By: Rebecca Baldridge
Photos by: Nick Tininenko for ChukkerTV
CARBONDALE, CO, September 6, 2021— On Sunday, NetJets bested Quite on Z by 8-4 in the newest tournament at Aspen Valley Polo Club, The Silver Queen Invitational.
On Sunday, NetJets (Brian Boyd, Pablo Spinacci, Nacho Figueras, and Juan Bollini) met Quite on Z (Alecia Siedler, Victoria Siedler, Gussie Busch, Tori Ruiz, and Alejandro Novillo Astrada) in the deciding match of the Silver Queen Invitational.
NetJets dominated the first chukker. Brian Boyd put the first goal on the board at 4:44 after picking up a pass from Pablo Spinacci. With under three minutes remaining in the period, Nacho Figueras swooped in to snatch the ball away from Toro Ruiz on the sideboards and take it downfield to score. Quite on Z made no progress in getting onto the board and the period ended 2-0 in favor of NetJets. Around a minute and half into the second chukker, Z picked up some steam. Gussie Busch took the ball and got out in front for an easy goal. After two minutes of back and forth, Figueras plucked the ball out from under Alejandro Novillo Astrada in a quick skirmish and sent it back toward Busch. Regaining the ball, he battled his way toward the posts.
Under pressure from the defense, Novillo Astrada left the ball behind for Ruiz to finish the play, scoring another goal for NetJets. As the clock ticked down toward the first horn, Figueras picked up a pass but broke his mallet in the process. Boyd took up the slack, shaking off his pursuers to escort the ball through with 20 seconds remaining on the clock. NetJets ended the period still in the lead at 3-2. The momentum contuinued in the third chukker as Pablo Spinacci contributed a pair of goals, one from a Penalty 2 and one from the field. The half ended with NetJets leading 5-2.
The fourth chukker was frustrating for all involved, with both teams playing a strong defense but neither making it onto the board. Play continued to be evenly matched in the pentultimate chukker, with Ruiz scoring for Z and Boyd contributing a goal for NetJets. Victoria Siedler started the final period by getting the ball on a breakaway to score at 5:09, putting Z within two goals of NetJets and giving their confidence a boost. Another goal from Boyd extended NetJets’ lead to four, and one last Penalty 2 conversion from Pablo Spinacci ended the match in victory for NetJets with a final score of 8-4. Brian Boyd was named MVP. Channing Tatum, an 8-year-old bay gelding, took Best Playing Pony honors. He was ridden by Juan Bollini in the first and fifth chukkers and is owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm.
The Just for the Love of It subsidiary match was played round robin, with Mountain Chevrolet (Michael Payne, Sugar Erskine, Tomas Pieres, and Stewart Armstrong) taking on Santa Rita (Alejandra Foster, Bauti Peluso, Horacio Heguy, and Nacho Novillo Astrada) in the first game of three chukkers. Michael Payne drew first blood for Mountain Chevrolet, with Horacio Heguy answering for Santa Rita. The second period saw Santa Rita dominate, with goals from Alejandra Foster and Bauti Peluso. Mountain Chevrolet didn’t make it onto the board. Although Mountain Chevrolet outscored Santa Rita with a goal by Tomas Pieres in the third chukker, Santa Rita won the first game 3- 2.
Mountain Chevrolet remained on the field to take on Rancho Los Amigos (Paul Foster, Nic Roldan, Vinny Sangaline, and Paco de Narvaez) in the second match. Mountain Chevrolet’s slow day continued, and they failed to score in the first chukker. However, Vinny Sangaline and Paul Foster each contributed a goal for Los Amigos. Michael Payne got Mountain Chevrolet on the board in the second chukker, taking the score to 2-1, but a goal from Nic Roldan ended the period with Los Amigos leading 3-2. Mountain Chevrolet made a strong comeback in the final chukker, with Sugar Erskine and Tomas Pieres each contributing a goal. However, another goal from Sangaline ensured that Los Amigos prevailed with a final score of 4-3.
The final game of the round robin saw Santa Rita and Rancho Los Amigos battle it out. Horacio Heguy drew first blood, with an answer from Nic Roldan. Los Amigos kept Santa Rita away from the posts in the second chukker, while Roldan contributed another goal. The teams alternated scoring in the final period, with a start from Los Amigos‘ Paco de Narvaez. Heguy answered, and then the ball went back to de Narvaez. He took the ball through the posts to establish a 4-2 lead for Rancho Los Amigos. Despite a final effort from Nacho Novillo Astrada, Santa Rita was unable to squeak by Los Amigos. With a final score of 4-3, Rancho Los Amigos won both the game and the tournament.