Playing a strong and steady follow-up style of polo, B League (Virgil Kyle, Pelon Escapite, Alejandro Gonzalez, Joe Henderson, Quinn Kyle) trailed only once early in the first chukker, overpowering JC Polo/Folded Hills (Jemma Contreras, Christopher Busch, Jesse Bray*, Bayne Bossom*) to win the 2021 Pacific Coast Circuit Officers Cup at Eldorado Polo Club (Indio, California) by a final score of 12–9.
On a sunny day in Southern California, goals were not easy to capture, but Bray gave JC Polo/Folded Hills their only lead of the day with his first of seven goals. Quinn Kyle tied the scoreboard with an open goal conversion from 30 yards to end the first chukker. Positioning himself perfectly at the front of the game to receive a pass, Quinn Kyle scored the only goal of an otherwise defensive second chukker, resulting in B League holding a one goal lead 2–1. Escapite extended B League’s lead with his first goal of the game, but Bossom and Bray leveled the playing field for JC Polo/Folded Hills 3-all headed into the half.
JC Polo/Folded Hills’ Jesse Bray hooking B League’s Pelon Escapite.
B League opened up play in the fourth with a force that JC Polo/Folded Hills was unable to stop. Escapite started with a safety conversion from well out to the right and followed that with two field goals to give B League a three-goal lead 6–3. JC Polo/Folded Hills was able to respond with some pressure of their own which enabled Bray to convert a free shot from 30 yards. However, B League was not done as Quinn Kyle scored on a pair of Penalty 2 opportunities, earning a four-goal lead 8–4. With early pressure, JC Polo/Folded Hills recovered at the start of the fifth when Bossom converted a Penalty 2. Gonzalez erased that however with his first goal of the game to extend B League’s lead to four. Trading penalty goals, it was the ensuing Escapite free hit from center for B League that continued their pressure and Gonzalez ultimately scored, giving B League the 11-6 lead at the end of the fifth chukker.
JC Polo/Folded Hills’ Bayne Bossom preparing to hit a backhand.
JC Polo/Folded Hills was not about to concede and another strong effort by Bray gave him one more opportunity to score an open goal counter to come within four goals. B League’s final goal from Quinn Kyle extended the lead to five, and two late goals from Bray proved not enough to overtake B League with a 12-9 victory.
B League’s Quinn Kyle approaching the ball.
With his strong and knowledgeable play and willingness to work with his entire team, Alejandro Gonzalez was named Most Valuable Player.
Mancha, owned by Justin Klentner and played by Jesse Bray in the second and sixth chukkers, was chosen as the Best Playing Pony.
All photos courtesy of ©Eldorado Polo Club.
*Bayne Bossom is an Active Team USPA Member and Jesse Bray is a Graduating Team USPA Member. 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.