Orange County Polo Club in Silverado, California, recently hosted the National Arena Amateur Cup on November 17 in their newly built arena. The one-day round-robin tournament featured three teams: Goal Diggers, OC Hookers and Grey Kittens. Solid play from all participants resulted in a win by net goals for Goal Diggers with 12 goals on the day.

OC Hookers (L to R) Shelley Geiler, Jillian Stewart, Sofia Chamberlain and Kelli Newton.
OC Hookers (L to R) Shelley Geiler, Jillian Stewart, Sofia Chamberlain, Kelli Newton.

Grey Kittens and Goal Diggers faced off in the first two-chukker matchup. Goal Diggers received one goal on handicap, but were quickly answered by club owner Denny Geiler for Grey Kittens. Play remained even in the opening chukker, the score tied 3-all to start the second. Matching each other goal for goal, Grey Kittens’ Dave Schuberth started the scoring with a field goal which was quickly answered by Goal Diggers’ Heather Perkins. By the end of the chukker the tie stood 5-all.

Grey Kittens remained in the arena challenged by OC Hookers for the third and fourth chukkers of the round robin. Shelley Geiler started off strong with back-to-back goals for OC Hookers. Her forward momentum propelled her team ahead, winning the first chukker 3-1. Grey Kittens came back with a vengeance however, nailing four goals to OC Hookers’ one in the second chukker to finish out the match ahead by one goal 5-4.

Grey Kittens (L to R) Denny Geiler, Andy Perkins, Dave Schuberth and Sy Zahedi.
Grey Kittens (L to R) Denny Geiler, Andy Perkins, Dave Schuberth and Sy Zahedi.

The final two chukkers pitted Goal Diggers against OC Hookers, Goal Diggers once again receiving a goal on handicap. Back-and-forth play ensued in the first as teams traded goals. Goal Diggers were able to gain the edge however, with stellar play from Clare Boals and Blake Bertea, finishing out the first chukker ahead by two 5-3. Goal Diggers’ Perkins nailed two shots on goal for her team, but was met by three from OC Hookers to finish out the day in Goal Diggers’ favor 7-6. After six chukkers of arena play, Goal Diggers had a total of 12 net goals, OC Hookers and Grey Kittens tying for second with 10 goals apiece.

Kelli Newton and Best Playing Pony Dublin.
Kelli Newton and Best Playing Pony Dublin.

Most Valuable Player was presented to Goal Diggers’ Blake Bertea, who with a valiant return to polo after a twenty-year hiatus played well above his handicap contributing two goals on the day. Kelli Newton’s small but mighty bay mare Dublin received the Best Playing Pony blanket.

Following the match, Perkins, the club’s resident USPA Certified Polo Instructor commented, “We are so excited to host our first USPA tournament in our new arena and can’t wait for more!”

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