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Sunday Polo

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!

USPA Spreckels Cup Finals presented by Woodford Reserve to benefit WWF

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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.

USPA Rossmore Cup Finals & White Party to benefit the San Diego Film Foundation

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The San Diego Polo Club hosted its USPA Rossmore on September 6, with its annual White Party to benefit the San Diego Film Foundation. The San Diego Film Foundation is an educational, 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that produces the annual San Diego Film Festival and hosts year-round, cinema-related events to foster and promote the film community in San Diego.

Guests entered the gates modeling their white ensembles. Before taking their seats, guests strolled around the venue, taking a look at our vendors including Buzz Box cocktails, JL Rocha leather goods, and Roast Coach.

For a quick (and fun) recap, watch the USPA Rossmore Cup & White Party Video below.

Brazilian-Dancers

Patrons enjoyed an intermission show of Brazilian Drumming/Dancing as they celebrated Brazilian Independence Day.

Sacha Boutros de Cázares had the pleasure of singing the national anthem. San Diego native, Sacha, has gone from gigging at a few San Diego clubs and U.S. festivals to touring the world and back, to having her recordings hit the top of the charts in Japan and on e­music, to even receiving a Grammy nod for best jazz and Latin jazz album in 2008 and 2013.

The feature match of the day began at 3:00pm between Twin Palms/Roseville Motors in blue and Pasion sporting the day’s theme of white. Merridee Books, Vice President of Development of The San Diego Film Foundation had the honors of doing the first ball throw-in.

The first chukker concluded with two goals from Graham Bray and Chris Maloney for Twins Palms/Roseville Motors. In Chukker Two, Kimo Huddleston and Diego Velarde each scored a goal for Pasion.

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Chukker Three left the game tied with one more goal from Patrick Uretz representing Twin Palms/Roseville Motors and another goal from Diego Velarde representing Pasion.

With the score at 3-3, the teams entered the fourth chukker. Uretz, Bray, and Maloney scored three goals for Twin Palms/Roseville Motors and Velarde scored once more for Pasion.

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In the 5th chukker, Bray took a hard bump from the opposing team, knocking both him and his horse on to the ground. The horse rolled on top of Bray before running back to the tie rails. Bray sat on the field for some time and while his fellow players told him to take it easy and sit out for the remainder of the game, Bray pushed them aside, wiped off the blood and mounted up. In the final two chukkers, Bray played his hardest.

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By the sixth chukker the score was 8-7 with Twin Palms/Roseville Motors in the lead. Diego Velarde scored two more goals for Pasion. Maloney and Bray together scored three goals in the final chukker leaving the final score at 11-9, Twin Palms/Roseville Motors.

Alice Collins presented Chris Maloney with the Best Playing Pony Award for his horse Pulona.

USPA’s Mike Uretz presented the winning team with awards. Eric Hammon, Patrick Uretz, Graham Bray and Chris Maloney.

Needless to say, Graham Bray won the Most Valuable Player Award. He’s one of the most skilled horsemen in the sport and one of the toughest guys on the field.

USPA Rossmore Cup MVP

What to Wear to Rossmore Cup + Hat Day

By | Fashion, Polo Fashion, Sunday Polo | No Comments

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What to Wear to the USPA Rossmore Cup this Sunday, August 23, 2015: HATS!

Casual, whimsical, elegant, small or wide-brimmed, this Sunday is Hat Day at the San Diego Polo Club and the perfect time for you to sport your favorite hat! Here are a few of our favorite hats spotted at Sunday Polo.

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If you don’t have a favorite hat yet, you’re in luck! Jill Courtemanche Millnery will have a pop-up boutique with hats, facilitators, caps, fedoras, and so much more!

Absolute Leisure: Spending Sunday Polo with Shane Baum & Chris Klein

By | Event, Fashion, Just For Fun, Polo Fashion, Sunday Polo | No Comments
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A few years back, CEO, CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) member, Shane Baum of Leisure Society, fell in love with the game of polo. It all started when Mr. Baum won polo lessons for his two daughters, Holland and Auna, at a silent auction. While at the lesson with his daughters, he was asked if he would like to join the lesson, so he thought, “Why not?!”
Now, polo has become a passion that borders an addiction.
 As a result, Shane now owns two polo ponies and, along with his family, spends most weekends in the barn taking care of his horses and playing as much polo as possible. Shane has been eager to sponsor a polo club and after attending several matches at the San Diego Polo Club, he found his home. Shane is delighted to have his company, Leisure Society, be the official eyewear sponsor of the San Diego Polo Club 2015 season.
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On Sunday, August 23rd, Leisure Society hosted an elegant tailgate with 50 VIP guests from Los Angeles, Orange County and the surrounding San Diego area. Several VIP guests in attendance included: Shane Baum, Erin MacAlpine, Actor Chris Klein and his wife Laina Klein, Alex Beh, Ashley Stern, Liz James, Tim and Polina Mudrick, fellow CFDA peer and TOMS Eyewear Creative Director John Whitledge, Zack and Carly Bates, David and Aimee Rueda and Seth and Jenny Nelson.
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 Highlights started early in the day at the Leisure Society sponsored polo lessons before the pros kicked-off at 1pm. Long time horseman and first time polo player, actor Chris Klein, having a beginner and quintessential yet dramatic fall off the horse. Klein was playing in his first game of polo ever during our morning polo lessons and with the active encouragement of a vocal audience, Klein found himself over committed and took a slow motion fall off the polo saddle onto the ground.  Everything seemed fine, until we realized that his left foot was still in the stirrup.  We simultaneously gasped in horror as the horse began to kick and pick up speed as Klein bounced around like a rag doll, or better yet, a seasoned Hollywood stuntman doubling in a John Wayne movie. It lasted only moments and I was positive that Chris was maimed or even worse.  Eventually, his boot was pulled off his foot and he laid there limp and motionless, the horse went on its way.  Klein hopped up, regrouped, brushed off/spit out the dust, slipped the boot back on and remounted his steed.  It was a true Clint Eastwood moment, the stuff of legends.  Klein, ever the actor, was quite upset that none if it was captured on film. It seemed so grisly that all cameras were seemingly deafened by the severity of the situation.  I’m happy to report that Klein made it to the festivities later in the day, bruised in ways only a true horseman knows…a courageous moment.

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In the afternoon, Leisure Society designer and CEO, Shane Baum and Erin MacAlpine hosted guests at their tailgate with up-close, panoramic views of the match with ponies racing at 30mph up and down the field.
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A close game with the winning trophy going to the Roseville Motors Cars. Shane, on behalf of Leisure Society, was truly honored to award their MVP, Graham Bray, with Leisure Society Cambridge sunglass: 24ct gold-plated titanium and polarized CR-39 lens with a 12-layer Diamond Cast anti-reflective coating.

“Boots & Bolos” Pan American Cup

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San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Nacho Figueras

This past Sunday, June 28, the San Diego Polo Club had the pleasure of hosting its fourth annual Woodford Reserve Classic which hosted a charity polo match to benefit the International Testicular Cancer Foundation. First-time visitors Nacho Figueras and Hilaro Figueras supported the cause by joining La Jolla Polo Team and assisting their win.

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The second half of the tournament will be held at the San Diego Polo Club this Sunday, July 5. Gates will open for the “Boots & Bolos” Pan American Cup Finals at 12:30pm. The patriotic spirit will be everywhere this Sunday as guests are encouraged to sport their best pair of cowboy boots and their nicest bolos for Sunday Polo’s all-American event.

SDPC is excited to announce that during this Sunday’s intermission before the feature match, Cowboy Mounted Shooting will have its very own demonstration. Mounted Shooting is the fastest growing equestrian sport in the nation. It has attracted sponsors like Wrangler, Tony Lama, John Deere, Colt and Stetson. Riders compete in this timed event using two .45 caliber single action revolvers, each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. The sport offers a variety of levels of competition to include riders from novice levels to the seasoned professionals. Competitors wear traditional western attire or late 1800’s period clothing. There are never any loaded guns outside of the arena.

In addition to this demonstration, Sunday Polo will host its very own watermelon eating contest.

Steven Ybarra will be singing the National Anthem during this Sunday’s intermission. One of the most gifted, honest musicians to emerge from San Diego’s thriving singer-songwriter scene in years, national recording and touring artist Steven Ybarra has captivated crowds across North America with his voice, guitar, and keen ear for that perfect melody. An accomplished and innovative standout, Steven Ybarra has put out eight captivating, heartfelt albums of passionate pop gems. Along the way he’s earned not just devoted fans, but numerous accolades, including four San Diego Music Awards. He has shared the stage with Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Gavin De Graw, Jason Maraz, Switchfoot, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jeremy Camp, Sugar Ray, and countless others. His modern country and pop songs have been featured on MTV, ESPN, and in motion pictures and documentary films. His albums Love Love Love and Best Days have helped build his solo career to what it is today, and now his 3rd CD, What I Really Want to Say, is set to catapult him all the way. Steven is currently signed with Pacific Records.

Join us this Sunday for the Pan-American Cup Finals.

Here is the link for tickets: http://sandiegopolo.ticketleap.com/pan-american-cup-finals-2015/

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

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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.

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Father’s Day Brunch & Rancho Santa Fe Cup Finals

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The San Diego Polo Club (SDPC) celebrated Father’s Day on Field 5 with a special Father’s Day Brunch. Guests enjoyed a brunch buffet and coffee while enjoying a day full of equestrian fun.

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Gates opened at 11:00am as guests and their fathers enjoyed items from a wonderful brunch menu that included Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits, Crème Brulee French Toast Casserole, Spice Rubbed Tri Tip and an Andouille Sausage Carving Station, along with Kale Caesar Salad, Fresh Fruit Platters, and Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

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The first polo match of the day began at 11:30am between Adeptus Nutrition/Pasion and Von Furstenburg. Diego Cossio scored twice in the 1st Chukker for Von Furstenburg followed by one goal from Ashton Wolf representing Adeptus Nutrition/Pasion. By the 3rd Chukker Von Furstenburg had leaped ahead by one point from David Samaniego. Diego Cossio locked in the win in the Final Chukker with one more goal from Von Furstenburg; the final score being 5-3.

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We had the pleasure of hosting Rhianna Wilson as our national anthem singer during the day’s intermission. Rhianna Wilson is 17 years old and will be a Senior in High School this fall.  She is a 3rd Generation San Diego Native who resides in Ramona with her family. Rhianna is a Petty Officer in her NJROTC class at school and a vocal artist for the Girls Against Abuse Musical Charity.  She has had the honor to sing the National Anthem for the SD Padres, Rodeos, SPAWAR Ceremonies, but the one that has meant the most was for NBC’s Salute to Service aboard the Midway on Veteran’s Day this past November.

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The feature match of the day began at 1:30pm between Luna Polo and Night Watch. the 1st Chukker consisted of two goals from Diego Larregli representing Luna Polo and one goal from Diego Velarde representing Night Watch.

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In the 2nd Chukker Bernie Diaz scored for Night Watch. Topo Mendez brought Luna Polo ahead by one point soon after.

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Diego Larregli scored three goals in a row for Luna Polo in the 3rd Chukker. Diego Velarde scored one for Night Watch.

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In the 4th Chukker Diego Velarde and Manny Rodriguez scored for  Night Watch, leaving the final score in Luna Polo’s favor at 6-5.

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Diego Larregli won MVP with 5 goals on the afternoon. Steve Pollack presented Diego with a pair of sunglasses, courtesy of SDPC’s Official Eyewear Sponsor, Leisure Society.

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Rancho Santa Fe Cup

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Sunday, June 7th was another beautiful day here at the San Diego Polo Club. What originally was a gloomy, cloud-covered morning eventually turned into a sunny afternoon as the first wave of guests arrived. This exuberant day brought our polo season underway with special attendees sipping on bottomless mimosas in the VIP Tent while settling in before the first match.

The first match began at 1:30pm between Luna Polo and Knight Watch. Luna Polo leaped ahead in the 1st chukker with Jennifer Alexy and Diego Lareggli each scoring a goal. Rodolfo Ramos and Diego Velarde held their ground for Knight Watch as they also scored two goals later on in the match. The match ended with Knight Watch at 2 and Luna Polo at 4, taking the win.

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Guests sporting their chic polo attire enjoyed samples from BuzzBox Beverages and cold brew from Roast Coach while perusing through the fine furnishings and clothing options from ValGalder Design for Living. VIP guests enjoyed samples of Enzolie Men’s Fragrance on each of their tables and were later fed delectable meals from the Wild Thyme Company which included summer rolls and cheese plates. Others enjoyed the bright weather while tailgating with their families on the opposite side of the arena.

At intermission the attendees enjoyed an energetic demonstration by the Ballistic Racers Flyball Team. Dogs of every age and size had the thrill of demonstrating their talents for a fascinated audience.

Our national anthem was sung by Jazmin Fekete, a native San Diegan from Rancho Penasquitos. She started competing at 5 years old and has recently been seen on Fox 5s “3 minutes to stardom”. She has sang in front of crowds big and small and even sang as a pre opener for Kelly Clarkson in 2006. Jazmin now sings as a worship leader for several events and is a part of the Rock Church Worship Arts Choir.

Shannon Smull had the honor of throwing in the ceremonial first ball in celebration of her birthday! Shannon is an arena player that is new to grass polo.

The second match of the day began at 3:30pm between Adeptus/Pasion and San Fernando/San Judas. The 1st Chukker consisted of two goals from Colleen Wilson and Kimo Huddleston for team Adeptus/Pasion, followed by one goal from Alvaro Tadeo representing San Fernando/San Judas. Tadeo scored another three goals in the 2nd Chukker, tying up the game. The audience sat on the edge of their seats as SDPC’s very own Ashton Wolf scored the final goal for Adeptus/Pasion and taking home the win, 7-6.

Opening Day Exceeds Expectations

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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.