Along the Sideboards
By Alex Webbe
August 24, 2009
Action continues in the Hampton Cup at the Bridgehampton Polo Club with White Birch scoring another impressive win on its way toward a summer championship on Long Island.
Denied the top prize in the Mercedes-Benz Cup following a perfect 5-0 regular season record, White Birch lost to Great Oaks in a hard-fought final.
White Birch has now inked wins over Equuleus, 15-9, and Black Watch, 11-8, as it relies toward the August 29th Hampton Cup finals-weather permitting.
Meanwhile, polo fans are getting a look at Argentine 8-goaler Hilario Ulloa, the man picked to ride with Adolfo Cambiaso on Crab Orchard’s 26-goal team this winter in Wellington. Joining Cambiaso and Ulloa will be Julio Arellano and patron George Rawlings.
With little fanfare to celebrate its 100th year of operations, the Santa Barbara Polo Club’s 2009 Bombardier Pacific Coast Open got off to an exciting star on Sunday with four opening round contests.
Perhaps the biggest upset of the day was 2008 defending champion Audi’s 17-13 loss to Grants Farm as the recent USPA America’s Cup championship rode to the field with an ailing Juan Bollini (food poisoning) in an effort to retain its 2009 crown. Taking nothing away from a powerful Grants Farm attack that scored more points against Audi than it had suffered all season, Grants Farm took control from the outset and held on for the win.
Lyndon Lea’s Zacara team scored its first win of the 2009 California high-goal season with a 9-8 over the USPA America Cup finalist Lucchese while Patagones got back into its winning way by downing ERG 10-8. Mansour wrapped up the day’s competition with a 12-10 win over hapless Valiente.
Due to the success of last season’s international Westchester Cup at the International Polo Club, there have been movements toward fielding a USA vs. Argentina competition in 2010. With final details to be worked out, it is believed that Argentina will field a team equal to the highest handicap the US can bring to the field in an effort to bolster an anemic record of international competition on behalf of US polo.
Last season the United States competed in both the Westchester Cup (England vs. USA) and the Camacho Cup (Mexico vs. USA) with a great deal of enthusiasm if not disappointing results for the American players.
A more confident US team is thought to be taking the field with the addition of Mike Azzaro to the lineup. Las year the talented 9-goaler was sidelined a week before the Westchester Cup with a broken collarbone.