The Willis Allen Memorial Cup Final this past weekend, Sunday August 26, was a heart-felt and reverential way to honor the club’s “Founding Father,” Willis Allen. The San Diego Polo Club also hosted special guests from Ivy Leagues across the nation in an Alumni appreciation day. Schools in attendance included Harvard, MIT, Georgetown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Cornell, Princeton, Oxford, Yale, and Cambridge.
The club’s luxury car sponsor, Land Rover of San Diego, was also present Sunday and was featured in the Polo Pavilion showcasing four of their most coveted models including the timeless Range Rover, Land Rover LR4, Range Rover Sport, and the new 2012 Evoque. During the divot stomp, polo enthusiasts were treated to first class service while being served Korbel’s Sweet Cuvee champagne from the tailgate of the 2012 full Range Rover.
At intermission, SDPC was elated to have Rebecca Ridgon and her boyfriend David Blake who performed an enthralling and captivating dressage demonstration. The United States Dressage Federation has recognized Ridgon’s excellence as a rider on numerous occasions making her the USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist recipient. In addition, Ridgon trains and campaigns her horses for the Grand Prix. Blake has also been recognized by the USDF receiving the bronze, silver, and gold medals on a horse he trained himself. Ridgon and Blake had the entire polo venue spellbound with their astounding horsemanship and meticulous performance that sent shivers down the spines of onlookers.
Musical talents this past Sunday included the Bill Magee Blues Band and national anthem singer Briana Robell. Robell is the 2012 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of San Diego as well as the inductee into the national Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.
Starting off the day were the teams of San Fernando and West Coast Aero Space who took to the field for the three-goal match. Scoring the first goal of the day was the San Diego Polo School’s very own Amir Mojaver. By the end of the first chukker, San Fernando had the lead, 4:2.
In the second chukker, Kimo Huddleston proved himself to be the MVP of team West Coast Aero Space as he scored three consecutive goals. In fact, Huddleston was responsible for all five goals for team West Coast Aero Space wrapping up the second chukker at San Fernando 6, West Coast Aero Space 5.
The third chukker was a gripping one as both teams fought to prevent the other from scoring. In an impressive demonstration of teamwork and athleticism, San Fernando and West Coast Aero Space proved they were forces to be reckoned with. In the end, team San Fernando persevered scoring one goal by Roberto Estudillo.
The fourth chukker began with a goal by Kimo Huddleston of West Coast followed by a goal by Diego Velarde of team San Fernando. While Huddleston scored all seven of the goals for his team it was ultimately San Fernando that took the win-8: 7. Enraptured by their win, team San Fernando tipped their helmets to the audience and road by the VIP tent in a victory lap, elating the crowd.
We had a surprise guest this weekend, Mr. Memo Gracida, one of the best polo players of our time, graced the fields on Sunday at the San Diego Polo Club. Gracida has won 16 U.S. Opens, more than any other player in history. He held a 10-goal handicap for 21 years, has won every important tournament, and is the Polo Hall of Fame. It was quite an honor to have Memo Gracida throw in the first ball of the Willis Allen Memorial Finals.
The second match of the day featured the 10-goal teams of Trinity and Twin Palms/Starmeadow. Chris Maloney, of team Twin Palms/Starmeadow, scored the first goal. Maloney’s goal was quickly answered by team Trinity who went on to score three consecutive goals with the help of Rick Paicius and Tim Rudy. In the second chukker, both teams scored three goals apiece making the score Trinity 6, Starmeadow 4.
While the score remained neck-in-neck throughout the third chukker, Twin Palms/Starmeadow took advantage of the fourth chukker to pull themselves into the lead. Demonstrating excellent defense tactics, Twin Palms prevented Trinity from scoring the entire fourth chukker while scoring three goals for themselves. At the end of the fourth chukker, Trinity had eight points while Twin Palms had 10.
The sixth chukker proved to be the most riveting of the day leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats. Arthur Cameron and Mariano Gutierrez of team Trinity scored two goals for their team pulling Trinity in the lead 12:11. With 28 seconds remaining in the match, Gaston VonWernich scored a goal for Twin Palms/Starmeadow tying up the score at 12 points. Adding to the excitement, a foul was called on VonWernich’s play and neither umpire (Mike Kerley or Kimo Huddleston) could come to an agreement. The dispute between umpires led them to usher in the “third man” for a verdict. In the end, VonWernich’s goal was taken away from team Twin Palms giving team Trinity the win in an engrossing match of polo- Trinity: 12, Twin Palms: 11.
Join us this Sunday, September 2, for our annual White Party! SDPC will also feature season sponsor, Hoehn Jaguar complete with an all white fleet of luxury vehicles. Also, look forward to our elegant fashion show that will both emphasize and encompass this season’s new trends and inspirations.