Along the Sideboards
By Alex Webbe
March 22, 2010
The International Polo Club of Wellington, Florida completed its second 26-goal tournament on Sunday when Crab Orchard scored a convincing 12-7 win over an impotent Las Monjitas offense to tally its second consecutive 26-goal championship of the 2910 season in the USPA Piaget Gold Cup.
Las Monjitas took the field without the services of 10-goaler Eduardo Novillo Astrada, who suffered a significant fall in the semifinal game against Lechuza. He was replaced in the lineup with 10-goaler Facundo Pieres, who by virtue of Audi’s elimination from the Gold Cup field, was available.
Las Monjitas also fielded team captain, Camilo Bautista, who returned for the first time since an early season injury that kept him sidelined for much of the season.
Upon completion of the championship game and the presentation of trophies, Piaget treated the club to a poolside party complete with a band, jumbo screens that showed past and present Piaget polo images to the delight of the guests.
The United States Open Championship will get underway on Saturday, March 27 with a nine-team field. Missing from the group will be Fred Mannix’s Hawks team that performed so well in earlier play. It appears that Mariano Aguerre had a commitment in Argentina that he could not cancel.
Lest we forget, the International Polo Club has expanded its scope with ten 14-goal teams competing in the Everglades Cup. Growing more and more competitive, the 14-goal competition features such polo luminaries as Julio Arellano(8), Jeff Hall (7), Luis Escobar (7), Michel Dorignac (7), Jose Donoso (7), Pelon Escapite (6), Whistle Uys (5) and a host of others.
Additionally, IPC’s 12-Goal Pro-Am Alligator Classic is fielding four more teams with pros the like of Tommy Biddle (7), Guille Usandizaga (6), Steve Dalton (5), Brad Blake (5), Nick Manifold (5), and Santiago Bottero (5).
American 6-goaler Kris Kampsen was the victim of a fall in a practice game over the past weekend that will sideline him for s few weeks. Reported as a slight shoulder separation, the popular young player will have to spend the balance of the winter season as an observer rather than a player.
Action at the Hobe Sound Polo Club continues 4, 8 and 12-goal competition as the club continues to spread its wings with budget playing fees. Currently fielding 17 teams in three different levels of play, Phil Heatley and Vincent Mesker have their hands full at one of the area’s newer polo venues.
The Port Mayaca Polo Club presses forward with medium goal polo in the form of the 16-goal Live Oak Cup while the Villa del Lago Equuleus competition has four teams competing in the 12-goal Jet Aviation Cup.
The venerable Gulfstream Polo Club has five teams competing in the Delegate’s Cup and six teams taking part in the club’s 4-goal competition.
Continuing to offer practice chukkers, Florida’s oldest continually operating polo facility continues as a home base of operations to a number of old and new Florida polo residents.