Interscholastic Polo Season begins in Southern CA

What is an Interscholastic Polo Program?

The Interscholastic/Intercollegiate, also know as the I/I Program, was developed by the United States Polo Association to help grow the sport and recruit new youth players. Local clubs are encouraged to get young players together during the fall semester for organized competition and regional and national tournaments. These programs help develop strong players’ sportsmanship and horsemanship, plus they have a ton of fun doing it!

Who can play Interscholastic Polo?

Anyone! We have two teams in the San Diego program ranging from age 12 to 16 and we just had our first scrimmage against OC Polo.  Most kids have a strong riding background and some polo experience. San Diego Surf Polo Club also offers lessons to help develop skill, strategy and knowledge of the rules, so while you’re competing, you’re also training and developing as a player.

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Julie Empey is a die-hard polo fanatic. She’s one of San Diego’s best instructors and focuses her energy on our youth programs, including the Interscholastic/Intercollegiate program, Work to Ride Program and youth lessons. She also plays an integral part of southern California polo, connecting multiple polo clubs in the Pacific Coast Circuit to join together for tournaments and league play. Julie is an USPA Certified Umpire and USPA Certified Polo Instructor, making her one of four in all of California!

cpi-logoMore info:  760-994-7667 or *protected email*

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  • We have 7 kids signed up in our Interscholastic Program ranging in age from 12 to 16.
  • October 8 kicked off our Interscholastic Polo Program with a scrimmage against OC Polo.
  • San Diego Surf Polo Club provides a string of polo ponies for the San Diego Interscholastic teams to ride. However, when they play against other teams, they are required to ride at least one horse they’ve never ridden, often belonging to the other team. This can be quite challenging for our students, but a great way to improve and develop horsemanship and riding skills.
  • According to the United States Polo Association, 150 women and 97 men compete in collegiate polo.
  • Students are able to receive a VARSITY letter in polo!
  • The Interscholastic/Intercollegiate Program is affordable and anyone can play!

 

San Diego Wins 7 out of 10 Pacific Coast Arena League Awards

 

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The Pacific Coast Arena League Awards Party was last weekend and the San Diego players received some amazing awards! The Pacific Coast Arena Polo League is a summer polo competition. Players have the opportunity to compete throughout the season at five different clubs for points. Those points tally, and high points earn season-end awards. It’s a fun way for all of the arena players in southern California to get together regularly.  Some of the other clubs represented were OC Polo, Central Coast Polo, California Polo Club, and Poway Polo.

Congrats to the following players and teams on their accomplishments:

  • A Flight High Point Champion – Nikki Mobtaker, Ali Mobtaker, San Diego (TIE)
  • B Flight High Point Champion – Chuck Stanislowski
  • C Flight High Point ChampionJack Empey & Drew Hobsheid, San Diego (TIE)
  • Most Valuable Player – A Flight Ali Mobtaker, San Diego, B Flight – Megan Judge, C Flight – Drew Hobscheid, San Diego
  • Best Playing Pony – A Flight – Forest Smith – “Indy”, B Flight – Lovive/Kirsten – “Chiquita”, C Flight – Paige Kufal, San Diego – “Bella”
  • Best Sportsmanship – A Flight – Julie Empey, San Diego, B Flight – Jeff Lin, C Flight – Larry V.
  • Overall, 18 yrs. & Under  – Drew Hobscheid, San Diego
  • Overall, 19-54 yrs. – Matt Davis
  • Overall, Senior (Birthday before 5.1.61) – Chuck S.
  • Overall Team Champion – Each team that remains unchanged throughout the duration of the league will be eligible for this award – OC Polistas, Mythical Moose, San Diego Three’s Company

A special thanks to our Arena Manager, Julie Empey for her dedication to our sport and our youth polo players! We look forward to seeing you all in the arena!

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Pacific Coast Arena League Welcomes Over 45 Polo Players to San Diego

On Saturday, July 23rd, arena polo players from all over California came to San Diego to participate in the Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament, attracting over 45 players in just one day.  The Pacific Coast Arena Polo League is a summer polo competition. Players have the opportunity to compete throughout the season at five different clubs for points. Those points tally, and high points earn season-end awards. It’s a fun way for all of the arena players in southern California to get together for a full day of polo. From our Interscholastic teenaged players to our best A-rated players, the day was action packed with some of the most amazing arena polo you’ll ever see.  Some of the other clubs represented were OC Polo, Central Coast Polo, California Polo Club, Lakeside Polo and Poway Polo.

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The day started off with an A-flight round robin between Moonshine Polo Team (Julie Empey, Jeff Trout, Jennifer Alexy), Poway/OC (Skyler Dale, Ian Schnoebelen, Forest Smith), and Justice League (Ali Mobtaker, Niki Mobtaker, Andrew Scott). Final score: Justice League 6, Poway/OC 5 and Moonshine 1. Sportsmanship went to Julie Empey, MVP to Skyler Dale and Best Playing Pony to Ian Schnoebelen’s horse Secret.

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Next up was the B-Flight round robin between Ludwig Polo (Sri Mummaneni, Dawson Ludwig, Troy Crumley), CCPC (Alyssa Garcia, Hannah Heitzig, Megan Judge) and Top View (Chuck Stanislowski, Lovive Laverdure, Alenya Chekhova). Final Score: CCPC 14, Top View 10, Ludwig Polo 9. Sportsmanship went to Chuck Stanislowski, MVP to Megan Judge, and Best Playing Pony to Lovive Laverdure’s horse Secret.

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In the afternoon, the B Flight match up between OC Polo (Mila Herrera, Shelley Geiler, Heather Perkins, Kelli Newton) and CPC (JP Coghill, Katty Wong, Kirsten Ludwig) was a high scoring match. CPC won the match 12 to 8. Sportsmanship went to Shelley Geiler, MVP to Kirsten Ludwig, and Best Playing Pony to Kelli Newton’s horse Zenardi.

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The C Flight Team Mystical Moose (Jack Empey, Drew Hobscheid, Kylie Kufahl and Paige Kufahl) played CPC 2 (Sonia Couling, Frances Bryson, Barry Nadell and substitute JP Coghill). After a minor injury, Nadell stepped out and JP Coghill subbed in his place. Mystical Moose scored 13, with just 1 for CPC2. Sportsmanship went to Sonia Couling, MVP to Drew Hobscheid (with 10 goals!), and Best Playing Pony to Paige Kufahl’s horse Bella.

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Three’s Comany (Matt Davis, Lauren Helpern, Kelly Davis, Colleen Newton) and Poway/San Diego (Gillian Young, Larry VanderPloeg, Bryan Treusch) battled it out in the 4:00pm C Flight. Three’s Company won 8 to 5. Sportsmanship went to Larry VanderPloeg, MVP to Matt Davis, and Best Playing Pony to Bryan Treusch’s horse Coneja.

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The last match of the evening was a C Flight match between OC/San Diego (Leo Diaz, Emma Hobscheid, Miriam Ellis, Jack Gaon, Hudson Sirjani) and Rebel Polo (Mikayla Chapman, Shayna Chapman, Gwenyth Bennett, Nicole Johnson, Michael Proulx). Keep in mind, some of these players were splitting positions and we always play 3 on 3. OC/San Diego won 13 to 3. Sportsmanship went to Shayna Chapman, MVP to Leo Diaz and Best Playing Pony to Nicole Johnson’s third chukker horse.

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Arena polo is often mistaken as less exciting and more condensed than grass polo.  If you take just one quick moment to watch some chukkers of some A rated players, you’ll very quickly realize how scrappy, exciting, action packed and different Arena polo is from grass polo.  It’s amazing just how different the entire game can be within the 100×50 yard field.  You can often use the wall or boards of the arena as a “4th man” in your chukkers, using it for your team, or against the other team.  You can smack the ball against the boards at an angle to change the line of the ball to pass to a teammate, something you can’t really do in grass unless you hit it low enough to bounce it off the red boards on the ground.  The close contact in the arena is extremely exciting, sometimes looking more like a demolition derby instead of Formula One racing.  Most of the same rules still apply in either game – grass or arena – but the strategy tends to be much different.

2016-PCAL-San-Diego-Megan-Judge2016-PCAL-San-Diego-Mythical-Moose-Drew-HobscheidWhile hitting and carrying the ball tends to be much easier on the grass, since most people prefer to play golf on the green instead of the sand pits, imagine just how much more skill you might need to “play golf in the sand pits” all the time?  The arena ball tends to glance off mounds of sand or mud, or get stuck in hoof holes created by the galloping horses.  But to develop enough skill to work around that and STILL be a dynamite polo player, I’d say that’s a mission worth trying, and a feat often underestimated and overlooked. With the deck stacked against you in getting the ball to move anywhere in a straight line, you might argue that arena polo is harder.

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New players may rush themselves through Arena as their end game or end goal might be to play on the grass.  Take one look at an arena tournament and you are in for one hell of a ride. You can see Everything right up close, you can hear the grunts of the horses, hear the clanking of stirrups during a ride off, see all the action up close from wherever you’re standing – it’s easier to see every detail.   Get ready to duck out of the way of a ball flying out of bounds!

The next time you hear about an arena tournament at SD Polo, come on down and check it out.  It’s really an amazing display of expertise horsemanship, and expert ball-mallet handling, turning in tight circles, dribbling the ball to keep it away from a fast approaching opponent.  It has non-stop ride-offs, precision maneuvers within the small space… it is a RUSH!

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Thank you to USPA third man umpire Rick Sears, Julie Empey, Stacy Egusa, Lindsey Chronert, Tim Empey, Ashton Wolf and the entire San Diego Polo team for putting together a fun tournament. Another big thank you to everyone who came out to the polo fields to play and support our arena programs! We love hosting visitors and opening our doors to different players of all levels. We hope you enjoyed your time at SD Polo, its picturesque setting, and hopefully you made it down to watch our Sunday Matches!

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