On a picture-perfect day for polo, Beverly Equestrian won its first 20-goal game in team history and Dutta Corp rallied for wins on Day Two of the Molina Cup Monday at Valiente Farm and Grand Champions Polo Club.
In front of good crowds and worldwide ChukkerTV audience, Beverly Equestrian knocked off Valiente, 10-7, at Valiente Farm and Dutta Corp defeated Casablanca, 12-10.
The two-week tournament continues on Thursdaywith one game, Dutta Corp plays Travieso at 4 p.m
BEVERLY EQUESTRIAN 10, VALIENTE 7
After working its way up through the low and medium-goal ranks, Beverly Equestrian enjoyed success at the high goal level with an impressive win over Valiente in its’ second game of the Molina Cup.
After losing to Goose Creek, 8-7, in its’ opener, Beverly Equestrian (Bill Ballhaus, Carlucho Arellano, Magoo Laprida, Inaki Laprida) bounced back against Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Roberto Zedda, Pablo Spinacci, Diego Cavanagh).
“The first game was against a really tough team,” Ballhaus said. “Maureen (Brennan) is so well-organized and she always has a strong team. They always play really well together. For our first game, it was just nice to be competitive in that game. We felt like we had a lot to learn and I think we hung on in that game to play our best.”
Against Valiente, Beverly Equestrian jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the opening chukker and continued to build on it throughout the first half with leads of 4-1 and 5-2 before ending the first half with a 5-3 lead.
Spinacci brough Valiente within one goal, 5-4, early in the fourth chukker with a 45-yard neck shot but could get no closer in the physical contest.
Beverly Equestrian pulled away for a 10-5 lead in the fifth chukker and allowed Valiente only two goals in the final chukker.
“This was a very tough team,” Ballhaus said. “It was a big challenge for us. I feel like we learned a lot from the first game and we really clicked in this game. We had a lot of fun on the field.”
Ballhaus only started riding horses five-and-a-half years ago and had never been on a horse before that. Beverly Equestrian is based in The Plains, Va.
“Competing in the 20-goal is the next challenge,” Ballhaus said. “It’s a great way to learn the game, improve and to challenge yourself by being on the field with the best players in the country. I am really enjoying it.”
Magoo Laprida and Carlucho Arellano each had five goals. Arellano converted 4-of-5 penalty shots and Laprida scored all five goals from the field.
“We didn’t play a practice game together before the Goose Creek game so I think the first half we didn’t play the way we wanted and needed to play,” said Magoo Laprida. “But we found in the second half the way that is better for us.
“We tried to do the same thing today and it worked. I am happy for Bill. This is his first 20-goal tournament and he is playing really well. To beat a team like Valiente, one of the best organizations, is hard to do.”
For Valiente, Cavanagh and Zedda each had three goals.
“Carlucho played amazing, everybody played amazing today,” Ballhaus said. “We basically stuck to the same game plan but I think because we played together for a game now we were able to execute it better.”
Bob Jornayvaz replaced his son Rob in Monday’slineup. Rob Jornayvaz played Sunday in Valiente’s 14-10 win over Orchard Hill in the USPA Gold Cup. Bob Jornayvaz spent most of last week traveling and developed flu symptoms and decided his son would substitute.
DUTTA CORP 12, CASABLANCA 10
In a wild game, Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Jesse Bray, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juancito Bollini) had the momentum early jumping out quickly for 7-3 second chukker lead. After a slow opening chukker, Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Carlitos Gracida, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Matias Magrini) regrouped and roared back to take the lead for the first time, 8-7, on Gracida’s 60-yard penalty shot. After Astrada’s 30-yard penalty shot tied the game, Dutta Corp regained the lead and never relinquished it in the penalty-marred game.
Teenager Timmy Dutta said at times his team starts off like a practice game instead of immediately focusing on the task at hand.
“Then we start building ourselves up until we are unstoppable,” said the teenager. “The reason we succeeded today is we finally started clicking. After the Travieso loss we got our mojo back.
“It was good for us to win our first game,” Dutta said. “It’s like a final, you have to win it immediately. It helps our confidence.”
With 1:53 left in the game, Alberdi caught a mallet in the mouth and was attended to by the club’s on-field paramedic. Alberdi, a former 10-goaler in Great Britain, was able to return to the game and was expected to get stitches to close the deep gash in his mouth.
Magrini scored a team-high eight goals including six on penalty shots. Gracida added three goals and Alberdi had one. Astrada had a team-high six goals for Casablanca and Bray added two.
The Molina Cup, a first-year 20-goal tournament, comes on the heels of the successful and historical 20-goal Sterling Cup won by Travieso (Tony Calle, Torito Ruiz, Sebastian Merlos, Hugo Barabucci).
The two-week tournament features a star-studded lineup of some of the world’s top players from six different countries.
The 120-year-old handcrafted silver Molina Cup trophy was given to Marc Ganzi by Alfredo Molina, Chairman of the Phoenix-based Molina Group and owner of Molina Fine Jewelers.