Legends Polo Club was the starting point for the 2021 Texas Arena League season. Every player received a U.S. Polo Assn. windbreaker jacket embroidered with TAL logo. Royal B Threads was on location for this first event to add players names and team/club logos onto the jackets and offer additional engraving and embroidery services to players, teams and clubs.
Also on location, was equine nutritionist Sharon Choney. Sharon will be at every Texas Arena League event to assist players with their needs, answer questions and to present the Nutrena Best Playing Pony awards which are given for each game.
Brady Williams’ little buckskin mare Sonita took home two BPP awards at Legends, “With the growth of the TAL league, the number of good players and horses has risen also. I am excited that my American Quarter Horse “Sonita” has been selected as BPP several times over the years, beating out many nice horses. She even won the award in both the 0-3 goal and 3-6 goal brackets of the first 2021 TAL event. She is such a great little horse, and it has been fun training her into the amazing polo horse that she has become. I am grateful that AQHA has decided to sponsor the best playing QH award for our TAL season. We have had one from the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program for registered thoroughbreds in the past, but it is nice to now have an award for quarter horses because there are many that play arena polo.”
“I’m excited for the rest of this TAL season and I am ready for the next event to start. My horses are playing well and looking good. I want to thank Nutrena feeds for sponsoring the BPP awards this season and making such great feeds. I have been feeding Nutrena feeds for the past five years and I am incredibly pleased with the results. These feeds have definitely helped me produce the body conditions that I want on my polo horses.”
This year TAL added a 6-9 goal flight which drew 5 teams for the first event – Prestonwood Green, Dallas Polo Club, Villa Ecleto, Legends Polo Club and Bar-Spur all played on Friday along with 4 teams in the C Flight – Bar-Spur/Tesla, Legends Polo School, Crosshair Ranch and Legends II.
In the Saturday 0-3 division, the USPA Admiral Nimitz began with a record 12 teams. To be eligible for a USPA military tournament every team must have a military connection. For example, Shweiki Media team players – Rob Phipps (former Sgt US Air Force), Karl Hilberg (retired Commander US Navy), Gal Shweiki (spouse is a doctor and captain in US Army).
Rob Phipps travels from Arizona for every TAL event and has been participating for the last two years, “Great first weekend of arena polo for the gold standard Texas Arena League. It was so great to see people who enjoy the sport of polo especially in the tough times. Looking very forward to the next match.”
The first USPA General George Patton arena tournament began in Sunday’s 3-6 goal flight with 11 teams. Again, all teams had military ties including Bar-Spur with Brady Williams (brothers currently serving in the US Navy), Wyatt Myr (father was in the Army) and Mark Osburn.
Brady Williams comments, “I am eligible to play in the USPA military tournaments because of my two brothers serving in the US Navy. I have other family members that have served, but these are my
closest connections. I thank them for their service, and I am honored to be eligible for the military tournaments. I think of them every time I start a game in the USPA military tournaments. One of my brothers used to play polo when we were in college together at Texas Tech University. He is not at a point in his career that lets him play polo, but I hope that one day we can be on the field together again. “
The Nimitz and Patton tournaments are single elimination format with winning teams advancing to the next Texas Arena League event. Teams that were knocked out at Legends and a new team, Riverbend, joining at the February event, will begin two more arena tournaments also in single elimination format – USPA Arena Amateur Cup and USPA General Puller.
The 6-9 goal will add a sixth team at the next event, Quiet Creek, and continue to play in league format as will the C Flight.
You can follow all of Texas Arena Leagues matches on PoloSK scorekeeping app https:/www.polosk.com (https://www.polosk.com/#/leagues). PoloSK also has the team and player standings.
In addition to the USPA tournaments, which gain players points toward National Arena Amateur Cup, TAL teams and players are gaining points toward End of League awards. With so many great prize sponsors, strong competition and player camaraderie, the Texas Arena League has become extremely popular.
“As we get into the fourth season of the Texas Arena League, I am really excited with all the interest that has been generated from arena players in the Southwest. Leading up to the start of the season, we had a waiting list for teams to be entered. It is exciting to be part of the committee that has helped to put on such a great TAL event that is gaining support from sponsors and the USPA,” says Brady Williams, TAL HTC and founding member.
Results from the first round of Texas Arena League.
Legends Polo School def. Crosshair Ranch
Legends II def. Bar Spur/Tesla
Prestonwood Green def. Dallas Polo Club
Villa Ecleto def. Bar-Spur
Legends Polo Club def. Villa Ecleto
Legends Polo Club def. Bar-Spur
Horsegate def. Polo InterActive
Bar-Spur def. 101 Polo Club
Prestonwood Green def. Elite Motion & Performance Pixies
Texas Military def. Elite Motion & Performance Pixies
Prestonwood Green def. Texas Military
Oklahoma def. Legends Polo Club
Villa Ecleto def. Dallas Polo Club
JD Polo def. Crosshair Ranch
Prestonwood Red def. Leaseplan
Horsegate def. Two Wishes
Elite Motion & Performance Pixies def. Shweiki Media
Legends Polo Club def. Los Gauchos
Visage.jobs def. Tequila Sheilas
Catena Sportsmanship Award winners
Galvin Agency MVP winners
Will Walton – 2 wins
Nutrena Best Playing Ponies
Gemma played by August Scherer, owned by Legends Polo Club
Rocket owned and played by Stephanie Colburn
Rosie (JC – Nurse Beverly) owned and played by Lara Straussfeld
Sonita (AQHA – Holis Sonitalena) owned and played by Brady Williams – 2 wins
Chartreuse played by Megan Rahlfs, owned by Legends Polo Club
Canada played by Vance Miller, owned by Prestonwood Polo Club
Paola owned and played by Javier Insua
Mandarina owned and played by Ariel Rodriguez
Yamin played by Lance Stefanakis, owned by Horsegate
Winona owned and played by Wyatt Myr
Corazon played by Nacho Estrada, owned by Legends Polo Club
Cara Blanca owned and played by Carlos Ramirez
Marcus Murphy who played for Legends Polo School in the