The 2021 Mack and Madelyn Jason Memorial Final, played at Eldorado Polo Club in Indio, California, was a high-scoring game that wasn’t decided until late in the sixth chukker. The first tournament of the new season saw JC Polo/Folded Hills (Christopher Busch, Tom Sherman, sub for Jemma Contreras, Jesse Bray*, Bayne Bossom*) face-off against Bush League (Ryan Robertson, Ulysses Escapite, Jimmy Wright*, Ryan Kerley) in a game highlighted by a possible regulation time 29 goal record on Eldorado’s Field 1, the winning goal not secured until the final two minutes.
Bush League’s Ulysses Escapite out in front with the ball in the Mack and Madelyn Jason Memorial Final.
The scoring started very early in the first as Sherman received a well-placed pass at center which he carried to goal, giving JC Polo/Folded Hills a quick lead. Bush League immediately leveled the playing field with strong offensive pressure which allowed Robertson to convert a 40-yard shot. Busch and Bossom each added to the tally to give JC Polo/Folded Hills an early lead 3-1. Striking once more, Robertson’s second goal narrowed the gap to one, but Bray replied to land all JC Polo/Folded Hills teammates on the board and take the lead at the end of the first chukker 4-2. Bush League dominated the second chukker with four unanswered goals to assume the lead, leaving their opponents scoreless. Headed into the third, Kerley secured his second goal to give Bush League a three-goal advantage 7-4. Adding a pair of goals to the tally, Bray kept his team in the game as the only player to score before halftime. Converting a long Penalty 5 from 85 yards, Wright landed all Busch League players on the scoreboard and his team expanded their lead at halftime to three 9-6.
JC Polo/Folded Hills’ Bayne Bossom flipping the ball to goal.
Wright extended Bush League’s lead with an opening Penalty 4 conversion in the fourth, followed up closely by Kerley. Retaliating once more, Bray scored consecutive goals to help JC Polo/Folded Hills close the gap. Down by three headed into the fifth, JC Polo/Folded Hills sprung into action with another goal by Bray. Escapite and Robertson struck back to give Bush League a relatively strong lead later in the game 13-9. Bossom scored a successful open goal opportunity which Bray followed with one from the field to strink the deficit to two. However, Wright converted his second Penalty 4 to once again lead by three. Bush League ended the fifth with the 14-12 advantage.
Bush League’s Ryan Kerley running with the ball, defended by JC Polo/Folded Hills’ Will Busch.
A good sixth chukker was all important for JC Polo/Folded Hills, who had not led since early in the second period, and they started well. Bossom, started the new alphabet on the score sheet with his second field goal bringing JC/FH to within one. Bray later tied the count at 14 with his sixth counter from the field. At this point it was anyone’s game and really could have gone either way. Wright, who had scored on three previous long foul attempts, struck for his first from the field and it turned out to be the winner. Bush League had defeated JC Polo/Folded Hills by a final count of 15-14 and had won the 2021 Mack and Madelyn Jason Memorial Trophy.
Madelyn Cobb, granddaughter of Mack and Madelyn Jason was on hand to present the awards and the trophy to the victors.
Because of his ability to start and finish plays and his extreme accuracy on long foul efforts, Jimmy Wright was chosen as the Most Valuable Player.
Mamba, owned by Bush League Farms and played by Ulysses Escapite in the second chukker, received Best Playing Pony honors.
Best Playing Pony: Mamba, owned by Bush League Farms and played by Ulysses Escapite. Pictured with Virgil Kyle, Madelyn Jason Cobb and Alex Rojo.
*Bayne Bossom is an Active Team USPA Member. Jesse Bray is a graduating Team USPA Member and Jimmy Wright is a Team USPA alumni. 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 men-tored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
All photos courtesy of ©Kerri Kerley.