The Texas Arena League (TAL) played its third event at East Texas Polo Club (Legend’s Horse Ranch) in Kaufman, Texas. Fifteen teams turned out for the competition in both the 0- to 3-goal and 3- to 6-goal flights. Teams and individuals gained points toward the end of League Awards.

At this point three quarters of the way through the League, 17 teams have been part of the competition with more signed up for the final leg at Midland Polo Club in Midland, Texas, March 15-17. In addition to TAL points, individuals in USPA circuit events will also accumulate points toward qualifying for the National Arena Amateur Cup.

To follow the results and see which players and teams are ahead in the points visit www.texasarenaleague.com. You can follow all the action on Facebook (Texas Arena League), Instagram (@texasarenaleague) and Twitter (@arena_texas).

Kyle McGraw
Kyle McGraw prepares to take his shot.

If your region/circuit is interested in starting an Arena League, please reach out to the USPA Arena Committee or Director of Polo Development Justin Powers (jpowers@uspolo.org). Arena Leagues a great way to involve multiple clubs and players in polo competition. Pacific Coast Arena League and Texas Arena League have had significant success in the past years.

In the Texas Arena League, each game gets teams and individuals points based on win/loss and additional points for Sportsmanship and Most Valuable Player. At each game, a small group is designated to choose MVP (sponsored by U.S. Polo Assn.), Sportsmanship (sponsored by Catena) and Best Playing Pony (sponsored by Nutrena). The teams with the highest points in each flight will win coveted TAL belt buckles. Additionally, in each flight, runner’s-up will receive trophies along with prizes for Sportsmanship, Most Valuable Player, Best Playing Pony, High Point Individual (sponsored by Jackrabbit Tack and Bombers), Best String (sponsored by Superior Equine Sports Massage Therapy), and Best Team Player. High Point Overall player (combination of both flights) gets a pair of custom-made boots from AB Boots. Other awards, including Best Host Club and Player’s Choice Competitor are voted on by players in the League while spectators vote on social media for Fan Favorite (sponsored by Shannon Galvin Agency/American National Insurance) at each location.

Kelly Coldiron leads the pack riding Isabella
Kelly Coldiron leads the pack riding Isabella

In the Arena Challenge Cup, Central Texas Polo Association (Holly Wood, Tres de la Paz, Javier Insua) narrowly defeating Williams Polo (Mark Osburn, Bleu Bannister, Brady Williams). Rosie, owned by Brady Williams and played by Mark Osburn won Nutrena Best Playing Pony. Bleu Bannister won Catena Sportsmanship and Javier Insua was named U.S. Polo Assn. Most Valuable Player.

The Admiral Chester W. Nimitz military tournament saw Legend’s (Katelyn Anderson, Jack Crea, Nacho Estrada) with the win over Texas Military Polo (Karl Hilberg, Patrick MacLeod, Tess Sabatini). Tess Sabatini won the Catena Sportsmanship Award while the horse she played, Connie, from Oklahoma State University polo won Nutrena Best Playing Pony. Jack Crea took home U.S. Polo Assn. Most Valuable Player honors.

Amanda Massey
SAPC Punisher’s Amanda Massey in pursuit of Loreto Natividad of Legacy.

The Southwestern Arena Amateur Cup was a close match between Castillo Polo (Cindy von Falkenhausen, Karen Summers, Trenton Werntz, Franz Felhalber) and Legacy (Ashley Owen, Kyle McGraw, Javier Peralta) with Legacy getting the win. Nutrena Best Playing Pony was won by Cindy von Falkenhausen’s mare Argenta. Javier Peralta was named U.S. Polo Assn. Most Valuable Player and Trenton Werntz won Catena Sportsmanship.

In the Texas Arena League Challenge, OKC CCC Ranch (Allen Bowman, Greg Summers, Kelly Coldiron) defeated Santa Anita (James McHazzlett, Sidro Olivas, Oscar Bermudez Jr.). Sidro Olivas was named U.S. Polo Assn. Most Valuable Player, Isabella owned and ridden by Kelly Coldiron was awarded Nutrena BPP honors, and Allen Bowman won the Catena Sportsmanship.

Allen Bowman
Catena Sportsmanship winner Allen Bowman

In the I/I Alumni Tournament, with players representing Texas Tech University, Midland Interscholastic, and Texas A&M University, was played between Legacy (Kyle McGraw, Ashley Owen, Loreto Natividad) and SAPC Punishers (Amanda Massey, Kendall Plank, Ursula Pari) with Legacy conquering the competition. Nutrena Best Playing Pony was Moso, owned and played by Loreto Natividad. Catena Sportsmanship went to Amanda Massey. U.S. Polo Assn. Most Valuable Player was awarded to Kyle McGraw.

In the General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller military tournament Central Texas Polo Association (Karl Hilberg, Tres de la Paz, Javier Insua) won in a shootout over Big Time Polo (Brady Williams, Devan Groves, Wendy Stover). Javier Insua was named U.S. Polo Assn. Most Valuable Player.  Nutrena Best Playing Pony went to Solita owned and ridden by Javier Insua. Catena Sportsmanship was awarded to Wendy Stover.

Nutrena BPP Moso
Nutrena Best Playing Pony Moso, owned and played by Loreto Natividad.

The Arena Sportsmanship Cup was played in a round robin between OKC CCC Ranch (Wyatt Myr, Greg Summers, Kelly Coldiron), San Antonio Polo Club (Patrick MacLeod, Jack Crea, Amada Massey) and Legend’s Horse Ranch (August Scherer, Omar Polio, Nacho Estrada). Legend’s won both games in the round robin. The Catena Sportsmanship award was presented to Greg Summers. Nutrena Best Playing Pony honors went to Tater Tot, played by Amanda Massey and owned by Jack Crea. Wyatt Myr was named U.S. Polo Assn. Most Valuable Player. Nacho Estrada received the most votes on social media and was awarded the Shannon Galvin Agency Fan Favorite Award.

All photos courtesy ©MurrellPhoto.com.

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