“Winning the Provincia Cup was a great accomplishment for me especially for my first real season playing in Argentina.” – Jesse Bray
Winning a polo tournament is always important, but winning outside of the United States can be even more challenging. Winning in Argentina is a very valuable accomplishment for any polo player and even more so when they win a 24-goal tournament. Playing for La Cañada, Jesse Bray* won the Provincia Cup, along with teammates Facundo Llosa, Constancio “Costi” Caset* and Facundo Obregón. “Winning the Provincia Cup was a great accomplishment for me especially for my first real season playing in Argentina,” Bray said. “Facundo Obregon helped me out a lot this year with horses and I think that was one of the reasons we had a successful season in Argentina.”
“The tournament was really competitive and had many strong players,” Bray continued. “I think every one of our games was within one or two goals.” In the Provincia Cup Final, La Cañada earned the 9-8 victory over Pilarchico (Manuel Sundblad, Simón Prado, Mateo Lafuente, Juan Martín Zubía). “The final was a very tight, back-and-forth game and both teams had their chance to win,” Bray said. I felt like our team had a consistent rhythm and it really helped us keep the pressure on throughout the game.”
Spending two months in Argentina playing high-level polo is what any polo player needs to help improve their game. As a 6-goal polo player, Bray welcomed the opportunity to advance. “I have learned a lot during my time playing in Argentina,” Bray said reflecting on the experience. “In every practice there I learned something.”
Even though he was only there a short time, Bray feels that he’s a better polo player now returning to the United States. “I definitely think I have improved my game while playing in Argentina,” Bray said. Playing that level of polo is how I feel I can improve the most. I tried to play as much as possible while I was there.”
Even though Bray will be back home stateside for Christmas, he’s already planning for next year. “In 2021 I am playing in California this upcoming winter at Eldorado Polo Club [Indio, California],” Bray shared. “During the summer season I plan on going back to Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club [Carpinteria, California] with Klentner Ranch. After that I am hoping to come back to Argentina to play another season.”
*Jesse Bray and Costi Caset are Graduating Members 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.