Along the Sideboards

Along the Sideboards

By Alex Webbe

August 31, 2009


As meteoric as Audi’s (1-2) season was in Santa Barbara-going undefeated throughout the season and sweeping the high goal tournaments-so was its demise as it lost two of its first three contests in this year’s Pacific Coast Open as they were blown out by previously winless Valiente (1-2) in a 17-10 game.

“They (Valiente) played great,” offered Kris Kampsen, who was limited to only three goals after averaging seven goals a game in the first two rounds of PCO play.

Mansour (2-1) managed its second win of the California high-goal season with a 12-11 Overtime win over Grants Farm (2-1).  With a bit of a smile and a wink, the powerful Grants Farm team remained tied with Mansour in the final two chukkers of regulation play before “losing” in the OT.  Concerns of game fixing to keep Audi out of the competition brought back memories of Memogate, the incident in which Memo Gracida orchestrated the tanking of a game in order to get a better seed in the ensuing tournament.  Whether Grants Farm used the same principles or not will have to be answered by those at the game.

By losing, Grants Farm falls to second place in its bracket and will meet Patagones (2-1) in the semifinals on Thursday.

Lucchese managed a 10-9 win over Patagones in a meaningless contest while ERG (2-1) secured a spot in the other semifinals against Mansour with an 11-8 win over Zacara (1-2).


For the second straight tournament White Birch blew through the competition with an unblemished record only to fall to Great Oaks, 12-11 in overtime in Monday afternoon’s rain-delayed finals of the Hampton Cup.


The  Hampton Cup finals signaled an end to the 2009 Bridgehampton Polo Club’s high-goal season, and left a disappointed White Birch team watching Great Oaks score a rare season sweep, having previously won the Mercedes-Benz Cup.

Tomas Garcia del Rio was named tournament MVP with Mariano Aguerre’s chestnut mare, Criollita, being honored as Best Playing Pony.


The Aiken 20-goal season will get underway on September 17th when 302 Polo opens with the Monty Waterbury Cup followed by the USPA Silver Cup.


The Villages is putting the finishing touches on two newly constructed barns and the refurbishing of a third that will offer a total of 30 stalls for lease during the fall season.  The new barns are reportedly “state of the art” and include offices, tack and feed rooms.  Luxury housing is available for patrons while quarters are also available grooms.  The barns are scheduled to be complimented by the addition of England’s Howard Hipwood as the club’s chief umpire and the WCT Woman’s World Cup (Nov. 1) tournament under the direction of Sunny Hale.

The fall season at The Villages is scheduled to kick off on October 4th and run through December 6th.