Altaris wins first round of East Coast Silver Cup tournament
By Liz Leamy
Last Sunday, Altaris, the powerhouse high-goal squad based here in town, valiantly glided past their noteworthy opponent Level Select CBD to rack up an 11-7 victory, earning them valuable points in the first round of the East Coast Silver Cup, a 16-goal tournament that will be held at the Greenwich Polo Club through the end of July.
During most of the first half, these two teams played a highly offensive game and were mostly tied in points until Altaris ran past Level Select to come out at 3-1 at the conclusion of the third chukker.
In the second half Altaris furthered its lead, surging ahead of Level Select CBD, a company owned by Kadenwood LLC that is based in Newport Beach, California, to wind up in top position on the leaderboard in the final tally.
According to members of Altaris, this match was as much challenging as it was gratifying.
“I felt good and confident out there and I’m excited because I think this is a strong way to start the tournament,” said Milo Dorignac of Altaris, the up-and-coming 16 year-old Argentine two goaler who was named Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the match. “The other team was really good and I tried to stay focused and do what I do.”
Jamal Nusseibeh, who wears the number-one jersey for Altaris, agreed.
“It was a tough match. Level Select is a very strong team and they had us working extremely hard,” said Nusseibeh. “We stayed focused and I think we are building our power as a team with each match.”
Nusseibah said he was also fired up to be playing at the Greenwich Polo Club, the home base for Altaris and a venue he describes as “an extraordinary place.”
Nusseibeh said one of the best things about being at the Greenwich Polo Club is the community of people who are there.
“It’s wonderful to see everyone and nice for all of us to be together, hang out and have dinner here,” said Nussiebeh, referring to the post-match asado, the Argentinian barbeque featuring tasty marinated steak and chicken as well as gorgonzola salad that is open to everyone. “[The polo community] is a small world and we’ve all become friends.”
Spectators echoed a similar narrative.
“There’s a very unique vibe here that really captures the spirit of Greenwich,” said John Davis of Brooklyn who is a member of the Manhattan Riding Club and has been coming to matches at the Greenwich Polo Club for four seasons. “The match was excellent. At first, it was hot and then as the breeze started to sweep through the air, the atmosphere seemed to become increasingly high charged. That, along with all of the involvement of the crowd during the game made this a remarkable event.”
Vendors at the match, meanwhile, also lauded the beauty and splendor of the club.
“I’m blown away by this whole event and by the beauty and energy of this venue. It’s so uplifting here and everyone is just incredibly nice,” said Tory Brown, co-owner with her brother, Roscoe, of The Two Oh Three, a Fairfield-based lifestyle and apparel retail company that sells Connecticut and 203-themed merchandise such as tee shirts, baseball caps and other items that was a big crowd hotspot during the match. “It’s also really great to see everyone out socializing. We really love it here.” (This was Brown’s first time presenting The Two Oh Three at the Greenwich Polo Club.)
Ralph Pietrafesa, president of Longfords Ice Cream who was overseeing things at the always-popular Longfords truck, said his organization likes the Greenwich Polo Club so much they try to do as many Sunday matches there as possible throughout the season.
“We started coming up here six years ago and it’s been great,” said Pietrafesa, whose company is based in Stamford, Connecticut. “Everyone here is just very nice and the polo players and horses are incredible. It’s a unique place.”
Certainly, the horses are a main driver as to why this club has been so successful over the years, as this contingent of skilled and stunning animals have consistently commanded the attention of the crowd with their speed and power at matches, always drawing loud and audible applause from spectators.
In this match, Machitos Pastise was awarded the Best Playing Pony citation for his outstanding work.
This stunning charge is owned by Los Machitos, the Buenos Aires-based organization operated by its three renowned high-goal partners, Mariano Aguerre, Naco Taverna and Nick Manifold, and was ridden by Lerin Zubiaurre, the formidable Altaris eight goaler.
Sunday high-goal matches will resume at the Greenwich Polo Club on July 11th.
For more information, please contact the Greenwich Polo Club at: