On Friday, August 25 and Sunday, August 27, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California, played host to the final preliminary games of the NetJets Pacific Coast Open. In an exhilarating start to the weekend, Friday’s games were each determined by a single goal.
BenSoleimani.com started strong against Brookshire, but Brookshire was able to take the lead in the final chukker, winning 15-14. Antelope managed to overcome a lead held by Farmers & Merchants Bank, scoring an impressive five goals in the fifth chukker to win 13-12. During the preliminary game between the Farmers & Merchants Bank and Antelope, there was a procedural rule violation by a player on the Antelope team, consequently the remainder of the game was played under protest. After the match concluded, the USPA Host Tournament Committee ruled that the appropriate penalty for the violation warranted a forfeiture of the match by the Antelope team.
At happy hour, CK Shack (formerly A Team) won against Klentner Ranch in a grueling overtime match thanks to Facundo Llosa’s final goal, bringing the final to 8-7.
Farmers & Merchants Banks’ David “Pelon” Stirling drives to goal.
Sunday’s games followed suit, with all three teams winning by at least two points. Klentner Ranch started the day by securing a victory against Brookshire, 11-9. Farmers & Merchants Bank kept pace, quickly establishing a two-goal lead against CK Shack and defended it to the end of the match, winning 13-10. The 3:00pm game was a spectacle, with impressive displays of polo from Antelope. In the second chukker, Felipe “Pipe” Vercellino shot a Penalty 4 just wide of the goal before Lucas Escobar’s* mallet redirected the ball mid-flight to score. Shortly after, Escobar scored again with a 60-yard neckshot that soared above the players’ heads through the goalposts. Antelope ended the quarterfinal defeating BenSoleimani.com 12-8. Best Playing Pony was awarded to Vercellino’s pony Bancada.
Lucas Escobar and Mariano “Peke” Gonzalez will go head-to-head once more as Antelope and Brookshire meet for a second consecutive semifinal matchup following Brookshire’s victory in the Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup.
The highly anticipated conclusion of the NetJets Pacific Coast Open will take place later this week, with semifinals starting Friday, September 1. Antelope will challenge Brookshire first at 4:00pm ET on field three, followed by the 7:00pm ET matchup on field two between Klentner Ranch and Farmers & Merchants Bank. The winners of Friday’s games will face off Sunday in the final at 6:00pm ET. Both Friday’s semifinals and Sunday’s final will be livestreamed on uspolo.org and via USPA social media channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, X and Twitch. For all the latest information and updates, please visit the NetJets Pacific Coast Open Tournament Detail Page.
*Lucas Escobar is an Active Team USPA Member. 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 Lominska.