On the warm and sunny weekend of June 4 and June 5, Orange County Polo Club (OC Polo Club) in Silverado, California, served as the debut host club in the thrilling three-part summer Pacific Coast Arena League (PCAL). Established in the early 2000s and brought to fruition by Orange County Polo Club Manager Heather Perkins, PCAL is a summer tournament series that allows players to compete throughout the season at three different clubs to earn cumulative points, with those high-point individuals having a chance to win end-of-season awards. Offering A, B and C flights, the event was designed to provide opportunities for a wide range of players with varying skill levels.
The A-flight tournament of the weekend, the Pacific Coast Circuit General George S. Patton Jr, featured 2- to 4-goal play, with Polodeo Ranch (Garrett Bankhead, Sherry Sheldon Gibson, Faris Hanna) ultimately triumphing over Rancho Silverado Riders (Spencer Hurtt, Mila Stutzky, Kelli Newton), 14-8.
The B-flight tournament, the Pacific Coast Circuit Arena Masters Cup, showcased -1- to 1-goal play, with Ka Mana Loa (Zoey Newton, Faris Hanna, Abby Purdy) narrowly edging out family-filled Fawkes Polo (Marc Schnoebelen, Andy Schnoebelen, Maia Schnoebelen) 13-12 in Sunday’s finals.
OC Polo’s Shelly Geiler hits the ball along the boards with Lakeside Polo’s Kim Foy on defense.
Finally, the C-flight was played as a league and was intended for -1 players just starting out in the sport. The Avengers (Leigh Bertea, Dan Garcia, Haley Chappell) made the most of their time in the arena, defeating Poway (Ava Abboud, Alexander Jones, Dryden Flemming), by two points in the final to capture the 4-2 victory.
Nutrena Best Playing Pony, MVP and Sportsmanship awards were given in every game of the weekend. These recognitions count towards End of League points and awards. The list of award recipients for the weekend are as follows:
Nutrena Best Playing Pony
Bonita, played by Abby Purdy
Ruby, played by Heather Perkins
Emma, played by Spencer Hurtt
Pippi, played by Kelsea Galarza
Chloe, played by Ethan Bankhead
Cava, played by Dave Myrick
Georgia, played by Fawn Rinalduzzi
Junior, played by Jessi Wileman
Dulce, played by Robert Hasman
Mac, played by Haley Chappell
Jamaica, played by Ivan Krimker
Poca, played by Serdar Celik
Serdar Celik taps the ball down the arena on Nutrena Best Playing Pony Poca.
Sportsmanship Award winner Larry Li on a breakaway.
Sherry Sheldon Gibson
With such a fiery start, there’s a lot left to look forward to with PCAL this summer. The next installation of the trilogy will take place June 25 and 26 at Lakeside Polo Club in Lakeside, California. Shortly after, PCAL will round out their summer series at Poway Polo Club in Poway, California on July 2 and 3.
This year, PCAL is using PoloSK to scorekeep and track points. Anyone who is interested can follow the games at www.polosk.com by entering “PCAL 2022.”
All photos courtesy of ©Josh Kizziar.