Category Archives: News

International and Local Polo Players Kick Off 2014 Season with Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club

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Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club reached a record breaking 3,200 attendees on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Polo fans and San Diego socialites flocked to Rancho Santa Fe for two thrilling polo matches, a fashion show, live DJ and plenty of people watching.

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Land Rover of San Diego brought in a fleet of gorgeous 2014 Range Rover Evoques and Range Rover Sports, which was the main focal point during the fashion show & presenting ceremonies.

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The well-dressed attendees enjoyed mingling in the Polo Pavilion presented by Riviera Magazine, watching the match from the VIP tent, toasting champagne glasses in the garden section and bumping into friends in the general admission area.

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We had a few craft cocktails on draft, including a strawberry rhubarb Woodford Reserve julep and Herradura Tequila Flor de Paloma, two of our favorites. Guests also enjoyed an assortment of spirits, local craft beer, hand selected wines, and of course, champagne!

chef-dawn-parks-wild-thyme-company-opening-day-polo Our Sunday Polo Kitchen is presented by The Wild Thyme Company, offered plates to share (their cheese plate is delicious) or more traditional sandwiches, salads (another favorite is the beet caprese salad) and daily specials.

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Their food is both classic and trendsetting while maintaining the highest standards of culinary excellence with an emphasis on seasonal options. The full menu can be seen online here.

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Land Rover of San Diego’s Sales Guide, Matt Deep threw in the ceremonial first ball to kick off the 7-goal polo match. Team Rancho Santa Fe battled it out against team Del Mar.

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Mia Bray (subbing for Colton Bancroft), Kimo Huddleston (subbing for Ashton Wolf), Graham Bray and Mike Manno made up team Rancho Santa Fe (6-goal team). New to SDPC, Emma Stachowitz, Jennifer Alexy, and John Eicher joined resident player Diego Cossio to make up team Del Mar (7-goal team). Because team Rancho Santa Fe is 1-goal lower than team Del Mar, a point is put on the board in favor or the lesser team.

Things started off slowly in the first half with two points for each team. Both Kimo Huddleston and Mia Bray scored for Rancho Santa Fe. John Eicher and Diego Cossio scored for Del Mar. Mia Bray and Graham Bray both scored  in the second half, pushing their team into the lead. Jennifer Alexy scored one in the 4th chukker and Diego Cossio scored two more in the 5th and 6th chukkers. Although each team scored the same amount of points, Team Rancho Santa Fe was crowned victorious due to the lesser handicap.

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During intermission, Raina Leon Style & Design presented the 2014 Opening Day Fashion show, featuring local boutique, Van de Vort. Sunglasses were provided by another locally owned brand, RAEN. Men’s fashion was sponsored by J.Hillborn.

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After the fashion show, the feature match began with the parade of teams led by Matt and Patrick of Land Rover San Diego. Nationally acclaimed and Grammy Nominated Songtress, Sacha Boutros sang our National Anthem.

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Sacha impressed the crowd with her amazing vocals.

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Riviera Magazine’s partners threw in the first ball to kick off the 3pm match.

The 3pm match was between sponsors Woodford Reserve and Herradura Tequila. Ellen Greenhill, David Samaniego, Christopher Collins Jr, and SDPC president, Chris Collins made up team Woodford Reserve. Ramon Richard, Roberto Estudillo, Diego Velarde and Topo Mendez made up team Herradura Tequila.

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The first chukker started off hot with 3 goals on the board for Woodford Reserve, scored by David Samaniego (2) and Christopher Collins Jr (1). Both Ramon Richard and Diego Velarde scored for team Herradura. Christopher Collins Jr. kept up the momentum by scoring an additional two in the second chukker. Topo Mendez scored 1 for his team. By the 3rd chukker, the score was 6 to 4 in favor of Woodford Reserve.

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During half time, guests were encouraged to step onto the grass for the traditional champagne divot stomp presented by Korbel California Champagne.

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Flutes of Korbel Brut Champagne and Korbel Rose Champagne were served from the backs of four beautiful Land Rover Evoques by our Van de Vort models.

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Team Herradura Tequila increased their defensive strategy and didn’t allow team Woodford Reserve to score any in the 4th chukker, while Diego Velarde put one through the goal posts. In fact, their defense was so effective, team Woodford Reserve was not able to score for the remainder of the game. Team Herradura Tequila kept posession of the ball. Ramon Richard scored another goal and Diego Velarde scored two more for his team. Diego Velarde had the most goals on the afternoon: 5. Team Herradura Tequila beat Woodford Reserve 8 to 6.

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Publisher of Riviera Magazine, Jessica Cline, joins winning team Herradura Tequila on the trophy deck to present trophies.

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Sponsor, Armando Flores of Charco Design & Build poses with team Herradura Tequila before giving away an authentic Woodford Reserve polo jersey to a lucky fan.

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2014-Opening-Day-San-Diego-Polo-Club-Men-womens-Fashion 2014-Opening-Day-San-Diego-Polo-Club-Women-FashionWith a San Diego’s beautiful people, it’s no wonder Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club is such a fashionable affair.

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DJ Here kept the party going by spinning beats until dusk.

Although we celebrated Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club on June 1, the fun doesn’t stop. Join us every Sunday until the end of September for action-packed polo and family-friendly fun! See the schedule for more details.

Welcome Letter from Marketing Director

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Good afternoon! I hope this email finds you well and that your year is off to a great start!All is well at the San Diego Polo Club. I’m happy to report that 2013 was a great year for us and that we had a very successful summer. We welcomed over 13,000 spectators throughout the season, with close to 3,000 on Opening Day alone. In addition, more than half of our events supported a non-profit organization and we are hoping to partner with even more charities this season.
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We are going through some exciting new changes at the San Diego Polo Club! We have officially welcomed founding member and board member, Chris Collins as the 2014 San Diego Polo Club President. If you read last year’s article, “A Family Legacy” in the San Diego Polo Magazine, you’ll know how influential the Collins Family has been in the history and development of the polo club. We are excited to have him as our President this season!We have also created a Steering Committee this season which will help make important decisions regarding the Club’s direction. I’d like to introduce the members of this group: Julia Samaniego, Joy Bancroft, Chris Maloney, Ellen Greenhill and Krista Bonaguidi. Thank you for all your hard work so far this pre-season.heather-chronert 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think a few of you will be quite pleased to see Heather Chronert back around the San Diego Polo Club this year, acting as Interim General Manager.

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New to the team this year, is Event Director, Krista Morrison. I will help Krista get acquainted with our Sunday Polo Events, Social Activities and Members! If you see Krista on Sunday, please introduce yourself.

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Our favorite New Zealander and Polo Manager, Graham Bray will be returning this season and has plans to bring in new teams for the summer.  He’s actively working with our field managers on improving our fields to make sure our grass is in perfect condition and ready for play come June! Also, be sure to watch for him on Field 1, as he’ll be returning to team StarMeadow again this summer!
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We are happy to welcome back Vanessa Shapiro as our Advertising Sales Director for the 2014 San Diego Polo Magazine. Sales are off to a great start and we are hoping to have an even bigger and better publication this year. I cannot wait for all of your to see our beautiful magazine. If you are interested in advertising, send an email to vanessa@sandiegopolo.com

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I am returning this year as the Marketing Director and will continue to maximize our marketing efforts by developing relationships with community leaders, charities, sponsors, media outlets and valuable partners, as well as manage our graphic design and social media marketing. I will also be training our new Event Manager throughout the season and look forward to introducing you to our new team.

You may have noticed that we are starting our summer season one week earlier this year. We will have 15 weekends of polo, so please mark your calendar for the following events:

28th Annual San Diego Polo Season Kick-Off Party on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 5pm

Opening Day presented by Land Rover of San Diego on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 1pm

In addition to our 15 Sunday Polo events, we will host a handful of fun social events, including an end-of-the-year Spreckels Party. If you are interested in joining as a Social Member, please reach out to me with any questions.

If you know of a charity that we should partner with, someone that wants to start playing polo, or a business owner that has interest in advertising, please feel free to pass along my contact information. I’ll do whatever it takes to make our 2014 a huge success!

I look forward to seeing each of you on Opening Day!

Lindsey

A Polo Family Legacy

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Since the San Diego Polo Club opened its doors in 1986, our fields have welcomed four generations of polo players from the Allen & Collins families and needless to say, they have been an integral part of this club. The family legacy of polo started with Willis Allen, who along with his son-in-law Harry Collins, played an instrumental role in the formation of the San Diego Polo Club. Over the years, Willis Allen, his son-in-law Harry, his grandson Chris and his great-grandson Chris Jr. have all played polo on our fields.

A Horseman Like No Other
Allen was a talented horseman and he had a deep connection to polo. He was first introduced to the sport in the early 1920’s while visiting family in San Angelo, Texas. His uncle was a polo player and gave Willis his first lesson. After Willis returned home to Connecticut, his uncle sent him his first horse, which he named Concho.

By the age of 13, Willis started regularly playing in Connecticut and when he moved to California, he continued with the sport, playing arena polo at the Coronado Country Club. He carried polo with him through the many chapters of life and even played when he was stationed in New Caledonia during WWII. His family fondly shared stories of how even during those difficult years of war, he was able to put together a polo field and bring in horses to play. Allen was truly a man like no other and it was often said, “they broke the mold when they made Willis.” A true benefactor of the sport, he fostered the development and growth of polo on the west coast and always sought to cultivate the skills of aspiring players. He had an egalitarian view of the game and never thought of polo as a sport that should be exclusively reserved for the wealthy. Throughout his life, he encouraged everyone to play. For Allen, polo was never about title or status but instead about passion for the game and his connection to the horses.

In addition to the San Diego Polo Club, Willis was one of the original founding members of the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio, California. Willis also served as a USPA Governor from 1969-1974 and played on numerous national and international teams. Throughout his life, he raised award-winning polo ponies and many people credit his polo talent to his deep connection with the horses. He loved his animals and one of his greatest joys and passions was breeding ponies. For the majority of his polo career, he worked as his own groom and only hired one later in life, when he physically required the assistance. Until that point, he had always taken care of his ponies, believing that it was important to develop a deep connection to the animal. Willis’ passion and enthusiasm for polo was infectious and he continued playing until the age of 93, participating in his final polo match just two weeks before he passed. He died on June 13th, 2004 at his home in La Jolla, surrounded by family and friends.

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The Willis Allen Cup

Each year, a special tournament is held in Willis Allen’s name, to recognize sportsmanship, horsemanship, and teamwork amongst young players within the San Diego Polo community. This summer, The Willis Allen Memorial Cup will take place on July 7th, 2013 and the proceeds will benefit the REINS Therapeutic Riding Program (www.reinsprogram.org). The REINS Therapeutic Riding Program is a non-profit organization, located in Fallbrook, California, and their mission is to provide physical and emotional therapy to a wide range of disabled children and adults through the use of carefully supervised horseback riding. They currently serve over 200 students each week, coming from all over southern California and ranging in age from 2 – 83. The students have a variety of disabilities including: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, seizure disorders, developmental delays and other mental and physical challenges. The benefits of this therapy are both mental and physical and include normalization of muscle tone, increased balance and coordination, developments of speech and language, and improvements in body awareness and self-esteem. Harry Collins participates in therapeutic riding and his family credits this program for the tremendous improvements he’s made since his 2003 polo accident. The Collins family is a huge supporter of the work that the REINS Therapeutic Riding Program is doing and they are thrilled to partner with them for the 2013 Willis Allen Memorial Cup.

Collins Family

Throughout his life, Willis Allen exhibited passion, energy, enthusiasm and most importantly, a generosity of spirit. It was an honor to sit down with the remaining three generations of his family and hear their first hand stories and memories of Willis and learn more about their family’s long and rich history with the sport of polo and the San Diego Polo Club.

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How would you describe Willis Allen as a person? As a player?
He was a wonderful father and father-in-law and overall just a really genuine and honest man. People loved him because he was a really kind and fun person to be around. He was Harry’s best friend and he taught Harry everything that he knows about horses and polo. Before Harry and I had met, he had hardly been around horses but my father introduced him. Eventually, they started breeding and raising ponies together. It was my father’s passion and he loved his horses so much. He had a connection to the animals and he loved to watch them grow. And he just loved polo! It was his life.

What is a special memory you have with the SD Polo Club?
While Harry was a regular player at the San Diego Polo Club, I never got seriously into the sport. I played with my father as a child but back then women weren’t competitively playing polo like they are today. I always rode horses though. Harry on the other hand, fell in love with the sport and he loved to play, especially at the San Diego Polo Club. Over the years, our family has had so many wonderful memories that it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Anytime Harry could play with Chris and Chris Jr. it was special for him.

Where would you like to see the sport head in the next 10 years?
That’s an interesting question and I’d probably have to reflect back on my father when answering. See, Dad was not big on huge tournaments, and he preferred the low-key nature of clubs like Lakeside. He also never had grooms, though I will say that when I was a kid, he would sometimes pay me 0.25 cents a weekend to walk his horses. He didn’t really believe in hiring pros either and he never thought polo should be a sport that was just for the wealthy. His view of polo was pretty simple. He loved the game, he loved and respected the animals and he valued teamwork, horsemanship and sportsmanship, and I think that’s the direction he’d want to see the sport move in.

CHRIS COLLINS

How would you describe Willis Allen as a person? As a player?
For Willis, polo was only about one thing – the horses. If you ever asked Willis about polo he would start by telling you about the horses. He bred ponies for almost 70 years, many from the same original bloodline. He also never hired a groom because he enjoyed doing everything with the horse. As a player, Willis was always the happiest guy on the field. He played every week and competed with some of the best players in the world. At the height of his game, he reached a 3 goal ranking. He was always running with the ball and one of his signature moves was dribbling the ball down the field between his horse’s front legs. Willis also really enjoyed teaching people the game, firmly believing that everyone should have the opportunity to play polo. He really wanted the sport to be accessible to everyone.

What is a special memory you have with the SD Polo Club?
Our family has so many wonderful memories with polo but one that stands out was the four-generation match we competed in. Playing with my grandfather, my father and my son is a very special memory for me. I also remember a time when Harry was injured and so Chris Jr. had to fill in for him. He was only 13 years old at the time but it was amazing to get to play together.

Where would you like to see the sport head in the next 10 years?
Lately, it seems like only the very wealthy play polo and Willis would never have thought that was right. He really believed that you needed a cross-section of people to play and that the sport should be accessible to everyone. I think we need to get back to that. The number of players is decreasing every year and so I think that we need to do something to bring more people into the sport. Polo needs to be revitalized and we really need to start encouraging younger kids to play. It’s important that we introduce them to polo at an early age and then foster their development and growth. It’s the only way our future generations of polo players are going to have a true competitive edge.

CHRIS COLLINS JR.

How would you describe Willis Allen as a person? As a player?
Strong!! I don’t know that many people who can play polo well into their 90’s. Willis was an inspirational man, not only to me, but to my entire family. His patience gave him a connection with the horses that most people will never have. As a polo player, I think everyone who had the pleasure of playing with or against him, knew that he could hit a tail shot 100% of the time. You would have never known he was ninety-two years old when he got on a horse and got into the line-up. You don’t meet very many legends in your life and my great grandfather was certainly one!

What is a special memory you have with the SD Polo Club?
Having the opportunity to play with my Dad, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather, is de”nitely one of my best memories at the San Diego Polo Club. I was only 11 years old but I can still remember how nervous I was before the game. Another great memory is winning the Spreckels Cup for the “rst time in 2010 with my dad. Finally, even though I’m not sure how much of this I actually remember, one of my best memories was attending my “rst polo match just two days after I was born. I was in a stroller on the sidelines for the very “rst game at the San Diego Polo Club.

Where would you like to see the sport head in the next 10 years?
We need to keep the sport growing and continue to get more people involved, informed and in love with this amazing game. I want to see more people taking lessons and I strongly encourage everyone to do so. I think the USPA has done a great job with Team USPA in farming young American players and giving
them opportunities they would have never had 5 years ago. If we can keep improving young polo players we will improve the sport here in the U.S. and make us even more competitive on a global scale.

Written by Vanessa ShapiroPhotos by Topher Riley & courtesy of The Collins Family

American Heart Association Painted the SD Polo Club RED for the Inaugural Go Red Campaign

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Sunday’s finals of the Pacific Coast Polo Tournament also celebrated the inaugural American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign.  Emceed by ABC’s Bachelorette runner up, Kiptyn Locke, the American Heart Association had their first ever San Diego STRUT to promote heart health in women, along with a silent and live auction.  The Polo Club was decked out in red and all guests sported red flair in support of the organization.  According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one killer in women, which is more than all types of cancer combined!

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Porsche of San Diego had their gorgeous automobiles on display, including the all new 2014 Porsche Cayman.

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The first match was a consolation game played between Twin Palms/San Fernando and AdeptusColleen Wilson, owner of Adeptus had a spectacular afternoon, scoring 5 goals for her team.  Roberto Estudillo of Twin Palms/San Fernando also had a fantastic game, scoring 3 for his team.  Twin Palms/San Fernando was slow to start, but caught up by half-time, making the score 5 to 5.  Adeptus shined in the 5th chukker, bringing their team up 3 more point and winning the match 8 to 7.

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During intermission, the local community participated in the Go Red STRUT, a community-based, one-of-a kind fashion show.  Led by the San Diego Polo School students and Uakea Huddleston, the STRUT included two heart disease victims, one being a 4 year old boy.  Celebrity judges AJ Machado, Chris Cantore, Natasha Stenbock, Lisa Murphy, Mia Stefanko and Kiptyn Locke, judged the “strutters” and gave out prizes to various winners.

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Just after the American Heart Association’s Go Red STRUT, our announcer and auctioneer, Steven Lewandowski raffled off items for charity!

The national anthem was sung by two American Heart Association volunteers, one of which is a heart disease survivor.

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The feature match and finals of the Pacific Coast Polo Tournament consisted of Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi -1, Ashton Wolf 3, Mariano Fassetta 6, David Samaniego 0) and Starmeadow/Monteverde (Ellen Greenhill -1, Colton Bancroft 0, Martin Ravina 5, Graham Bray 4).  Hanalei Bay kicked off things in the first chukker with 3 goals but letting Starmeadow/Monteverde sneak up in the 3rd chukker.  Krista Bonaguidi scored 3 in the feature match, making her one of the high scorers on her team.  The game was all tied up in the 4th chukker, 7 to 7, but Martin Ravina scored 4 goals in the final chukkers to lead his team to victory.  Starmeadow/Monteverde beat Hanaeli Bay 10 to 8.

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Guests enjoyed the Korbel California Champagne Divot Stomp during half time and the Paul Cannon Band after the matches.

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When guests sampled Black Stallion Winery‘s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, they received a fun Black Stallion branded Go Vino glass!  Black Stallion’s chardonnay is one of our biggest sellers at Sunday Polo!

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Thank you to Ranch & Coast for being our media sponsor and Kiptyn Locke for emcee-ing the event!

Aloha Sunday Kicks-off Second Half of the Season!

Aloha Sunday Invite 2013

We kicked off the second half of our season with Aloha Sunday in partnership with ilovemusubi.com. Joining us to help celebrate the Hawaiian theme was Maui’s finest polo player Kimo Huddleston along with his wife and daughters.  His youngest daughter, Uakea, or known to most of us as Buddha stole the hearts of the audience as the 4 year old rode her new pony named Cappy around the polo field and greeting fans between matches.

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Our intermission performances included Kimo Huddleston’s wife Stephanie and his daughters Illihia, Hi’ilawe dancing native Hawaiian hulas. They danced several dances together and ending with Stephanie doing a beautiful solo.

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Our 3PM match featured Star Meadow/Monteverde versus Hanalei Bay. It was an evenly matched game with both teams rated 8 goals.

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The National Anthem was sung by Lea Love of Hawaiian/ Samoan decent born and raised in San Diego. She has been singing and dancing all of her life and recently traveled to Tahiti with her Polynesian dance group.

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The first ball was thrown in by Nino “Neens” Camilo, the founder of the I Love Poke Hawaiian Food Festival.

Krista-Aloha

The first score of the game came from sponsor Krista Bonaguidi and answered quickly with a goal by Martin Ravina.  In the second David Samaniego scored his first goal of the match for Hanalei Bay bringing  the score to 2-1 in favor of Hanalei Bay. The next two goals were scored by Graham Bray and Martin Ravina with Hanalei Bay answering with a goal from Ashton Wolf tying the score for 3-3 at the end of the second chukker. Play started in the third chukkar with Martin Ravina scoring the first goal for Star Meadow/Monteverde and Ashton Wolf came up with the tying goal for a 4-4 score ending the play before half time.

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Our champagne divot stomp was sponsored by Korbel California Champagne, with an island twist!  Guests enjoyed pineapple mimosas as they stopped divots.

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The second half started with Hanalei Bay’s Mariano Fassetta scoring his first goal of the match. The teams were so evenly matched and each defended their goals keeping scoring at a minimum. Mariano Fassetta scored again bringing the score to 6-4 and Star Meadow/Monteverde answered with a goal from Graham Bray ending the fourth chukker 6-5 with Hanalei Bay in the lead. Star Meadow/Monteverde was on fire in the fifth scoring 3 goals to Hanalei Bay scoring only one goal bringing the score to 8-7 Star Meadow/Monteverde.

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The sixth had both teams running and Hanalei Bay scored two goals to Star Meadow/Monteverde scoring only one bringing the end of the sixth to a tie game creating overtime. Both teams went off to get horses ready for a seventh chukker. The winning goal was scored by Martin Ravina for a very exciting end to a great match.

Kiel-Jhon

The Seventh Chukker After Party featured Kieljhon Dela Pena from Waimea, on the Big Island of Hawai’i. He has been influenced from a wide variety of genres from Traditional Hawaiian and Folk to Pop, Hip-Hop, R&B and of course Reggae.

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Thanks to Hula Girls Shave Ice and Jaguar San Diego for being a part of Aloha Sunday.  Mahalo!

Photos courtesy of John O’Mara and RichardNesdale.com

San Fernando wins Fernando Gutierrez Memorial Tournament!

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Fernando Gutierrez once played polo on the lush fields at the San Diego Polo Club with his brother-in-law, Roberto Estudillo.  After his passing, the Gutierrez and Estudillo families created a memorial tournament in his honor.  Roberto Estudillo has since named his team San Fernando, meaning “Saint Fernando.”  Fernando’s wife, and sister to Roberto, Monique Estudillo and son, Fernando (Fernandito) Gutierrez support this wonderful event annually.

The entire Estudillo Family was present, including their 101 year old Grandmother.  We are honored to welcome the family and friends of the Gutierrez & Estudillo families each year.

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Senora Estudillo had the honor of throwing in the first ball to begin the final match of the Fernando Gutierrez Memorial Cup.

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Things started off hot in the first chukker with Nick Mathers scoring 2 and Mariano Fassetta scoring 1 for Hanalei Bay/Sycamore.  Diego Velarde of Twin Palms/San Fernando scored 1.  By half time, the score was even 5 to 5.  Chris Maloney played a great game, scoring two on the afternoon for Twin Palms/San Fernando.

After half time, things really started heating up with back and forth goals throughout the last chukkers.  The 6th chukker proved to be an exciting one with Diego Velarde and Gaston VonWernich scoring 3 for Twin Palms/San Fernando and Ashton Wolf, Mariano Fassetta, and Krista Bonaguidi scoring 3 for Hanalei Bay/Sycamore.  The crowd was loving the cat and mouse game, each team chasing each other down the field.  The game went into over time.

In overtime, Twin Palms/San Fernando’s number 2 position, Diego Velarde took the ball to the goal and scored the winning team for Twin Palms/San Fernando!

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Chris Maloney’s horse in the 4th chukker won Best Playing Pony.

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During intermission earlier in the day, John Brokenshire of the Free Wheelchair Project introduced this fantastic charity.  The San Diego Polo Club was honored to welcome the Free Wheelchair Mission to our Sunday polo event.  After learning about the Free Wheelchair Mission and the inexpensive cost to literally lift spirits and lives, we knew we had to promote this charity in front of a large group of people.

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Having Vietnamese wheelchair recipient, Lihn Nguyen in attendance was truly special for our audience and tugged on the heartstrings of many.  When you see the enthusiasm and passion behind the charity’s volunteers and staff, you know their mission is true and important.  We are thrilled the San Diego Polo Club helped save the lives of over 100 disadvantaged individuals and families across the globe.  There are some things you just know to be true in your heart, and this charity is one of them.

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Through live and silent auction, we are able to donate 115 wheelchairs to those in need!

In addition to this absolutely fantastic day, Land Rover of San Diego display their luxury vehicles throughout the event.  Visit them and say hi to owner, Jason Puga for us!

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We also had a HUGE crowd of Ivy League Alumni in attendance, especially from Harvard and MIT.  If you’d like to host an alumni mixer or event at SDPC, comment and let us know!Image

Thank you for a wonderful start to our season!  We’ll return on August 18 with Aloha Sunday, a fun, island-inspired family event.  If you can believe it, the best has yet to come!

Willis Allen Memorial Tournament & REINS Therapeutic Riding Program Fundraiser warmed the hearts of many!

Willis Allen Memorial Cup Invite

Since the San Diego Polo Club opened its doors in 1986, our fields have welcomed four generations of polo players from the Allen & Collins families and needless to say, they have been an integral part of this club. The family legacy of polo started with Willis Allen, who along with his son-in-law Harry Collins, played an instrumental role in the formation of the San Diego Polo Club. Over the years, Willis Allen, his son-in-law Harry, his grandson Chris and his great-grandson Chris Jr. have all played polo on our fields.

Collins family

The fifth weekend of polo at the San Diego Polo Club not only brought plenty of sunshine, but also some great polo for the playing of the Willis Allen Memorial Cup.  We celebrated Willis’ life and the Collins’ family legacy by welcoming REINS Therapeutic Riding Program as the beneficiary of the event.  Harry Collins is currently the oldest participant in the REINS Therapeutic Riding Program and the charity is very important to the family.

martin-ravina

The 1:00pm match featured Monteverde-Adeptus versus Star Meadow-San Judas. The match got off to a fast start with Martin Ravina scoring two goals in the first chukker and Kimo Huddleston scoring two for StarMeadow-San Judas.  Ravina put a few more through the goal, resulting in a  Monteverde-Adeptus halftime lead of 7-5. Ramon Richard had a high score of 4 goals for StarMeadow-San Judas.  Despite both efforts, the match ended in a tie.  Martin Ravina had the most goals on the afternoon, totaling 8 for Monteverde-Adeptus.

REINS

During intermission, fans bid on silent auction items including a week long trip to Africa, a signed cowboy hat by Taylor Swift and more, all to benefit REINS Therapeutic Riding Program.  Debbie Shinner, executive director of REINS Therapeutic Riding Program, and JoHanna, one of REINS‘ youngest program participant,  produced a wonderful demonstration for the crowd.  Debbie explained how the therapeutic lessons encourage speech, help riders identify objects, and sequence multiple tasks, all the while on horseback.  JoHanna captured the hearts of the crowd by blowing kisses and riding her lesson pony.

flyball

After fans dried their eyes, we picked it up a little for an intermission exhibition from the Flyball Ballistics Racers. The Racers showed off their speed and agility thru series of obstacle courses.  Polo Player, Linda Drabova, and her dog Indie were the stars of the show!

Erin Thompson started the festivities with the singing of our National Anthem, followed by REINS Therapeutic Riding Program taking part in the ceremonial first ball throw.

action-willis

The 3:00pm match between Hanalei-San Fernando and Twin Palms-Sycamore provided a back and forth seesaw afternoon of polo. Chris Maloney and Ashton Wolf did their jobs, scoring three goals each, to help lead Twin Palms-Sycamore to victory.

willis-winners

The Collins Family presented trophies to the winners and celebrated a wonderful day with family and the fans.

Spectators enjoyed post game entertainment from Tiffany Jane, a San Diego songstress singin’ the blues.

Big thanks to Willis Allen, The Collins Family, REINS Therapeutic Riding Program, Ballistic Racers Flyball Team, Tiffany Jane, Erin Thompson, Three Dog Bakery, and Caracol Silver for coming out to share their Sunday with us.

We look forward to seeing everyone out for the action next week at the Woodford Reserve Classic.

San Diego Polo Club Announces New General Manager

bob-puetz

Polo veteran Bob Puetz, of Mountain Center, California, has been named as the General Manager of the San Diego Polo Club.

Puetz will be replacing Heather Chronert, who has been with the San Diego Polo Club for 17 years.  Mrs. Chronert is stepped down in 2011 to retire with her husband in North County San Diego.

Puetz, a native of Chicago began his professional polo career in the 1980’s at the Oakbrook Polo Club in Illinois.  Over the course of his playing career he achieved a 5-goal field handicap and a 7-goal arena rating.  Throughout his career, he has played across the country, in England, Jamaica, Mexico and Canada.  Puetz has played on winning teams from the United States Arena championship to the prestigious Butler Handicap, competing at every level of the game.

bob-puetz-polo

He might be best remembered as the Polo Manager and General Manager of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California from 1989 to 2002, during the heydays of polo in the desert.  Initially assigned the responsibilities of managing the polo operations, including marketing and recruiting of members, scheduling, stabling, billings, collections, etc. he soon found himself assisting in the planning and development of the Empire Polo and Events facility, overseeing the design and development of five separate events areas including indoor and outdoor facilities, night lit polo fields, expansive gardens, bar and restaurant and an executive golf course all located on the 200 acre property.

For the last nine years Puetz was the Vice President of Brand Management for Wave House Holdings in San Diego, California, a restaurant and event facility that features food, spirits, music and simulated surfing machines in a Southern California beach setting.

wavehouse-bob-puetz

His return to the polo community will be well received as many of his former teammates and opponents continue to compete.  His familiarity with not only polo operations but club management, budgets, hiring, training and supervision of various departments will serve him well as he takes the helm of one of polo’s most respected venues.