“We have a system that we try to stay with and it’s getting control of the ball using all four players. Our idea is that it doesn’t matter who scores, let’s just win the game. No egos, let’s go out, play polo and enjoy the game.” – Kris Kampsen
Entering the 2019 season with confidence after defeating Patagones to claim the Herbie Pennell Cup two weeks ago, Dutta Corp met their fierce challengers once again in the Joe Barry Cup Final on Sunday, January 13, at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. Falling short to the champions once during tournament play, Patagones fought vigorously to outwit their opponents, but Dutta Corp could not be overcome winning their second title 11-8 with an undefeated record.
Riddled with early penalties, the first chukker was a series of aggressive plays one after the other as the teams traded goals with rapid succession. Towards the end of the period Patagones was awarded a favorable Penalty 1 after a right of way violation allowing them to assume a slight lead 3-2.
Effective in the number one position, Dutta continued to propel his team forward in the second, but was met by an offensive force in Toccalino, each adding a tally to the scoreboard. Tied headed into the third, Kampsen delivered from the penalty line, contributing to the first significant lead for Dutta Corp at halftime 8-5. Coached by Piki Diaz Alberdi, Lucas’ father, Dutta Corp has already gained valuable knowledge about teamwork. “It’s very easy to coach this team,” Diaz Alberdi revealed. “I tell them something and they do it on the field and if they do something wrong they understand when I explain it. We watch all the game tapes and discuss what they think. I don’t try to push my ideas, I want to see what is best for them so we can put together our ideas and try it out.”
Although Dutta Corp held firmly to their lead throughout the second half, Patagones repeatedly played with intensity and thoughtful strategy. Despite a choppy fourth chukker, Patagones secured a Penalty 2 conversion with less than two minutes on the clock. Meanwhile, Colombres, in a spectacular display of skill, curved the ball around defender Benjamin Avendaño to end the fourth 9-6. Dutta Corp executed great defense in the fifth, denying Tomas Garcia Del Rio’s attempts at goal. Dutta Corp up by four goals heading into the sixth, Patagones made the first move, Toccalino’s backshot setting up Garcia Del Rio to close the gap 10-7. Missing several crucial chances to convert from the penalty line, Patagones let the title slip from their grasp as the minutes ran out and Dutta Corp maintained the gap to take the final 11-8.
“I think we all played a really good game,” Lucas Diaz Alberdi commented. “Timmy played amazing, Gringo passed the ball when he needed to and played it when needed and Kris was really good on defense.”
Also receiving the honor in the Herbie Pennell Cup Final and continuing what promises to be a stellar season, Gringo Colombres was named Most Valuable Player, securing four goals on the day. Best Playing Pony honors went to Colombres’ Coquito, a 10-year-old gelding ridden in the third chukker. “He’s of English family Tomlinson breeding, sired by Vasco Mambo. He came to the United States from Argentina when he was five-years-old,” Colombres said. “He was a little green, but he started improving and now he’s one of my best horses. Now that we know each other and have grown together I have more confidence and that makes me a better player.”
Playing this season for his father’s team, Dutta Corp, Timmy Dutta was ecstatic to win the tournament with his family’s company name on the jersey. “This has been a dream of mine since I started playing polo and especially to wear the Dutta Corp logo and win is the best thing that could ever happen this season,” Timmy Dutta exclaimed. “To win three Sundays in a row feels surreal,” Tim Dutta echoed. “Timmy’s horses are performing great and he didn’t even play his best horse today. We are looking forward to an amazing season!”
The Ylvisaker Cup will begin on Saturday, January 19, at 12:00pm ET with Dutta Corp facing SD Farms in the first game of bracket play. The USPA Polo Network will livestream all Ylvisaker Cup games on uspolo.org, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.