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Player’s Corner

San Diego Wins 7 out of 10 Pacific Coast Arena League Awards

By | Arena Polo, Player's Corner | No Comments

 

Congrats to all the Pacific Coast Arena Players!

The Pacific Coast Arena League Awards Party was last weekend and the San Diego players received some amazing awards! 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 regularly.  Some of the other clubs represented were OC Polo, Central Coast Polo, California Polo Club, and Poway Polo.

Congrats to the following players and teams on their accomplishments:

  • A Flight High Point Champion – Nikki Mobtaker, Ali Mobtaker, San Diego (TIE)
  • B Flight High Point Champion – Chuck Stanislowski
  • C Flight High Point ChampionJack Empey & Drew Hobsheid, San Diego (TIE)
  • Most Valuable Player – A Flight Ali Mobtaker, San Diego, B Flight – Megan Judge, C Flight – Drew Hobscheid, San Diego
  • Best Playing Pony – A Flight – Forest Smith – “Indy”, B Flight – Lovive/Kirsten – “Chiquita”, C Flight – Paige Kufal, San Diego – “Bella”
  • Best Sportsmanship – A Flight – Julie Empey, San Diego, B Flight – Jeff Lin, C Flight – Larry V.
  • Overall, 18 yrs. & Under  – Drew Hobscheid, San Diego
  • Overall, 19-54 yrs. – Matt Davis
  • Overall, Senior (Birthday before 5.1.61) – Chuck S.
  • Overall Team Champion – Each team that remains unchanged throughout the duration of the league will be eligible for this award – OC Polistas, Mythical Moose, San Diego Three’s Company

A special thanks to our Arena Manager, Julie Empey for her dedication to our sport and our youth polo players! We look forward to seeing you all in the arena!

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BMW of Encinitas Wins 8-Goal USPA Spreckels Cup Match in OT

By | 30th Anniversary Season, Charity Event, Player's Corner, Sunday Polo, Tournament Recap | No Comments

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Polo in San Diego, where surf and turf meet, is well and alive. The final tournament for the season was the 8-goal Spreckels Cup match in front of a sold out crowd on Sunday October 2. The match was held to honor the tradition of the cup and to benefit the club’s charity partner, Dress For Success San Diego, a non-profit that empowers women to succeed in the work place and improve the quality of life for their families.

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Team BMW Encinitas with Nour-Dean Anakar in the one position, Nicholas Ramos playing two, Rodrigo Salinas playing three and Doug Blumenthal at four, took on Roseville Motors with Topo Mendez at one, Juan Jose Gonzales at two, Ashton Wolf at three and Eric Hammon at four. The match was a hard fought battle from start to finish with Roseville Motors jumping out to a fast 3-1 lead in the first chuker with two goals from Mendez and one by Gonzalez. BMW Encinitas came roaring back with five-consecutive goals with Anakar and Ramos knocking in two each and Salinas adding one. The second half was a tight defensive battle with neither team able to score until the last chukker. Wolf and Mendez each scored to force overtime. Anakar converted a penalty 3 in extra time to bring home the win for Team BMW.

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The 107-year-old Spreckels Cup was presented to Team BMW Encinitas by USPA Governor-at-Large Scott Walker, USPA Committee Member Tony Yahyai and special guest, David Lewis, the grandson of John D.Spreckels. Topo Mendez won MVP and Ashton Wolf’s horse Chica won Best Playing Pony. The trophy presentation was followed by both teams soaking each other with champagne. After the Spreckels Cup presentation, the club celebrated the season finale with a members’ barbecue party.

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Becky Schaller, Kristi Hammon, Ashton Wolf, Eric Hammon and Ellen Greenhill win the pro-pool Spreckels Cup!

Congrats to the first and second place pro-pool teams who played for the Spreckels Cup earlier in the afternoon. Team Monteverde/RosevilleMotors was victorious! Kristi Hammon won MVP and Eric Hammon’s horse won Best Playing Pony.

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Marc Berry, Juan Jose Gonzales, Tony Yahyai & Nour-Dean Anakar win 2nd place of the pro-pool Spreckels Cup! On stage with announcer Steve Lewandowski and David Lewis, grandson of John D. Spreckels.

Thank you all for a wonderful summer season! We are winding down with Fall Polo through October and arena play through the end of the year. If you’re interested in lessons or playing polo, feel free to reach out to us at chukkers@sandiegopolo.com or 858-481-2247. Otherwise, we’ll see you on Opening Day 2017!

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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2016 Note to the Players

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

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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.