The Lisle Nixon Memorial presented a clean slate for teams at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (Carpinteria, California) to compete for a 12-goal title and trophy again. One team in particular, Mokarow Farms, took full advantage of the new opportunity, delivering back-to-back upsets by defeating the two previous finalists from last week’s tournament. After two rounds of play, the semifinalists were determined for this upcoming Friday, May 27.
In the first game on Sunday, May 22, Dundas and Mokarow Farms took to the field in hopes of simultaneously defending their undefeated records and securing a spot in the semifinals. Mokarow Farms came out firing on all cylinders, taking the reins to go ahead by six goals entering halftime. Disappointed by the deficit, Dundas spearheaded a noble comeback in the second half, inching within one goal during the last chukker. Yet Mokarow Farms, refusing to relinquish their lead, ultimately clawed their way to a 15-12 advantage to nab the first spot in the semifinals.
Mokarow Farm’s Facundo Obregon running with the ball to goal.
The next game between Dundas II and Antelope was equally crucial, as it would determine whether Antelope would go straight through to the semifinals or if Dundas II would still have a chance at making the semifinals via shootout. The game was back-and-forth for every captivating moment of play, but Antelope clung tight as the clock wound down to stay on top 12-11 over Dundas II.
The following game featured a bloodline battle, with Henry Walker matching up against his brother Matthew and father Danny as FMB Too!/Folded Hills met FMB. By half time, FMB Too!/Folded Hills had pulled away by four goals to lead 9-5 over FMB. They maintained this lead to win over FMB 16-11.
Los Padres’ Keko Magrini hitting the backshot.
The last game of the day saw a formidable Klentner Ranch face off against the star-studded Los Padres. The grandstands radiated star power, with notable spectators like Rebel Wilson and Chris Martin coming to show their support and appreciation for the sport. At the end of the game, Los Padres emerged on top 14-10 to end the polo-packed day. The Santa Barbara Polo Club was lucky enough to have Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, come up with her husband, Prince Harry, for the trophy presentation.
Los Padres’ Prince Harry turning with the ball.
Three teams came out of the weekend with a perfect 2-0 record: Folded Hills/FMB Too!, Antelope and Mokarow Farms. The two teams with 1-1 records, Dundas and Los Padres, went to a shootout to decide the final spot in the Lisle Nixon Memorial semifinals, where Los Padres ultimately won to advance.
Semifinal play will begin this Friday, May 27. The finals will take place just two days later on Sunday, May 29.
All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.