Tag Archives: 9/11

USPA Rossmore Cup & Salute to Military

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On Sunday, September 8, we kicked of the USPA Rossmore Cup and honored our military, veterans, and first responders with a special ceremony.  We warmly welcomed all military families, veteran support groups and charities who work hard to support our veterans in the community.  Among them were Horses Joining Forces, a therapeutic riding program for veterans with PTSD.  President of Horses Joining Forces, Former Major Glenn Cunningham, described the program and it’s benefits, giving the audience great insight what horses can do for our mind, body and heart.

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Tens of thousands of our young combat veterans are unemployed, underemployed, homeless, in support programs, and or despondent due on no small part to the cause and effects of PTSD and combat trauma.  Vets 360 invites recently separated combat veterans and their families into an on-going program of engagement, education, employment, and healing.  Their goal is to help them understand that asking for support is a sign of strength… NOT an inability to cope.  We were thrilled to have Vets 360 involved with our annual Salute to Military event.

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The day kicked off with a match between Twin Palms/San Fernando and Star Meadow/Monteverde.  Diego Velarde started off hot, leading Twin Palms/San Fernando with 3 goals in the first chukker and2 more in the second.  Gaston VonWernich also put a couple through in the first and fourth chukkers.  Star Meadow/Monteverde started slowly, building momentum in the third chukker.  At half time, the score was 5 to 4, Twin Palms/San Fernando in the lead.  In the fourth chukker, Graham Bray scored two and Martin Ravina one for Star Meadow/Monteverde.  In the 5th chukker, they did the same: Bray with two, Ravina with one.  Twin Palms/San Fernando fell back in the second half to play defense.  They weren’t able to score on the opposing team in the 5th and 6th chukkers.  Star Meadow/Monteverde came out victorious, 11 to 6.

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During intermission the Poway Valley Vaulters, consisting of 6 girls, 2 trainers and a 13-year old Percheron/Welsh pony, showed us their talents.  Equestrian Vaulting is a unique International sport that combines elements of gymnastics and dance on the back of a moving horse. And is a wonderful and fun way to develop coordination, balance, strength, flexibility, teamwork, harmony and creativity.

Vaulters of all ages and abilities showcase their talents in compulsory movements and choreographed freestyle routines set to music, with up to 3 vaulters on the horse at a time. Vaulting’s history is said to have begun thousands of years ago in ancient Minoa as ‘bull vaulting’. In fact, every horse culture around the world practices a variation of this sport.  The sport’s most modern ancestor was as a cavalry training tool for horse-mounted soldiers, and it was also a recognized Olympic sport in the early 20th century. It is one of the FEI’s 8 recognized sports, and is a regular feature of the World Equestrian Games.

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Our Salute to Military Ceremony was led by emcee and polo announcer Steve Lewandowski.  Steve welcomed Glenn Cunningham, president of Horses Joining Forces on to the field to speak about the therapeutic riding program and services for veterans with PTSD.  A representative from Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office presented certificates to many groups and people who made the event possible, and also gave a special flag to Steve Lewandowski for his exceptional effort during the planning of this event, and also to the San Diego Polo Club for hosting the event.  These special flags were once flown above the capital and considered a honorable gift.  Veterans and active military were invited on to the field for the recognition ceremony.

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CV4C2441Karen McBride sang the national anthem in front of a huge American flag and the teams paraded on to the field for the featured match.

Team Hanalei Bay and Team Adeptus battled it out on field one in front of the crowd.  Ashton Wolf, who fell and had to get face stitches on Friday afternoon, scored the first goal of the match for Hanalei Bay, followed by teammates Mariano Fassetta and David Samaniego.  Jesse Bray and Dan Juarez of Adeptus scored one each in the second chukker and an additional 3 in the third chukker.  By half time, the game was tied up 5 to 5.

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Guests enjoyed a taste of Korbel California Champagne during the half time classic Pretty Woman Divot Stomp.

Krista Bonaguidi and Ashton Wolf scored for Hanalei Bay in the 4th chukker, and Jim Wright was able to score one for Adeptus.  Jesse Bray scored 2 in the 5th chukker and teammate, Dan Juarez scored another for Adeptus.  Mariano Fassetta was able to get through Adeptus‘ defense to score two for Hanalei Bay in the 5th and 6th chukker, but it was Dan Juarez’s last goal that lead Adeptus to victory.

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Trophies were presented by the nieces of founding member and owner of Daou Vineyards, Georges Daou.

Daou Winners

Willis Allen Memorial Cup Kicks Off in San Diego…

We are playing with a fantastic group of people in September.  If you’ve never followed the season of polo in San Diego, September is the best month to see action-packed games.  We welcome new players and new competition.

The first match on Sunday brought Hanalei Bay versus Southwind Adeptus.  Ron Bonaguidi, our President and Patron of Hanalei Bay played well, scoring 1 for the team in the first chukker.  Mariano Fassetta, now called the “Argentine Assasin” by our announcer Steve Lewandowski, scored 3, and Alvaro Tadeo scored 2 for Hanalei Bay.

Southwind/Adeptus played beautifully on Sunday afternoon.  Pedro Orellano scored 5 for Southwind/Adeptus, Colleen Wilson scored 2, Chris Collins scored 2, and even Mike Kerley got one.  Needless to say, Southwind Adeptus came out on top.  They are looking good this week, defeating Hanalei Bay 10 to 6.

During intermission, the San Diego Polo Club observed 9/11 by presenting the Rainbow Riders Drill Team of Poway.  The 8 women mounted horses decorated in sparkling red, white and blue colors and paraded the field with gorgeous American flags.  In addition to their performance, we asked all current armed forces, veterans, and emergency responders to join us on the field.

Congressman Martin Garrick gave a wonderful speech in remembrance of those effected by the tragedy of 9/11.  Our announcer, Steve Lewandowski brought the audience to tears as he congratulated each one of our heroes for dedicating their lives to helping others.  It was a very special day to remember the tragedy of 10 years ago and to count our blessings.

TRINITY: Rick Paicuis 0, Patrick Uretz 1, Jared Sheldon 1, Mariano Gutierrez 5

On Friday, Trinity met in our Clubhouse to watch a previous practice game against Starmeadow in order to prep for their Sunday match.  They talked strategy and how to handle one of our best and most aggressive players on the field, Graham Bray.

STARMEADOW: Graham Bray 5, Jesse Bray 3, Jessica Bailey 1, Colton Bancroft -1

The feature match started out slow, with Jesse Bray, Colton Bancroft (subbing for his mom, Joy Bancroft), and Graham Bray each scoring 1 for Starmeadow.  Trinity scored 2 (Jared Sheldon and Mariano Gutierrez).  Jared Sheldon spiced things up in the second chukker by getting bumped off his horse.  He got right back on and continued playing.

Fans celebrated the half time Divot Stomp with tastes of Rose Champagne sponsored by Korbel California Champagne.  Every Sunday we hide  a decorated champagne cork on the field and the person who finds the cork gets a bottle of Champagne!

Starmeadow and Trinity took the half time to form a game plan, and both teams came back stronger than the first half.  Jesse Bray scored 3 for Starmeadow and Colton Bancroft (only 14 years old!) scored one.  Meanwhile, Rick Paicius, Jared Sheldon and Mariano Gutierrez  each scored one for Trinity, bringing the game up to 7 to 6, Starmeadow in the lead.

In the 5th chukker, things heated up again and Sheldon had another fall.  Again, a little bruised, but not seriously hurt, Sheldon continued playing.  Jesse Bray scored a few more, totaling 7 goals that afternoon.  Mariano Gutierrez put 2 through in the 6th chukker, but it wasn’t enough for the win.  Graham Bray did the honor of scoring 2 more in the 6th chukker, just to be sure Starmeadow walked away victoriously.