Tag Archives: National Youth Tournament Series

Second Annual National Youth Tournament Series Championship

Second Annual National Youth Tournament Series Championship: Young polo players travel from all across the country to compete for the championship title on Sunday, August 31 at the San Diego Polo Club.

USPA NYTS Flyer

San Diego, Calif. – The most celebrated and youngest polo players in the United States will compete in the 2014 National Youth Tournament Series Championship (NYTS) for the U.S. Polo Association (USPA) Cecil Smith Cup trophy on Sunday, August 31 at 1 p.m. at the White Party to benefit Miracle Babies at San Diego Polo Club in Rancho Santa Fe.

After 27 tournaments and 122 player nominations, being selected as one of the final 16 All-Stars is a great accomplishment. “It is exciting to see the talent and commitment of our young polo players,” said Chrys Beal, USPA Governor-at-Large and NYTS Chair. “The National Youth Tournament Series promises to be fast and furious, and showcase many talented players hoping to claim the Cecil Smith Cup.”

The 2013 NYTS Championship team from USPA Zone 3 will defend their winning title in San Diego. Returning team members Wes Finlayson, Juan Bollini, and Grant Ganzi will play with first timer Crisitan Weisz.

Zone 1Pacific Coast, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, Border, Southwest and Hawaiian Islands Circuits

Jim Wright – Menlo Park, Calif.
Colton Bancroft – San Diego, Calif.
Sloan Stefanakis – Houston, Texas
Garrett Smith – Oakbank, Manitoba

Zone 2Central, Great Plains, Mid-States and Southeast Circuits

Eduardo Margalef – Culver, Ind.
JT Shiverick – Atlanta, Ga.
Andrew Begg – King City, Ontario
CJ Sifton – Toronto, Ontario

Zone 3Defending Champions from the Florida Circuit

Wes Finlayson – Wellington, Fla.
Juan Bollini – Wellington, Fla.
Grant Ganzi – Wellington, Fla.
Cristian Weisz – Wellington, Fla.

Zone 4Northeast and Eastern Circuit

Barrett Coke – Topsfield, Mass.
Marissa Wells – Freeland, Md.
Wyatt Harlow – Warrenton, Va.
Tommy Huber – Baltimore, Md.

 White Party 2014

The semi-finals matches begin on Saturday, August 30, with a consolation match on Sunday, August 31 prior to the start of the championship final at 1 p.m.

San Diego Polo Club is open to the public and spectators are encouraged to come watch the thrilling championship action at the White Party to benefit Miracle Babies. Tickets range from $12 – $125 and parking is $10. Guests are encouraged to wear white or light colors. For additional event information, please call 858.481.9217, visit http://www.sandiegopolo.com or purchase tickets here.NYTS Black and White CrestAbout the National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS)

In 2013, the United States Polo Association created a national tournament series to provide more opportunities for junior players to compete outdoors with and against their peers at a local and national level. In an effort to grow and sustain the sport of polo in the United States, NYTS is a training module that prepares youth for formal tournament competition, challenges players to get to know their team, and identify their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.

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About the San Diego Polo Club

Founded in 1986, The San Diego Polo Club is an established institution recognized for excellence in the sport of polo. The San Diego Polo Club is beautifully situated on 60 acres of land in Rancho Santa Fe, offering five world-class class polo fields, including an exercise track, riding trails, a clubhouse and bar, a polo training school, and an outdoor lighted arena. The San Diego Club has one of the longest playing seasons in the country running from May through October. Sunday matches are presented to the public every Sunday, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

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About the U. S. Polo Association

The U.S. Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts. For more information, please visit, www.uspolo.org.

MiracleBabies LOGO

About Miracle Babies

Miracle Babies, founded by Dr. Sean Daneshmand and based in San Diego, is a non-profit organization structured to provide education and financial support to families with newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Its mission is to provide financial assistance and support to families in need with newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit. For additional information, please visit http://www.miraclebabies.org.

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SDPC Teams Up with Miracle Babies for UPSA’s National Youth Tournament Series & Sunday Polo

White Party 2014

The San Diego Polo Club is excited to announce its recent partnership with Miracle Babies, a non-profit dedicated to providing education, support, and financial assistance to families with newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

On Sunday, August 31 from 12:30-7pm, guests are invited to a day of polo, including the USPA’s National Youth Tournament Series, the USPA Rossmore Cup Finals, dressage, charitable giving, music and fun at the San Diego Polo Club, located at 14555 El Camino Real, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.

Originally known as The Polo Association, the United States Polo Association, or USPA, was created in 1890 to govern polo handicaps, rules, and tournaments in America and Canada. The U.S. Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts.

The National Youth Tournament Series began in 2013 and the main objective for the program since the beginning was to create more opportunities for youth to play against they peers. But so much more has come out of it. NYTS is a training module that prepares youth for formal tournament competition. It challenges players to get to know their team and identify their opponents strengths and weaknesses.

Kids from all over the United States compete locally at their home clubs to qualify for the National Tournament Series. The San Diego Polo Club is honored to host this national tournament and the championship games.

USPA-NYTS-San DiegoQualifiers for National Youth Tournament Series Championships – Team San Diego: Colton, Zander, Austin and Molly.

Teams from all over the country will travel to San Diego to compete in the last few championship matches, beginning on Friday, August 29. The highly anticipated finals of the USPA’s National Youth Tournament Series will be held at 1:00pm in front of the Sunday Polo crowd.

Donna-Richardson-dressage

After the NYTS Championship game, guests will enjoy “Dancing with the Equine Stars,” a pas de deux with two upper level Lusitano dressage horses by Donna Richardson.

SDPC-USPA-Rossmore-Cup-2013Winners of 2013 USPA’s Rossmore Cup: Adeptus

At 3:00pm, we will host the finals to the USPA Rossmore Cup, one of two USPA sanctioned tournaments held at the San Diego Polo Club.

garden-seatingMiracle Babies invites attendees to celebrate polo and the fine work of the charity. Multiple ticket options are available from $12-125 per person. The Miracle Babies Pavilion event price includes delicious fare from Wild Thyme Catering and one free drink ticket after which there will be a no-host bar available for the afternoon (21+ ID required at check-in).

“We’re truly honored to be the beneficiary of this prestigious event and celebration,” said Sean Daneshmand, M.D., founder of Miracle Babies. “Many mothers of premature or critically ill newborns are financially unable to be at the hospital with their babies every day,” he said. “We founded Miracle Babies to provide support and financial assistance to parents who find themselves in such situations.”

istock-Miracle-Babies---photoMiracle Babies, founded by Dr. Sean Daneshmand and based in San Diego, is a non-profit organization structured to provide education and financial support to families with newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Its mission is to provide financial assistance and support to families in need with newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit. For additional information, please visit www.miraclebabies.org.

Suggested attire: White or light colors to celebrate Labor Day!

For more information and to purchase tickets for the USPA National Youth Tournament, USPA Rossmore Cup Finals & Miracle Babies Fundraiser, please click here.

Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament at the San Diego Polo Club

San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament

On July 5 & 6, the San Diego Polo Club played host to one of many tournaments organized by the Pacific Coast Arena League.  USPA members from all over California traveled to SDPC to compete in the two-day event hosted by both San Diego Polo and Poway Polo clubs.  Roughly 40 players and 80 horses gathered at our arena to compete against one another over July 4th weekend.   The club was bustling more than usual and playing host to our guests brought a wonderful, different, refreshing air to the club.  Many of the competitors over the weekend got their start at our Arena School lessons and now compete regularly all over California at various other clubs. Each day had 6 matches consisting of 4 chukkers of various levels of competition. From our Interscholastic teenaged players to our best A-rated players, the day was action packed with some of the most amazing arena polo you’ll ever see.  Some of the other clubs represented were OC Polo, Central Coast Polo, Lakeside Polo and Poway Polo.

San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament-Maryam Jahani

Each day consisted of 6 matches, A-Flights, B-Flights and C-Flight Student chukkers. A-Flight is the more advanced and C-Flight is more beginner level, even though there’s still a lot going on in C-Flight, just watch!  For each match, 3 Awards were given:  Most Valuable Player, Sportsmanship and Best Playing Pony.  MVP is usually given to the player who contributed the most to the game, not necessarily who scored the most goals, an all around player acknowledged for their effort and skill, as well as their knowledge and respect for the game and rules.  Sportsmanship is given to a stand-out player who perhaps showed a mutual respect for another player, horse, or rule and did not put personal triumph above how the game should be played.  Perhaps an overall attitude toward the chukkers and other players. One young man was awarded Sportsmanship for initiating the “great game” handshake exchange to the other team’s players and to thank the umpires at the end of his match.   Best Playing Pony is given to the stand-out horse that performed brilliantly in terms of perhaps speed, ride-off, responsiveness to needs of the rider, and overall performance within the game.

San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament-Heather_perkins

Arena polo is often mistaken as less exciting and more condensed than grass polo.  If you take just one quick moment to watch some chukkers of some A rated players, you’ll very quickly realize how scrappy, exciting, action packed and different Arena polo is from grass polo.  It’s amazing just how different the entire game can be within the 100×50 yard field.  You can often use the wall or boards of the arena as a “4th man” in your chukkers, using it for your team, or against the other team.  You can smack the ball against the boards at an angle to change the line of the ball to pass to a teammate, something you can’t really do in grass unless you hit it low enough to bounce it off the red boards on the ground.  The close contact in the arena is extremely exciting, sometimes looking more like a demolition derby instead of Formula One racing.  Most of the same rules still apply in either game – grass or arena – but the strategy tends to be much different.

San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament-sdpc

While hitting and carrying the ball tends to be much easier on the grass, since most people prefer to play golf on the green instead of the sand pits, imagine just how much more skill you might need to “play golf in the sand pits” all the time?  The arena ball tends to glance off mounds of sand or mud, or get stuck in hoof holes created by the galloping horses.  But to develop enough skill to work around that and STILL be a dynamite polo player, I’d say that’s a mission worth trying, and a feat often underestimated and overlooked. With the deck stacked against you in getting the ball to move anywhere in a straight line, you might argue that arena polo is harder.

San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament-Julie Empey

New players may rush themselves through Arena as their end game or end goal might be to play on the grass.  Take one look at an arena tournament and you are in for one hell of a ride. You can see Everything right up close, you can hear the grunts of the horses, hear the clanking of stirrups during a ride off, see all the action up close from wherever you’re standing – it’s easier to see every detail.   Get ready to duck out of the way of a ball flying out of bounds!

San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament-Niki Mobtaker
The next time you hear about an arena tournament at SDPC, come on down and check it out.  It’s really an amazing display of expertise horsemanship, and expert ball-mallet handling, turning in tight circles, dribbling the ball to keep it away from a fast approaching opponent.  It has non-stop ride-offs, precision maneuvers within the small space… it is a RUSH!

San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament-Alvern Vorn Steeg

A very big thank you to SDPC Polo Manager Graham Bray for letting us host the two day tournament, it went off without a hitch, so thank you very much for everything!  A very special thank you to Dr. Colleen Wilson of Adeptus Nutrition for donating her equine supplements for the Best Playing Pony awards given to the best horse in each match voted on by the umpires and officials of each game.  Thank you so much to Kimo Huddleston who worked tirelessly all weekend umpiring most of the games, fitting in teaching some lessons, and dragging the arena in between chukkers.   A monstrous thank you to the Godfather of Southern California Polo – Mr. Russ Sheldon.  Most of the organizational details are old hat to him, this ain’t his first rodeo, a valuable resource in the polo community, a hard working man dedicated to keeping polo alive and attainable for everyone in the San Diego area.  Thank you to Megan Judge, Heather Perkins, Russ Sheldon, Graham Bray, Heather Chronert, Kimo Huddleston and Gillian Young, for your help in organizing and making it all happen.

San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament-Kelly Newton

And the best thank you of all – to all the competitors for coming down and enjoying the tournament with us!  We love hosting visitors and opening our doors to different players of all levels. We hope you enjoyed your time at SDPC, its picturesque setting, and hopefully you made it down to watch our Sunday Matches!   I know we’ll see some of you back over Labor Day weekend when we host the National Youth Tournament Series final matches.  That’ll draw visitors from all over the country to watch the kids (all under 19) play on the grass.
San Diego Polo Club Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament-Central Coast Polo
Thank you again for coming down to celebrate with us.

-Gillian Young

All photos by Jeffery Trout.

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Saturday Summer Polo

Saturday Summer Polo

Join us for a Saturday of casual polo, from 8-goal pro pool to the USPA National Youth Tournament Series. Clubhouse bar opens at 3pm.

Admission is FREE.

You are welcome to bring a picnic, but please no outside alcohol.