The Central Texas Polo Association (CTPA) hosted their first tournament of the 2021 spring polo season, the Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr. tournament at Two Wishes Ranch Polo in Lockhart, Texas. Featuring six teams, the tournament was held Saturday, April 10, through Sunday, April 11, with San Antonio winning the trophy. All teams had at least one player with a military connection (18 of 25 players). A true circuit event, players traveled from across the circuit including Austin, College Station, Dallas, Houston, Lockhart and San Antonio, Texas. Robin Sanchez and Karl Hilberg officiated the weekend’s games.
- Kanthaka – Sylvia Kampshoff, Philipp Kampshoff, Gal Shweiki, Jack Crea
- Villa Ecleto – Morgan Tennant, Arturo Campos, Patrick MacLeod, Lalo Ramirez
- JD Polo – Javier Insua, Zoe Lehmer, John Greening, Taimur Zeb, Ariel Rodriguez
- San Antonio – Trey Crea, Lauren Sterr, Wes Alston, Joaquin Arguello
- Oak Bend Farm – Chris Ballard, Jessica Mignone, Joss Leufrancois, Will Walton
- Legends – Mark Osburn, Brady Williams, Nacho Estrada, Lara Straussfeld
Legend’s Lara Straussfeld prepares for a backshot.
Decided in the draw for Saturday’s round robins, Kanthaka faced Oak Bend Farm and Legends in the first game and Villa Ecleto played San Antonio and JD Polo in the second. All the games were close and competitive, but Oak Bend Farm and San Antonio advanced to Sunday’s championship game.
Starting off strong, Oak Bend Farm’s Will Walton opened the scoring with a goal from the field in the first. However, San Antonio’s Trey Crea and Joaquin Arguello each scored one to end the chukker in their favor. Arguello with a beautiful and long neck shot to goal. The second chukker mirrored the first as the same three players each scored again with Arguello and Walton each hitting long shots to score.
Most Valuable Player Joaquin Arguello on the ball for San Antonio with JD Polo’s Zoe Lehmer attempting a hook.
However, in the third it was all Oak Bend’s Walton with two goals and his teammates playing great defense to hold San Antonio scoreless for the chukker. Heading into the fourth the score was tied 4-all. The last chukker was characterized by back-and-forth play and numerous near misses by both teams as they battled for the trophy. With less than a minute remaining, Arguello scored the decisive goal and secured the win for San Antonio.
Kanthaka’s Philipp Kampshoff defending Oak Bend Farm’s Will Walton.
“Our strategy was for me to play defense and allow my teammates to move the ball,” Alston said. “That strategy went well for us in the first two chukkers and again in the final minutes. We all played well and it was the most fun I’ve had playing polo in a long time.”
Joaquin Arguello was named Most Valuable player. “What really helped us throughout this tournament was the team’s grit and obedience to the man,” Arguello said. “My teammates Lauren [Sterr] and Wes [Alston] worked for me left and right, allowing Trey Crea and I a clear shot to goal. Receiving the MVP award felt really rewarding due to the hard work I’ve put into my horses and polo. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Mike McCleary.”
Best Playing Pony honors were presented to Xena, owned and ridden by Will Walton. JD Polo’s Taimur Zeb received the Sportsmanship Award.
All photos courtesy of ©David Murrell.