The Texas Arena League (TAL) played its second weekend event February 11-13 at Legends Polo Club (Kaufman, Texas) just outside of Dallas, Texas, and was featured on Richie Whitt’s, Whitt’s End column on FanNation, which is part of the Sports Illustrated Media Group. The event also received further local media coverage on the KRLD News Radio broadcast.
Play began on Friday, February 11, in the 6- to 9-goal Southwestern Circuit Arena Delegate’s Cup with Coltala, Dallas Polo Club and Horsegate emerging victorious. On Saturday, February 12, players competed in two 0- to 3-goal tournaments, first the Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr. and the Southwestern Circuit Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Blue Star, Bar-Spur, Legends and Los Tres Ingleses will continue in play in the Southwestern Circuit General S. Patton Jr., while Eagle’s Landing, Auour Polo Team, and Polo InterActive will remain in the single-elimination Southwestern Circuit Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, along with wildcard Gulf Coast Fence.
Legends’ August Scherer turns to the ball ahead of Bar-Spur’s Mark Osburn.
“I feel like the Most Valuable Player and Best Playing Pony in the 3-goal go hand-in-hand,” noted Galvin Agency MVP and BPP player and owner Mark Osburn. “I’ve felt for quite some time that J-Lo is one of my best horses and it feels good to know that other people saw that too. Having her turn the game around for us in the third chukker surely led to MVP for me.”
“This year is my first year playing in TAL and it has been a great experience so far! It has been a while since I’ve played in arena tournaments, so it was awesome to get back out there,” commented Galvin Agency MVP and Catena USA Sportsmanship winner Molly Hosler. “To win both my games and get MVP and the Sportsmanship Award this past weekend was a true privilege. I am very thankful for my team and horses, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone playing in TAL and I am excited for the upcoming games!”
Sunday’s games began in the 3- to 6-goal Southwestern Circuit Sherman Memorial, with Visage.Jobs, Auour Polo Team, and Bar-Spur and Legends each advancing. Action continued in the 3- to 6-goal Southwestern Circuit General Lewis “Chesty” Puller, with Dallas Polo, Herk’s Store and Grill, Lease Plan, and wildcard PSL Polo progressing in the tournament.
Horsegate’s Lance Stefanakis stretches along the boards.
“I’m so glad Amanda [Osburn] is playing with us this year because she really helps me with the horses back home and I really appreciate everything she does to make polo possible for our family,” commented Mark Osburn.
“It was so special to get the MVP award, it literally made me cry!” revealed Galvin Agency MVP winner Lisa Yanskey. “As the lowest-rated player on my team, I usually go into the games hoping for Sportsmanship and try to help my team in any way I can. I’ve been working extremely hard the past few years to improve, and I was able to score seven goals in this game which led to the award. It’s been such a wonderful experience playing with Tiamo Hudspeth* and Megan Rahlfs, the teamwork we have makes me want to give my all every game. TAL has been such a great way for me to improve my skills and be around players who are dedicated to the sport. I can’t wait to see what LeasePlan can do next week!”
Eagles Landing’s Ally Vaughn with her clipped polo pony with an artistic smiley face!
“TAL has been such a wonderful way for our team to get to learn more about polo and make connections with other players outside the intercollegiate/interscholastic circuit!” commented Lexie Harlan from Texas Tech. “I have been very grateful for the opportunity for myself and my club and team members to be able to meet and work with so many amazing people. I also enjoy getting to participate in the C-flight. I think it’s a great way for members to play newer ponies that need just a little more experience before getting into intercollegiate/interscholastic or TAL games.”
The Southwestern Circuit Arena Delegate’s Cup, Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton Jr., Southwestern Circuit General Lewis “Chesty” Puller, Southwestern Circuit Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, and Southwestern Circuit Sherman Memorial will resume in the next leg of TAL at Brookshire Polo Club (Brookshire, Texas) February 25-27.
6- to 9-goal Southwestern Circuit Arena Delegate’s Cup
1. Coltala (8): William Edwards (1T), Russell Stimmel (3), Rob Payne (4)
2. Horsegate (8): Lance Stefanakis (2), Anson Moore (3), Sloan Stefanakis (3)
3. Bar-Spur (7): Mark Osburn (2), Brady Williams (2), Chad Bowman (3)
4. Straussfeld Realty (9): Megan Flynn (2), Tiamo Hudspeth (3), Cody Woodfin (4)
5. Dallas Polo (8): Michael Farah (1), Joaquin Arguello (3), Will Walton (4)
6. Legends (9): Megan Rahlfs (2), Nacho Estrada (2), August Scherer (5)
Friday, February 11
Colata defeated legends 16-15
Dallas Polo Club defeated Straussfeld Realty 19-8
Horsegate defeated Bar-Spur 18-16
0- to 3-goal Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton, Jr.
1. Elite Spicy Senoritas (3): Lisa Yanskey (0), Amanda Massey (1), Stephanie Colburn (2)
2. Blue Star (3): Serena Morelli (-1), Ashley Owen (2), Megan Flynn (2)
3. Save Water Polo (0): Katie Anderson (0), Jan Pieter Zweegers (0), Kim Vaughan (0)
4. Bar-Spur (3): Amanda Osburn (-1), Mark Osburn (2), Brady Williams (2)
5. Hondo Polo (3): Servando McHazlett (-1), Beverly Greenwood (1), Roxy Keyfauver (3)
6. Legends (2): Marcus Murphy (0), Taylor Hooten (0), Nacho Estrada (2)
7. Visage.Jobs (3): Dani Gibson (-1), Joss Leufrancois (2), Trey Crea (2)
8. Los Tres Ingleses (3): Verity Cameron (-1), James Glew (2), Don English, Jr. (2)
Saturday, February 12
Elite Spicy Senoritas defeated Blue Star 11-10
Bar-Spur defeated Save Water Polo 19-8
Legends defeated Hondo Polo 13-10
Los Tres Ingleses defeated Visage.Jobs 16-13
Save Water Polo- Katie Anderson, Jan-Pieter Zweegers, Kim Vaughn. ©David Murrell
0- to 3-goal Southwestern Circuit Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
1. Auour Polo Team (3): Lindsay Bellack (0), Molly Hosler (1), Megan Rahlfs (2)
2. Creekside (3): Trent Florey (-1), Tess Pimsner (1), Karen Reese (3)
3. Eagles Landing (1): Alisha Clark (-1), Whitney Walker (1), Ally Vaughn (1)
4. Gulf Coast Fence (3): Jason Atkins (1), Andrew Richardson (1), Zain Saud (1)
5. Coast to Coast (1): Cole Kinsella (0), Samantha Leach (0), Sydney Morris (1)
6. Patton Legacy Sports (2): Gal Shweiki (1), Karl Hilberg (1), Nick Stefanakis (0)
7. Polo InterActive (3): Jose Velez (-1), Tanner Kneese (1), Javier Insua (3)
Saturday, February 12
Auour Polo defeated Creekside 15-10
Eagles Landing defeated Gulf Coast Fence 10-6
Gulf Coast Fence defeated Coast to Coast 8-4
Coast to Coast defeated Eagles Landing 7-5
Polo InterActive defeated Patton Legacy Sports 23-9
3- to 6-goal Southwestern Circuit General Lewis “Chesty” Puller
1. Dallas Polo (5): Michael Farah (1), Lindsay Bellack (0), Will Walton (4)
2. Horsegate (5): Nick Stefanakis (0), Lance Stefanakis (2), Sloan Stefanakis (3)
3. PSL Polo (4): Sarah Morelli (-1), Carolyn Stimmel (2), Russell Stimmel (3)
4. Herk’s Store and Grill (6): Megan Flynn (2), Wendy Stover (2), Ashley Owen (2)
5. Texas Military (5): Gal Shweiki (1), Karl Hilberg (1), Javier Insua (3)
6. Lease Plan (5): Lisa Yanskey (0), Megan Rahlfs (2), Tiamo Hudspeth (3)
Sunday, February 13
Dallas Polo defeated Horsegate 18-11
Herk’s Store and Grill defeated PSL Polo 18-13
Lease Plan defeated Texas Military 14-9
Horsegate’s Lance Stefanakis reaches for the play ahead of Dallas Polo’s Mike Farah.
3- to 6-goal Southwestern Circuit Sherman Memorial
1. Visage.Jobs (6): James Glew (2), Joss Leufrancois (2), Trey Crea (2)
2. GK Farms (5): Jessica Keneally (0), Audrey Persano (2), Nadir Khan (3)
3. Auour (5): Kim Vaughan (0), Molly Hosler (1), Rob Payne (4)
4. Phipps Polo (5): Rob Phipps (0), Thomas Phelps (2), Chris Jones (3)
5. Bar-Spur (6): Mark Osburn (2), Don English, Jr. (2), Brady Williams (2)
6. Legends (5): Jonathan Winson (-1), Hailey Winson (-1), Nacho Estrada (2), August Scherer (5)
Sunday, February 13
Visage.Jobs defeated GK Farms 20-12
Auour defeated Phipps Polo 19-10
Bar-Spur defeated Legends 16-15
Galvin Agency Most Valuable Players
Will Walton (MVP in two divisions)
Mark Osburn (MVP in two divisions)
Galvin Agency Most Valuable Player – Zain Saud.
Catena USA Sportsmanship Award Recipients
Nacho Estrada (Sportsmanship in two divisions)
Catena USA Sportsmanship Award – Ashley Owen.
Nutrena Best Playing Pony
Con Sentida – owned and played by Rob Payne
Dado – owned by Will Walton and played by Joaquin Arguello
Ponderosa – owned by Horsegate and played by Lance Stefanakis
Zama – owned and played by Megan Rahlfs
Uncle Lucious – owned by Hidden View Farm and played by Megan Flynn
Pepe – played by Ally Vaughn
J-Lo – owned and played by Mark Osburn
PeeWee – owned by Javier Insua and played by Karl Hilberg
Sandia – played by Roxy Keyfauver
Nugget – owned and played by Trey Crea
Dream – played by Audry Persano
Number 11 – owned and played by Will Walton
Cochise – owned and played by Russell Stimmel
Judy – owned and played by Rob Payne
Frijolita – owned by Katie Anderson and played by August Scherer
Pashmina – owned by Taimur Zeb and played by Javier Insua
Nutrena Best Playing Pony, Pepe, played by Ally Vaughn.
*Tiamo Hudspeth is Team USPA alumna. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
All photos courtesy of ©David Murrell.