News from across the pond
The autumn season has well and truly kicked off across the pond in USA, with a plethora of tournaments and an abundance of high and low goal players gracing the green fields of Palm Beach, Florida.
IPC has now extended their 20 goal season until 1 April, at the request of a number of teams. This year’s 26 Goal US Open is set to see 11 teams in total battle it out for the coveted trophy. The line-up will include 2017 defending champions Valiente, alongside Coca-Cola, Grand Champions Polo Club, Postage Stamp Farm, La Indiana, Travieso, Goose Creek, Villa del Lago/Modere and Valiente II (under their new name Colorado), as well as two new teams – SD Farms and Sonny Hill. The Final will take place on Sunday 22 April.
IPC welcomed spectators for the final match of the 2017 and the first match of the new season on 31 December. The 20 goal Herbie Pennell Cup Final saw Team Coca-Cola lose out to Team Tackeria 12-11. Matt Coppola was named Most Valuable Player whilst his nine-year-old mare, Ventaja, was presented with the Best Playing Pony rug.
The Herbie Pennell Cup Final Teams:
Tackeria (20): Wesley Finlayson (4), Matt Coppola (4), Jason Crowder (6) & Pelón Escapite (6)
Coca Cola (20): Gillian Johnston (2), Sugar Erskine (6), Julio Arellano (8) & Steve Krueger (4)
In other news, the Joe Barry Memorial Cup kicked off on Saturday with one match on Saturday and two matches on Sunday. In the first match of the weekend, Villa del Lago/Modere beat Colorado 7-6 in an intense game that went into overtime. More than six minutes into the extra chukka, Hilario Ulloa scored his fifth and final goal to take the match. In the second match, La Indiana beat Coca-Cola 10-7 to secure their spot in the next round and in the final match of the weekend, Travieso beat Pilot 13-11, with nine goals coming off the stick of Sebastian Merlos. It was a tournament debut for both teams, but showed the full might of the Argentine 10 goalers as Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres took to the field for Pilot.
In the next day of matches, Monday 8 January, Grand Champions beat SD Farms 11-7 after a fairly even game. At halftime the score was tied at 5-5 but after a storming chukka for Mike Azzaro and Nico Pieres in fifth, Grand Champions took the lead they needed to go through to the next round. Play continues this week at IPC and can be followed on their website here.
In other news, a letter was released by the USPA at the end of December regarding the USPA Equine Drugs and Medication rules update restating that all anabolic steroids are now banned in the sport of polo and any violation of this rule will be treated with the upmost severity.
Photograph: Action begins in the US autumn season at the International Polo Club, Florida. Courtesy of the USPA