On Sunday, April 1, 2018, The Buffalos and Vancouver/Mother Chukkers met in the USPA Lions Cup Final at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, for a chance to take home not only the end of the season tournament title, but also several thousand dollars in prize money. The Buffalos (Ross Adam, Tim Rudy, Felipe Sordelli and Riley Jordan) rode away with $6,000 and Vancouver/Mother Chukkers (Jay Garnett, Nicolas Maciel, Robert Payne III and Sukey Forbes) claimed $2,000 as the runners-up.
A goal from Payne opened the game and was soon answered by back-to-back goals from Rudy and Sordelli to end the first 2-1 in favor of The Buffalos. The Buffalos then added to their lead by playing great defense in the second chukker, shutting out their opponents and picking up another field goal, this time by Jordan. Up by two at halftime 3-1, The Buffalos were confident in their pursuit of the title.
The teams exchanged goals in the third, as the game became more competitive. Penalty conversions proved pivotal for The Buffalos to hold on to their lead as they ended the chukker to maintain the gap, 5-3. One more chukker remained in regulation time, and The Buffalos had their eye on the prize. Another defensive onslaught held Vancouver/Mother Chukkers scoreless as Rudy added one final goal to the board for his team. The Buffalos took home the Lion’s Cup Trophy 6-3.
Most Valuable Player was awarded to Felipe Sordelli and Best Playing Pony went to Renatta, owned and played by Robert Payne III.
All photos ©Jim Bremner/Empire Polo Club.