Courtesy of Karl Hilberg

The Central Texas Polo Association, a consortium of three USPA Southwest Circuit clubs, hosted a USPA Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr. tournament Saturday, April 7-8 at the Texas Military Polo Club in Poteet, Texas.

The teams represented the five branches of the armed forces: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Saturday’s draw resulted in Army playing a four chukker match against Coast Guard while Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force competed in a round robin.

Marine Corps, 2018 USPA Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr. champions (L to R) Kyle Brown, Fabian Vela, Cuatro Tolson, and Lalo Ramirez pictured with Pud Nieto.
Marine Corps, 2018 USPA Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr. champions (L to R) Kyle Brown, Fabian Vela, Cuatro Tolson, and Lalo Ramirez pictured with Pud Nieto.

The first game of the day pitted the Army against Coast Guard. Army dominated the first chukker with two goals from Javier Insua and one from John Greening while keeping Coast Guard scoreless. In the second chukker Coast Guard’s Alex Matta and Jack Crea each scored one while Greening scored his second goal of the game. Beginning the third chukker, Army maintained the lead 4-2. The third chukker was a repeat of the second with Coast Guard’s Matta scoring twice and Army’s Insua scoring once. The final chukker was all Army as Insua added two consecutive goals ending the game 6-4 in favor of Army.

Opening the round robin, Marine Corps rivaled Air Force. The Marine Corps’ Tolson scored first from the field followed by Ramirez who converted a Penalty 3 to close the chukker. During the second, Air Force retaliated with two field goals of their own to tie the score 2-all. Marine Corp were awarded a Penalty 2 which Ramirez ultimately converted for the win.

In the third matchup Navy dominated both chukkers, Philipp Kampshoff scoring the only two goals in the first. The following chukker was very similar as Kampshoff and Onganio each scored one goal to secure the victory for Navy.

Marine Corps challenged Navy in the final match of the day, Navy with a half-goal advantage on handicap. The winner of the match would face Army in the championship final on Sunday. Marine Corps’ Vela struck first with one from the field, but Navy answered back with two taking the early lead 2-1. The next chukker was a defensive battle, both teams struggling to score. Finally, Ramirez was able to complete a successful shot on goal giving Marine Corps a 3-2 lead. At the bowl-in Navy’s Kampshoff ran towards goal with seconds left in regulation time. In a stroke of good fortune, Navy was awarded a penalty and the umpires added five seconds to the clock. Making a great attempt, Navy missed the 80-yard shot by approximately one yard, giving the win to the Marine Corps.

Sunday’s championship match featured Army challenging Marine Corps. The consolation round robin saw Air Force conquer Navy 3-2, Navy defeating Coast Guard 4-1, and Coast Guard outscoring Air Force 3-1.

Army’s Javier Insua running with the ball, guarded by Marine Corps’ Tolson.
Army’s Javier Insua running with the ball, guarded by Marine Corps’ Tolson.

Henderson scored first to put Army on the board, but Marine Corps’ Tolson and Ramirez each scored one closing the chukker in favor of Marine Corps. In a close second chukker, Army’s Greening scored two and was matched by Marine Corp’s Ramirez. After the half Marine Corps came out hot picking up four quick goals while Army’s Henderson scored his second of the match. In the final chukker both teams were playing great defense and prevented any goals from crossing between the posts. Marine Corps won the USPA Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr. tournament 8-4.

Best Playing Pony, Mina Pud pictured with Pud Nieto, Fabian Vela, and Lalo Ramirez.
Best Playing Pony, Mina Pud pictured with Pud Nieto, Fabian Vela, and Lalo Ramirez.

Morgan Tennant was named Most Valuable Player. Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Mina, ridden by Lalo Ramirez and owned by Fabian Vela.