In November, Cotterell Polo won the 16 goal Zafiro Cup, played at La Dolfina Polo Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The team from Idaho that plays in California as well, defeated Tamera, from El Salvador, 10-7 in a great final. The traditional tournament played at 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso’s club, had a total of twelve teams participating this year, including Jenniffer Lutterell Benardoni and Sarah Siegel-Magness (Dundas).
Jennifer played with three young players on the rise including Lucas Escobar*, Lucas Monteverde Jr. and Poroto Cambiaso. “Winning the Zafiro this year was an unexpected surprise for me. I came down wanting to have fun and get more confidence in myself playing better sponsors and pros,” Jennifer told CLICKPOLO.
2021 Zafiro Cup Champions: Cotterell Polo – Lucas Escobar, Jennifer Luttrell Benardoni, Poroto Cambiaso, Lucas Monteverde Jr.
What can you tell us about yourself?
“I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. My mom showed Saddlebreds, and I followed in her footsteps showing half Saddlebred/Arabians. I saw polo in magazines and on TV and always wanted to try it, I finally got the chance when I went to Colorado State University for college. I fell in love with the sport and have never looked back.”
Benardoni leads the pack in the Zafiro Cup.
What are you doing here in Argentina?
“This is my second time playing at La Dolfina here in Argentina. I came down for about a month to find some horses, play some fun practice and play the Zafiro for fun.”
Cotterell Polo and Team USPA Member Lucas Escobar.
How did you feel about playing with legends like Adolfo Cambiaso and other rising stars?
“In 2019 I had the pleasure of playing the Zafiro with Adolfo, and in one game Pelon Stirling subbed in. A dream came true for me! It was an amazing experience sharing the field with these guys, I learned so much from them! Obviously, I put pressure on myself, but they kept talking to me, giving tips and making me relax and enjoy the games. I went into this Zafiro Cup just wanting to have fun with no pressure, and both Poroto [Cambiaso] and Lucas [Escobar] made that happen! It was so fun to watch them have fun on the field; we were fortunate to take the victory! They are rising stars and I will cherish the memory of winning with them just as much as with Adolfo!”
Jennifer Lutterell Benardoni shares an embrace with Adolfo Cambiaso.
Both you and Sarah Siegel-Magness played the Zafiro Cup, and there are other American ladies playing in Argentina. How do you see women’s polo today in the United States?
“Women’s polo is growing so much everywhere! I am impressed how women have become very professional on the field, and at the same time supportive of new women coming into the sport. I especially love the idea of mixed tournaments, having men still involved and pushing the women forward.”
Benardoni fell in love with polo at Colorado State University with intercollegiate arena polo.
*Lucas Escobar is a member of Team USPA. 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.
All photos courtesy of ©Pablo Ramirez.