Story courtesy of International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Beginning the season with two difficult games against Palm Beach Equine, Beverly Polo emerged victorious in the opening game of the Joe Barry Memorial with a thrilling 12-11 overtime victory which was highlighted by the impressive game-winning goal from Tolito Ocampo.
Beverly Polo’s Bill Ballhaus. ©David Lominska
A newcomer to the high-goal scene at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, Florida, Beverly Polo is led by Bill Ballhaus, who brings his team to south Florida from Beverly Equestrian in The Plains, Virginia. Jumping in the saddle for the first time in 2011, Ballhaus has quickly raised his skill level to join 18-goal competition. With Beverly Polo trailing in the second half, Ballhaus scored two vital goals, including their eleventh goal that pushed the game into overtime. Finding his stride in the number one position, Ballhaus has effectively pulled Beverly Polo forward, converting 50% of his shots through two games, while working well off the ball.
Hilario Figueras scored five goals against Palm Beach Equine in his opening game of the season. ©Alex Pacheco
Leading the team averaging 4.5 goals, Hilario Figueras has justified his handicap being raised to 4-goals in 2021, giving an impressive performance from the penalty line where he has converted seven of his eight attempts on the season. From the number four position, Figueras has been the anchor of Beverly Polo’s defense, holding the responsibility of taking their set plays to produce opportunities for his teammates downfield. Still finding moments to race forward in the game, Figueras brought the ball in front of Palm Beach Equine’s goal to set up the overtime winning goal for Ocampo.
Jorge “Tolito” Fernandez Ocampo Jr. hitting the neckshot at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. ©Alex Pacheco
Alongside Figueras, Jorge “Tolito” Fernandez Ocampo Jr. has proven to be a standout player for Beverly Polo. After venturing into the arena in at Great Meadow Polo Club in The Plains, Virginia, where he won Most Valuable Player in his first USPA arena tournament, Ocampo has returned to outdoor play in remarkable fashion, leading the team with seven field goals and playing end-to-end polo in the number three position. With the game on the line in overtime, Ocampo won the throw-in, received a foul, and then found the loose ball to send Beverly Polo to victory. Finding instant chemistry beside Figueras and Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Ocampo will continue to be a player to watch throughout the 18-goal season at IPC.
Lucas Diaz Alberdi playing the ball on the nearside against Palm Beach Equine’s Robbie Bilbao. ©David Lominska
Few players have had more success in the Joe Barry Memorial in recent years than Lucas Diaz Alberdi. Winning in 2019 with Dutta Corp and in 2020 with Palm Beach Equine, Alberdi has his sights set on a third consecutive title with Beverly Polo, playing the prototypical number two position. Working tirelessly in the middle of the game to free up space for both Ocampo and Figueras, Alberdi has been a key figure in Beverly Polo’s offense, leading the team with four assists. Adding his two goals, Alberdi has been directly involved on half of Beverly Polo’s field goals, providing a balanced offense.