Along the Sideboards
By Alex Webbe
January 25, 2010
The International Polo Club in Wellington is halfway through its 20-goal season with Zacara scoring a 13-11 win over the Hawks in the final of the Joe Barry Memorial Cup. Play has already begun in the first round of the Ylvisaker Cup with the 20-goal competition culminating in the Herbie Pennell Cup.
The Patagones team that won the season opening Iglehart Cup have fallen on tough times lately, losing in the quarter finals of the Joe Barry Memorial Cup and then dropping its opening game in Ylvisaker Cup competition.
Zacara captured the Barry Cup without team captain Lyndon Lea at the helm as Marianno Gracida (son of legendary Carlos Gracida) filled in for the missing executive and rode with them into the winner’s circle at the end of the finals.
Taxi cab czar Simon Garber has joined the competition in the Ylvisaker Cup with his Yellow Cab team of Tommy Biddle, Guille Usandizaga and Chino Frayssinet. After falling behind 7-1 in their opening match against a veteran Lechuza Caracas team of Victor Vargas, Santiago Torres, Nicolas Espain and Tomas Goti, the team stormed back on the back of Biddle’s six goals in the final two chukkers, falling just short in the 13-12 loss.
They don’t seem to be hawking the likeness of Adolfo Cambiaso as they did for the last couple of years, but the Hobe Sound Polo Club finally has some serious competition to ballyhoo about. Boasting eight teams that include Patrons like Michael Price, multiple U. S. Open winner, Tim Gannon, America’s Most Wanted host, John Walsh, EFG Bank’s Jim Whisenand and others, the club is finally looking at sustained match play while noticable improvements continue to be made to the Martin County property.
Ten-goaler Lucas Monteverde was recently sighted coming out of the Koch compound in Wellington where Jedi teams continue to hold ongoing practices that are closed to the public. It may be the “best job in polo” for the participants, but it has deprived the greater Wellington polo community of some of the game’s top players.
The Gulfstream Polo Club has organized both 8-goal (Skeeter Johnston Cup) and 12-goal (George Haas Windswept Cup) leagues with four teams in each while the Port Mayaca Polo Club is looking to upgrade its current 8-goal tournament play (William Connors Memorial Cup) to the medium goal level. The International Polo Club, however, had little trouble filling out the six team brackets of both its 12-goal South Florida Challenge Pro-Am and the 14-goal Wanderers Cup.
Joey Casey continues to organize polo at the old Royal Palm Polo Club under the sobriquet-Palm City Polo Club. A host of supporters that include Melissa and Marc Ganzi, Charlie Muldoon, Sunny Hale, Lucas Lalor, Peter Rizzo and Juan Bollini compete in the 8-10 goal competition.
The Villa Del Lago/Equuleus clubs have joined forced to administer its own brand of 8-goal play, attracting six more teams on fields that never seem to end in the Wellington area.
The Sunlight Ranch Polo Club brought in veteran arena player Dan Healy to lead the program into the coming season. The former 6-goal arena star has managed polo programs from here to Hawaii and was a teammate to Tom Goodspeed (9) and Joe Henderson (10) on the fabled LA Colts team that ruled the indoor polo scene for years. The club is counting on his experience and vast polo contacts to jump start its expanding facilities. The club is touting its Women’s Arena Polo Series in its “Friday Nights Under the Lights” that will include a DJ, dance floor, “BBQ and Beer”, tailgate parties and private boxes. The series is scheduled to begin on Friday, February 12 and will be presented every other week.