White Birch Wins Butler Handicap
By Alex Webbe
White Birch relied on five goals from Pancho Bensadon to score an 8-7 win over Camilo Bautista and his Las Monjitas team in the finals of the Butler Handicap
White Birch dominated the early going, building up a 5-3 halftime score under threatening skies, but Las Monjitas got back into the game in the fourth chukker.
Goals from Eduardo Astrada and brother Nacho Astrada were complimented by excellent defense by the balance of the team, and the chukker ended in a 5-5 tie.
The two teams traded goals in the fifth chukker, with Nacho Astrada converting a penalty shot while Adam Snow chipped in a goal from the field. White Birchâ€™s Bensadon accounted for both of the White Birch goals as the chukker ended with the teams all even at 7-7.
Following a brief rain delay, both teams returned to the field in an effort to capture the trophy, but no one seemed to be able to put the ball through their opponentâ€™s goal posts.
In a defensive effort by Las Monjitas, a penalty was awarded to White Birch. Bensadonâ€™s fifth goal of the match gave the 8-7 win to White Birch.
White Birchâ€™s Jeff Blake was named MVP with Adam Snowâ€™s 10-year-old chestnut Thoroughbred mare Believe earning Best Playing Pony Honors.
High-goal polo action will continue on Friday, April 3 at 4pm when Orchard Hill meets Pony Express in the opening game of the 2009 US Open Championship.