In a column published in his personal Facebook account on Thursday night, journalist Alex Webbe confirmed a rumor that was going around, but was yet to be confirmed: Polito Pieres would be without a team in Palm Beach after patron Scott Wood’s pulled his team Brookshire from the 2019 season. Lucas James and Pedro Falabella were set to complete the line-up. This means that fifteen teams, not sixteen, would compete in the 2019 American Triple Crown.
But a few hours later, also on Facebook, Alex Webbe shared that Stewart Armstrong, who was intending on competing in the series, snatched up the now free Polito Pieres, alongside Lucas James. However, due to Armstrong’s 3-goal handicap rating, 5-goal Pedro Falabella no longer fits in the team. It is yet to be known who will be the 2-goal player to complete the line-up.
The 10-goal player confirmed these changes, and told PoloLine that the team will be playing the three 22-goal tournaments in 2019: the CV Whitney Cup, the USPA Gold Cup, and the US Open Polo Championship.
The American Triple Crown will have sixteen teams in competition after all.
Alex Webbe columns:
10-goaler Polito Pieres without a team following Scott Wood’s rumored withdrawal
By Alex Webbe
Because polo is as fluid moving off the field as it is on, it comes as no surprise to us that according to barn rumors, Scott Wood’s Brookshire Polo Team (Scott Wood, Lucas James, Polito Pieres and Pedro Falabella) has withdrawn for the 2019 22-goal competition.
Wood was said to have stated that the 2019 22-goal season would be his last in the United States, but his sudden withdrawal from the field leaves 10-goaler Polito Pieres without a team for the 2019 Florida polo season.
Because of the lead time needed to organize horses, stabling facilities and housing, Pieres and the balance of the team will hope to be picked up by other teams or even the new 26-goal World Polo League.
As a member of the 40-goal Ellerstina team, Polito Pieres tied with Facundo for team high-scoring honors with 19 goals over a four-game span. Polito played on the 2018 winning Championship Hurlingham side as well as making an appearance in the final of the 2018 Tortugas Open.
Wood was coming off a suspension by the USPA following reported unsportsmanlike behavior and played in St. Tropez the previous season.
The loss of Wood’s Brookshire team reduced the number of 22-goal teams participating in the 2019 high-goal season to a still impressive fifteen.
Stewart Armstrong picks up Polito Pieres and Lucas James for the 22-goal
By Alex Webbe
It didn’t take long for Polito Pieres to be picked up after the withdrawal of Brookshire patron Scott Wood. It has been reported that former 7-goaler Stewart Armstrong (Kingsville, TX) stepped up and hired both Polito Pieres and Lucas James for the winter season’s 22-goal competition. Carrying a 3-goal handicap, Armstrong had to let Falabella go in search of a 2-goaler.
Not the first time Wood dropped out of competition over health matters. A few years ago he bowed out of the final of the Pacific Coast Open citing a bite by a black widow spider.
The 2019 22-goal field remains at sixteen teams.