The Central Texas Polo Association hosted the 2019 Southwestern Circuit Governor’s Cup Qualifier October 12-13 at Two Wishes Polo Club in Lockhart Texas. Sponsored by the South Padre Island Polo Club, the action kicked off on the morning of Saturday, October 12. Spectators were all bundled up with blankets and extra jackets as the cold weather and wind, around 60 degrees, made it much chillier than anticipated.

First up were Central Texas Polo Association (CTPA) Austin, in burnt orange, playing CTPA Lockhart in blue. Playing for CTPA Austin were Gal Shweiki, Nacho Estrada, Jack Crea and Ron Horne. Representing the team from CTPA Lockhart were Tres de la Paz, Carter Heltzen, Javier Insua and Ariel Rodriguez. Lockhart started with a half-goal advantage due to team handicaps. Lockhart scored first, both Rodriguez and Insua scoring from the field. Crea countered for Austin with a Penalty 4 conversion from the sixty-yard line. Again it was Lockhart’s Insua who scored, this time with two from the field to maintain the lead 4.5-1 at the half.

Ariel Rodriguez hitting the ball toward the goal with Jack Crea riding to defend.

Ariel Rodriguez hitting the ball toward the goal with Jack Crea riding to defend.

Austin began to close the gap at the beginning of the second half with two goals from Crea, the first a penalty conversion followed by a field goal. The teams traded goals for the remainder of the chukker to maintain the gap. Moving into the final chukker it was a close match with Lockhart leading by a mere one-and-a-half goals. Lockhart’s Insua sunk two more goals in the final chukker while the team held Austin scoreless to win the match.

The afternoon match took place between Kanthaka, in white, versus South Padre Island, in blue. Sylvia Kampshoff, Andrew Richardson, Philipp Kampshoff and Agustin Arrayago played for Kanthaka while Mark Osburn, Chris Ballard, Pud Nieto and Brady Williams represented South Padre Island (SPI). As the underdogs SPI started with two goals on the scoreboard due to handicap. Both teams seemed slow to gel as numerous fouls led to the first three goals of the game, all scored as penalty conversions. Philipp Kampshoff continued Kanthaka’s forward momentum scoring the first from the field, followed closely by another penalty conversion for SPI from Osburn. Sylvia Kampshoff closed out the chukker with her first goal of the game. A great chukker for Kanthaka, they ended with five goals to give them a two-point lead. The second chukker flowed more cohesively and both teams played well with only one penalty and one goal each to end the first half 6-4 in favor of Kanthaka. The third chukker was similar to the second, close with SPI scoring one and Kanthaka scoring two to widen the gap. Kanthaka pulled ahead even more in the fourth, dominating with four unanswered goals, three from the field and one penalty conversion to capture the win. The consolation (SPI versus CTPA Austin) and championship (Kanthaka versus CTPA Lockhart) were set.

Kanthaka's Sylvia Kampshoff winds up for a full swing!

Kanthaka’s Sylvia Kampshoff winds up for a full swing!

South Padre Island started the consolation match with a two-goal advantage. Coming out strong, both teams played well defensively and at the end of the seven-and-half minutes neither team had scored. Coming into the second chukker CTPA Austin’s Crea started the scoring with a goal from the field. South Padre Island quickly countered with a penalty conversion from Nieto followed by a field goal from Ballard to continue to build their lead. Starting the fourth chukker SPI led 4-1 and continued to showcase excellent teamwork with a quick goal from Osburn off a nice pass from Nieto. CTPA Austin would not give up however and Shweiki dominated the rest of the chukker scoring three goals with strong support from his teammates. Entering the final chukker SPI still held the advantage 5-4, but it was a close game that either team could win. CTPA Austin’s Estrada started the scoring in the last chukker to tie the game with short shot on goal. With time running out and less than a minute remaining the spectators were discussing whether the game would be decided by a shootout; SPI committed a foul in the remaining seconds and CTPA Austin’s Crea capitalized on the mistake to score the winning goal.

The championship match for the coveted USPA trophies was easily the most exciting of the four matches! Play was faster and the shots on goal even more exciting than the previous three games. CTPA Lockhart’s Rodriguez was the first to score, but Kahthaka’s Arrayago quickly followed up with a goal of his own. Rodriguez hit the mark again with a beautiful neckshot to end the chukker 2.5-1 in favor of Lockhart. Kanthaka fought back in the second with two unanswered goals from Philipp and Arrayago to overtake the lead 3-2.5 moving into the second half. In a role reversal Lockhart took control once more in the third as Rodriguez scored two skillful shots at speed holding Kanthaka scoreless to take back the lead 4.5-3. In the fourth while the speed and intensity remained, there was no scoring for the first three minutes. Both teams converted penalties in the final minutes to add one tally each—Lockhart retaining the lead. CTPA Lockhart’s Heltzen closed the scoring with a run three-quarters of the field to cement the win scoring the final goal of the match and tournament. Winning the tournament, CTPA Lockhart will travel to Willow Bend Polo Club in Little Elm, Texas, to play in the Governor’s Cup against teams from Dallas, Houston and Midland.

Best Playing Pony - Carly, ridden by Mark Osburn, owned by Brady Williams and presented by tournament sponsor Pud Nieto ©David Murrell

Best Playing Pony – Carly, ridden by Mark Osburn, owned by Brady Williams and presented by tournament sponsor Pud Nieto.

The Sportsmanship Award was presented to South Padre Island Polo Club’s Pud Nieto. Most Valuable Player was awarded to Philipp Kampshoff of Kanthaka and Carly, ridden by Mark Osburn and owned by Brady Williams walked away with the Best Playing Pony blanket. Special shoutout to Professional Umpire, Robin Sanchez, for excellent officiating, provided under the USPA PUMP/8 Program.


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