Overcoming Postage Stamp Farm (PSF) in the previous game of tournament play, the undefeated Huntsman team set their aim on the coveted trophy, facing a second matchup in the Silver Cup® Final on Sunday, July 22, at Greenwich Polo Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. Assuming the lead from the second chukker, Huntsman set an early pace that would not be overcome, barreling forward to claim the title 10-8.
Striking first from the field was Mariano Gonzalez, a member of the 2017 Silver Cup® winning Work to Ride/Los Machitos team, but a returned penalty conversion quickly equalized the scoreboard. An increasing amount of penalties fell as both sides battled to gain the advantage in the second chukker, resulting in a Penalty 2 conversion a piece. Expertly guiding the ball across the goal posts, Tomas Garcia Del Rio gave Huntsman the edge necessary to end the second with a slight 3-2 lead. Focused on widening the gap, Huntsman countered Brandon Phillips’ single goal in the third with a strong offensive push, doubling the scoreboard within minutes to end the half 6-3 in favor of Huntsman.
Wanting to prevent a similar first half outcome, PSF silenced their opponents in the fourth, allowing Gonzalez the opportunity to make his second goal of the game. Still trailing by two with one goal scored every chukker, PSF had to act fast, opening with a critical penalty conversion in the fifth to move them within one. Huntsman fired back immediately with two consecutive goals by Tomas Garcia Del Rio and Toro Ruiz, fighting to squelch any further attacks. Collecting two additional goals, PSF outscored Huntsman for the first time, their efforts keeping them in close pursuit with the final chukker looming ahead. Consistently dependable, Huntsman’s Tomas Garcia Del Rio nailed his sixth goal early in the final chukker, Segundo Merlos following suit. Despite their late push for a comeback, PSF fell short with a final penalty conversion, signaling Huntsman’s triumphant victory 10-8.
Postage Stamp Farm’s Marcos Garcia Del Rio, brother to Tomas Garcia Del Rio, was named Most Valuable Player. Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Tomas Garcia Del Rio’s nine-year-old gelding Cali Marino who he played in the sixth chukker. “He was bred by me,” said Del Rio, “His mother is a mare of mine named Marinera and his sire is Open Tintero. He is my best horse. He is very fast and strong, but also very calm. He has a great temperament.”
All photos ©Katerina Morgan