Tag Archives: Korbel

USPA Spreckels Cup Finals & Closing Day

spreckels

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!

action-goal

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.

2013-spreckels-cup-winners
Winners of the USPA Spreckels Cup Tournament: Starmeadow/Monteverde

joe-gatsby-polo

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.

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Finals of USPA Spreckels Cup Ends 2012 SD Polo Season with Huge Success!

This past Sunday marked the celebrated USPA Spreckels Cup and Closing Day of the 2012 Polo Season!  While Sunday harbored bittersweet undertones, polo enthusiasts went out in style-literally.  Over 1300 guests adorned in 1920s, Gatsby attire we in attendance to cheer on the two competing teams of Hanalei Bay. Not only was last Sunday one of the biggest events of the season, but the San Diego Polo Club also hosted their second largest Sunday Polo crowd.

Season sponsor, Land Rover of San Diego also added to the lavish luxury of the afternoon by hosting an appreciation party in the Polo Pavilion.  In addition, guests were presented with samplers of Korbel’s California Champagne from the back of a Range Rover during the infamous Pretty Woman Divot Stomp.  SDPC’s partnership with Land Rover proved to be an advantageous one as two of the club’s members purchased Range Rovers that day!  Congrats on the new cars!

Anthony Ballard, a social member at SDPC, provided polo onlookers with a spirited performance of the National Anthem. Other musical guests on Sunday included Belly Up sponsored music by Crush Effect with live saxophone keys further cultivating the Gatsby-esque atmosphere.

Antique biplanes, old cars, and the Gatsby theme really brought out the comraderie and fun at the San Diego Polo Club!

While there was only one polo match on Sunday, fans were not deprived of a thrilling performance of athleticism, teamwork, and awe-inspiring horsemanship.  The first and only match of the day was a ten-goal competition featuring Hanalei Bay I versus Hanalei Bay II.  The tension and excitement in the air was tangible as SDPC’s President, Ron Bonaguidi went neck-in-neck against his wife Krista Bonaguidi for the coveted title of Spreckels Cup Champion.

Mariano Fassetta, of team Hanalei II, scored the first goal of the match.   Fassetta’s point was soon answered by Santiago Trotz of team Hanalei I.  Fassetta took advantage of the first chukker to prove he was a force to be reckoned with as he went on to single-handedly score an addition two goals for his team.  In comparison to the first, the second chukker was a quiet one as both teams regrouped and reevaluated their game plans. Marcos Bignoli and Santiago Trotz scored a goal apiece for Hanalei I ending the second chukker at Hanaeli I: 3, Hanalei II: 4.

Hanalei Bay II increased their lead by two points in the third chukker on behalf of Chris Collins Jr. and Mariano Fassetta.  In the fourth chukker, Hanalei II employed impressive defensive skills preventing Hanalei I from scoring a single point.  Hanalei Bay II took advantage of the fourth chukker to solidify their lead.  Mariano Fassetta started off the shooting spree by scoring two consecutive goals for Hanalei II followed by two points by Jared Sheldon and Chris Collins Jr.

Going into the fifth chukker, Hanalei II had a six-point lead on Hanalei I. While Chris Collins Jr. of Hanalei II scored the first goal of the chukker, Marcos Bignoli and Santeigo Trotz scored a goal apiece for Hanalei I.

The final chukker is always an enthralling one but this past Sunday, the sixth chukker took on an even more heartfelt meaning as both teams strived for the title of Spreckels Cup Champion.  With his eye on the prize, Chris Collins Jr. of Hanalei I scored two consecutive goals to start off the chukker.   Unwilling to hand over the victory, Patrick Uretz of Hanalei I answered Collins with two consecutive goals of his own.  While Marcos Bignoli scored the final concluding point of the day for Hanalei Bay I, ultimately it was Hanalei II who took the win and the recognition as USPA Spreckels Cup Champions- Hanalei I: 9, Hanalei II: 14.

Not only were the teams recognized for their talent at large but also Mariano Fassetta, of team Hanalei II, was decorated as the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Polo Season.  Fassetta was presented with a $100 gift card to SDPC’s After Party Sponsor, Burlap.  In addition, the Best Playing Pony title was awarded (in the form of delectably crunchy carrots) to Pampeano owned by Santiago Trotz.

Thank you to everyone who made this one of the most memorable Summer Polo Seasons that San Diego has ever known!

More photos here.

Willis Allen Memorial Cup Finals

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.