Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida, hosted their 10th Annual Tabebuia Cup/Women’s Championship Tournament (WCT) Qualifier, February 22-24. This year’s competition featured four teams at the 14- to 16-goal handicap level. During single elimination bracket play San Saba (Clarissa Echezarreta, Dawn Jones, Alyson Poor, Rileigh Tibbott) cruised to the final with a decisive victory 9-2.5 over Dream Team (Jennifer Williams, Malicia Von Falkenhausen, Meghan Shader Jumet•, Maureen Brennan). The second match of the pseudo-semifinals was a battle however, Michelob/Crossfit El Cid (Nicole Watson, Malia Bryan, Cecelia Cochran, Tiffany Busch) coming out on top, narrowly edging past Icon Global (Olivia Uechtritz, Slaney O’Hanlon, Courtney Asdourian, Julia Steiner) 4-3.
In an evenly-matched and fast-paced final, San Saba defeated Michelob/Crossfit El Cid. A very balanced game, Tiffany Busch put a field goal on the board in chukker one, and Most Valuable Player Clarissa Echezarreta scored on a safety from 60-yards out. The second chukker was a draw, leaving the teams tied 1-all at the half. Nicole Watson gave her team a one-goal advantage after scoring a field goal during the second half, but Dawn Jones countered on Best Playing Pony Chispita, scoring back-to-back goals to give San Saba the win with a final score 4-3. A well-decorated polo pony, Chispita was also awarded Best Playing Pony Amateur at the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship™ Final. In the consolation game, Icon Global defeated Dream Ride 6-5.5 in another close match.
*Meghan Shader Jumet is an alumna of Team USPA. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.