Closing out 2019 with their first USPA tournament, Costa Careyes Polo Club in Jalisco, Mexico, hosted the Border Circuit Congressional Cup from Friday, December 27 through Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Featuring a record seven 6- to 8-goal teams, nine countries in total were represented including the United States, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Italy and the United Kingdom among others. Postage Stamp Farm’s Annabelle Gundlach and Brandon Phillips were among those playing at the club for the first time.
Dividing the teams into two brackets, tournament play produced competitive games with USPA umpire George Olivas officiating.
Emerging from the field of seven outdoor teams, Monterrey challenged Agua Alta in the Border Circuit Congressional Cup Final on Tuesday, December 31. Coming out strong in the first chukker, Agua Alta traded goals with Monterray’s Valerio Aguilar, ultimately outscoring him 3-2. Opening up the second, husband and wife Isaac and Sofia (née Landa) Sepulveda worked together to score two consecutive goals, but Guillermo Li retaliated with a penalty conversion to level the scoreboard. Striking a second time, Isaac Sepulveda secured Monterrey’s lead at halftime 5-4.
Mirroring each other in the second half, the score remained unchanged as Monterrey continued to hold onto their narrow one-goal advantage. Hammering a single field goal into the goal mouth, Li was answered back by a quick response from Monterrey. Attempting to close the gap in the final minutes of the fourth chukker, Li converted another penalty goal, his consistency and accurate shooting producing a goal per chukker. Claiming the winning goal, Aguilar proved just as accurate and Monterrey won the final trophy of 2019 7-6.
2019 Border Circuit Congressional Cup winners – Monterrey (L to R): Monterrey Isaac Sepulveda, Sofia née Landa, Valerio Aguilar, Pancho Aguilar, pictured with Giorgio Brignone, founder of Costa Careyes Polo Club.
Pancho Aguilar was named Most Valuable Player Professional and Sofia Sepulveda was a unanimous choice for Most Valuable Player Amateur. Best Playing Pony was presented to Whiskey, owned and played by Isaac Sepulveda.
In addition to hosting a great weekend of polo, Costa Careyes Polo Club offered fun activities every night for the players and guests on the beach and in the villa of Careyes. On the final night the New Year’s Eve party featured a guest Peruvian band and one-of-a-kind fireworks, a special treat to close out the year and celebrate the arrival of 2020. “While competitive, everyone on vacation was wanting to have fun and we did just that! Between the camaraderie of all the teams cheering for each other and everyone coming out to watch the games made for a really fun experience,” Annabelle Gundlach revealed. “Ending each day with dinner and cocktails in a magical setting made for one of the most memorable vacations, not just for myself but my whole family. Hat’s off to Giorgio and Susan! They have done a fantastic job, and it shows in the wonderful families they have attracted to their club!”
Costa Careyes Polo Club will host the Border Circuit Constitution Cup from April 4-11, 2020. For more information please contact Club Manager Susan Stovall at firstname.lastname@example.org.