WCT Finals: Audi vs. Parrot Heads

Audi Takes Top Honors in WCT

By Alex Webbe


Hosted by the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida, this year’s WCT Finals drew top women players from around the country to compete for the Women’s Championship Tournament (WCT) Title.

“This wrapped up a very successful expansion year in the WCT,” said WCT president Sunny Hale, “with a total of 8 Qualifiers, including two International Qualifiers in England and Argentina

The popularity and success of the competition underlines the great strides made in women’s polo today.

In the Finals match, Sunny Hale converted six penalty shots and added three goals from the field as Audi got the better of a determined Parrot Heads team.

“They played a really tough first half ,” said Sunny Hale, reflecting on the game.  “But we just kept the pressure on them and took advantage of some mistakes they made.”

The Parrot Heads received one goal by handicap and added to it with the first goal of the opening chukker. 

Hale scored three consecutive goals for Audi on two penalty conversions and a goal from the field.  The chukker ended with Audi holding a narrow 3-2 lead.

Carolyn Stimmel tied the score at 3-3 with a goal from the field in the second chukker, but Audi responded with another goal from Hale for a 4-3 advantage.

Tiffany Busch rallied the Parrot Heads with her first goal of the match and teammate Kristine Dalton added her second goal to put the Parrot Heads in front 5-4, but Audi hadn’t shut off its engine yet.

A Parrot Heads foul allowed Hale to notch her fifth goal of the match on a penalty shot and Gillian Johnston added a goal from the field put Audi on top at halftime, 6-5.

 Tiffany Busch tied the game at 6-6 with a chukker opening goal in the third, but that would be the end of the Parrot Heads offense.

Hale scored once from the field and added two more penalty goals for a chukker-ending 9-6 score.  Despite several attempts at a rally, the Parrot Heads just couldn’t stop the Audi foursome, as Audi rolled on to the final 11-6 victory.

Sunny Hale led all scoring with nine goals.  Gillian Johnston scored twice.

Kristine Dalton and Tiffany Busch scored two goals apiece for the Parrot Heads.  Carolyn Stimmel added a single goal and they received one goal by handicap.

Gillian Johnston received MVP honors while Tiffany Busch’s chestnut mare, Carisia, was name Best Playing Pony.

Congratulations were bestowed upon the many sponsors who supported the 2009 WCT Finals including Official Supplier of the WCT Finals La Martina; host club to the Finals International Polo Club Palm Beach; Opening Party host Polo Museum & Hall  of Fame; Diamond watches from Catena USA; Nano’s Polo Mallets; Best Playing Pony Awards sponsored by Double Diamond Genetics and The American Polo Horse  Association; handcrafted rawhide jewelry from LB Sogas; MVP award sponsored by Palm City Polo Club & JC Polo; Creative Marketing of Wellington; Smicklas Polo; Hairspray Salon of Wellington; and BBQ host Sylvia Firestone of La Victoria Farm.

Wellington Mayor and avid polo fan Darell Bowen and Bill Kraft of Catena USA were both on hand to present the ladies with their awards.