Along the Sideboards
By Alex Webbe
January 26, 2009
The Ylvisaker Cup is entering its last week of competition and Tommy Lee Jones’s San Saba team has found its way into its second semifinal of the season. They will face Santiago Chavanne and the Mt. Brilliant team on Thursday, Jan. 29. Carlos Gracida and the Patagones team will also be returning to the semifinals and are poised to play the winner of today’s match between BTA and Isla Carroll.
The appearance of Julian Daniels on the Mt. Brilliant team in place of the injured Gaston Lisioli (broken collarbone) has been a boon to the team chemistry. The quick, accurate-passing Englishman has been a major factor in the team’s last three wins and their victory in the finals of the Bobby Barry Memorial Cup.
Sugar Erskine is back from a brief trip to South Africa and will be back in the saddle for Isla Carroll today against BTA. The winner will proceed into the semifinals against Patagones while the loser will fall into the subsidiary George Haas Cup.
With the inclusion of Lechuza Caracas and Audi now competing in the 20-goal tournaments at IPC it has been remarked by both recent entries that their horses weren’t in condition to compete in the opening matches. Look for marked improvements from both teams as competition continues.
Action continues to be slow at the Gulfstream Polo Club where there are four teams participating in the eight-goal competition.
The Outback Polo Club continues to enjoy success with its 8-goal and 14-goal leagues. The Port Mayaca Polo Club has five teams currently participating in its latest tournament (the William Conners Cup) and will continue its series of 10-goal tournaments in February.
The Flying Cow Wellington Invitation is currently fielding six 12-goal teams and the Southampton Polo Club South has three teams participating in 4-goal competition.
Ticket sales for the February 21 Westchester Cup are steady with an expected bump coming at the end of the month when season box holders have to exercise their options to either purchase their boxes for the international match or surrender them for sale.
Reservations continue to come in for the 20th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Awards Dinner scheduled for Friday, February 13.
This year’s inductees are Gonzalo Tanoira and Owen Rinehart. Philip Iglehart Award Recipients include Hugo Delmar and Jesse Upchurch. Horses to Remember will be Louis Stoddard’s Belle of All and Norty Knox’s Rotallan.
Dave Offen is confident of the success of this year’s 40-Goal Challenge to benefit the Polo Players Support Group on Saturday, February 14 at the International Polo Club, but he’s going to need some assistance from Jedi’s Sebastian and Agustin Merlos to fill out the field. It appears that the Merlos brothers are spending the season playing behind Erich Koch’s hedged Jedi polo complex in Wellington with Alex Agote. The rumor has it that although we won’t see them this year there is talk of Jedi fielding two high-goal teams in two years.