Tag Archives: Hanalei Bay

Chambord Vodka Classic 2014 Recap

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Chambord
Sunday, June 29th was another beautiful day here at the San Diego Polo Club– a bright, breezy polo-filled afternoon.  With our fantastic sponsor Chambord Vodka in attendance, we had a festive purple and pink theme to the tents to match their blackberry flavored liqueur and vodka.  Patrons enjoyed tastes of Chambord Vodka & Liqueur while watching the action on the field.

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Chambord tasting

The PEERS Network & Challenged Athletes Foundation were also in attendance as proud supporters of Sunday Polo.

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Chambord Linens
The first match at 1pm between Starmeadow/MonteVerde and Twin Palms/San Judas, started of with a bang when Jennifer Alexy scored the first goal for her team, Twin Palms/San Judas.  Colton Bancroft also scored for Starmeadow/MonteVerde.  The match ended with at Twin Palms/San Judas at 9 and Starmeadow/MonteVerde with 10, taking the win.

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Guests

 

 

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Chambord-VIP-tent

 

Guests of all ages attended the Sunday Polo event, from tailgating to the VIP tent!

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Chambord-guests-divot stomp

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Roberto Estudillo-paint

At intermission we had a fun and informative polo demonstration by Diego Velarde and Diego Larrreglia.  They showed us all some great moves and demonstrated the basic hitting positions and rules, while announcer, Steve Lewandowski broke down the line of the ball and a bit about strategy.

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Anthony Ballard
Anthony Ballard, a long time polo fan and a San Diego resident with 20 plus years of singing, locally and abroad, sang our national anthem beautifully.

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- throw-in-challenged-athletes-foundation

 

 

 

A representative of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Jeffrey Odom, did the honor of throwing in the first ball. Jeffrey is a former F-16 Crew Chief for the United States Air Force and Captain of Team USA Wheelchair Rugby. The Challenged Athletes Foundation also have a space at the event that showcased how they help those with physical disabilities.

It is the mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) to provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Chambord Action
The second match of the day at 3pm was an exciting one with San Fernando vs Team Chambord.  San Fernando dominated, scoring the first 3 goals of the match in the first chukker. The talented John Eicher scored 4 of the 9 goals for his team, Team Chambord.

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- hook

 

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Chambord-action-diego-velardeHowever, San Fernando was still able to capture the win. The match ended with San Fernando at 11 and Team Chambord at 9.

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Roberto Estudillo & mother

San Diego Polo Club Chambord Vodka Classic & Fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation- Chambord divot stomp

 

 

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USPA Spreckels Cup Finals & Closing Day

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Doesn’t it seem like Opening Day was just yesterday?  Time flies when you’re having fun!

On Friday, September 27, Twin Palms/San Fernando played Starmeadow/Monteverde for the chance to play on Sunday in the Spreckels Cup Finals.  Starmeadow/Monteverde beat Twin Palms/San Fernando 12 to 9 and confirmed their match against Hanalei Bay the following Sunday.

The 2013 San Diego Polo Summer Season came to an end on Sunday, September 29, 2013 with the USPA Spreckels Cup Finals.  In addition to the USPA Spreckels Finals, over 1,000 attendees enjoyed equestrian entertainment, an opportunity drawing to benefit Prince Harry’s charity, Sentebale, and After Party presented by Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

drill team

We started the day with the Sundance Hills Drill Team, a group of six dedicated riders who put hours into meeting, practicing and perfecting their patterns and routines.

santa-fe-hunt

The Santa Fe Hunt/West Hills Hounds is a Masters of Fox Hounds Association, MFHA, recognized Hunt located in Temecula, in southern California. They are a diverse group of riders, brought together by love of horses, open spaces, country values and riding with a fine pack of foxhounds as they work a scent.  They came out with about a dozen riders and hounds.

landrover-porsche

Land Rover of San Diego and Porsche of San Diego had a fleet of luxury automobiles, including the 2014 Porsche Panamera.  Last Closing Day, president Ron Bonaguidi purchased a 2013 Range Rover from Land Rover of San Diego.  Ron said Jason Puga, owner of Land Rover of San Diego, is a great business man and he’ll never purchase another Range Rover from any other dealership.  His service is incredible and affordable.

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Danielle Pizorni, San Diego opera singer, blew us away with her rendition of the National Anthem.

joe-allisJoe Allis of Porsche of San Diego threw in the ceremonial first ball.  In the history of Spreckels Cup finals, there has never been a match so exciting and evenly matched as Sunday’s.  With 8 chukkers and at least 5 broken mallets, the competition was one of the best we’ve ever seen here in San Diego.

Hanalei Bay                 vs.              Starmeadow/Monteverde

Krista Bonaguidi (-1)                       Ellen Greenhill (-1)
Ashton Wolf (3)                               Colton Bancroft (0)
Mariano Fassetta (6)                       Martin Ravina (5)
David Samaniego (0)                      Graham Bray (4)

Sunday afternoon was the perfect San Diego summer day with 75 degree weather and slight ocean breeze.  Hanalei Bay and Starmeadow/Monteverde took the field, as Owner of Porsche of San Diego, Joe Allis threw in the ceremonial first ball.

fassetta-graham

Graham Bray started the first chukker by scoring the first point on the afternoon for Starmeadow/Monteverde.  David Samaniego also took a great shot and scored one for Hanalei in the first chukker.  Teammate, Mariano Fassetta also scored two beautiful shots.  Martin Ravina scored 2 (one penalty) and Bray scored another for Starmeadow/Monteverde, bringing the score to 4 to 3.

Krista-Ellen

Things heated up for Starmeadow/Monteverde in the second chukker, as Martin Ravina scored an additional 3 goals for his team.  Krista Bonaguidi, first lady and owner of Hanalei Bay took a penalty shot for the team and scored!

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In the third chukker, goals went back and forth, 3 for Hanalei Bay, 2 for Starmeadow/Monteverde, bringing the score to 9 to 7, Starmeadow/Monteverde in the lead.

colton-samaniego

As if the tension wasn’t enough, during the first minute of fourth chukker, Martin Ravina was given a red flag and pulled out of the game for the remainder of the chukker.  Colton Bancroft scored one, but opposing team, Hanalei Bay used this time to catch up and Mariano Fassetta scored two for his team.

samaniego

Hanalei Bay should have been able to dominate the scoreboard, but with fouls called, and time running out in the chukker, Starmeadow was able to hold on to the narrow margin, going into the 5th chukker with a full squad of players.  The time on the bench gave Ravina that extra push needed to make the game competitive going into the remaining chukkers.

ravina

In the 5th chukker, Mariano Fassetta scored one for Hanalei and Martin Ravina scored one for Starmeadow/Monteverde.  The finals of the USPA Spreckels Cup couldn’t have been more exciting and all the guests were on the edge of their seats, some standing in the VIP tent, tense with anticipation.

ravina-2

In the 6th chukker, Martin Ravina scored another for his team, bringing them ahead by one point.  With 30 seconds left in the match, Mariano Fassetta put one through, tying the game and taking it into over time.

The 7th chukker was a tough one.  Hanalei Bay’s Ashton Wolf had to call a time out due to lack of feeling in his hand and severe cramping.  At this point in the game, the horses were exhausted, the players just as tired.  At the beginning of the match, the players came on to the field, ready to fight for the win and prepared to expend every ounce of energy.  That energy was running out.  The play resumed and each team was able to defend their goals.  With less than a minute left in the 7th chukker, Colton Bancroft made a beautiful break away and, unfortunately, overshot a cut shot that would have been the most glorious win for Starmeadow/Monteverde. The 7th chukker ended, the match still tied.

penalty

In the beginning of the 8th chukker, Colton made a second break away and all eyes were on him.  The ball went over the line and out of play.  Shortly after, eyes fell on his teammate, Graham Bray, who was on the ground.  Not many saw it happen, but Bray’s horse clipped the back of Ashton Wolf‘s horse and fell, exhausted, throwing Graham Bray to the ground, knocking the wind out of him.  Graham is one of the toughest players in San Diego, and when he’s on the ground for more than a few seconds, it’s serious.  Bray stayed on the ground for a few minutes, barely moving his legs.  After consultation from the EMT and fellow players, Graham Bray slowly rose, walked around, and mounted a fresh horse.  The play went back and forth for a minute and the ball was left in a cluster right near the Starmeadow/Monteverde goal mouth.  Mariano Fassetta’s horse started dancing around and they should have gotten out of there immediately.  A foul was called on Hanalei Bay’s David Samaniego and Martin Ravina took an undefended penalty shot, winning the USPA Spreckels Cup Finals for Starmeadow/Monteverde.  Both teams played an unbelievable game and made Spreckels Cup history as one of the most competitive games of all.

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Winners of the USPA Spreckels Cup Tournament: Starmeadow/Monteverde

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Member, Joe Cuillo and his daughter.

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Gatsby-inspired guests stomp divots during the Korbel California Champagne Divot Stomp!

Gastby-polo

 

The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach presented the After Party and guests rocked out to Crush Effect DJ and live trombone and drums.

mercedes-mafara

Player, Mercedes Mafara and her friends celebrate the end of the season.  Mercedes won Most Improved Player, and her group won Gastby Best Dressed!

Thank you to our sponsors, players, members, fans, and staff for an amazing Closing Day and 2013 Summer Polo Season!  We’ll see you in June 2014.

Meet Krista Bonaguidi.

25 Things You Didn’t Know about this Spunky Blonde Polo Player

  1. I have too many shoes!
  2. Caroline is not necessarily my “favorite” horse.
  3. I keep saying I’m going to learn Spanish, but never do.
  4. I love to cook & the kitchen is my favorite room in the house.
  5. Birds as pets freak me out…. (those beaks!)
  6. My family gets fed whatever I’m craving, but Ron thinks he has a vote on the day’s menu.
  7. I love cats, dogs & horses (big surprise).
  8. I have a great family, but am finding out we are just as weird as everyone else.
  9. Skiing is my first sport, and I used to teach.
  10. I was blond as a child, but now require a lot of help.
  11. I still don’t recognize all of our horses in pasture (too many bays!), but I know who more are than my husband.
  12. I will probably always be the worst player on the field…. Ouch!
  13. During the polo season, I ride 2-3 horses every morning and then again in the afternoon.
  14. I love being in polo shape—there is nothing else like it.
  15. I like pink, but won’t make the team wear it on the field. (You’re welcome!)
  16. I can’t eat fresh ginger.  It upsets my stomach.
  17. I was born in Alabama & moved to Bellevue Washington when I was 7.
  18. When I was 8, I wanted to ride so badly that I found some horses in a pasture, made friends, and just got on! No saddle, so bridle, I didn’t even know if they were broke!
  19. I played the saxophone for 9 years, the piano for 6, and guitar for 2.
  20. I was in the marching band in high school before I was a cheerleader.
  21. I’ve climbed Mount Everest 2 times.  NOT! J I had to say it before Ellen did!
  22. I broke my left elbow when I was 7 so badly, the doctors said my arm might not grow properly, but it did. Whew.
  23. My parents still live in the house I grew up in, and I have one sister and one brother.
  24. I moved to Hawaii after college and lived there for 16 years.
  25. I have the cutest dog in the world.

Father’s Day: Fun in the Sun

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It was another beautiful day in Rancho Santa Fe on June 17, Father’s Day.  We flew in a dozen antique biplanes, which took off after the feature match.  We also had an assortment of antique cars, from a 1931 Model A Deluxe Roadster, to a handful of Woodies.  The Del Mar Cigar Club provided imported cigars, just for Dad.

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We kicked off the day with a match at 1pm.  Monteverde/H2 took the lead with 4 goals over Starmeadow/Southwind.  In the third chukker, Starmeadow/Southwind put 4 points on the board to tie up the match.  Points went back and forth in the next few chukkers, and by the 6th chukker, Monteverde/H2 won by 1 point.

Monteverde/H2                               Starmeadow/Southwind

Ellen Greenhill 0                                Colton Bancroft -1
Mariano Gutierrez 5                          Mike Kerley 3
Christopher Collins 2                        Graham Bray 5
Ron Bonaguidi 0                                Chris Collins 1

The Finals of the Father’s Day Cup was a tight one.  Chris Maloney of Twin Palms/La Pasion scored the two of the first 3 goals against Hanalei Bay/Adeptus.  But Hanalei Bay/Adeptus made a come back in the third chukker, taking the game into their lead 6 to 4.  Krista Bonaguidi and Colleen Wilson scored the two last goals for Hanalei/Adeptus, securing the win over Twin Palms/La Pasion.

Twin Palms/La Pasion                Hanalei Bay/Adeptus

Tracee Brunetti -1                               Krista Bonaguidi -1
Chris Maloney 1                                  Joesph Stuart 4
Gaston VonWernich 5                       Mariano Fassetta 6
Diego Cossio 4                                    Colleen Wilson 0

History of the Spreckels Cup

 The Spreckels Cup

John D. Spreckels, San Francisco financier, shipping magnate, and scion of the fabled Spreckels family, first discovered polo in the late 1800’s.  Shortly thereafter, he visited Coronado Island and was so completely captivated by the area, known at the time as the playground for the wealthy, that he immediately made plans to play polo on the island’s beautiful green lawns.  Spreckels built a polo facility on the island that quickly became known throughout the United States for the quality of its fields and climate, as well as the number and proficiency of its players and horses.

In the ensuing years, the Coronado Polo Club became known as the “Meadowbrook of the West”, after the famous club on Long Island New York.  Coronado was the site of many early prestigious polo tournaments, and its fields saw the first playing of the Pacific Coast Open, still considered one of California’s premier polo events.   Among those tournaments was the match that Spreckels inaugurated in 1909.  Calling it the Polo Challenge, he enlisted the aid of designers Brock and Feagus of Los Angeles, and commissioned a dramatic silver trophy almost two feet high.  Engraved on the trophy was the inscription, “Polo Challenge Trophy, presented by John D. Spreckels.”  The trophy was designed to be engraved with the names of the winners each year and was intended to be held by the winning team for one year.

The trophy was played for each year, with the exception of the years of World War I, and its engraved names read like a “Who’s Who” of California polo.  The last team to win the trophy before it was retired in 1921, was captained by Carleton F. Burke.  Burke, a dedicated horseman, was responsible for reintroducing thoroughbred racing in California in 1932, after a 23-year blackout.  He later became one of the founders of the California Horse Racing Board.  The Spreckels Cup remained among his most prized treasures.

 In an effort to document the history of polo in San Diego and in Southern California, Julie Mulvihill-Mayer launched a search for polo memorabilia in the archives of the Coronado Library.  Joseph E. Jessop, longtime San Diego resident and founder of Jessop’s Jewelers, had been employed at the Coronado Polo Club as a young boy and became a lifelong polo fan.  He recommended that the search continue at the Coronado Historical Society.   Following that lead brought Mulvihill-Mayer upon a veritable treasure trove of old polo trophies including the Spreckels Cup.  The trophies were brought back to San Diego, and Joseph E. Jessop and Jessops Jewelers President, Ken Laughlin, cooperated in masterminding their restoration.

When the season officially opened on June 10, 1988, the newly refurbished Spreckels Cup occupied a place of honor in the club’s trophy case.  Restored to its original appearance, and flanked by its companion pieces, the impressive silver cup cast an undeniable glow upon the matches and players.  The trophy’s presence provided a tangible link across the years and forged a bond between the players of today, John D. Spreckels, and the band of polo players that had such an influence on our sport and upon the San Diego Polo Club.

The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association generously loans the trophy to us annually.  We’d like to thank the CTBA’s Board for their role in securing this prestigious trophy for the continued use in this historical event.

Winners from 2010.  Chris Collins, Mariano Fassetta, Christopher Collins, Krista Bonaguidi