Palm City Open underway

City Open kicks off the spring season at Grand Champions

Alex Webbe

The 2013 spring season got underway Friday morning at the
Grand Champions Polo Club with the opening round of play in the Palm City
Open.  Five teams with handicaps ranging
from thirteen to sixteen goals participated in the event.

Austria’s Walter Scherb and Hannah Buchan co-captained
the Power Horse/Longfield entry that included 10-goaler Miguel Astrada and
5-goaler Brandon Phillips; Guillermo Steta, the President of the Mexican Polo
Federation was joined by Marc Ganzi, 10-goaler Gonzalito Pieres and Carlitos
Gracida in the Jajalpa lineup; while Avery Chapman and Andrew Siebert had the services
of 6-goaler Kris Kampsen and 7-goaler Jeff Hall.  Tommy Kato and Bob Daniels led the Merchant
Hub/Pony Express team onto the field with Brian Street’s Elangani polo team
(Brian Street, Nacho Badiola, Diego Coscio and Carlucho Arellano) filling out the
five team field.

Merchant Hub/Pony Express received two goals by handicap
from the 15-goal Elangani lineup, and quickly added to it.  Single goals from Tomas Goti and Luis Escobar
and a pair of goals from the field from Bob Daniels had Merchant Hub/Pony
Express in front 6-1 after the first chukker of play.  Carlucho Arellano was credited with the only
score from Elangani.

Elangani roared back in the second period, scoring four
consecutive goals before Goti got Merchant Hub/Pony Express on the scoreboard
on a penalty shot.  A pair of goals from
the field from Arellano and Nacho Badiola cut the lead to three goals,
6-3.  Two more goals from Arellano (one
on a penalty shot) cut the Merchant Hub/Pony Express lead to a single goal,
6-5.  Goti converted a penalty shot to
end the scoring in the chukker with Elangani trailing, 7-5.

Both defenses stiffened in the third, and no goals were
scored from the field.  Arellano
converted a penalty shot for a goal for the only scoring in the chukker, but Merchant
Hub/Pony Express continued to lead, 7-6 at the end of the first half.

Arellano opened the fourth period with a goal from the
field from Arellano to knot it up at 7-7. 
Luis Escobar and Nacho Badiola exchanged goals and the chukker ended in
an 8-8 tie.

The fifth period was all Elangani, and more precisely,
all Nacho Badiola.  Three consecutive
goals from Badiola went unanswered and with one chukker left to play, Elangani found
themselves on the winning end of an 11-8 score.

There was no help for Merchant Hub/Pony Express in the
final chukker as Elangani rode off with a 14-9 win.  Two goals from Arellano and a goal from
Badiola were countered by a single goal from Goti, securing a berth in the
tournament finals for Elangani.

Arellano led all scoring with eight goals.  Teammate Badiola was credited with six goals
in the win.  Goti scored three times for
Daniels and Escobar each added a pair of goals and the team received two goals
by handicap.


ELG/Psycho Bunny scored wins over Power Horse/Longfield
and Jajalpa on Friday at the Grand Champions Polo Club earning the right to
meet Elangani in the finals of the season opening tournament, the Palm City

ELG/Psycho Bunny opened the day with a 6-5 win over Power
Horse/Longfield in the first three –chukker mini-game of the day.  Avery Chapman scored twice while teammates
Andrew Siebert, Kris Kampsen and Jeff Hall each added a goal and the team
received one goal by handicap.  Power
Horse/Longfield trailed 3-1 after the first chukker and 5-2 after the second,
but came up just short in the third when they put three goals on the
scoreboard, losing by a single goal, 6-5. 
Walter Scherb scored twice in the loss. 
Miguel Astrada, Hannah Buchan and Brandon Phillips each added a

Power Horse/Longfield held the field for the next three
chukkers as they faced Jajalpa in a must-win situation.  If Power Horse/Longfield loses, they’re out
of the competition and the tournament finalist would be decided between
ELG/Psycho Bunny and Jajalpa.

Jajalpa received ½ goal by handicap from the 16-goal Power
Horse/Longfield lineup and added to it in the opening chukker with a goal from
Carlitos Gracida.  Brandon Phillips
responded for Power Horse/Longfield, and the first chukker ended with Jajalpa
leading by ½ goal, 1½ to 1.

Brandon Phillips gave Power Horse/Longfield the lead in
the second chukker with his second goal of the game for a 2-1 ½ advantage.  Jajalpa fired back with goals from Marc Ganzi
and Gonzalito Pieres.  With a single
chukker left to be played, Jajalpa was in front, 3½ -2.

Ganzi converted a penalty shot for a goal and Astrada
scored the final goal of the mini-match, but it was Jalapa that took the game
by a 4½-3 score.

The final shoot-out of the day’s round-robin would
feature Jajalpa and ELG/Psycho Bunny, and would decide who would meet Elangani
in the finals.

ELG/Psycho Bunny received ½ goal by handicap and Andrew
Siebert added a goal in the opening chukker for a 1½-0 lead.  Carlitos Gracida answered with a goal from
the field, but that was the extent of the offense in the opening chukker of the
game.  ELG/Psycho Bunny took the early
lead, 1½ to 1.

Both defenses closed down on any long runs toward goal in
the second frame.  Jeff Hall drove the
ball through the Jajalpa goalposts to extend the lead to 2½ -1, but that was
the only goal scored in the chukker, and Jajalpa had one chukker to overtake ELG/Psycho
Bunny for a spot in the finals.

The first goal came almost three minutes into the chukker
with Kris Kampsen scoring his first goal of the day for a 3½ -1 advantage.  Two minutes later, Gonzalito Pieres scored
for Jajalpa, 3½ -2.  Hall scored the
final goal of the match, and ELG/Psycho Bunny rode off with the 4½ -2 win and
an appointment with Elangani in the finals.