Along the Sideboards
By Alex Webbe
February 23, 2009
So much has happened in South Florida the last week it is difficult to know where to begin. The English polo team of James Beim, Luke and Mark Tomlinson and Eduardo Novillo Astrada beat the Americans 9-8 to capture the historic Westchester Cup. This is only the second time since 1902 that the English have scored consecutive wins over the
As far as the Americans were concerned, things couldn’t have gone worse for them. Following the loss of Julio Arellano (8) due to a broken hand suffered in the US teams first practice game, 9-goaler Mike Azzaro suffered a broken collarbone following a violent collision with another player on the field during the semifinals of the Philip Iglehart Cup. Just 48 hours before the big showdown, the United States lost its top player and had all of its plans and preparations crushed. Alternate Jeff Hall (8) was brought in to replace Azzaro, but with no practice time with the remaining three members of the team, the
The hard work put forth by the
The shortcomings of the support offered by the USPA will be discussed in the future.
The English, however, performed brilliantly, and fought their way to a hard fought, sixth chukker 9-8 win. The highly prized Westchester Cup was crated and on its way back to
With the Westchester Cup over, Patagones needed overtime to defeat a talented Lechuza Caracas team 9-8 in another sudden-death overtime game. Such was the parity of teams in this year’s Iglehart Cup competition that fourteen of the nineteen games played in the Iglehart Cup were decided by a single goal, with eight of them going into sudden-death overtime.
There are only seven teams lining up for the C. V. Whitney Cup, the first of the season’s 26-goal competitions. Action is scheduled to begin on Saturday, February 28 with Pony Express (Bob Daniels, Pelon Sterling, Nick Roldan and Matias Magrini) facing Las Monjitas (Camilo Bautista, Adam Snow, Eduardo Astrada and Nacho Astrada). On Sunday, March 1 Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Pablo MacDonough, Hector Galindo and Lucas Criado) play Lechuza Caracas (Victor Vargas, Tomas Goti, Juan Martin Nero and Sapo Caset. The day’s feature game is Audi (Marc Ganzi, Fred Mannix, Jr, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres) against White Birch (Peter Brant, Jeff Blake, Mariano Aguerre and Pancho Bensadon).
A second effort to internationalize American polo competition again is on the near horizon at The Villages Polo Club in Central Florida. with the match date set for Friday, March 13. It has been 21 years since the Camacho Cup (
Because Mike Azzaro was the designated team captain for the
In an effort to attract team, the movement appears to be toward money tournaments with the Gulfstream Polo Club offering a $25,000 prize for the USPA Delegates Cup 8-Goal League March 6-April 3 and the $20,000 USPA Bronze Trophy 12-Goal League (March 8-April5.
In a combined effort, the Port Mayaca Polo Club and the Grand Champions Polo Club have offered their $25,000 Master Series that will run from March 12 to April 4.