Tag Archives: Twin Palms

Recap of USPA Spreckels Cup Finals & Closing Day of Polo presented by Woodford Reserve

The San Diego Polo Club (SDPC) celebrated the end of their 28th season in Rancho Santa Fe with the United States Polo Association (USPA) Spreckels Cup & Closing Day presented by Woodford Reserve. Heels2Heal was the exclusive charity partner with specific ticket and auction proceeds benefiting San Diego Youth Services.

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Gates opened at 12:30pm and guests were lined up as early as 9:30am itching to get a good spot to watch the final match at 2pm. Players and VIPs mingled in the Woodford Reserve Lounge and sipped on bourbon infused specialty cocktails as they took awe of the 105 year old Spreckels trophy that was on display with hundreds of beautiful garden and piano roses overflowing the cup.

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The VIP tent was filled with 500 guests, including players, family, friends, sponsors, and of course, the Heels2Heal guests right in the front row. Over 1,300 guests piled into the venue, dressed to the nines in red accents, hats and chic polo outfits.

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The day started out with a classic demonstration of rider and foxhounds, presented by the Santa Fe Hunt. Established in 1969, the Santa Fe Hunt/West Hills Hounds is a Masters of Fox Hounds Association recognized Hunt located in Temecula, 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. The San Diego Polo Club is honored to welcome back Terry Paine and the Santa Fe Hunt every year.

Next up was the highly anticipated fashion show presented by Heels2Heal chair and polo player, Sonya Berg the Zen Fashionista.

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Sonya is a TV Personality, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Fashion Show Designer & Producer, and philanthropist. Her “Sexy Socialite News Girls Pre-Fall Fashion Show” featured the San Diego News Girls, including Brandi Williams, Kimi Evans, Natasha Sweattle, Sabrina Fein, Tabitha Lipkin, and Staci Ortiz-Davis. Over 20 female models and 10 male models featured fall fashions from Matti D, Nicole Miller, Mister B’s, Jill Courtemanche Millinery, TRE, and Van de Vort.

After the fashion show, guests were encouraged to grab a drink at the bar or get a bite to eat and settle in for the final match of the season, the USPA Spreckels Cup Finals.

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Five teams had been competing for the chance to play in the 105 year old tournament, The USPA sanctioned Spreckels Cup. On September 28th, 2014 the top two teams fought it out for the title of Spreckels Champions. After weeks of
competing for a spot in the final game, Starmeadow/Roseville Motor Car and Twin Palms took the field for the final tournament of 2014.

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Anthony Ballard did the honors of singing the national anthem during our Opening Ceremonies. With over 25 years’ experience, Anthony’s diverse background spans opera, musical theatre, non-musicals, tap, jazz and ballet. Anthony is an active member of the San Diego Opera’s Core Chorus and has appeared in over 50 San Diego arts productions since moving to the area in 1993.

USPA Closing Day- First Ball Throw-In

After the anthem, Suzanne Brown from Woodford Reserve did the honors of throwing in the ceremonial first ball and starting off the first chukker!

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The first goal of chukker one was scored by Graham “the big guns” Bray for Starmeadow. Twin Palms’ Gaston Von Wernich was right behind him, scoring for his team. Playing for the trophy, Von Wernich scored the next three goals in chukker two.

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Ashton Wolf made a comeback, scoring two goals for Starmeadow. Chukker three started with a goal from Twin Palms’ Ryan Robertson. Colton Bancroft fired back, scoring one for Starmeadow. Not one to back down easily, Robertson scored the remaining goal of chukker three, lengthening his team’s lead. At halftime, the scores were Starmeadow 4 / Twin Palms 6.

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During the traditional “Pretty Woman Divot Stomp,” guests enjoyed a sample of Korbel California Champagne as they mingled with friends and replaced the divots that were kicked up by the horses during the first half of the game.

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Plowing ahead in chukker four, Robertson again scored. Passing the reins to teammate Von Wernich, Twin Palms scored their 8th goal of the game; Von Wernich’s 5th.

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Like chukker four, chukker five belonged to Twin Palms. Alvaro Tadeo scored first for his team. Robertson picked up the second goal. Going into the last chukker, the score was Starmeadow 4 / Twin Palms 10.

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In chukker six, Starmeadow fought back hard. Bancroft scored first, followed by two goals from Ashton Wolf. Following suit, Graham Bray scored narrowing the lead Twin Palms had on his team.

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The final goal was scored by Tadeo of Twin Palms. Adding in team handicaps, Starmeadow ended with nine goals. Though Starmeadow fought hard, Twin Palms was on fire. They came to win and with eleven goals, they did just that.

Watch post game interviews with Colton Bancroft and Alvaro Tadeo by Mikki & Shay.

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Both teams joined together on the trophy deck for the Trophy & Awards Presentation. First off was the most improved player award, which was awared to Virgil Kyle by previous president and founding member, Ron Bonaguidi. Kyle has excelled in his skill level in 2014.

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Second was the sportsmanship award, which went to one of our newest members, who has displayed courtesy and sportsmanship to his fellow players. Eric Hammon was the recipient of this great award.

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Our founding father, Willis Allen was very instrumental in encouraging young players to get involved in the sport of polo. The San Diego Polo Club created his namesake award to honor Willis and congratulate the best all-around young player under 30 based on horsemanship, sportsmanship and playing ability. Judy Collins, daughter of Willis Allen, presented this award to 17-year old Colton Bancroft.

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Out of the 48+ horses played in Sunday’s polo match, the best playing pony is just that– the best pony out there. Gail Greggson of the California Thoroughbred Breeder’s Foundation presented the trophy to Graham Bray for his horse P1. This horse has won 4 best playing pony awards in the last two years!

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Torry Spreckels is the great granddaughter of John D. Spreckels. She and her daughter Jessica and granddaughter Molly presented the second place team with the Spreckels trophies. Both Molly and Jessica play polo today, carrying on the Spreckels family tradition. Christine Wuthrich, the great great grand daughter of John D. Spreckels also helped present the trophies.

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All of the players were then welcomed onto the stage and everyone was gifted with a nice bottle of Woodford Reserve, a small-batch straight bourbon distilled in central Kentucky. The distillery itself is a national historical monument!

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Jose Luis & Lovie Rocha, owners of  JL Rocha, have been designing and manufacturing handmade leather shoes & jackets for over 3 generations in Mexico and now they are in the United States. Lovie & Jose Luis presented each of the winning players with a fine lambskin jacket from their collection completely made by hand.

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Scott Walker, USPA Lieutenant Governor for Southern California, presented the winning teams with their trophies as well as awarded Most Valuable Player of the game to Gaston von Wernich!

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Guests stayed until dark, dancing and partying with polo players and members. DJ Beatnick kept the energy up and rocked the beats for one of the best after parties in history!

Photos by Jim Bremner & Topher Riley. To see more, visit us on Facebook.com

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Pan-American Cup Finals & Local Heroes Celebration

Pan-American Cup Finals & Local Heroes Celebration-1 The patriotic spirit was everywhere on Sunday as we enjoyed The Pan American Cup Finals on Sunday July 6th. It was the perfect way to cap off an amazing 4th of July weekend. Red, white and blue was abundant, from our lovely patrons stylish attire, to the tablecloths and trophy decorations.

Pan-American Cup Finals & Local Heroes Celebration-2In the first match at 1:00pm, Topo Mendez scored the first goal in Chukker 1 for his Team Twin Palms/San Judas. Followed by John Eicher with one for Leisure Society. Then another by Virgil Kyle for Leisure Society and the last by Ashton Wolf for Twin Palms/ San Judas, wrapping up Chukker 1. In Chukker 2 Jennifer Alexy bringing one in for Twin Palms/ San Judas, followed by anther for Leisure Society by John Eicher.

Ryan Robertson finished it off by scoring a goal for Leisure Society in the last chukker, bringing the final score to 11 to 9, Leisure Society.

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During our intermission, we had a wonderful demo by The Oceanside Police Canine Officers Association.

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Spectators were on the edge of their seats watching the dogs go through their amazing skills. Demonstrating a variety of tactics to assist their human counterparts in the safe and efficient handing of dangerous situations. Spectators were then invited to enjoy picture ops with the dogs and service men and woman.

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The Oceanside Police Canine Officers Association thanks you for being here this afternoon. Their nonprofit, established by the officers in 2013, bridges the gap for our K9s healthcare, training tools, and retired police dogs.  In the line of duty, sometimes our dogs get injured requiring expensive veterinary care. Their goal is to be able to have funds available for each of our 4 canines should a medical emergency occur. Thanks to donations from our generous community members, their dogs can stay healthy and safe, while they protect and serve.

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We also hosted the Del Mar Lifeguards, Del Mar Ranger, San Diego Fire & Rescue and local EMTs. Pan-American Cup Finals & Local Heroes Celebration-Del-Mar-Lifeguard-Truck-Tomas-Bryant-2

The Lifeguard Department serves the community with a wide variety of community service programs. The Department staffs permanent and seasonal lifeguards. Lifeguards patrol and oversee 2.5 miles of beach. Each day, lifeguards establish and maintain safe swimming and surfing areas. They warn visitors of dangerous swimming areas, rip currents, and unstable cliffs and bluffs. Environmental conditions are constantly monitored and weather and surf are updated and posted throughout the day. The Del Mar beach has very strong rip-currents and several inshore holes. The department averages 1,400 water-related rescues and 1,100 medical aids per year.

The Lifeguards are highly trained in several areas. Qualifications include being emergency medical technicians with advanced airway and defibrillator accreditation. The department operates year-round cliff, swift water and scuba rescue teams. The Department also cross trains for mutual aid responses with the Aerial Support to Regional Enforcement Agencies (ASTREA) and the United States Coast Guard.

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Our national anthem was sung by the lovely, Rhianna Wilson, a 16 years old and just finished her Sophomore year at Ramona High School. She has had the honor to sing the National Anthem for the SD Padres, Ceremonies aboard the USS Midway, KSON Radio and many community events.

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The feature match of the day at 3:00pm was between San Fernando and MonteVerde/Starmeadow. The match started with Diego Cossio scoring the first goal of the match for San Fernando in the first Chukker. Followed by one by Diego Velarde and one by Roberto Estudillo. With Chris Collins scoring one for his team MonteVerde/Starmeadow. Followed by Colton Bancroft and Graham Bray coming in to score 4 goals each for MonteVerde/Starmeadow. It was a close game ending with Diego Velarde scoring 3 goals for San Fernando and taking home the win.Pan-American Cup Finals & Local Heroes Celebration-Graham-Bray

Written by Cara Helminski

San Fernando wins Fernando Gutierrez Memorial Tournament!

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Fernando Gutierrez once played polo on the lush fields at the San Diego Polo Club with his brother-in-law, Roberto Estudillo.  After his passing, the Gutierrez and Estudillo families created a memorial tournament in his honor.  Roberto Estudillo has since named his team San Fernando, meaning “Saint Fernando.”  Fernando’s wife, and sister to Roberto, Monique Estudillo and son, Fernando (Fernandito) Gutierrez support this wonderful event annually.

The entire Estudillo Family was present, including their 101 year old Grandmother.  We are honored to welcome the family and friends of the Gutierrez & Estudillo families each year.

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Senora Estudillo had the honor of throwing in the first ball to begin the final match of the Fernando Gutierrez Memorial Cup.

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Things started off hot in the first chukker with Nick Mathers scoring 2 and Mariano Fassetta scoring 1 for Hanalei Bay/Sycamore.  Diego Velarde of Twin Palms/San Fernando scored 1.  By half time, the score was even 5 to 5.  Chris Maloney played a great game, scoring two on the afternoon for Twin Palms/San Fernando.

After half time, things really started heating up with back and forth goals throughout the last chukkers.  The 6th chukker proved to be an exciting one with Diego Velarde and Gaston VonWernich scoring 3 for Twin Palms/San Fernando and Ashton Wolf, Mariano Fassetta, and Krista Bonaguidi scoring 3 for Hanalei Bay/Sycamore.  The crowd was loving the cat and mouse game, each team chasing each other down the field.  The game went into over time.

In overtime, Twin Palms/San Fernando’s number 2 position, Diego Velarde took the ball to the goal and scored the winning team for Twin Palms/San Fernando!

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Chris Maloney’s horse in the 4th chukker won Best Playing Pony.

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During intermission earlier in the day, John Brokenshire of the Free Wheelchair Project introduced this fantastic charity.  The San Diego Polo Club was honored to welcome the Free Wheelchair Mission to our Sunday polo event.  After learning about the Free Wheelchair Mission and the inexpensive cost to literally lift spirits and lives, we knew we had to promote this charity in front of a large group of people.

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Having Vietnamese wheelchair recipient, Lihn Nguyen in attendance was truly special for our audience and tugged on the heartstrings of many.  When you see the enthusiasm and passion behind the charity’s volunteers and staff, you know their mission is true and important.  We are thrilled the San Diego Polo Club helped save the lives of over 100 disadvantaged individuals and families across the globe.  There are some things you just know to be true in your heart, and this charity is one of them.

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Through live and silent auction, we are able to donate 115 wheelchairs to those in need!

In addition to this absolutely fantastic day, Land Rover of San Diego display their luxury vehicles throughout the event.  Visit them and say hi to owner, Jason Puga for us!

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We also had a HUGE crowd of Ivy League Alumni in attendance, especially from Harvard and MIT.  If you’d like to host an alumni mixer or event at SDPC, comment and let us know!Image

Thank you for a wonderful start to our season!  We’ll return on August 18 with Aloha Sunday, a fun, island-inspired family event.  If you can believe it, the best has yet to come!

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