Coming off a loss in their initial tournament match up, Copperline Farm (Ben Ketchum, Justin Daniels*, Milo Dorignac, Gaston Lisioli) met Kyne Property Group (Martha Bennett, Armando Huerta, Leo Mandelbaum, Emmanuel Huerta) for an opportunity at redemption in the Regional President’s Cup Final on Sunday, March 1 at Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida. Taking the lead in the second half with a strong third chukker, Copperline Farm overtook their opponents to win the trophy 5-2.5.
Displaying strong defense by both teams, the game remained tight throughout the first half of play. Making an early Penalty 2 count, Dorignac opened the game for Copperline Farm, but Mandelbaum was in position to strike with a goal of his own. “We had a good strategy,” Dorignac said. “When Justin [Daniels] brought the ball in, Gaston [Lisioli] took the man that was coming towards me so I could receive the ball and hit it forward or carry it to goal.” Receiving a half goal on handicap, Kyne Property Group retained a slight advantage at the end of the first chukker 1.5-1. Securing the only goal of the second, Armando Huerta extended his team’s lead and prevented their opponents from scoring to close the half 2.5-1 in favor of Kyne Property Group.
Milo Dorignac on the ball with Emmanuel Huerta defending.
Shutting out the team in black for the entirety of the second half, Copperline Farm advanced in the third chukker to gain the lead for the first time. Capturing three unanswered goals including a Penalty 3 conversion, Daniels accelerated his team on the scoreboard to end the third 4-2.5. Adding a field goal to the tally in the fourth, Lisioli scored the final goal of the game doubling up Kyne Property Group and sealing the win 5-2.5.
Copperline Farm’s Ben Ketchum out in front with Martha Bennett defending.
Emphasizing the importance of each team member doing their job on the field, Copperline Farm worked well as a cohesive team to accomplish the win. “We started off the first half a little slow, but managed to turn it around in second half with strong play by Justin [Daniels] and Gaston [Lisioli]” Ketchum said. “Everyone really came together and did their individual jobs.” Echoing his sentiments, Lisioli also gave credit to the team’s horses. “Our horses did very well, they were strong and handy and that always helps a lot to play the game well and win,” Lisioli said.
Most Valuable Player Justin Daniels, presented by Laura Linfoot Townsend.
Pulling his team into the lead, Copperline Farm’s Justin Daniels was named Most Valuable Player. “We had a lot of confidence in each other and worked together as a team,” Daniels said. “As the game progressed we began to play better and better and all of our goals were a team effort. We all understood what each player needed so we could all play together well.”
Best Playing Pony Prada, pictured with Armando Huerta and Alfredo Delgado.
Prada, a 6-year-old Thoroughbred mare played by Armando Huerta in the second chukker and owned by Orrin Ingram, received Best Playing Pony honors. “She is very handy, has tons of power, amazing ability and a great mind,” Huerta said.
Photos courtesy of Port Mayaca Polo Club.
*Justin Daniels is an active member of Team USPA. The mission of Team USPA is to improve the sport of polo in the United States by developing the talent/skills of young American players through mentored training and playing opportunities, ultimately leading to a pool of higher rated American players.