Tag Archives: USPA Spreckels Cup

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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Closing Day Style Guide presented by Zen Fashionista Sonya Berg

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The most important day of the polo season is right around the corner on Sunday, September 28, 2014…  Closing Day & USPA Spreckles Cup Finals!

Polo is a fashionable affair and packed with family-friendly fun! Polo’s elite and luxury lifestyle makes it the perfect venue to see and be seen in your most elegant styles and chic fashions.

Right about now your probably thinking decisions…decisions…. what to wear for Closing Day of Polo? Sonya Berg, also known as the Zen Fashionista, has prepared the Ultimate Style Guide for how to dress for Closing Day.

Zen Fashionista’s 8 Style Tips for Closing Day of Polo:

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 Wear Something In Any Shade Of Red

Red is the color of the day on Closing Day and will match the beautiful scarlet red roses that fill the Spreckles Cup trophy and coats of the lead fox huntsman. Think true red, raspberry, ruby, burgundy, brick red, crimson, cherry, candy apple red and any shade in between.

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ACCESSORIZE: Feel free to get creative and playful here. Can’t find the perfect red dress? Try a jacket, hat, ring, shoe, pocket square, sunglasses, clutch or any other accessory. You can even paint your nails red and wear a matching red lipstick. I love Dior Rouge 999 and Pandore 754 for a classic red lip and nail. Silver, black and white are other suggested colors to mix with your red on Closing Day of Polo.

 It could get chilly at dusk when your dancing the night away with the talented DJ Beatnick who will be spinning the beats. Don’t forget to bring a wrap like this versace scarf or any other lightweight cashmere wrap, sweater or elegant jacket to throw over your shoulders. The after party is a perfect ending to perfect day of action packed fun and thrilling polo adventure!  Enjoy a refreshing cocktail while dancing on the grass.  You’ll even have a chance to mix and mingle with the professional polo players and patrons to complete your Closing Day of Polo experience.

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 Wear A Fabulous Hat Or a Fun Fascinator  

Closing Day, September 28th is also Hat Day! If you’ve been searching for the perfect occasion to wear your favorite hat, this is it. Ladies can wear elegant wide brimmed hats embellished with feathers and organza silk to provide sun protection and make a unique fashion statement. Fascinators are whimsical, fun and easy to wear. Like this little black fascinator trimmed with ruby red feathers.

There’s still enough time for last minute shopping to find a beautiful hat or fascinator to wear to Closing Day. All of the hats and fascinators pictured are designed by the amazing Jill Courtemanche Millinery.

Gentlemen grab your fedoras for an added touch of class and style to your Closing Day Polo attire.

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Wear Wedges or Flat Sandals  

Remember ladies, you’ll be sipping champagne and stomping divots at half time, so leave those stilettos at home! Not only are stilettos a fashion faux pas at polo, they can also make half time divot stomping very complicated. For comfort and style while enjoying a fun day on the grass try a red or metallic wedge or an elegant crystal embellished flat sandal instead.

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Wear Simple Flowing And Elegant Sundresses and Skirts

A sundress that’s simple, feminine and elegant is perfect for viewing a polo match on a sunny afternoon. A body conscious knit dress that’s cool and breathable in crimson red is a perfect choice for the red theme on Closing Day.

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Can’t find a red dress? Opt for a dress in neutral hues like cream, pearl, silver, black or white for a classic and timeless look. This elegant hand beaded shift dress in white is perfect for Closing Day when paired with a lipstick red Chanel clutch, hat and nails.

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Scott Copeland Talent

Feeling feminine? This intricate lace shift dress does best paired with metallic wedges and accented with a bright red hat.

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Men Wear Sport coats, Patterned Shirts and Bowties

A crisp collared shirt and slacks will work just fine for the men. If you want to dress to impress, try a sports coat in any shade of red like this crimson sports coat and matching tie.

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You can also wear a classic black and white checked sports coat accented with a scarlet pocket square, shoes and belt. Slim fit suits, bowties and other preppy attire are always stylish for men to wear to Closing Day.

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Tailgater Style Is More Casual And Relaxed

If you’ve decided to enjoy Closing Day of Polo tailgating from the back of your car and picnicking with family and friends, the attire is much more casual and relaxed here. Women often wear casual sundresses in light and breezy fabrics with straw hats for sun protection and simple leather sandals or flip-flops.

Want to stay with the red theme for Closing Day? Choose a red sundress or accent your attire with any red accessory. Casual khakis with a red t-shirt and cotton or linen shorts in any shade of red worn with boat shoes or flip-flops are a good option for men tailgaters. Jeans are also an option for casual tailgating.

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Children Dress To Impress

Pull out those comfortable party dresses in shades of red, silver, black and/or white. Boys will look dapper in chinos or a red colored cotton slacks with a patterned crisp collared shirt with red accents or in any shade of red. Girls and boys should wear comfortable dressy casual shoes. Think pretty sandals, flats in red or neutral hues and boat shoes for boys.

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Wear Big Sunglasses

What’s more glamorous than a pair of oversized sunglasses? Big sunglasses give your face a mysterious movie-star look while providing extra protection from the sun. For show-stopping style, choose an oversized crystal embellished sunglass in red. Men, smaller stylish glasses are on trend and dress up any outfit.

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Most of all, have fun and get ready to watch the finals of the USPA Spreckels Cup!

Get your tickets to Closing Day & USPA Spreckels Cup


 

ABOUT ZEN FASHIONISTA

Zen Fashionista-Sonya Berg-is the leading Fashion, Healthy Lifestyle and Beauty Blogger of ZenFashionista.com Her mission is to transform and empower peoples lives through daily tips on healthy living, fashion, beauty, dating, relationships, esteem building, goal setting, communication skills, raising children and the law of attraction.Zen Fashionista, Sonya Berg a fashion show producer and designer, branding partner and inspirational speaker. She brings together charity and fashion through event planning, promotion and branding partnerships. Sonya Berg, Zen Fashionista is also a philanthropist, a certified yoga instructor, a fung shui expert, reiki master and avid polo player.


 

Womens Clothing: Matti D, Del Mar CA (exceptions: scarf by Versace, black satin dress by Maggi B)
Mens Clothing: Mister B’s, Del Mar CA
Hats and Fascinators:  Jill Courtemanche Millnery
Hair and Makeup Artist: Mua Rene Gonzales 
Photographer- Quentin Anderson 619-796-1010 (exception: last photo by Topher Riley)

WIN Access to Exclusive Woodford Reserve Lounge on 9/28

 

2014 SDPC Woodford Reserve Lounge contestWIN Access to the exclusive Woodford Reserve Lounge at the USPA Spreckels Cup Finals & Closing Day on Sunday, September 28, 2014.

Tickets valued at $200 each. Includes admission, hosted cocktails and canapes.

>  >  >  Five Easy Ways to Enter  <  <  <

1. Follow us on Twitter & Tweet us using hashtag #sdpolo or #woodfordpolo
2. Follow us on Instagram & Like this post
3. Tag 3 of your friends on this Instagram post
4. Post a polo picture on Instagram and hashtag  #sdpolo or #woodfordpolo
5. Post a comment on our Facebook Closing Day Event Page

Double. Triple. Quadruple. Quintuple your chances by doing all of the above!
Winners announced weekly.

More info on Closing Day & USPA Spreckels Cup Finals, click here.

USPA Spreckels Cup Finals & Closing Day presented by Woodford Reserve – September 28

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Closing Day at the San Diego Polo Club

USPA Spreckels Cup presented by Woodford Reserve to benefit Heels2Heal

Sunday, September 28, 2014


The San Diego Polo Club (SDPC) celebrates 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 is the exclusive charity partner with specific ticket and auction proceeds benefiting the organization. The San Diego Polo Club is located at 14555 El Camino Real, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. The event will take place from 12:30pm to 6:00pm on Sunday, September 28, 2014.
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SCHEDULE:

Gates Open 12:30pm
Santa Fe Hunt 1:00pm
Fashion show by Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista 1:30pm
Feature Match & Finals of the USPA Spreckels Cup 2:00pm
Divot Stomp presented by Korbel California Champagne 2:45pm
Trophy Presentation 3:30pm
After Party featuring DJ Beatnick 4-6pm

FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT:

Local and international polo players will compete for the United States Polo Association sanctioned 105-year-old Spreckels Cup trophy in front of an estimated 1,500 spectators. The USPA Spreckels Cup is a historical tournament named after John D. Spreckels, an entrepreneur who founded a transportation and real estate empire, including the San Diego Railway, Hotel del Coronado and San Diego’s first polo club in Coronado. The first Spreckels match was in 1909 and winners were presented with a dramatic silver trophy over two feet high.

Spreckels-Cup

Engraved on the trophy is 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. It is the most important polo tournament in southern California and provides a tangible link across the years between the players of today, John D. Spreckels, and the band of polo players that had such an influence on the sport and upon the San Diego Polo Club. The actual tournament is played for three weeks and the final championship match will be held on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 2:00pm in front of the Sunday Polo crowd.

Santa Fe Hunt

Prior to the match at 1:00pm, guests will enjoy 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.

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Heels2Heal is a non-profit that creates positive change within the San Diego community by supporting non-profit organizations that promote healing and education for underprivileged, critically-ill, abused women and children. Founder of Heels2Heal, Kat Cowling states, “Heels2Heal is honored to be a part of this prestigious polo match benefiting Heels2Heal and San Diego Youth Services, a non profit organization that provides financial and emotional assistance to improve the lives of homeless, abused and at-risk youth. Together we will make a difference in their lives.”  Guests can support Heels2Heal by purchasing Gold VIP tickets or participating in the silent auction.

Sonya Berg Zen FashionistaHeels2Heal Chair and polo player, Sonya Berg, Zen Fashionista, will produce a one-of-a-kind Fashion Show with surprise celebrity models at 1:30pm featuring local boutiques.

Polo-After-Party-with-DJ-BeatnickAfter the match, join polo players, members and guests for the anticipated 7th Chukker After Party featuring DJ Beatnick from 3:30-6pm.

SUGGESTED ATTIRE:

Celebrate “Hat Day” on September 28 and sport your favorite hat or fascinator to the polo match. Red is also the color of the day, which will match the gorgeous red roses that fill the Spreckels trophy and the coats of the lead huntsman of the Santa Fe Hunt. Women are encouraged to wear simple and stylish sundresses with a wedge or flat shoe. Men often wear sport coats, interesting patterned shirts and bow ties, although it is not necessary. A collared shirt and slacks will do just fine. Take advantage of the occasion and the closing ceremonies and dress to impress.

TICKET INFORMATION (PURCHASE TICKETS HERE):

SDPC has multiple ticket options, ranging from VIP to picnicking with your family. The VIP tent ($350-450/table of 10) is a center field grandstand that seats 500 on Closing Day. It’s an elevated, shaded area with wait staff for both food and beverage service. Garden Seating ($25) is a field-side reserved area with tables and umbrellas for shade. General admission ($12) is first come, first served with umbrella tables, cocktail tables and picnic tables. If you are interested in tailgating ($10pp or $75 for a reserved space and admission for 4) on the east side of the field, we encourage you to pack a picnic and enjoy the game from the tailgate of your car. Parking is $10 per car.

BUY TICKETS FOR CLOSING DAY

FOOD & BEVERAGE:
We have two full bars serving craft cocktails on draft, an assortment of spirits, local craft beer, hand selected wines, and of course, champagne! Woodford Reserve will be mixing specialty cocktails for guests in the Woodford Reserve Lounge. The main bar is accessible to all guests, while the VIP tent has wait staff. Cash and credit accepted.

The Sunday Polo Kitchen is presented by The Wild Thyme Company, offering plates to share or more traditional sandwiches, salads and daily specials. Their food is both classic and trendsetting while maintaining the highest standards of culinary excellence with an emphasis on seasonal options. Cash and credit accepted.

More information available online at http://www.SanDiegoPolo.com

2013-spreckels-cup-winners2013 USPA Spreckels Cup Winners

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Herradura Cup

This past Sunday, September 16th marked Mexican Independence Day and we celebrated with the Herradura Cup hosted by San Diego Polo Club’s season sponsor Brown-Forman.  Guests were treated with tastings and drinks featuring Herradura Tequila, made from 100% naturally fermented agave and crafted authentically in haciendas since 1870.  The atmosphere of the spirited afternoon was complete with a twelve-piece Mariachi band from Chula Vista.

Ed Carias, Tequila Marketing Manager of Brown-Forman, conducted trophy presentations. The first place team of the classic was awarded with Herradura Reposado and the second place team was given Herradura Silver.  Reposado is aged for nine months longer than its category standard giving the liquor a rich copper hue and a decadently smooth taste.  Herradura Silver is the ideal ingredient for the ultimate margarita as it is a delectable amalgamation of citrus and agave flavors.

Sunday also served as an appreciation day for UC Alumni from all over the state. In addition, SDPC also played host to Miss San Diego and Miss County of San Diego, Anna Mason who delivered a beautiful performance of the National Anthem.  Barbara Jacobs, owner of Edison in Los Angeles, carried out the first ball throw in and hosted guests in the Herradura Pavilion.  Musical performances on Polo Sunday included the talented David Maldonado.

The first match of the Herradura Classic was a ten-goal match featuring team Trinity versus Team Hanalei Bay.  Santiego Trotz of team Hanalei Bay started off the match with the first goal of the game scored on behalf of Hanalei Bay.  Trotz’s point was soon followed by an additional goal for Hanalei scored by young player, Patrick Uretz.  Team Trinity was unable to answer Hanalei’s lead and the first chukker came to a close with team Trinity: 0, Hanalei Bay: 2.

The second chukker proceeded the first chukker in much the same manner.  Santiego Trotz proved himself to be Hanalei Bay’s MVP going on to score an additional two goals followed by a goal on behalf of Marcos Bignoli.  While Hanalei Bay was able to advance their lead by three goals, team Trinity closed the second chukker unable to score a goal on Hanalei.

Team Trinity took advantage of the third and fourth chukkers to make their move scoring their first two goals of the match by Rick Paicius and Artie Cameron.  The fourth chukker ended Trinity: 2, Hanalei Bay: 8.

Team Trinity utilized successful defense tactics in the fifth chukker preventing team Hanalei from scoring.   Mariano Gutierrez and Tim Rudy rose to the occasion scoring Trinity a goal apiece.  The fifth chukker ended at Trinity: 4, Hanalei: 8.

In the sixth and final chukker of the match, team Trinity fought for the win engaging Hanalei in an intense shoot out demonstrating excellent athleticism and teamwork.  Patrick Uretz of Hanalei scored the first goal of the chukker quickly answered by Rick Paicius of team Trinity.  Tim Rudy went on to advance Trinity by a point only to be returned by a goal on behalf of Marcos Bignoli. Ultimately, it was Mariano Gutierrez of team Trinity that scored the final goal of the chukker giving Hanalei Bay the win with a total of 10 points to Trinity’s 7.

The second match of the day was the tournament’s ten goal finals featuring Tequila Herradura (Twin Palms/StarMeadow) versus Hanalei Bay.  This match was an engrossing one as the score board reached some of the highest numbers of the season.  Gaston VonWernich of team Tequila Herradura scored the first goal of the game quickly answered by Jared Sheldon of Team Hanalei.  Both teams were matched for skill as reflected in the score at the end of the first chukker, Tequila Herradura: 2, Hanalei: 2.

While Tequila Herradura started off the match strong, they fell silent in the second and third chukkers as team Hanalei took to the offensive.  Both Mariano Fassetta and Chris Collins Jr. proved them selves to be valuable assets for Hanalei scoring a goal each in both the second and third chukker.  Going into the fourth chukker, the score was Tequila Herradura: 2, Hanalei: 7.

The fourth chukker was an impressive exhibition of talent as both teams refused to give the other any leeway.  Mariano Fassetta started off the chukker with a goal for Hanalei Bay sparking a charge on goal for Tequila Herradura who scored two points on behalf of Gaston VonWernich and Chris Maloney.  Ultimately, both teams were neck-in-neck throughout the fourth chukker scoring three goals apiece wrapping up the chukker with Tequila Herradura: 5, Hanalei bay: 10.

The fifth chukker proved to be the most riveting yet.  While Gaston VonWernich single handedly scored two goals for Tequila Herradura, Mariano Fassetta was ignited scoring three consecutive goals for Hanalei followed by an additional goal by Chris Maloney Jr. Going into the sixth and final chukker, the score was Tequila Herradura: 7, Hanalei Bay: 14.

In a surprising turn of events, Twin Palms took advantage of the sixth chukker to silence Hanalei Bay, making one final attempt at the win.  While team Hanalei failed to score a single goal in the sixth chukker, Colton Bancroft, Graham Bray, and Gaston VonWernich scored a goal each wrapping up the chukker at Tequila Herradura: 10, Hanalei Bay: 14.

If you missed the fun this past Sunday, join us this weekend for the USPA Spreckels Cup hosted by Giving Back Magazine.  The match will benefit the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera.  The Spreckles Cup is held annually in commemoration of John D. Spreckels who first discovered polo in the late 1800’s.  The first Spreckels Cup was inaugurated in 1909 and, since it rediscovery in 1988, has been played for and revered ever since.

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