The role of the polo pony in our sport is immeasurable. Year after year, we recognize some familiar horses that bring many of our star players glory. The sport would not be possible without our equine athletes and we endeavor to highlight their selfless contributions. Below is a list of the celebrated ponies from the high-goal season at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.
INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB BEST STRING OF THE U.S. OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP®
International Polo Club Best String of the Season: Hilario Ulloa, presented by USPA President Tony Coppola.
Hilario’s string included: Machitos Mesquite, Lavinia Marea, Latia Cyrenaica, Lavinia Farolera, Alacrán, Pony Pele, Alberta Rosemary, Lavinia Maravilla, Lavinia Castaña, Machitos Lula, Latia Mojarrita, Lavinia Heroica and Don Alberto Favorita.
To learn more about each horse visit the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO® Horse Registry.
INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB BEST AMERICAN-BRED HORSE OF THE U.S. OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP®
International Polo Club Best American-Bred Horse of the U.S. Open Polo Championship®: Hibachi, played and owned by Gillian Johnston. Presented by Board of Governor Mike Carney and pictured with Miguel Lagos, Daniel Vilches, Milo Vilches, Jesus Romero, Segundo Romero, Alejandro Caro, Manuel Romero.
Hibachi (Truman C x Liz the Cookster) is an 8-year-old gelding bred by G-String Polo Ponies, owned by Johnston Polo and played by Gillian Johnston.
INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB WEMBLEY AWARD
International Polo Club Wembley Award: Sugar, played by Poroto Cambiaso and owned by J5 Equestrian. Presented by USPA Executive Director of Services, Carlucho Arellano. Pictured with Rob Jornayvaz, Juan Martin Aneas and Andres Luna.
The Wembley Award is named after the legendary Valiente polo pony Wembley. The award was created in 2013 to honor some of the great older ponies, to recognize and reward horses that have shown greatness of performance and longevity throughout a career in high-goal polo. Wembley retired in 2016, still having played high-goal at the age of 22. Sugar, a mare played by Poroto Cambiaso and owned by J5 Equestrian continues to compete in high-goal play at 14 years old.
BEST PLAYING PONY OF THE GAUNTLET OF POLO®, U.S. OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP® AND INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB HORSE OF THE YEAR
Best Playing Pony in the GAUNTLET OF POLO®, U.S. Open Polo Championship® and International Polo Club Horse of the Year: Lovelocks Camusericht, played and owned by Adolfo Cambiaso. Presented by Northeastern Circuit Governor Leighton Jordan and pictured with Gustavo Gomez, Juan Martin Aneas, Rito Avalos, Juan Pablo Quiroga, Benjamin Quiroga and Andres Luna.
In addition to receiving Best Playing Pony for her performance in the U.S. Open Polo Championship® with Adolfo Cambiaso, 8-year-old Lovelocks Camusericht played in the third chukker (Open El Padrino x Dolfina Querencia) was also presented with Best Playing Pony of the GAUNTLET OF POLO® and IPC Horse of the Year. In need of another horse towards the end of the tournament, Cambiaso called on 10-goaler Pelon Stirling who flew the mare in from Argentina. “There were a couple of horses that came from Argentina at the last minute including Lovelocks Camusericht,” Cambiaso said. “I own her with Pelon Stirling and she came just to play the U.S. Open Polo Championship® and ended up winning multiple Best Playing Pony awards.”
WILLIS L. HARTMAN BEST PLAYING PONY OF THE U.S. OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP® FINAL
Willis L. Hartman Best Playing Pony in the U.S. Open Polo Championship® Final: Gete Leonor, played and owned by Adolfo Cambiaso. Presented by Jesse Coppola and Northeastern Circuit Governor Leighton Jordan. Pictured with Rito Avalos, Juan Pablo Quiroga and Juan Martin Aneas.
10-year-old Argentine mare Gete Leonor (Machitos Libano x Lelina) owned by J5 Equestrian received the Willis L. Hartman Trophy for the U.S. Open Polo Championship® Final. Gete Leonor was played in the second and sixth chukkers by Adolfo Cambiaso.
BEST PLAYING PONY USPA GOLD CUP® FINAL
Best Playing Pony USPA Gold Cup® Final: Caña Monjita Coronada, played by Adolfo Cambiaso and presented by USPA Eastern Circuit Governor Joe Muldoon. Pictured with Rito Avalos and Juan Martin Aneas.
USPA Gold Cup® Final Best Playing Pony honors were presented to 9-year-old Caña Monjita Coronada (Dolfina Cuarteto x Chapaleufú Tapera) played by Adolfo Cambiaso in the fourth and second half of the sixth chukker.
BEST PLAYING PONY C.V. WHITNEY CUP® FINAL
Best Playing Pony of the C.V. Whitney Cup® Final: Lavinia Heroica, played and owned by Hilario Ulloa. Presented by USPA Chairman Stewart Armstrong and pictured with Agustin Menta, Hernan Martinez, Alexis Gonzalez, Cristian Maidana and Carlos Ulloa.
C.V. Whitney Cup® Final Best Playing Pony honors were presented to eight-year-old Lavinia Heroica (Lavinia Naipe x Lavinia Heroina), an Argentine homebred chestnut mare owned and played by Hilario Ulloa in the fourth and seventh chukkers. “I played her [Lavinia Heroica’s] grandmother when I was 1 goal until I was 9 goals,” Ulloa said. “I played her for nine consecutive years in the Open and then I played her daughter for four or five years in the Argentine Open. This is the third generation I’m able to play so my family and I are really happy. Lavinia Heroica made her 22-goal debut this season and she has continued to improve game after game.”
BEST PLAYING PONY U.S. OPEN WOMEN’S POLO CHAMPIONSHIP® FINAL
Best Playing Pony of the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® Final: El Pico, played by Mia Cambiaso. Presented by USPA Governor At Large Cecelia Cochran. Pictured with Andres Luna and Andres Diaz.
El Pico was played by Mia Cambiaso in the third chukker of the 2021 U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® Final. “He’s amazing and easy to play and I also played him in the 2020 U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® Final,” Cambiaso said. “My father [Adolfo Cambiaso] lent him to me. We recently bought him from Lindor Novillo and my father will play him in the USPA Gold Cup®.
BEST PLAYING PONY 2020 USPA GOLD CUP® FINAL
Best Playing Pony of the 2020 USPA Gold Cup® Final: Machitos Pangia, played and owned by Polito Pieres. Presented by Julio Arellano and pictured with Marcos Bignoli, Ceferino Goni and Ricardo Franco.
Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to 9-year-old bay mare Machitos Pangia (Durazno x Pandora), owned and played by Polito Pieres in the fifth chukker. “Last year the USPA did a horse feature on Machitos Pangia and this year she won her first Best Playing Pony award so I am really happy with her,” Pieres said.
BEST PLAYING PONY 2020 U.S. OPEN WOMEN’S POLO CHAMPIONSHIP® FINAL
Best Playing Pony of the 2020 U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® Final: Dolfina Maria, played by Mia Cambiaso. Presented by Governor-at-Large Chrys Beal and pictured with Juan Martin Aneas, Andres Diaz, Andres Luna.
11-year-old Dolfina Maria (Durazno x Dolfina Celina) was played by Mia Cambiaso in a dominant 3-0 first chukker for Hawaii Polo Life in the 2020 U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® Final. This mare was also played by Adolfo Cambiaso and won Cria Polo Argentino Best Playing Pony of the U.S. Open Polo Championship®.
BEST PLAYING PONY YLVISAKER CUP FINAL
Best Playing Pony of the Ylvisaker Cup Final: One Juliana, played and owned by Jorge ‘Tolito’ Fernandez Ocampo Jr.
Ylvisaker Cup Final Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to six-year-old dark chestnut mare, One Juliana. Owned by Tolito Fernandez Ocampo Jr., One Juliana was played as a spare for two minutes in the second, third, fourth and sixth chukkers. “One Juliana is a horse that I got from my father-in-law,” Ocampo Jr. said. “She can run and she never gets tired,” he continued. “She’s a big horse, but you feel that you’re playing with a 51 mallet. I feel like I can play one or two goals above my handicap.”
BEST PLAYING PONY JOE BARRY CUP FINAL
Best Playing Pony of the Joe Barry Cup Final: Yatay Shazam, owned by Beverly Equestrian and played by Tolito Ocampo. Presented by Joe Wayne Barry and pictured with Pablo Velazquez and Josue Tercero Cordoba.
Joe Barry Cup Final Best Playing Pony honors were presented to Yatay Shazam (Trueno X Bolita), a 12-year-old mare played by Tolito Ocampo and owned by Beverly Equestrian. “When I came to play with Bill [Ballhaus], the mare was already in his organization. As soon as I saw her, I had a connection and I feel like I play two goals better every time I get on her. She gives everything in every single chukker. Turning, running, stopping, she’s great. I don’t own her, but Bill let’s me play her. I asked for her as my wedding present, but Bill said ‘no.’ I’ve told him many times that I want to buy her, but for now, I just play her and I love her!” Ocampo laughed.
All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.