Tag Archives: Sentebale

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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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Welcome Back!

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Polo friends,

I hope you had a great winter season drinking hot cocoa and spending time with loved ones.  It’s time to forget the cold and start dreaming of those luxurious days at the San Diego Polo Club, drinking champagne in the sun and enjoying the amazing athletes!  It doesn’t take much does it?  Just scroll through a few photos on Facebook and you’re itching for your next polo fix.  Well, it takes a little bit more than Facebook hype to bring you another wonderful season.

As far as the lease goes, we are under negotiations with the City of San Diego and Director of Real Estate, but things are looking good for the San Diego Polo Club.  Our President, Ron Bonaguidi has put a considerable amount of time and effort into ensuring our Club stays right here in Rancho Santa Fe.  If you see him watching a match at Sunday Polo, please take a moment to shake his hand.

I am excited to work alongside our new General Manager, Bobby Puetz, and seasoned Polo Manager, Graham Bray.  We will also welcome back our polo school staff, and creative magazine team.  Together, we plan to create a fun and competitive playing season, entertaining social calendar, developing polo school with various tournaments, and a big beautiful polo magazine with enjoyable articles, stunning photos and my favorite, new local hot spots!  We have some amazing advertising opportunities, if you’re looking to expand your business.  Vanessa Shapiro, Advertising Sales Director, would be more than happy to tailor a package just for you.  And if you have any interest in bringing out a group to Sunday Polo, feel free to give me a ring!

We are gathering event sponsors, non-profit organizations, media partners, and corporate groups to become a part of our summer polo experience!  You’ll be sure to see events highlighting TERI Inc., Prince Harry’s personal charity Sentebale, and Dress for Success.  Father’s Day will be spent with antique biplanes and our family-friendly atmosphere.  I’m also working on an aviation themed event for all of our members!  The Wild Thyme Company and Best Beverage Catering Company will be wining and dining you all summer long with their tasty treats and VIP service.

All of our local players like Colleen Wilson, Chris Maloney, and Tracee Brunetti, among others, will be returning to the main field with their pros.  I’m crossing my fingers for the talented Jesse Bray to return to San Diego to battle his father, both recently rated a handicap of 4 in 2013.  You’ll be sure to see Diego Cossio, Mariano Fassetta, Gaston VonWernich and many more!

There are a few things I can’t divulge just yet, but I can promise bigger crowds, more fun, and more action!  If you have any suggestions, please shoot me an email: Lindsey@sandiegopolo.com

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I can’t wait to catch up with everyone!

Lindsey

Sentebale “Chips for Charity”

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This past Saturday, August 18th the San Diego Polo Club attended Chips for Charity to benefit His Royal Highness Prince Harry’s charity, Sentebale.   The night featured a Celebrity No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em Tournament and silent auction in the lush Grand Del Mar. Out showing their support were celebrities including  Glenn Cadrez (two time Super Bowl Champ), Brande Roderick of “Celebrity Apprentice,” MLB player Bret Boone, and Kimberly Hunt from KGTV to name a few.

Sentebale was founded in 2006 and is passionately dedicated towards ameliorating the living standards of children living in poverty.  The name “Sentebale” is a tribute to children in need as it translates to “Forget me not.”

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Guests were provided an opportunity to win a surplus of deluxe prizes ranging from jewelry to golf and spa packages.  The San Diego Polo Club is proud to partner with Lena Evans and Jade Phoenix to benefit Sentebale for the 2012 summer polo season.   Please visit the Sentebale Facebook page to view upcoming events in partnership with Jade Phoenix. Thank you Lena Evans for a memorable night!

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Chukkers for Charity to benefit Prince Harry’s Sentebale

We had the pleasure of hosting Chukkers for Charity to benefit Sentebale on Sunday, June 24.  Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso to help the forgotten victims of poverty and of the HIV/Aids epidemic.  Sentebale means “forget me not” and aides orphans and vulnerable children in Africa.

“Lesotho is fighting for survival. Nearly one third of Lesotho’s people are infected with HIV/AIDS – the third highest rate in the world. There are an estimated 400,000 orphans and vulnerable children in a country of 1.8 million. Life expectancy has plummeted to 34 years.”

Although Prince Harry was not able to attend the event, the San Diego Polo Club looks forward to the innagural event and counts on his presence in San Diego in the years to come.  For an exclusive interview with SDPC’s Creative Director and Living Polo, follow the link here.

We started the event with a Cancha Pequena match with students from our Polo School.  Cancha Pequena is one of two new leagues at the San Diego Polo Club, which gives arena students a chance to progress on to grass polo.  We also introduced a 3-goal league this summer.

West Coast Aerospace’s family sponsor, Jake Brumby played the captain, flanked by Hawaiian pro, Kimo Huddleston in the defensive position number 4.  The two blondes, Kerstie Allen and Jocelyn Parker played offense.  The teamwork between players led them to victory over San Fernando/San Judas.

The feature match was a close one.  Family Sponsor, Colton Bancroft scored a high of 5 goals on the afternoon, but it wasn’t enough for the team to win.  In Chukker 2, Diego Cossio made a phenomenal defensive move when he backed the ball out of the goal mouth and took it to the other end of the field for a point his team.  Patron and the Club’s Sweetheart, Tracee Brunetti, score the most important goal of them all in the 6th chukker to win the match for La Pasion/Southwind.

After the match, Lena Evans of Sentebale announced the winner of the $17,000 diamond and emerald earrings donated by CJ Charles Jewelers of La Jolla.  Guests also bid on silent auction items throughout the day.  In total, we raised over $30,000 for Prince Harry’s charity, Sentebale.