West Shore Polo Club Defeats Prestonwood Polo Club to Win the George C. Sherman trophy at the 2015 USPA Open National Interscholastic Polo Championship
2015 Open All Stars
Tommy Huber- West Shore
Mich Ward- Toronto
George Hempt- West Shore
JP Vasquez- Country Farms
The United States Polo Association® (USPA) today announced that the West Shore Polo Club of Owings Mills, Maryland defeated the Prestonwood Polo Club of Oak Point, Texas to win Saturday’s 2015 USPA Open National Interscholastic Championship at the ERG Arena in Brookshire, Texas. The score was 19-8. West Shore emerged at the top of this season’s initial 38 interscholastic teams pursuing the George C. Sherman trophy, which has signified polo’s interscholastic champions since 1928.
The tournament kicked off Wednesday afternoon with 6 of the 7 teams facing off for a spot in the semi-finals. Eldorado and Toronto set the tone for the weekend when after an exciting game Toronto earned their spot after a 3 round shoot-out to decide the game. Prestonwood and Country Farms followed it up with an action packed game that had Prestonwood come from behind in the 4th to win by 1 and earn their spot in the semis. Poway and Houston finished off the night with a tough battle and the home team Houston ending up on top to claim the last spot in the National Semi-Finals. When the tournament resumed on Friday the West Shore team out of the Southeast Region started off with an early lead and held it all the way to the end to earn their spot in the finals over Toronto. Central Region powerhouses Prestonwood and Houston went head to head in a rematch of the Regional final with Prestonwood once again taking the win and earning their spot in the National final. Saturday consisted of a round robin for the teams that had been knocked out early, where Eldorado took the win after close matches with both Country Farms and Poway. West Shore and Prestonwood put on a great show Sunday for all of their fans in an exciting match showing off each team’s strengths. West Shore pulled away with a strong 2nd chukker and kept the lead to win the 2015 Open Interscholastic National Championship.
The 2015 USPA Open National Interscholastic Champion West Shore Polo Club are:
Ben Lynch, age 17
Tommy Huber, age 16
George Hempt, age 17
Jackson Bennett, age 16
Jack Magrudger, age 16
Coach: Cindy Halle
Asst. Coach: Posey Obrecht
Hank Uretz from the Eldorado team was chosen by his peers for the Sportsmanship award. The horse Sunshine owned by Texas A&M was named Best Playing Pony while the Prestonwood team walked away with Best Playing String.
The I/I Chairman, Mr. Duncan Huyler stated his appreciation for all of the hard work put in to the weekend. “Mark Prinsloo and the Houston Polo Community have gone above and beyond on every aspect of the event. We could not have done it without our hosts and our horse providers- Texas Tech, Texas A&M, University of Texas, Houston, and Prestonwood allowing us to use their horses for the weekend. The Umpire LLC and Polo Development LLC worked seamlessly together to make the weekend go off without a hitch. The horsemanship of the young men and women playing was superb and exemplified what we’d like to see in all players of the game. The respect they showed for each other and their horses was an affirmation that there are some pretty amazing polo players coming out of the program.”
Teams completed over the course of five days and included the Western Region champion Poway Polo Club of Poway, California, Central Region champion Prestonwood Polo Club of Oak Point, Texas, Southeastern Region champion West Shore Polo Club of Owings Mills, Maryland and Northeastern Region champion Toronto Polo Club of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as well as wildcard selections Eldorado Polo Club of Indio, California, Houston Polo Club of Houston, Texas, and Country Farms Polo Club of Medford, New York. Teams in this tournament consisted of both male and female players.