Klentner Ranch held off the Farmers and Merchants 6th chukker comeback in the Belmond El Encanto Polo Classic on a beautiful afternoon at the Santa Barbara Polo Club.
The sun was shining and the stands were packed as players took the field for the he first high goal final of the summer. Chukker number one started off slow as both teams defense held their opponent tight, prohibiting any scores during the first seven and a half minutes of play. Joaquin Panelo of Farmers and Merchants Bank broke the scoreless streak, converting a penalty two and putting the first mark on the board.
Klentner Ranch took off on an offensive tear following FMB’s goal, scoring four of their own in the second chukker.
“In the second chukker we were able to settle down and organize ourselves,” said Jesse Bray of Klentner Ranch. “Justin [Klentner] scored two awesome goals and that really got our momentum going.”
Klentner Ranch closed out the first half of play with a hearty five goal lead 7-2.
Facundo Obregon, Klentner Ranch, opened up the second half of play with a goal from the field pushing the team up by six goals. Realizing time was now limited to stage a comeback, Criado took control of the chukker scoring two goals. Teammate Herndon Radcliff added a third, putting FMB within three goals, 8-5.
Momentum swung back in the favor of Klentner Ranch during the fifth chukker. Klentner and both Obregon brothers each added a goal to once again put Klentner Ranch ahead by a significant margin 11-6.
All eight players took the field for the sixth and final chukker with determination. FMB scored a quick goal off from the penalty line. Less than a minute later, FMB received a penalty one and Panelo was able to dig the ball out of the throw in and quickly add another tally to the board.
Jesse Bray took matters into his own hands scoring two more goals for the Klentner Ranch team securing the victory. Final score 14-11.
“Farmer and Merchants Bank really kept their offense moving forward in the 6th chukker. I knew we had to keep scoring and maintain our lead. It was a close and physical game, but at the end we pulled through and brought it home.” said Geronimo Obregon of Klentner Ranch following the match.
Shaun O’Brian from the El Encanto Resort in Santa Barbara presented trophies to both teams following the competitive match.
Perla, played by Dan Walker and owned by Santi Trotz was awarded the Engel & Völkers Best Playing Pony award. Jesse Bray was named Most Valuable Player.
The USPA Maserati Silver Cup begins Friday, July 15. Games are held on Fridays and Sundays through August 28 and are open to the public. The Polo Grille opens at noon on Sunday and local wineries will be fieldside throughout the summer presenting different wine tastings each week.
Nespresso’s popular iced coffee, espresso beverages and adult beverages will also be served each weekend. Look for the Nespresso girls at the halftime divot stomp or at the Clubhouse bar.