On Sunday, February 25, both Spindrift and STG met on the field of Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, to decide the final of the 8-goal General George S. Patton Jr. tournament. In a game dominated by John Bickford at the penalty line, Spindrift held onto the lead throughout the second half to win the tournament 10-9.

Rich Roenisch Bronzes.
Rich Roenisch Bronze.

Juan Curbelo opened the first with a goal for Spindrift, but lost the advantage during the chukker. Curbelo added another goal from the field in the second, but was countered by a single Penalty 3 conversion from Francisco Guinazu, leveling the scoreboard. The remainder of the half belonged to Spindrift as Leslie Timms picked up a field goal and Bickford proved deadly from the penalty line, easily scooping up two consecutive penalty conversions to end the third 5-3 in favor of Spindrift.

Juan Curbelo’s Briza was named Best Playing Pony.
Juan Curbelo’s Briza was named Best Playing Pony.

Play intensified dramatically in the second half, as Spindrift continued to pull away with every successive chukker. Shutting out STG for the second period in a row, Bickford nailed a Penalty 2 and 3 to create a significant lead by the end of the fourth 8-3. Max Menini was finally able to respond to Spindrift’s offensive attack with STG’s first goal since the second chukker. Rallying for a comeback, Guinazu demonstrated his skills from the penalty line with two additional Penalty 3 conversions, but was answered back by yet another from Bickford. Menini responded again from the field, closing the gap on Spindrift 9-7. Down by two headed into the sixth, STG raced to make up the difference and succeeded 9-all with minutes to spare. Breaking the tie and stealing the game, Luis Saracco found his mark between the posts, claiming the win for Spindrift 10-9.