The Polo Report
By Steve Crowder
It was a fabulous weekend on the Gold Coast. The temperature was in the 80’s to low 70’s for Fiesta weekend. Friday set the tone for the finals of the America Cup, but a big thrill on Saturday was the game between Santa Barbara and Jaipur Polo team from India. With all the hoopla, it turned out to be a great show. The Jaipur team was led by HH Maharaja of Jaipur. He is a very nice man and a very good polo player. His name is Padmanabh Singh. He has a nickname and his is Pacho. He had 3, hard-riding polo players with him .. Fateh Sing, Ransher Rathore and the big stick for Jaipur was Abhimanyu Pathak 5-goals. From here they had a player known as Abby. They were taking on Santa Barbara’s Pat Nesbitt, Jonathan Burrows, Joesph Stuart and Marcos LLambias.
After a great introduction it was on to the field with Jaipur having a little trouble adjusting to the field and horses. After trailing by 4 they got rolling in the final two chukkars tying up the score, but Joseph Stuart put an end to that with a big run down the field to seal the win for SB.
Game 2 was on Sunday at Pat Nesbitt’s Bella Vista. It was picture perfect weather. The game got underway with one change … Ransher was injured on Sat. and was replaced with Warrick Prinsler of Perth, Australia. The Jaipur Polo team was now ready to roll. After a relaxing day on the beach and a feel for the horses, Pacho and Abby came out smoking. Supported by Warrick, they kept the pressure on SB all day and held a lead from the second on. The a huge penalty 4 from Abby closed the door and Jaipur came away with the win splitting the weekend.
Many thanks are in order for making this great event happen. Thank you to the USPA umpires on Sat. So many grooms pitching in to mount the visitors, Omar and Jamie Sanchez, Javier and Mario and big time help driving mounting and reffing from Antonio Juarez and Judith Baker Leigh Brecheen for rig and support horses and of course all the players and there staffs . THANKS
On to the Finals. It was a perfect day, but it was a better day for Dan Walker than anyone else on the field. Dan and his Farmers and Merchants (FM) have been dominant this season. Walker is a big reason for this. He was again instrumental today, pulling the team with key plays. He had big time support from young gun Herndon Radcliff. Walker got it started as fast as he could get to the goal and Restoration Hardware (RH) and Ben Solemani played catch up from then on. Jason kept them in the game with penalty shots and tied them up in the second. Play was even in the 3rd. RH was playing without former 10-goal star Adam Snow, but Santi VonWernich doing a good job replacing him.
The wheels came off of RH in the 5th after getting the lead in the 4th. It was all FM in the 5th as they shot up by 5 . RH could only get back to 3 out. It was a good game for 4 chukkars and a fast 6th, but not much in the 5th except for the boys from Long Beach. I think Walker should be the MVP as he has been a huge force in this high goal season making so many things happen. Well done to Jaipur and Farmers and Merchants it was a great weekend.
and Jaipur Polo
Warrick and Ransher
see ya @ the PCO starts this Friday
by Steve Crowder