Imminent rain and possible storm warnings could not stop the NYTS fun at Midland Polo Club on May 14-15. Four teams battled for victory and spots on the All-Star list. The local Midland players were joined by young players from Houston and El Paso to form a total of four teams and the club could not have been more welcoming. Everything from lending horses to the incoming players to celebrating a birthday with Courtney Price was in the Midland wheelhouse! Courtney traveled to the NYTS with the Stimmel Family and was so grateful that she was welcomed into the Midland Club with open arms, “the people at Midland Polo Club and West Texas are simply the best!” she said.
5 Star Polo
Joe Mack Stimmel
Purvis Land & Cattle
Franz Felhaber Team Canada
Aside from all the fun outside the boards, there was plenty of polo on both Saturday and Sunday! The first game kicked off on Saturday with Purvis Land & Cattle going head to head with Evans Ranch. Evans Ranch got the early lead with a quick goal by Fritz Felhaber, but Purvis Land & Cattle answered with goals by Niklaus Felhaber and April Galindo in the first chukker. Niklaus Felhaber put another one on the board at the top of the second chukker for Purvis Land & Cattle and Joe Mack Stimmel answered for Evans Ranch. Niklaus Felhaber kept fighting and added yet another goal, ending the chukker 4-2 in favor of Purvis Land & Cattle. After a quick half time break, Evans Ranch regrouped and found their bearings, out scoring Purvis Land and Cattle 2-0 in the third chukker with goals by Evans and Stimmel and again in the fourth chukker, 2(Stimmel, F. Felhaber) to 1(N. Felhaber). The final score was 6-5 in favor of Evans Ranch.
The second match of the tournament saw 5 Star Polo versus Team Canada. McKenzie Watson started the scoring for 5 Star with a goal from the field and teammate Johann Felhaber followed up with a goal of his own. Team Canada showed up to play though and Courtney Price wowed the crowed as she scored a goal from the field and a goal on a penalty for Team Canada in the first chukker. tieing the score 2 all. 5 Star came out strong and dominated the second chukker, out scoring Team Canada 4-2. Teams went into the half with a score of 6-4, 5 Star up. The teams traded goals in the third with a goal for 5 Star by Johann Felhaber and a goal by Courtney Price for Team Canada. In the fourth and final chukker it looked as if the game could go into a shootout with Price and Davis Hord putting two more goals in for Team Canada to tie the score at 7 all, but in the end 5 Star added two unanswered goals (Johann Felhaber, Chino Payan) leaving the game with a final score of 9-7 and a win for 5 Star.
Sunday’s first game, the consolation finals, pitted Team Canada against Purvis Land & Cattle on a grey day in Midland. Davis Hord put Team Canada on the board first with two goals while Niklaus Felhaber scored one for Purvis Land & Cattle. In the second chukker, Courtney and Davis teamed up for two more goals for Team Canada and Niklaus knocked another through the posts for Purvis Land & Cattle to bring the score to 4-2 going into the half. With strong team play and good defensive efforts, Purvis Land & Cattle had four unanswered goals in the third chukker as a light rain came across the field, putting Purvis Land & Cattle ahead 6-4. Teams came back to the field fired up and ready to go for the fourth chukker, but close lightening forced the game to be called before the end of the chukker. The game was called with a score of 6-4, Purvis Land & Cattle on top.
Finally, in the match-up everyone was waiting for, the Finals of Midland Polo Club’s 2016 NYTS Qualifier Tournament–5 Star Polo faced-off against Evans Ranch. In a fast and exciting match, teams battled it out in four strong chukkers of fun. The teams traded goals in the first chukker, tying 2-2 at the end of the first. Five Star added two more goals on penalties in the second while Evans Ranch scored the lone goal from the field for the chukker. The score was 4-3, 5 Star ahead at the half. The score remained close with one goal for each team in the third, but efforts by 5 Star kept them ahead in the fourth and final chukker, outscoring Evans Ranch with a final game score of 7-5. Congratulations to 5 Star Polo, Midland Polo Club’s 2016 NYTS Tournament Champions.
After all the fantastic polo, the All-Star Committee was challenged to pick the top six players based on their horsemanship, sportsmanship, playing ability at their current handicap, and team playing ability as demonstrated through the tournament–and it was a tough one! At the end of the day, Chino Payan, Davis Hord, Joe Mack Stimmel, Niklaus Felhaber, Courtney Price, and Johan Felhaber rose to the top of the heap and were recognized as All-Stars.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend and the Midland Polo Club should be commended as a gracious host club! A big thank you to Amy Evans and the rest of her organizing crew for putting together a fantastic event!