Tag Archives: Argentina

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.

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Meet Gaston Von Wernich.

A native of Argentina, Gaston Von Wernich grew up on a farm about 3 hours west of Buenos Aires. Gaston came from a home of polo players, and he learned to play from his uncle–a skilled, 10-goal player who lived close by.  He has been playing in San Diego for a handful of years with Chris Maloney.

To prepare for competition, Gaston employs a few simple tactics: he makes sure to ride early in the morning and, before any match, he makes sure to focus his mind entirely upon the game.

He enjoys being with his family and drinking maté with his friends in the barn.  Thus far, the highlight of his polo career was winning the Spreckels Cup in 2007 with his brother and Chris Maloney.

Gaston’s long term polo goals are to continue to compete professionally and, one day, to play alongside his sons.

Meet Diego Cossio.

We sat down with the shy and very humble Diego Cossio and learned a few surprises about this polo star.

How did you get your start?
I started playing in 1996 in the US.  I played for 10 years under the famous Steve Crowder.  He’s a good man and I owe him a lot.

Where do you play now?
San Diego of course, but I love playing in Calgary and Florida.


Do you do any cross-training?
I swim and play soccer.  After injuries, I lift weights.

Oh really?
Don’t put that.

What is your favorite sport to watch?
Ice hockey because it’s similar to polo in that the key is following the ball and pushing players out of the way.  Soccer too.

What about when you want to veg out?
Veg out?  Family Guy.  It’s light hearted and easy to watch.  The stuff they get away with is crazy.

Favorite movie?
Horror definitely.  The Exorcist.

Favorite book?
Wow.  It’s been a while.  The Alchemist – it’s simple but the ending is very good.

Can you play any instruments?
I’m actually an accomplished musician, you didn’t know that?  I’ve been playing guitar for a few years, self taught.

Diego and his band performing at Crash and Burn 2010.

So, what’s on your iPod?
Slayer, Rob Zombie, Alice in Chains, Pantera.

Anything in spanish?
Oh yea, Hermetica!  They are a really good heavy metal band in Argentina.

What’s a typical meal?
Meat.  If I can eat steak 3-4 times a week, I’m happy.

Any exciting news?
I’m taking a trip to Europe with my girlfriend, just for fun.  We are leaving Colton behind for a couple of days.  We don’t have plans, just a wedding to attend in Scotland, then backpack around for a bit.

Stacy and Colton, Diego’s family.

Sounds fun.  What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to continue playing polo for a few years.  Eventually, I would want to go back to farming sugar cane – I grew up doing it.  I just really love the whole process.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Home – Tucumán Province, Argentina (known internationally for its sugarcane).