The 2017 Keleen & Carlton Beal Cup Final presented by Jetlinx at Houston Polo Club in Houston, Texas, was held Sunday, October 1, featuring BTA versus defending champions Tonkawa. Steve Krueger* scored the first goal of the match from the penalty line for BTA which was quickly equalized by Tommy Biddle of Tonkawa.

Steve Krueger of BTA catches up to Tonkawa's Matt Coppola in front of a packed Sunday crowd. Photo - Kaylee Wroe
Steve Krueger of BTA catches up to Tonkawa’s Matt Coppola in front of a packed Sunday crowd. Photo – Kaylee Wroe

Tonkawa surged ahead in the second with two goals from Matt Coppola* and one goal from Cody Ellis*. Coppola and Ellis widened the lead further for their team with one more goal apiece before BTA was able to answer with a goal from Krueger to end the first half 6-2.

Tonkawa's Matt Coppola riding young stallion MC Sun Dance. Photo - Kaylee Wroe
Tonkawa’s Matt Coppola riding young stallion MC Sun Dance. Photo – Kaylee Wroe

Shane Rice and Biddle traded goals for their respective teams in the fourth, followed by a second goal from Krueger for BTA. It was Krueger again in the fifth, converting two more goals from the penalty line for BTA; Tonkawa answered with goals from Biddle and Coppola to maintain their lead. Krueger ended the match with his fourth goal from the penalty line and Coppola scored once more in the last minute, for a final score 10-7 in favor of Tonkawa to secure their second consecutive Keleen & Carlton Beal Cup victory. Most Valuable Player was awarded to Tonkawa’s Matt Coppola. Best Playing Pony honors were presented to Blackjack owned and played by Tonkawa’s Tommy Biddle.

2017 Keleen & Carlton Beal Cup Champions: Tonkawa - Jeff Hildebrand, Cody Ellis, Matt Coppola, Tommy Biddle pictured with Jetlinx representative Jessica Bifano and USPA Governor at Large Chrys Beal. Photo - Kaylee Wroe
2017 Keleen & Carlton Beal Cup Champions: Tonkawa – Jeff Hildebrand, Cody Ellis, Matt Coppola, Tommy Biddle pictured with Jetlinx representative Jessica Bifano and USPA Governor at Large Chrys Beal. Photo – Kaylee Wroe

*Steve Krueger, Matt Coppola and Cody Ellis are members of Team USPA. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.

Best Playing Pony Blackjack owned and played by Tommy Biddle pictured with Jetlinx representative Jessica Bifano. Photo - Steve Krueger of BTA catches up to Tonkawa's Matt Coppola in front of a packed Sunday crowd. Photo - Kaylee Wroe
Best Playing Pony Blackjack owned and played by Tommy Biddle pictured with Jetlinx representative Jessica Bifano. Photo – Kaylee Wroe