The summer season at Wine Country Polo Club in Santa Rosa, California, ended with a bang with the Pacific Coast Circuit Centennial Cup. Played over the weekend of Sunday, September 4 and Monday, September 5, the final began early on Monday to beat the Labor Day heatwave.
Sponsored by the George Petersen Insurance Agency, Wine Country’s George Petersen Insurance (Hank Bailey, Leandro Floccari, Vladimir Rivkin, Martin Tassara) narrowly defeated Norby Construction (Florencio Curti, Karl Hasz, Carlos Rivas, Micaela Saracco) 5-4.5. Nordby Signature Homes won the consolation game earlier in the day over Trione Vineyards and Winery 4-3.
From the first throw-in, George Petersen Insurance took control of the game, with two goals coming off the mallet of Bailey. Holding Nordby Construction scoreless in the first chukker, their only points were added on a 0.5 handicap advantage, allowing George Petersen Insurance to cling to a 2-0.5 lead going into the second chukker.
Eager to light up their end of the scoreboard, Nordby Construction’s Rivas was able to find the goal, but their scoring efforts were answered by Bailey again to keep George Petersen Insurance ahead 3-1.5 going into the half.
Most Valuable Player Hank Bailey takes on Nordby Signature Homes’ Jens Lermusiaux. ©William T. Stacy
A series of third chukker scoring drives from Nordby Construction’s Rivas and Saracco matched only by a single goal from George Petersen Insurance’s Rivkin gave Nordby their first lead of the day by a narrow 4.5-4. A fourth chukker goal from Floccari sealed the win for George Petersen Insurance. Nordby Construction’s Hasz nearly overtook the win for his team in the last few seconds with an accurate shot straight towards the goal, but just inches before the ball passed the goal line, the horn to end the final chukker sounded, resulting in a “no goal” call from the umpire and a triumphant 5-4.5 victory for George Petersen Insurance.
Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Asafata, owned and played by Vladimir Rivkin. Hank Bailey, who scored three of George Petersen Polo’s five goals, won Most Valuable Player.
Club manager Vladimir Rivkin was delighted with the outcome, sharing, “Today, we witnessed amazingly fast polo with only one foul the entire game.” He continued, “This was as close of a game as we have seen in a long time, all played among friends in a picturesque setting. What a way to finish the season.”