Along the Sideboards

Along the Sideboards

By Alex Webbe

March 30, 2009


In the Florida high-goal season’s first heavyweight rematch, Lechuza Caracas redeemed itself from its 8-7 loss to Audi in the finals of the C. V. Whitney Cup by scoring an 11-10 win over Audi in the finals of the 2009 USPA Piaget Gold Cup with a goal by Nicolas Espain with 22 seconds left in the game.


There’s no down time between the Gold Cup and the US Open as Sunny Hale gets her Women’s Championship Tournament kicked off this week.  An Opening Night Party and Draw is scheduled to be held at the Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame on Wednesday, April 1 from 6:30-8:30pm.


The WCT Finals will pit four teams from two to four goals against one another.  Altair (Ashley Van Metre, Alina Carta, Kristy Waters Outhier and Alison Henderson); Catena (Sylvia Firestone, Kellie Torres, Angela York and Erica Gandomcar); Parrot Heads (Ronnie Duke, Kristy Dalton, Tiffany Busch and Carolyn Stimmel); and Audi (Melissa Ganzi, Gillian Johnston, Sunny Hale and TBA).


The WCT isn’t the only women’s polo in the area. As the Port Mayaca Tabebula Cup attracted four teams, with Polodeo Ranch scoring the final win over Cathy Brown’s Wildwood entry.  There are seven women’s teams that have already committed to participate in the 1st Annual South Beach Women’s Polo Cup played on the sand of Miami Beach. 


Five-goaler Todd Offen won’t be ordering clams from Wellington’s trendy Nicole’s Village Tavern.  After helping himself to a number of the bivalve mollusks Todd found himself sidelined with a severe case of food poisoning.  Three days later he was coaching White Birch to a win in the Butler Handicap but had no desire to try to mount up.  Sorry Todd.


Rumors surround the future of long time Black Watch patron Neil Hirsch.  Playing his last two games in the 14-goal league at Outback Hirsch was suffering such severe pain in his lower back that he was barely able to sit on a horse.  Speaking of retiring from the game, Scott Devon was seen along the sidelines recently.  Once the daring captain of the Catamount polo team, Scott retired following a fall and has channeled his energies into developing a new luxury shorts car.  Great design but maybe this isn’t the time to be getting into the automobile business.  Good luck Scott, we miss you.


Heronwood patron Michael Smith Liss suffered a fall the other day.  Initially concerned that he might have broken his thumb (left, thank goodness).  The x-rays came back negative.


The US Open begins with a single game on Friday, April 3 between Orchard Hill and Pony Express.  Audi plays Zacara on Saturday and on Sunday; Lechuza will play White Birch (with patron Peter Brant still sitting out with a sore shoulder) followed by a Black Watch-Las Monjitas contest.