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Pacific Coast Arena League Welcomes Over 45 Polo Players to San Diego

By | News, Player's Corner, Polo Stories, Tournament Recap | One Comment

On Saturday, July 23rd, arena polo players from all over California came to San Diego to participate in the Pacific Coast Arena League Tournament, attracting over 45 players in just one day.  The Pacific Coast Arena Polo League is a summer polo competition. Players have the opportunity to compete throughout the season at five different clubs for points. Those points tally, and high points earn season-end awards. It’s a fun way for all of the arena players in southern California to get together for a full day of polo. From our Interscholastic teenaged players to our best A-rated players, the day was action packed with some of the most amazing arena polo you’ll ever see.  Some of the other clubs represented were OC Polo, Central Coast Polo, California Polo Club, Lakeside Polo and Poway Polo.

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The day started off with an A-flight round robin between Moonshine Polo Team (Julie Empey, Jeff Trout, Jennifer Alexy), Poway/OC (Skyler Dale, Ian Schnoebelen, Forest Smith), and Justice League (Ali Mobtaker, Niki Mobtaker, Andrew Scott). Final score: Justice League 6, Poway/OC 5 and Moonshine 1. Sportsmanship went to Julie Empey, MVP to Skyler Dale and Best Playing Pony to Ian Schnoebelen’s horse Secret.

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Next up was the B-Flight round robin between Ludwig Polo (Sri Mummaneni, Dawson Ludwig, Troy Crumley), CCPC (Alyssa Garcia, Hannah Heitzig, Megan Judge) and Top View (Chuck Stanislowski, Lovive Laverdure, Alenya Chekhova). Final Score: CCPC 14, Top View 10, Ludwig Polo 9. Sportsmanship went to Chuck Stanislowski, MVP to Megan Judge, and Best Playing Pony to Lovive Laverdure’s horse Secret.

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In the afternoon, the B Flight match up between OC Polo (Mila Herrera, Shelley Geiler, Heather Perkins, Kelli Newton) and CPC (JP Coghill, Katty Wong, Kirsten Ludwig) was a high scoring match. CPC won the match 12 to 8. Sportsmanship went to Shelley Geiler, MVP to Kirsten Ludwig, and Best Playing Pony to Kelli Newton’s horse Zenardi.

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The C Flight Team Mystical Moose (Jack Empey, Drew Hobscheid, Kylie Kufahl and Paige Kufahl) played CPC 2 (Sonia Couling, Frances Bryson, Barry Nadell and substitute JP Coghill). After a minor injury, Nadell stepped out and JP Coghill subbed in his place. Mystical Moose scored 13, with just 1 for CPC2. Sportsmanship went to Sonia Couling, MVP to Drew Hobscheid (with 10 goals!), and Best Playing Pony to Paige Kufahl’s horse Bella.

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Three’s Comany (Matt Davis, Lauren Helpern, Kelly Davis, Colleen Newton) and Poway/San Diego (Gillian Young, Larry VanderPloeg, Bryan Treusch) battled it out in the 4:00pm C Flight. Three’s Company won 8 to 5. Sportsmanship went to Larry VanderPloeg, MVP to Matt Davis, and Best Playing Pony to Bryan Treusch’s horse Coneja.

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The last match of the evening was a C Flight match between OC/San Diego (Leo Diaz, Emma Hobscheid, Miriam Ellis, Jack Gaon, Hudson Sirjani) and Rebel Polo (Mikayla Chapman, Shayna Chapman, Gwenyth Bennett, Nicole Johnson, Michael Proulx). Keep in mind, some of these players were splitting positions and we always play 3 on 3. OC/San Diego won 13 to 3. Sportsmanship went to Shayna Chapman, MVP to Leo Diaz and Best Playing Pony to Nicole Johnson’s third chukker horse.

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

2016-PCAL-San-Diego-Megan-Judge2016-PCAL-San-Diego-Mythical-Moose-Drew-HobscheidWhile hitting and carrying the ball tends to be much easier on the grass, since most people prefer to play golf on the green instead of the sand pits, imagine just how much more skill you might need to “play golf in the sand pits” all the time?  The arena ball tends to glance off mounds of sand or mud, or get stuck in hoof holes created by the galloping horses.  But to develop enough skill to work around that and STILL be a dynamite polo player, I’d say that’s a mission worth trying, and a feat often underestimated and overlooked. With the deck stacked against you in getting the ball to move anywhere in a straight line, you might argue that arena polo is harder.

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

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

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Thank you to USPA third man umpire Rick Sears, Julie Empey, Stacy Egusa, Lindsey Chronert, Tim Empey, Ashton Wolf and the entire San Diego Polo team for putting together a fun tournament. Another big thank you to everyone who came out to the polo fields to play and support our arena programs! We love hosting visitors and opening our doors to different players of all levels. We hope you enjoyed your time at SD Polo, its picturesque setting, and hopefully you made it down to watch our Sunday Matches!

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Update with Polo Fields Lease – July

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Latest update: On June 28, 2016 there was a public City Council Smart Growth and Land Use Committee meeting, whereby the City’s Real Estate Assets Department asked for approval to proceed with a long term lease of the polo fields with Surf Cup Sports as the new lessee. The City Council Smart Growth and Land Use Committee unanimously approved to move forward with a 28-year lease with Surf Cup Sports, as well as approved the usage of the property to continue host soccer, polo and approved special events. 
Representatives from the San Diego Polo Club and United States Polo Association spoke about the history and heritage of polo in San Diego. Both parties are in support of Surf Cup Sports’ new long term lease and continued use of the polo fields for both soccer and polo. Surf Cup Sports pledged to continue polo and equestrian activities at the facility for years to come, and with your support, the sport will continue to grow.
If you are interested in meeting the key leaders of Surf Cup Sports, we are hosting an Open House and informal Q&A session. We look forward to meeting you, answering your questions about the future of the polo fields, and finding ways to partner with you.

Open House Dates:

Friday, July 15, 4 to 5 pm
Monday, July 18, 5 to 6 pm
Wednesday, July 20, 5 to 6 pm
Location:
The San Diego Polo Fields
14555 El Camino Real/14955 Via de la Valle
San Diego, CA 92101
Parking:
Please enter from Via de la Valle, and follow the road headed southwest to the parking lot next to the trailers. (See attached map.) Please park in the lot and we will meet at the trailers.
Open-House-parking
More about Surf Cup Sports:
Surf Cup Sports is one of the most influential and recognized soccer programs and event organizers in the nation. Established in 1980 as an all-star club for San Diego’s best youth soccer players, it has since evolved into a national powerhouse in the youth soccer community, combining a successful club and a world-class sports event management company. The organization produces the nationally renowned Surf Cup tournament, bringing together the “best of the best” youth soccer players and their families to compete in “America’s Finest City.” Surf Cup Sports athletes have called the San Diego Polo Fields home since 1992.

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2016 Note to the Players

By | 30th Anniversary Season, News, Player's Corner | 2 Comments

2016-San-Diego-Polo-Club-Season-Rancho-Santa-Fe-players-package-Krista-Bonaduidi

Dear Players,

Welcome to the 30th Anniversary Season at the San Diego Polo Club, located in the heart of the equestrian valley of Rancho Santa Fe. This April, we proudly open our doors to new and returning members, local and international teams, and both beginner and professional players.

We have curated a six month polo season with 15 weeks of fun grass polo competition, multiple clinics, arena tournaments, practices and games on the weekends in front of our massive Sunday Polo crowd. We are offering one polo playing membership this season in our 4-Goal League. To start off the season, we are playing 4 Goal tournament play (4 chukkers), which gives players the chance to have fun on a team and participate in club competition. For the second half of our summer season, we will turn up the competition with 4-6 Goal league play (4 chukkers). Players are welcome to bring in a team, a pair or have our polo manager assist with setting up the perfect team. This level of polo provides a safe opportunity for provisional players to learn the ropes and also provides our seasoned members with a little friendly competition. We have a list of professional players endorsed by SDPC who will help encourage growth, development and enjoyment at the San Diego Polo Club.

Additionally, we have secured a sponsor for our Annual Women’s Tournament with visiting teams and you can expect an influx of youth polo development in the arena.In October and early November, members and local players are invited to join us for our favorable Fall League, with weekly competitions and mini-tournaments. Fall League includes professional players on each team designated by the Polo Manager.

Let’s discuss your summer plans so we can plan to move your horses in by Monday, April 4 and you can take advantage of our seasonal barn rates.

If you are thinking of visiting San Diego from out of town this year and want to play polo during your visit, let us put together a visiting player package that includes tournament participation and seats for Sunday Polo. The club has close ties with the best resorts in San Diego such as The Fairmont and The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, and can arrange accommodations for you and your family. Our USPA tournaments in September offer a fantastic opportunity to experience great polo, perfect weather, and a chance to partake in the many family (and grown-up) attractions in San Diego.

We are looking forward to hosting once again this season celebrities, visiting players, and visiting teams for special sponsored charity events. I look forward to seeing you on the field and at Opening Day on Sunday, June 5, 2015!

Nour-Dean Anakar, President

Flip through our 2016 Player Package here.

San Diego Polo Club Wins Match in Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships

By | Event, Fashion, Just For Fun, News, Polo Fashion | No Comments

On Saturday, October 24th, nearly 12,500 spectators attended the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower, taking in all of the sights and sounds of the “world’s most interesting polo event.” This year’s attendance set a new one-day record. Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the event featured some of the world’s best polo players. Six competitive polo teams traveled to compete in three highly-contested matches, including the San Diego Polo Club. Some of the players included top American player Nic Roldan of the Aspen Valley Polo Club, top ranked player Andres Camacho of the Arizona Polo Club, collegiate player of the year Kareem Rosser, and Wales’ top rated player Pete Webb.

The day’s festivities included more than just polo. Fans also took advantage of The Canine Couture dog fashion show, the Larsen Art Gallery LIVE Art Auction, the World’s “Longest” Catwalk Fashion Show, and a preview of the world famous Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. It also featured ballroom dancing field side for the first time ever, as well as a Phoenix Symphony quartet performance along with play, and a High Tea Tent by The Phoenician. This year also saw the debut of the Triyar Ivy League Lounge, packed throughout the entire day with over 1,000 people dancing and drinking in a nightclub like atmosphere.

The first match on Saturday began at 11:00 AM with Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auction Company Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson making the first drop in the match between Polo Azteca and Club Polo Cabo, presented by One & Only Palmilla of Los Cabos, Mexico. In that match, Club Polo Cabo beat Polo Azteca, 9-8, and was led by the play of team founder and San Diego Polo Club member, Tony Yahyai.

In the match that followed, local favorite Arizona Polo Club took on rival San Diego Polo Club. Six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken made the first drop to get the exciting match started. Despite the tremendous play of Andres Camacho in the match’s second half, San Diego Polo Club beat Arizona Polo Club by a score of 9-3. San Diego Polo Club’s first half lead proved too much for Arizona Polo Club to overcome. Alvaro Tadeo led San Diego as he executed both offensively and defensively.

The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships’ Featured Match presented fans an opportunity to witness two of the world’s best polo teams face off against one another. Defending champion Clogau Wales Polo Team, featuring players Ricky Cooper, Pete Webb, and Roddy Matthews, faced Aspen Valley Club, led by Nic Roldan, Melissa Ganzi, and Juan Bollini. The Phoenix Suns’ Tyson Chandler, an NBA Champion and Olympic gold medalist, provided the first drop for the day’s most thrilling match. From the start, Aspen Valley dominated their counterparts and won 9-5 to be crowned the new champions of the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships. Roldan scored six of Aspen Valley’s nine goals.

In one of the most unique elements of the day, the Phoenix Symphony provided the musical backdrop to one of the featured match’s chukkers. Fans were regaled with classical music all while witnessing the two teams take on one another.

“Even though we weren’t able to defend our title, the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships have become one of my favorite polo events to compete in,” said Clogau Wales Polo Team captain Ricky Cooper. “It was a great crowd and we enjoyed ourselves fully.”

Russ Sheldon Honored with Iglehart Award

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Russ Sheldon is being honored posthumously with the Iglehart Award. For over 25 years Russ dedicated countless hours to the sport. He has been recognized with numerous awards that are a testament to his contagious passion and excitement for polo, a love that he eagerly passed on to his children, grandchildren and countless others. He started Poway Polo Club and was a champion of “grass roots polo” in California, a passionate promoter of Arena Polo and a devout mentor and supporter of youth polo programs. His contribution to the USPA Intercollegiate-Interscholastic program and the initiatives that he put in place will continue to benefit the sport for decades to come.
National Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame
Wellington, Florida
February 2016

USPA Spreckels Cup Finals presented by Woodford Reserve to benefit WWF

By | News, Sunday Polo, Tournament Recap | No Comments

Polo Team Adeptus/Sycamore Wins 106th USPA Spreckels Cup

in support of World Wildlife Fund

2015-SDPC-Spreckels-Cup-Winners.-Diego-Cossio,-Max-Menini,-Colleen-Wilson,-Bryon-Ward.-Photo-by-Jaime-Dixx-webThe tournament’s underdog, Team Adeptus/Sycamore won the 106th USPA Spreckels Cup at the San Diego Polo Club, which took place on Sunday, September 27. The charity polo match benefited World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization that helps protect the future of nature. With the help of local Rancho Santa Fe residents, polo players, friends and WWF supporters, the charity raised over $11,000 at the San Diego Polo Club.

In partnership with the United States Polo Association, the San Diego Polo Club hosted the 106th Annual USPA Spreckels Cup, the oldest polo tournament on the west coast. 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.

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Multiple teams played in the two-week Spreckels Cup tournament, bringing in international polo players for the duration of the tournament. Favored to win, Team San Judas had a strong team consisting of Mexican polo professional Alvaro Tadeo; American professional player, Joseph Stuart; 15 year old prodigy, Harrison Azzaro, son of one of the most talented American polo players; and team owner, Ramon Richard. In previous games, San Judas was victorious, even in their previous match up against Sunday’s opponent, Adeptus/Sycamore. However, with the help of Argentine polo professionals, Diego Cossio and Max “the machine gun” Menini, Team Adeptus/Sycamore came out on top and celebrated their victory in front of Sunday’s Closing Day crowd, alongside team owners Colleen Wilson and Bryon Ward.

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Joseph Stuart kicked things off in the first chukker with a goal for San Judas, knocking it straight through the goal mouth from 90 yards back. Max Menini scored for Adeptus/Sycamore to tie it up, but Harrison Azzaro with San Judas scored, bringing the score 2 to 1 in the first chukker.

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Adeptus/Sycamore had a strong defense and San Judas fell behind in the second chukker, while Bryon Ward and Diego Cossio scored for Adeptus/Sycamore. Joseph Stuart and Maz Menini both scored on penalty hits in the third chukker, bringing the score to 4 to 3, Adeptus/Sycamore on the lead. While Joseph Stuart and Harrison Azzaro take the credit for the goals for San Judas, Alvaro Tadeo was a workhorse on the field, making it hard for Adeptus/Sycamore to score.

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Diego Cossio and Max Menini were a dynamic duo, always working together both defensively and offensively to help each other out. In the fourth chukker, Diego Cossio scored another for Adeptus/Sycamore and kept San Judas at bay until the 5th chukker.

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Alvaro Tadeo passed the ball up to team owner, Ramon Richard, and Ramon took it away to the goal and scored an important point for San Judas. In the final chukker, Max Menini scored for Adeptus/Sycamore and Alvaro Tadeo scored for San Judas. It was a hard battle, but Adeptus/Sycamore stayed in control of the game steadily through with the final score 7 to 5.

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Dr. Colleen Wilson has served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Polo Club for many years, and has played polo in Rancho Santa Fe for 18 years. Over the course of this time, she has played with multiple teams and various professionals, but this winning combination has taken her to the top and led her team to victory for the first time, thus proving how difficult it is to enter the historical tournament. One of Dr. Wilson’s strengths is her string of eight beautiful polo ponies; she is well-known in the equestrian community for her healthy horses and horsemanship. There are two athletes on the field: the horse and the rider. A polo players mount is just as important as the talent riding the animal.

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In partnership with the La Jolla Polo Team, the World Wildlife Fund hosted their first-ever fundraiser in San Diego to raise awareness about their global initiatives. For more than 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.1 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.

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California State Assembly member, Martin Garrick and San Diego Council-hopeful Ray Ellis enjoyed the afternoon in the VIP tent with other guests, including Regional Director of WWF Britta Justesen, Director of Philanthropy of WWF Anne Trela, Vice-President of SDPC Nour-Dean Anakar, Zeeto Media’s CEO Stephan Goss, General Manager of BMW Encinitas Darrin Fetterolf, Reuben and Natasha Katz of La Jolla Polo Team, and local philanthropic supporters Naomi Gallego and Berenice Blake.

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The San Diego Polo Club invited guests to the Woodford Reserve’s VIP Lounge with polo players, local celebrities and philanthropists alike. VIP guests enjoyed the Distiller’s Select Kentucky Bourbon and Doubled Oaked Bourbon pairing with sweet caramel and fresh pear slices. Woodford Reserve offered specialty cocktails that benefited WWF, including “Panda Punch” and the “Jaguar Julep”.

Korbel California Champagne offered tastes of champagne to all guests during the half-time divot stomp and BMW of Encinitas refilled glasses from the back of their luxury automobiles parked center field. Woodford Reserve presented bourbon barrel heads and bottles of bourbon as gifts to both teams.

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BMW of Encinitas led the ceremonial Parade of Teams with a fleet of luxury cars, including the new hybrid BMW I-8. Steve Lewandowski, the voice of the San Diego Polo Club for the last 25 years, emceed the event.

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The national anthem was sung by Jazmin Feteke, and Billy Ray, National Brand Ambassador for Woodford Reserve with Suzanne Brown of Brown-Forman provided the ceremonial first ball throw in to start the game.

2015 SDPC Spreckels Cup. First Ball Throw In Billy Ray. Photo by Eric Young

United States Polo Association Governor, Scott Walker, presented trophies to the winners alongside three generations from the Spreckels family, Molly Spreckels-Agee, Jessica Spreckels-Burch, and Torry Spreckels-Metrovich.

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Son of San Diego Polo Club’s founder, Willis Allen, displayed over a dozen antique Steerman biplanes on the grass, which took off over the large crowd after the matches.

Step Up Your Game with the Fall Polo Challenge

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6-Week Polo Challenge
This super fun six-week challenge will give you the boost you need to step up your polo game. The challenged is designed to improve your game, your riding skills and your understanding of the rules and then implement that knowledge during regular practice. The Challenge starts September 1.

ANYONE can join – it doesn’t matter what shape you are in or what level of polo you’re at. This program will BOOST your…

  • Understanding of Polo
  • Riding Skills
  • Self Confidence
  • Overall Physical Health
  • Nervous system (mood, mental clarity/alertness)
  • Muscle growth/Decrease body fat
  • Energy
  • Sleep

In addition to all of the wonderful health and mental benefits, participants will be entered to win some amazing prizes, including gift certificates to Searsucker, Cinepolis, Jacksonhole Horse Emporium, Mary’s Tack and Feed and more!
Things to remember:

1. START DAY September 1.
2. You have to play polo 2 times per week (chukkers, pro-pool, tournament practice, lessons).
3. You have to take 1 hitting clinic, 1 riding clinic, and 1 yoga class.

4. We will give prizes throughout the 6-weeks, so be sure to keep up the hard work!

5. Use MindBody to sign up for clinics, yoga, lessons and more!

More info: school@sandiegopolo.com or 619-247-4448

Cancellation of Coronado Beach Polo Event Scheduled for October 18, 2015

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The Coronado Cultural Arts Commission announces the cancellation of Coronado Beach Polo scheduled for October 18, 2015. Complex and challenging from the onset, recent developments dictate cancellation of this event.

The Commission wishes to thank the San Diego Polo Club for its willingness to bring an amazing polo match to Coronado and to International polo player Nacho Figueras for agreeing to participate. Also, the Commission thanks the Hotel Del Coronado for offering the use of its incredible beach venue.

Originally scheduled to “recreate a moment in Coronado’s history” when Coronado was the epicenter of polo in the western United States, many challenges were overcome by organizers including the untimely death of original polo partner Russ Sheldon a member of the United States Polo Association Board of Governors; however, bringing polo to a West Coast beach for the first time continued to prove problematic and in the end presented a mountain of impossibility. It is with regret that the Commission leaves to history Coronado’s storied connection with the “Sport of Kings.”

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this event. The Commission continues to offer a full schedule of events in support of the City’s 125th year celebration. For more information, please see CoronadoARTS.com or contact Kelly Purvis, Arts Administrator at kpurivs@coronado.ca.us

About the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission: The Coronado Cultural Arts Commission was established by the Coronado City Council in 2011. It is a seven-member commission charged with providing recommendations and taking action to “foster the development and enjoyment of performing, visual, cultural, and other arts in Coronado.” For more information: www.coronadoarts.com. The Commission meets on the first Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The meetings are open and the public is invited to attend. Agendas and Minutes of current and previous meetings are posted and available on the City’s website: www.coronado.ca.us

Nacho Figueras’ Team La Jolla Polo Wins Polo Match at Woodford Reserve Polo Classic in support of the International Testicular Cancer Foundation

By | Event, Just For Fun, News, Sunday Polo, Tournament Recap | No Comments

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Nacho Figueras

The San Diego Polo Club welcomed Nacho Figueras and Hilaro Figueras during his first-ever visit to the San Diego Polo Club at the fourth annual Woodford Reserve Classic, which took place on Sunday, June 28. The charity polo match benefited International Testicular Cancer Foundation, a charity that raises awareness about testicular cancer in younger generations. ITCF was created in memory of a young man that lost his battle to testicular cancer at a young age.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic-Parade of Teams

Nacho Figueras and his son Hilario Figueras assisted in winning the game for La Jolla Polo Team, which celebrated their victory in front of a large crowd alongside Reuben Katz, Shannon John Johnson, and Ellen Greenhill. The team fought against Team ITCF, which featured Vice President of the San Diego Polo Club, Nour-Dean Anakar, Stephan Goss, Nicole DeBurg and Team Captain, Diego Cossio. The two teams played each other in a short two chukker polo match.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic-Hilario Figueras-Nacho Figueras-Diego Cossio

In partnership with the La Jolla Polo Team, Nacho Figueras and his son Hilario played an exhibition polo match in front of the San Diego Polo Club audience in order to raise awareness about the International Testicular Cancer Foundation.

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His wife Delfina Blaquier enjoyed the afternoon in the VIP tent with other guests, including the founder of UGG Brian Smith, Craig J. Venter Institute’s COO Nicole DeBurg, Zeeto Media’s CEO Stephan Goss, Reuben and Natasha Katz, Board Member of ITCF Shannon John Johnson, General Manager of BMW Encinitas Darrin Fetterolf, Regional Marketing Manager of Brown-Forman Ivan Toro and Woodford Reserve Marketing Manager Lisa Renard.

 San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic-Nacho Figueras-Diego Cossio

The San Diego Polo Club invited guests to a Woodford Reserve’s Distiller’s Select Kentucky Bourbon and Doubled Oaked Bourbon pairing with sweet caramel and fresh apple slices.

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Woodford Reserve also served cocktails to VIP guests during the half-time divot stomp and presented the winning team with Woodford Reserve barrel head timepieces and bottles of bourbon.

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BMW of Encinitas led the ceremonial Parade of Teams in both matches with a fleet of luxury cars, including the new hybrid BMW I-8.

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The national anthem was sung by San Diego Opera’s Christen Horne and Jim Smallwood, founder of the International Testicular Cancer Foundation with Natasha and Bela Katz of La Jolla Polo Team, provided the ceremonial first ball throw in to start the game.

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Son of San Diego Polo Club’s founder, Willis Allen, displayed over a dozen antique Steerman biplanes on the grass, which took off over the large crowd after the matches.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic-steerman-biplanes

Opening Day Exceeds Expectations

By | Event, Just For Fun, News, Sunday Polo, Tournament Recap | No Comments

Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club has evolved into one of San Diego’s signature events, where people flock to the fields for thrilling polo, champagne, divot stomping and an incredible fashion scene. On Sunday, May 31, 2015, the San Diego Polo Club celebrated the kick-off of their 29th season in Rancho Santa Fe and 109th anniversary of polo in San Diego with a crowd exceeding 4,000, all to benefit local charity, Wounded Warrior Homes.

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One of the day’s most captured moments was at the entrance of the venue. The team at SDPC worked with local artists to build a wall made with recycled wood, succulents and plants arched with the letters “SD Polo”. Guests of all shapes and sizes posed in front of the SD Polo Wall. To see your photos, visit our Facebook Page.

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As an added feature, this year’s Opening Day showcased Southern California’s Food Truck Challenge and 3rd Annual Hot Rods for Heroes, a car and food truck competition. Over 100 hot rod cars, vintage autos and motorcycles were on display for everyone to peruse. Guests sampled food from the competing food trucks and tasted beers from San Diego’s finest craft breweries, including Ballast Point, Belching Beaver and Left Coast Brewing.

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The day started off with a game between Luna Polo (Virgil Kyle A, Jennifer Alexy A, Topo Mendez 2, Diego Lareggli 2) and San Fernando/San Judas (Roberto Estudillo A, Ramon Richard B.5, Francisco Guiquazu 3, Sam Sheike 1). Francisco Guiquazu scored the first goal on the afternoon and two total in the first chukker for San Fernando/San Judas and Topo Mendez shot one in for Luna Polo.

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In the second chukker, Jennifer Alexy, Topo Mendez and Diego Larregli all scored for Luna Polo, bringing the score 4 to 2 at half time.

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Diego Larregli came back strong with two goals in the third chukker and one in the fourth, bringing Luna Polo up to 7 goals. Francisco Guiquazu scored twice more for San Fernando/San Judas, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.

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Sempra Energy’s Executive Vice President, Jessie J. Knight  congratulated Luna Polo on their win on the trophy deck. Jessie J. Knight is chairman of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E); chairman of Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), an affiliate of SDG&E; and executive vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy. Jessie Knight was Mayor Faulconer’s chief aide when he was a City Council member and is also currently heading Mayor Faulconer’s new Chargers Stadium Task Force.

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After the first match, guests stomped the divots that were kicked up by the horses and sipped champagne! Among the stylish polo crowd were polo players, celebrities, entrepreneurs and scientists alike. Scott Eastwood, son of Clint, is currently filming 3 major motion pictures and just starred in The Longest Ride, but he found time to stomp divots and watch polo with friends.

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Guests in the VIP tent enjoyed complimentary Woodford Reserve tasters and mini-cocktails with the Kentucky bourbon and lemonade, our favorite way to enjoy the liquor.

A 1954 Bentley Mark VI Sedanca Custom owned by David Young of San Diego led the parade of teams for the featured match. The car is fully restored and the only one of its kind in existence today. He drove alongside J. Craig Venter’s 1963 vintage Jaguar XKE.

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Genomics entrepreneur and one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, J. Craig Venter pitched the first ball into play Sunday for the San Diego Polo Club’s Opening Day featured match. Venter is a biologist renowned for his contributions in sequencing the human genome and creating the first synthetic bacterial cell. He is founder and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, co-founder and executive chairman of Synthetic Genomics Inc and co-founder and CEO of Human Longevity Inc.  His new privately held company is focused on extending the healthy, high performance of the human life span. He’s been called one of the most influential scientists of our time.  He is a proud graduate of UCSD, an avid sailor and a award winning rare car collector.

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The 3:00pm match featured Team Von Fuerstenberg (Stephan Goss B, Nour-Dean Anakar A.5, Nicole DeBurg B, David Samaniego A.5, Diego Cossio 3) vs. Adeptus/La Pasion (Tracee Brunetti B, Colleen Wilson A, Ashton Wolf 3, Kimo Huddleston 2). Co-owner of Team Von Fuerstenberg, Stephan Goss had the first two goals on the afternoon, which set the tone for the remainder of the day.

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Diego Cossio scored another for their team, bringing the score 3 to 0 at half time. In the third chukker, Cossio scored again, but Kimo Huddleston retaliated by putting two in for Adeptus/La Pasion.

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Tracee Brunetti also scored one for their team in the fourth chukker. Final score was 4 to 3, Team Von Fuerstenberg.

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It was a sweet win for the underdogs and new polo players, Nicole DeBurg and Stephan Goss of Team Von Fuerstenberg. Nicole is known as the COO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, as well as past CFO of the San Diego Housing Commission. Goss, 27 year old CEO of Zeeto Media— San Diego’s fastest growing sustainable internet marketing company– was lucky enough to celebrate his first win at the San Diego Polo Club on Opening Day in front of the massive crowd. Founding Member and Vice President of the San Diego Polo Club, Nour-Dean Anakar has volunteered countless hours to SDPC and deserved the win more than anyone else.  Team Von Fuerstenberg couldn’t have been happier.

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Publisher of Riviera Magazine, Ken St. Pierre presented both teams with gift bags on the trophy deck.

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Esteemed member of OC Polo and the USPA and CEO of Leisure Society, Shane Baum presented the winners with umbrellas and gifted the MVP, Diego Cossio, with a pair of luxury sunglasses. Leisure Society is an eyewear brand created by Mr. Baum as an extension of his perspective on what life should be: spending time with family, friends, and enjoying intimate moments of absolute leisure.

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Craig Venter presented Leo, owned by Colleen Wilson of Adeptus Nutrition, with the Best Playing Pony award- carrots!

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Guests enjoyed the 7th Chukker After Party presented by Riviera Magazine with beats by DJ Here.