The feature match and finals of the Pacific Coast Polo Tournament consisted of Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi -1, Ashton Wolf 3, Mariano Fassetta 6, David Samaniego 0) and Starmeadow/Monteverde (Ellen Greenhill -1, Colton Bancroft 0, Martin Ravina 5, Graham Bray 4).  Hanalei Bay kicked off things in the first chukker with 3 goals but letting Starmeadow/Monteverde sneak up in the 3rd chukker.  Krista Bonaguidi scored 3 in the feature match, making her one of the high scorers on her team.  The game was all tied up in the 4th chukker, 7 to 7, but Martin Ravina scored 4 goals in the final chukkers to lead his team to victory.  Starmeadow/Monteverde beat Hanaeli Bay 10 to 8.

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Guests enjoyed the Korbel California Champagne Divot Stomp during half time and the Paul Cannon Band after the matches.

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When guests sampled Black Stallion Winery‘s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, they received a fun Black Stallion branded Go Vino glass!  Black Stallion’s chardonnay is one of our biggest sellers at Sunday Polo!

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Thank you to Ranch & Coast for being our media sponsor and Kiptyn Locke for emcee-ing the event!

Father’s Day

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The sun shined brightly on Father’s Day at the San Diego Polo Club, and families of all ages celebrated this fantastic day with their loved ones.  Son of our founding father, Willis Allen, flew in 8 antique biplanes and the Wavecrest Woodie Club drove out their prized automobiles for guests to enjoy.  San Diego European brought out Aston Martin to lead the parade of teams with their 2013 Vantage Coupe.

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From the east side of the polo field, the huge crowd enjoyed tailgating festivities along with picnic lunches in the foreground of the biplanes and Woodies.

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On the west side of the field, VIP  and Player’s Club guests were treated to Woodford Reserve Bourbon tastings and specialty cuisine from The Wild Thyme Company.  Special that day was a steak sandwich with caramelized onions and creamy aoili spread.

But the main attractions of the day were the exciting polo matches. The 1:00pm match featured Sycamore-Monteverde versus Star Meadow-Adeptus. The match ended with a score of 11-8 with Star Meadow-Adeptus taking home the trophies. 3 goal professional polo player Ashton Wolf led his team in scoring with 5 goals and his teammate 5 goal professional Martin Ravina tallied up 4 of his own.

ImageTo celebrate Father’s Day, we asked father of Roberto Estudillo, Bobby Estudillo to throw in the first ball!

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Our 3:00pm match between Hanalei Bay-San Judas and Twin Palms-San Fernando was a nail biter from start to finish. Hanalei Bay-San Judas began the match with a 2 goal handicap but Twin Palms/ San Fernando hit the field on all cylinders, scoring 3 unanswered goals in the first period to take the early lead. Things leveled out in the second period by offsetting goals from Hanalei Bay-San Judas’s 6 goaler Mariano Fassetta and Twin Palms-San Fernando’s 5 goaler Gaston Von Wernich.

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Billy Steta, president of the Mexican Polo Federation was the high scorer of the match chalking up 5 goals, the last of which was the game winner.

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Father’s Day Cup trophies were presented by Donald Wade, Operations Manager of Aston Martin and wife of the General Manager, Francesca Canales.

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Local musicians and brother band, Ottopilot performed for our 7th Chukker After Party!