On Friday, April 15, Gulfstream Polo Club played its last game in its 93 year history. Custer Capital defeated Rancho Alegre in the finals of the April South Florida 4-Goal League. Omar Cepeda’s second chukker pony “Ash” was named Best Playing Pony and Cepeda was also awarded Most Valuable Player.
David Sloan (-1)
Bill Custer (-1)
Jesus Ontiveros (2)
Francisco Ayala (3)
Britta Klatte (-1)
Siobhan Gallagher (-1)
Mikey Matz (3)
Omar Cepeda (3)
The game started with a point on the board in favor of Custer Capital for handicap adjustment. Tournament play began with a goal by seasoned professional, Francisco Ayala for Custer Capital, leading the game with a 2-0 spread at the end of the first chukker. It took Rancho Alegre until the second chukker to find their groove, but once they did, they put three quick balls through the uprights–two by Omar Cepeda and one by Mikey Matz. Ayala managed another goal for Custer Capital to end the chukker and the half 3-all.
Ayala kicked off the third chukker with a penalty four conversion at the south end of the field. Cepeda quickly answered back with a goal, yet again tying the score. Going into the fourth chukker, and Gulfstream’s last chukker ever played, both teams stepped up their game and played aggressively for the win. Cepeda was first to score for Rancho Alegre but couldn’t keep Custer Capital’s Jose Ontiveros off the ball. Ontiveros scored two quick goals, the last one from a spectacular away shot sent to him by Ayala. The game ended 6-5 in favor of Custer Capital.
BPP: “Ash”, played by Omar Cepeda
MVP: Omar Cepeda
Throughout the game, spirits were high as players, staff and polo folks on the sidelines soaked in their final moments on Gulfstream’s beautiful Azqueta field. After 93 years as one of polo’s most preeminent polo clubs and Florida’s oldest polo club, Gulfstream has closed its doors for good. During the awards presentation, the crowd became slightly more despondent, knowing that it was the end of an era.
Long time general manager Marla Connor was presented with a bouquet of long stem flowers and a bottle of champagne by the USPA’s Maggie Mitchell. Kind words were spoken and praise was given for Marla’s reign as polo and facility manager extraordinaire.
Gulfstream would like to thank everyone that came out for its final game. We mourn the loss of a wonderful place and service to the polo community.