Tag Archives: Willis Allen

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

A Polo Family Legacy

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Since the San Diego Polo Club opened its doors in 1986, our fields have welcomed four generations of polo players from the Allen & Collins families and needless to say, they have been an integral part of this club. The family legacy of polo started with Willis Allen, who along with his son-in-law Harry Collins, played an instrumental role in the formation of the San Diego Polo Club. Over the years, Willis Allen, his son-in-law Harry, his grandson Chris and his great-grandson Chris Jr. have all played polo on our fields.

A Horseman Like No Other
Allen was a talented horseman and he had a deep connection to polo. He was first introduced to the sport in the early 1920’s while visiting family in San Angelo, Texas. His uncle was a polo player and gave Willis his first lesson. After Willis returned home to Connecticut, his uncle sent him his first horse, which he named Concho.

By the age of 13, Willis started regularly playing in Connecticut and when he moved to California, he continued with the sport, playing arena polo at the Coronado Country Club. He carried polo with him through the many chapters of life and even played when he was stationed in New Caledonia during WWII. His family fondly shared stories of how even during those difficult years of war, he was able to put together a polo field and bring in horses to play. Allen was truly a man like no other and it was often said, “they broke the mold when they made Willis.” A true benefactor of the sport, he fostered the development and growth of polo on the west coast and always sought to cultivate the skills of aspiring players. He had an egalitarian view of the game and never thought of polo as a sport that should be exclusively reserved for the wealthy. Throughout his life, he encouraged everyone to play. For Allen, polo was never about title or status but instead about passion for the game and his connection to the horses.

In addition to the San Diego Polo Club, Willis was one of the original founding members of the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio, California. Willis also served as a USPA Governor from 1969-1974 and played on numerous national and international teams. Throughout his life, he raised award-winning polo ponies and many people credit his polo talent to his deep connection with the horses. He loved his animals and one of his greatest joys and passions was breeding ponies. For the majority of his polo career, he worked as his own groom and only hired one later in life, when he physically required the assistance. Until that point, he had always taken care of his ponies, believing that it was important to develop a deep connection to the animal. Willis’ passion and enthusiasm for polo was infectious and he continued playing until the age of 93, participating in his final polo match just two weeks before he passed. He died on June 13th, 2004 at his home in La Jolla, surrounded by family and friends.

Four Generations

 

The Willis Allen Cup

Each year, a special tournament is held in Willis Allen’s name, to recognize sportsmanship, horsemanship, and teamwork amongst young players within the San Diego Polo community. This summer, The Willis Allen Memorial Cup will take place on July 7th, 2013 and the proceeds will benefit the REINS Therapeutic Riding Program (www.reinsprogram.org). The REINS Therapeutic Riding Program is a non-profit organization, located in Fallbrook, California, and their mission is to provide physical and emotional therapy to a wide range of disabled children and adults through the use of carefully supervised horseback riding. They currently serve over 200 students each week, coming from all over southern California and ranging in age from 2 – 83. The students have a variety of disabilities including: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, seizure disorders, developmental delays and other mental and physical challenges. The benefits of this therapy are both mental and physical and include normalization of muscle tone, increased balance and coordination, developments of speech and language, and improvements in body awareness and self-esteem. Harry Collins participates in therapeutic riding and his family credits this program for the tremendous improvements he’s made since his 2003 polo accident. The Collins family is a huge supporter of the work that the REINS Therapeutic Riding Program is doing and they are thrilled to partner with them for the 2013 Willis Allen Memorial Cup.

Collins Family

Throughout his life, Willis Allen exhibited passion, energy, enthusiasm and most importantly, a generosity of spirit. It was an honor to sit down with the remaining three generations of his family and hear their first hand stories and memories of Willis and learn more about their family’s long and rich history with the sport of polo and the San Diego Polo Club.

HARRY & JUDY COLLINS

How would you describe Willis Allen as a person? As a player?
He was a wonderful father and father-in-law and overall just a really genuine and honest man. People loved him because he was a really kind and fun person to be around. He was Harry’s best friend and he taught Harry everything that he knows about horses and polo. Before Harry and I had met, he had hardly been around horses but my father introduced him. Eventually, they started breeding and raising ponies together. It was my father’s passion and he loved his horses so much. He had a connection to the animals and he loved to watch them grow. And he just loved polo! It was his life.

What is a special memory you have with the SD Polo Club?
While Harry was a regular player at the San Diego Polo Club, I never got seriously into the sport. I played with my father as a child but back then women weren’t competitively playing polo like they are today. I always rode horses though. Harry on the other hand, fell in love with the sport and he loved to play, especially at the San Diego Polo Club. Over the years, our family has had so many wonderful memories that it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Anytime Harry could play with Chris and Chris Jr. it was special for him.

Where would you like to see the sport head in the next 10 years?
That’s an interesting question and I’d probably have to reflect back on my father when answering. See, Dad was not big on huge tournaments, and he preferred the low-key nature of clubs like Lakeside. He also never had grooms, though I will say that when I was a kid, he would sometimes pay me 0.25 cents a weekend to walk his horses. He didn’t really believe in hiring pros either and he never thought polo should be a sport that was just for the wealthy. His view of polo was pretty simple. He loved the game, he loved and respected the animals and he valued teamwork, horsemanship and sportsmanship, and I think that’s the direction he’d want to see the sport move in.

CHRIS COLLINS

How would you describe Willis Allen as a person? As a player?
For Willis, polo was only about one thing – the horses. If you ever asked Willis about polo he would start by telling you about the horses. He bred ponies for almost 70 years, many from the same original bloodline. He also never hired a groom because he enjoyed doing everything with the horse. As a player, Willis was always the happiest guy on the field. He played every week and competed with some of the best players in the world. At the height of his game, he reached a 3 goal ranking. He was always running with the ball and one of his signature moves was dribbling the ball down the field between his horse’s front legs. Willis also really enjoyed teaching people the game, firmly believing that everyone should have the opportunity to play polo. He really wanted the sport to be accessible to everyone.

What is a special memory you have with the SD Polo Club?
Our family has so many wonderful memories with polo but one that stands out was the four-generation match we competed in. Playing with my grandfather, my father and my son is a very special memory for me. I also remember a time when Harry was injured and so Chris Jr. had to fill in for him. He was only 13 years old at the time but it was amazing to get to play together.

Where would you like to see the sport head in the next 10 years?
Lately, it seems like only the very wealthy play polo and Willis would never have thought that was right. He really believed that you needed a cross-section of people to play and that the sport should be accessible to everyone. I think we need to get back to that. The number of players is decreasing every year and so I think that we need to do something to bring more people into the sport. Polo needs to be revitalized and we really need to start encouraging younger kids to play. It’s important that we introduce them to polo at an early age and then foster their development and growth. It’s the only way our future generations of polo players are going to have a true competitive edge.

CHRIS COLLINS JR.

How would you describe Willis Allen as a person? As a player?
Strong!! I don’t know that many people who can play polo well into their 90’s. Willis was an inspirational man, not only to me, but to my entire family. His patience gave him a connection with the horses that most people will never have. As a polo player, I think everyone who had the pleasure of playing with or against him, knew that he could hit a tail shot 100% of the time. You would have never known he was ninety-two years old when he got on a horse and got into the line-up. You don’t meet very many legends in your life and my great grandfather was certainly one!

What is a special memory you have with the SD Polo Club?
Having the opportunity to play with my Dad, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather, is de”nitely one of my best memories at the San Diego Polo Club. I was only 11 years old but I can still remember how nervous I was before the game. Another great memory is winning the Spreckels Cup for the “rst time in 2010 with my dad. Finally, even though I’m not sure how much of this I actually remember, one of my best memories was attending my “rst polo match just two days after I was born. I was in a stroller on the sidelines for the very “rst game at the San Diego Polo Club.

Where would you like to see the sport head in the next 10 years?
We need to keep the sport growing and continue to get more people involved, informed and in love with this amazing game. I want to see more people taking lessons and I strongly encourage everyone to do so. I think the USPA has done a great job with Team USPA in farming young American players and giving
them opportunities they would have never had 5 years ago. If we can keep improving young polo players we will improve the sport here in the U.S. and make us even more competitive on a global scale.

Written by Vanessa ShapiroPhotos by Topher Riley & courtesy of The Collins Family

Willis Allen Memorial Tournament & REINS Therapeutic Riding Program Fundraiser warmed the hearts of many!

Willis Allen Memorial Cup Invite

Since the San Diego Polo Club opened its doors in 1986, our fields have welcomed four generations of polo players from the Allen & Collins families and needless to say, they have been an integral part of this club. The family legacy of polo started with Willis Allen, who along with his son-in-law Harry Collins, played an instrumental role in the formation of the San Diego Polo Club. Over the years, Willis Allen, his son-in-law Harry, his grandson Chris and his great-grandson Chris Jr. have all played polo on our fields.

Collins family

The fifth weekend of polo at the San Diego Polo Club not only brought plenty of sunshine, but also some great polo for the playing of the Willis Allen Memorial Cup.  We celebrated Willis’ life and the Collins’ family legacy by welcoming REINS Therapeutic Riding Program as the beneficiary of the event.  Harry Collins is currently the oldest participant in the REINS Therapeutic Riding Program and the charity is very important to the family.

martin-ravina

The 1:00pm match featured Monteverde-Adeptus versus Star Meadow-San Judas. The match got off to a fast start with Martin Ravina scoring two goals in the first chukker and Kimo Huddleston scoring two for StarMeadow-San Judas.  Ravina put a few more through the goal, resulting in a  Monteverde-Adeptus halftime lead of 7-5. Ramon Richard had a high score of 4 goals for StarMeadow-San Judas.  Despite both efforts, the match ended in a tie.  Martin Ravina had the most goals on the afternoon, totaling 8 for Monteverde-Adeptus.

REINS

During intermission, fans bid on silent auction items including a week long trip to Africa, a signed cowboy hat by Taylor Swift and more, all to benefit REINS Therapeutic Riding Program.  Debbie Shinner, executive director of REINS Therapeutic Riding Program, and JoHanna, one of REINS‘ youngest program participant,  produced a wonderful demonstration for the crowd.  Debbie explained how the therapeutic lessons encourage speech, help riders identify objects, and sequence multiple tasks, all the while on horseback.  JoHanna captured the hearts of the crowd by blowing kisses and riding her lesson pony.

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After fans dried their eyes, we picked it up a little for an intermission exhibition from the Flyball Ballistics Racers. The Racers showed off their speed and agility thru series of obstacle courses.  Polo Player, Linda Drabova, and her dog Indie were the stars of the show!

Erin Thompson started the festivities with the singing of our National Anthem, followed by REINS Therapeutic Riding Program taking part in the ceremonial first ball throw.

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The 3:00pm match between Hanalei-San Fernando and Twin Palms-Sycamore provided a back and forth seesaw afternoon of polo. Chris Maloney and Ashton Wolf did their jobs, scoring three goals each, to help lead Twin Palms-Sycamore to victory.

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The Collins Family presented trophies to the winners and celebrated a wonderful day with family and the fans.

Spectators enjoyed post game entertainment from Tiffany Jane, a San Diego songstress singin’ the blues.

Big thanks to Willis Allen, The Collins Family, REINS Therapeutic Riding Program, Ballistic Racers Flyball Team, Tiffany Jane, Erin Thompson, Three Dog Bakery, and Caracol Silver for coming out to share their Sunday with us.

We look forward to seeing everyone out for the action next week at the Woodford Reserve Classic.

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.

Willis Allen Memorial Cup Finals

What a day!  Not only did we have fantastic Polo in San Diego on Sunday afternoon, but we had a handful of wonderful sponsors.  Giving Back Magazine hosted their 3rd annual “Day of Polo” tournament and raised money to benefit the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera.

1pm Match: Trinity vs. Southwind/Adeptus- 8-goal polo

Trinity:
Rick Paicius 0
Patrick Uretz 1
Jared Sheldon 1
Mariano Gutierrez 5

Southwind/Adeptus:
Colleen Wilson 0
Mike Kerley 3
Pedro Orellano 4
Chris Collins 1

Starting off the day, we had Southwind/Adeptus vs. Trinity featured in the 1pm game.  Trinity was up by 3 at the end of the second chukker, but Pedro Orellano scored 3 in the 3rd chukker, bringing the score to 7 to 6, Trinity.

Chris Collins played great defense in the second half, keeping the ball out of the Southwind/Adeptus goal.  At the end of the 5th chukker, Trinity was up 9 to 8.  Mariano Gutierrez scored another for Trinity in the 6th chukker, bringing them up to 10.  Chris Collins scored and Pedro Orellano scored to tie up the game, 10 to 10.

Our very own founding member and patrona, Colleen Wilson, had a break away with just a couple seconds left and scored the winning goal for Southwind/Adeptus!

Meanwhile, guests bid on the silent auction items and drank Mai Tais in the CitiBank Lounge.

The San Diego Symphony played a live parade march to welcome in the two competing teams.

Next up, a representative from the San Diego Opera blew us away with the National Anthem.

3pm Feature Match and Willis Allen Memorial Cup Finals: Starmeadow vs. Tritech/San Judas

Tritech/San Judas:
Ramon Richard -1
Ashton Wolf 3
Gaston VonWernich 5
Chris Maloney 1

Starmeadow:
Jessica Bailey 1
Jesse Bray 3
Graham Bray 5
Joy Bancroft -1

After Alisha Wray’s fall a couple of weeks ago, Ramon Richard stepped up to the plate and took her place on Tritech/Princeps, now renamed, Tritech/San Judas.  Alisha is doing well and attending the matches, but taking time to heal.


Although this is only 8-goal polo, it sure feels like 12-goal.  Jesse Bray started off hot with 2 goals in the first chukker for Starmeadow.  Gaston VonWernich matched his two goals in the second chukker and added a few more in the second half of the match.  Also in the second chukker, Graham Bray had a beautiful back shot near the goal line that barely made it through the goal posts.

Ramon Richard of Tritech/San Judas had two very important goals in the 3rd and 5th chukkers, which were very instrumental in the win.

Jesse Bray continued to knock them in, tallying up 7 goals total.

We had a couple of falls, 2 from Ashton Wolf and 1 from Gaston VonWernich.  The crowd was spooked when Gaston and his horse, Fleur, fell.  Sure enough, the horse just got the wind knocked out of her and got right back up.  The horse is healthy and we are all very thankful Gaston and Fleur are doing okay.  Although Ashton’s ribs are a bit bruised, that didn’t stop him from playing his best.

In the 6th chukker, the match was 10 to 9, Tritech/San Judas on top.  Jesse Bray sailed the ball into the air during a penalty shot, but missed it by inches.  His second penalty shot was deflected by Ashton Wolf’s mallet.  In the 3rd penalty shot, Jesse missed it again, by centimeters!  Time ran out before Starmeadow had a chance to score, leaving the win to Trinity/ San Judas!

Gaston Von Wernich‘s horse, Fleur, won Best Playing Pony.

Runner’s up received gift bags from Giving Back Magazine and South Coast Plaza.  Jesse Bray won MVP.

Tritech/San Judas won the Willis Allen Memorial Cup.  After taking lessons in the arena and graduating to grass polo last year, Ramon Richard was thrilled to be a part of the winning team.  He celebrated with dousing his teammates in Veuve Cliquot Champagne.

Trophies were presented by Tiffany & Co. of Fashion Valley.

Danitza Villanueva of Giving Back Magazine, Ramon Richard and his wife Virgina Calero, Ashton Wolf, Gaston VonWernich, Chris Collins, grandson of Willis Allen, Chris Maloney, Peggy Stevenson of Tiffany & Co., Esteban Villanueva of Giving Back Magazine, and Gaston’s children.