After the recent “snowpocolyse” that shut Texas down in February, Texas Arena League (TAL) was able to play a delayed second event. Held at Legends Polo Club (Kaufman, Texas) just outside of Dallas, the teams competed despite on-again-off-again rain showers thanks to the covered arena and horse prep areas.
Shweiki Media’s Karl Hilberg on the ball in the Southwestern Circuit Arena Amateur Cup.
“I believe that the Texas Arena League is the one the best polo opportunities and polo in the Southwestern Circuit. This year we have started a 6- to 9-goal league and have six teams playing in the next event, 13 teams in the 0- to 3-goal and 11 in the 3- to 6-goal!” – Southwestern Circuit Lieutenant Governor and TAL competitior, Karl Hilberg
USPA military tournaments have taken the spotlight at Texas Arena League with a strong presence of active and former military members and military family members. “All the military tournaments have a single specific tournament condition—one player on each team must have a military tie (to any military service worldwide not just U.S. military service), be it the player who has served or one of his family members,” said Hilberg. “All the teams that have participated in the 0- to 3-goal, 3- to 6-goal and 6- to 9-goal have had at least one player on their team that has met this tournament condition. Some teams all players have a military connection!”
Play continued in inaugural 3- to 6-goal Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr. arena tournament with Oklahoma, Prestonwood and Horsegate moving on in the competition. “I am very proud to have played in the General Patton tournament,” said Texas Military’s Gal Shweiki. “My wife is an active-duty Army doctor who was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. I feel like this tournament helps to honor her service as well as the service of our incredible Service members,” he continued.
Additionally, in the 3- to 6-goal, the Southwestern Circuit General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller started with Dallas Polo Club and 101 Polo Club moving on to the finals at the next TAL event at Two Wishes Ranch in Lockhart, Texas. Unfortunately, 101 Polo Club will not be able to attend the next event and forfeited their position, granting Elite Performance Motion & Performance a place in the final.
Prestonwood Green’s Vance Miller III with Bar Spur’s Ashley Owen in pursuit in the Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton Jr.
In the 0- to 3-Goal, play continued in the Southwestern Circuit Admiral Chester W. Nimitz military tournament with Visage.jobs, Legends and Horsegate moving forward to the finals. The Southwestern Circuit Arena Amateur Cup began competition at Legends with Tequila Sheilas, Leaseplan and Los Gauchos with the wins that move them on in the tournament.
Teams and players in Texas Arena League are not only competing in USPA tournaments that earn players points toward the National Arena Amateur Cup (NAAC), TAL teams and players are gaining points toward End of League awards. Players and teams receive points for win/loss/tie as well as points for individual awards such as Most Valuable Player, Best Playing Pony and Sportsmanship.
Los Gauchos’ Lalo Ramirez on the ball with Shweiki Media’s Rob Phipps reaching for the hook in the Southwestern Circuit Arena Amateur Cup.
Sportsmanship and Nutrena Best Playing Pony at every game. Those awards garner points for the individuals toward our End of League awards in not only those categories but also Jackrabbit Tack High-Point Individual, The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program Best Playing Thoroughbred, AQHA Best Playing Quarter Horse, and Superior Equine Sports Massage Therapy Best String,” Arena Committee Chairman Robin Sanchez stated. “Texas Arena League is so fortunate to have the combination of tough competition, camaraderie and great award sponsors. Thanks to our sponsors Aubone Mallets, Royal B Threads, U.S. Polo Assn., Casablanca, Elite Motion & Performance and Aloha Polo Club, TAL has some End of League awards in addition to the points-based awards – Best Team Player, Horsemanship, Most Improved, Player’s Choice Competitor, #FanFavorite and more.”
Bar Spurs’ Brady Williams and Prestonwood Green’s Vance Miller III taking the ball out of the air in the Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton Jr.
Horsegate’s Lance Stefanakis marked by Prestonwood Green’s Vance Miller III in the Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton Jr.
Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr.
1. Villa Ecleto (6) – Morgan Tennant (1), Lalo Ramirez (3), Carlos Ramirez (2)
2. Horsegate (5) – Lance Stefanakis (1), Ariel Mancebo (2), Anson Moore (2)
3. Bar Spur (5) – Mark Osburn (1), Brady Williams (2), Ashley Owen (2)
4. Prestonwood Green (6) – Vaughn Miller Jr. (4), Vance Miller III (3), Cale Curtin (-1)
5. Texas Military (6) – Karl Hilberg (1), Gal Shweiki (1), Wyatt Myr (4)
6. Oklahoma (6) – Keith Monroe (0), Vaughn Miller Sr. (3), Sidro Olivas (3)
Sunday, February 28
10:00am ET – Villa Ecleto (7) vs. Horsegate (14)
11:30am ET – Bar Spur (14) vs. Prestonwood Green (16)
5:30pm ET – Texas Military (7) vs. Oklahoma (10)
Southwestern Circuit General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller
1. Dallas Polo Club (6) – Will Walton (4), Don English (2), Calyste Hanks (0)
2. Elite Motion & Performance (6) – Amanda Massey (2), Stephanie Colburn (3), Jack Crea (1)
3. Legends (6) – Kim Buttram (-1), Nacho Estrada (2), August Scherer (5)
4. Polo InterActive (5) – Jose Velez (-1), Javier Insua (3), Ariel Rodriguez (3)
5. 101 Polo Club (5) – Dan Faherty (2), David Wertz (2), Lara Straussfeld (1)
Sunday, February 28
1:30pm ET – Dallas Polo Club (12) vs. Polo Interactive (5.5)
2:15 pm ET – Polo Interactive (3) vs. Legends (11)
3:00pm ET – Dallas Polo Club (9) vs. Legends (6.5)
4:00pm ET – Elite Motion & Performance Pixies (16) vs. 101 Polo Club (17)
Southwestern Circuit Arena Amateur Cup
1. Shweiki Media (3) – Gal Shweiki (1), Karl Hilberg (1), Rob Phipps (1)
2. LeasePlan (3) – Lisa Yanskey (0), Mark Osburn (1), Brady Williams (2)
3. Crosshair Ranch (3) – Alex Bryant (-1), Ashley Owen (2), Cody Goetz (2)
4. Two Wishes (1) – Ariel Rodriguez (3), Jose Velez (-1), Servando James McHazlett (-1)
5. Los Gauchos (3) – Manuel Carrasco (0T), Lalo Ramirez (3), Whitney Walker (0)
6. Tequila Sheila’s (2) – Abi Abel (0), Kate Howe (0T), Megan Rahfls (2)
Saturday, February 27
12:30pm ET – Crosshair Ranch (4) vs. Tequila Shiela’s (8.5)
3:30pm ET – Shweiki Media (5) vs. Los Gauchos (25)
6:30 pm ET – Two Wishes (14) vs. LeasePlan (15)
Horsegate: Ariel Mancebo, Nick Stefanakis, Lance Stefanakis.
Southwestern Circuit Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
1. JD Polo (3) – Ekaterina Kotova (-1), Marlon Pimento (1), Javier Insua (3)
2. Visage.jobs (3) – Nadir Khan (3), Joss Leufrancois (0T), Zoe Lehmer (0)
3. Horsegate (3) – Lance Stefanakis (1), Ariel Mancebo (2), Nick Stefanakis (0)
4. Prestonwood Red (3) – Trenton Werntz (0), Robby Mooney (0) Vaughn Miller Sr. (3) / Vance Miller III (3)
5. Elite Motion & Performance Pixies (3) – Dani Gibson (-1), Stephanie Colburn (3), Jack Crea (1)
6. Legends (3) – Verity Cameron (-1), Nacho Estrada (2), James Glew (2)
Saturday, February 27
10:00am ET – Legends (13) vs. Elite Motion & Performance Pixies (10)
1:30pm ET – Horsegate (18) vs. Prestonwood Red (14)
5:00pm ET – JD Polo (12) vs.Visage.jobs (13)
Visage.jobs’ Nadir Khan was a Galvin Agency MVP recipient.
Galvin Agency MVP
Learn More about Galvin Agency Here
Gal Shweiki received his second Catena USA Sportsmanship award.
“The Texas Arena League is on one of my favorite tournaments of the year. The level of competition is very high, the players are great sportsman and I feel like it steps up my indoor game every time I play. Robin Sanchez, Karl Hilberg and their team do such a professional job of organizing this tournament. It’s really a first-class event.” – Gal Shweiki
Catena USA Sportsmanship
Learn More about Catena Here
Servando James McHazlett
Vance Miller III
Best Playing Pony Negrita, played by Nick Stefanakis.
Nutrena Best Playing Pony
Sunflower – played by Lalo Ramirez owned by Villa Ecleto
Pina – played by Vance Miller III owned by Prestonwood Polo
Panela – played by James Glew owned by Legends Polo Club
Mila – owned and played by Cody Goetz
Negrita – played by Nick Stefanakis
Blitz (JC Shouldagonetocourt) – owned and played by Lara Straussfeld
Chalo – Played by Lalo Ramirez, owned by Villa Ecleto
Paola – owned and played by Javier Insua /JD Polo
Negro – owned and played by Carlos Ramirez
Canada – played by Vance Miller III owned by Prestonwood Polo
Zama – played by Wyatt Myr, owned by Legends Polo
John Wayne – played by Dan Faherty owned by JD Polo
Whiskey Doc – owned and played by Wyatt Myr
All photos courtesy of ©David Murrell.