The Fall 8-Goal Tournament Series kicked off with back-to-back days of fast polo action in the Jackson Hole Horse Emporium Regional President’s Cup. With four teams entered, each team faces off against the other three teams with the best two records advancing to the final.

Farmers & Merchants Bank met opponent Barrossa/STG for the first matchup of the tournament. An injury sidelined Henry Walker early in the game, putting brother Dan Walker in for the remainder of the match. The teamwork displayed by Barrossa/STG’s team captain Max Menini and 3-goal player Francisco Guinazu propelled them into the lead, capturing the first win of the tournament 12-10.

Max Menini of Barrossa/STG hits on the ball out of the air on the nearside.
Max Menini of Barrossa/STG hits on the ball out of the air on the nearside.

Barrossa/STG faced a tough opponent in Klentner Ranch/Hidden Creek on Sunday, September 16, remaining tied or within one goal throughout the first four chukkers of play. A penalty conversion by Menini in addition to his goal from the field and a second by Guinazu pushed the team into the lead. Three more goals between Guinazu and Menini in the final chukker of play sealed the team’s second victory 13-9.

Klentner Ranch/Hidden Creek defeated UCLA on Saturday, September 15, relying on their mix of youth, talent and speed to overcome their opponent 15-10. Jesse Bray’s* well-planned system used his young players Luke Klentner and Bayne Bossom to disrupt plays and keep the backfield clear throughout the match. After falling to Klentner Ranch/Hidden Creek, UCLA stepped up their game on Sunday against Farmers & Merchants Bank and secured their first victory by a narrow margin 9-8.

Bayne Bossom of Klentner Ranch/Hidden Creek at full speed on a breakaway.
Bayne Bossom of Klentner Ranch/Hidden Creek at full speed on a breakaway.

With the hustle and bustle of the high-goal season over, the Fall Season at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club offers relaxing yet competitive leagues throughout September and the first half of October. The Pro Pool League pairs three amateur players with a professional for fun, open games on the pristine fields. Coaching League and arena chukkers allow players new to the sport to test the waters in a supportive and safe environment. The Fall Season concludes with the Women’s Invitational and famous Last Chance Tournament.

*Jesse Bray is a member 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.

All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.