For the second consecutive final at Port Mayaca Polo Club (Okeechobee, Florida), Old Hickory Bourbon (Matias Magrini, Cody Ellis*, Santino Magrini*, Stevie Orthwein) and Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, Facundo Obregon, Mariano Aguerre, Matias Gonzalez*) met to compete for the historic Monty Waterbury® Cup on Saturday, April 17. Overcoming a quick start from Postage Stamp Farm (PSF), Old Hickory Bourbon’s defense altered the course of the game in the second half, holding PSF to a single goal while benefiting from an impressive performance from Santino Magrini. Scoring the final four goals of the game, Old Hickory Bourbon added their name to a second prestigious trophy this season, capturing the Monty Waterbury® with the 8-7 victory.
“I think the key to our win was our perseverance. We fell behind early and it would have been easy to panic and fall apart, but we maintained our composure and were able to fight back for the win.” – Stevie Orthwein
Postage Stamp Farm’s Annabelle Gundlach scored the first two goals of the final against Old Hickory Bourbon.
Postage Stamp Farm jumped on the ball from the opening play, beginning with a long pass from Obregon to Gundlach just a minute into the first chukker. Continuing to find success, Gundlach secured a second consecutive goal, creating a two-goal lead at the end of the first chukker. Wasting little time in the second, Old Hickory Bourbon’s Orthwein scored directly from the throw-in and was quickly matched by a goal on the subsequent throw-in from Matias Magrini to tie the game 2-all. A match of true momentum swings resulted in PSF regaining their lead from the penalty line, where Obregon converted consecutive Penalty 2 attempts. Adding a third penalty conversion and receiving a field goal from Gonzalez, PSF maintained control of the scoreboard, ending a dominant first half with a 6-3 lead.
Postage Stamp Farm’s Matias Gonzalez with the ball on the nearside under pressure from Old Hickory Bourbon’s Santino Magrini.
Quiet throughout the first half, Santino Magrini stepped into the spotlight and was a decisive factor in Old Hickory Bourbon’s second half comeback. After trading goals at the start of the fourth chukker, it was the father-son duo of Matias and Santino Magrini who began the run for Old Hickory Bourbon. Deploying a strategy of long passes to goal, Santino Magrini struck again on the receiving end of a pass from Ellis to tie the score 7-all. “I think our simple style and teamwork helped us get through some tough games,” Ellis said. “We were a well-mounted team and worked well for each other,” Ellis continued. Before the end of the fifth chukker, Orthwein made a breakaway which he converted for Old Hickory Bourbon’s first lead of the game. In the sixth chukker, both teams had their opportunities around goal, but despite conceding four spot hits to Postage Stamp Farm, the Old Hickory Bourbon defense stood strong. Withstanding a late shot on goal that sailed wide, Old Hickory Bourbon shut down their opponents in the fifth and sixth chukkers to add their name to the Monty Waterbury® trophy with an 8-7 triumph.
The new addition to the Old Hickory Bourbon lineup, Cody Ellis lines up a swing to goal.
Coming off a win in the Butler Handicap®, Old Hickory Bourbon swapped out Lucas Escobar* for Cody Ellis. “We’ve been playing with Stevie [Orthwein] all season and it’s always so nice to win a tournament as prestigious as the Monty Waterbury®,” Matias Magrini said. “We knew it was going to be a very difficult game but Santino [Magrini], Cody [Ellis] and Stevie [Orthwein] played really well and it was a great tournament and season at Port Mayaca Polo Club.”
Stevie Orthwein scored the winning goal to help Old Hickory Bourbon capture the Monty Waterbury®.
“Hosting the Monty Waterbury® is a real honor for our members at PMPC. I know in the future it will be the highlight of our tournament season.” – Stevie Orthwein
The third oldest official USPA trophy in active competition, the Monty Waterbury® is a crowning achievement for any polo player. “The Monty Waterbury® is an amazing trophy with so much history and the final was super close and really could have gone either way,” Orthwein said. “I know it will be a game I will always remember.”
Scoring three goals in the second half, Santino Magrini was named Most Valuable Player. “I think we have a very balanced team and we’re well mounted also,” Magrini said. “Winning MVP is always a nice bonus.” Capturing two prestigious trophies with his father this season, Santino Magrini enjoyed sharing the victory with family. “I’ve been playing with my father all my life, so I find it very helpful to have him as a teammate,” Santino Magrini said. “It’s always nicer to win with family and luckily this season we also had the chance to win the Butler Handicap® with my brother Keko Magrini.”
Best Playing Pony Sapphire, played and owned by Facundo Obregon. Pictured with Carlos Leiva.
Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to 10-year-old Sapphire, an American Thoroughbred mare played by Postage Stamp Farm’s Facundo Obregon in the third chukker. “I purchased Sapphire from Jeff Hall and her best qualities are her power and handle,” Obregon said.
Hosting the Monty Waterbury® for the first time at Port Mayaca Polo Club, club owner Stevie Orthwein welcomed the opportunity to play the prestigious tournament in Florida. “Hosting the Monty Waterbury® is a real honor for our members at PMPC,” Orthwein said. “I know in the future it will be the highlight of our tournament season.”
*Santino Magrini, Matias Gonzalez, Lucas Escobar and Keko Magrini are Active Team USPA Members. Cody Ellis 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.
All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.