POLO: Gold Cup Second Round Showdown A High-Goal Thriller

By: Liz Leamy

Last Sunday, Ellipse, the powerhouse team based out of Jupiter, Florida, scored a stellar 11-8 victory over IGEA, the stealth New York metro-area located contingent, to designate a remarkable second-round in the East Coast Gold Cup tournament playoffs, slated to be held at the Greenwich Polo Club through July 25th.

Much to the delight of the thousands of spectators who were at this exciting match, the Ellipse and IGEA teams put the proverbial pedal to the metal, flying around the famous Conyers Farm field at high-octane speeds on their powerful charges, with the former coming out on top in the final tally.

IGEA and Ellipse at the awards ceremony where Ariyana is being awarded the Best Playing Pony citation. (Photo by Peter T. Michaelis)

“It was a good game. The other team was very strong and it was tough out there,” said Carlos (Toli) Ulloa of Ellipse, the valiant up-and-coming international five-goaler whose horse, Ariyana, was named Best Playing Pony of the match. “We just wanted to do our best and it is great to be here. This club is amazing and I love being here.”

Ulloa’s teammates agreed.

“It was great to be out there with everyone,” said Lucas Diaz Alberdi of Ellipse, the explosive Argentine six-goaler who was named Most Valuable Player of this showdown. “We’re all good friends and it’s great to be playing here in this tournament.”

This prestigious 16-goal tournament, celebrating its commemorative first year, is regarded to be one of the most important competition series that is held at the Greenwich Polo Club.

This year’s East Coast Gold Cup roster features six total high-goal teams representing clubs and farms from all over the Eastern United States, including Kentucky and Florida.

This tournament also lists a marquee of many heavy high-goal hitters along their slew of powerful thoroughbred charges, rendering it as a main U.S. polo summer event.

“It’s great to be here and it’s been a fantastic tournament so far,” said Louis Devaleix, patron of Ellipse. “All of the teams are so strong and it’s just something to be out there.”

On an aside note, Devaleix and the whole Ellipse team, including the steadfast Argentinian five-goaler, Roberto Bilbao, play in Wellington, Florida for much of the winter season.

Over the past number of weeks, this lively four-member crew has been training at Mashomack Polo Club in Dutchess County, New York, joining several other teams who are there as well who have also been playing at the Greenwich Polo Club this season.

“We have a good time and try to always work as hard as we can,” said Devaleix. “It’s really nice to be here playing today and I loved being out there. Everyone is so friendly and this is an incredible club.”

Meanwhile, IGEA put up a formidable fight against their opponent, which only seems logical in looking at their impressive roster of players.

This distinguished unit includes Gringo Colombres, the electric Argentine eight-goaler; Constancio Caset, the high-powered Argentine five-goaler; Juan Redlich, the driven Argentine three-goaler and Adam Lipson, the team’s laser-like number-one player.

Certainly, the excitement of this playoff resonated strongly with spectators, who applauded and cheered for the teams loudly throughout the game.

“What we’re seeing here are athletes and horses who put in many hours of practice and training. Their dedication individually and also as a team is why this sport is so incredible, as well as inspirational,” said Matt Sandy, a Greenwich resident who recently published a book, ‘Own Your Now: What Do You See and What Does It Mean to You?’ is available on amazon.com. “This is a glorious sport and to watch man and [horse] work as one is spectacular.”

According to Sandy, who has been attending matches at the Greenwich Polo Club for several years, the divot stomping portion of the afternoon is a main highlight, as it represents an interactive experience for spectators on numerous vital levels.

“The divot stomping really catches the vibe here for me. Everyone is still anticipating the outcome of the game and walking around doing their part while also socializing, which is very cool,” said Sandy. “You realize the scale of the field when you’re out there and it is massive. Truly, the whole ‘halftime’ experience adds a whole other perspective.”

Others concurred with Sandy’s sentiments.

“It’s so much fun and also really interesting to be here,” said Etyana Banaryk of Stamford who works with The Cup Bearer, a full-service cocktail catering company based in Fairfield County. “It’s a wonderful way for people to spend a summer Sunday afternoon. The polo is amazing, the people are so nice and this venue is beautiful.”

Certainly, Banaryk’s words could not be better said.

For more information, please contact the Greenwich Polo Club at: greenwichpoloclub.com

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