Klentner Ranch Victorious in Folded Hills Pope Challenge Overtime Thriller

 

Folded Hills Estate Lily Rosé was flowing as guests enjoyed the springtime sun streaming out over the Sunday field at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Antelope Jr. came secured their position in the final after defeating both Antelope and Klentner Ranch in bracket play. Klentner Ranch emerged from the virtual semi-final on Friday after defeating Antelope. With an average age of just 22 years old, Antelope Jr. had youth on their side entering in to the final match of the Folded Hills Pope Challenge against Klentner Ranch. Young Luke Klentner replaced older brother Jake to play alongside Santi Wulff, Jesse Bray and Justin Klentner who competed together in the 12 Goal Tournament Series last year. “To start the season with a win is always a great feeling,” said Bray. “We made it to three of the four 12-goal finals last year, so to take it the next step and win was definitely a goal of mine this year.”

 

The Klentner Ranch team began the match with a one goal handicap, but the score was quickly tied with a goal from the field by six goal player, Felipe Vercellino. Play was fast and furious – with each goal being matched by the opposing team. At the end of two chukkers Klentner Ranch and Antelope Jr. remained tied with three goals each.

 

Bray and Wullf showed their ease in playing with each other in the third chukker, expertly scoring two goals from the field. A single goal from Grant Palmer brought Antelope Jr. within one. The score read 5-4 in favor of Klentner Ranch heading into halftime.

 

Scoring bounced back and forth between Antelope Jr. and Klentner Ranch in the fourth chukker of play. Vercellino and Palmer each converted a penalty to bring their tally to six goals. A field goal from Wulff tied Klentner Ranch back up 6-6. Klentner Ranch took advantage of two penalty shots in their favor but the young guns of Antelope Jr. fought back with a vengeance adding two goals from the field to once again tie the score 8-8.

 

Vercellino mounted up on one of his favorite mares, Best Playing Pony “Barbarita,” for the final chukker of regulation, and his strategic tactic paid off scoring two goals for Antelope Jr. With only 2 minutes remaining, Klentner Ranch was in a bind but they did not give up hope. Two penalty calls favoring the team in blue presented them with the opportunity to tie the match, sending the final of the Folded Hills Pope Challenge into overtime.

 

With the golden goal looming in the minds of all eight players, it was Bray who made the lucky shot after taking the ball from opponent Vercellino on an Antelope Jr. knockin. A quick neckshot sent the ball through the uprights with force and claimed the victory for Klentner Ranch.

Santi Wulff was awarded Most Valuable Player for his consistent efforts on the field. “Barbarita” owned and played by Felipe Vercellino was named Best Playing Pony – adding another blanket to her collection.

 

Chukker 1 2-1 Klentner Ranch

Chukker 2 3-3

Chukker 3 5-4 Klentner Ranch

Chukker 4 6-6

Chukker 5 8-8

Chukker 6 10-10

Chukker 7 11-10 Klentner Ranch

 

Team Rosters

Antelope Jr.

Grant Palmer              A

Jim Wright                   3

Felipe Vercellino         6

Herndon Radcliff         3

 

Klentner Ranch

Luke Klentner A

Jesse Bray                  5

Santi Wulff                   5

Justin Klentner            1

 

Antelope

Hilario Figueras          2

Peke Gonzalez           5

Santi Trotz                  5

Geoff Palmer              A

 

Farmers & Merchants Bank

Dan Walker                 2

Marcos Bignoli            4

Felipe Viana                5

Leigh Brecheen          A