We want to give out a HUGE thank you to all of our STAFF. Most of the bar and administration staff have full time jobs and work POLO on the weekends because they enjoy making your day better.
We heard Jesse picked up four new “green ponies,” so we met him at his barn to admire the new animals.
Jesse: “What’s your favorite beach?”
SD Polo: Flamenco Beach in Puerto Rico! Why?
Jesse: I am naming my horses after beaches, at least these two year olds. The four year old needs to be named after a beer.
SD Polo: Stella? Why do you name your horses in waves?
Jesse: Well, I won’t play these two year olds for another 4 years. They’ll all be named after beaches then.
SD Polo: Four years is a long time! How do you prepare them to play polo?
Jesse: You have to spend time with them. Brush them, groom them, ride them everyday. The more time you put into them, the better they’ll be. That’s the idea, anyway.
SD Polo: Wow, that sounds like a lot of work. You’re 18, just graduated high school. How long have you been playing polo and what would you be doing if you didn’t play?
Jesse: I’ve been playing ever since I can remember. I moved here from New Zealand when I was two, and I was definitely on a horse before then. Playing polo is my life. There is no other path.
SD Polo: So you didn’t really have a choice. You were born into it because your father plays.
Jesse: I did have a choice. I played soccer growing up and eventually had to choose between soccer and polo.
SD Polo: What do you think about playing with your dad?
Jesse: It’s just another job. There is always competition, but it always brings out the best in both of us. Obviously, I’d rather play against him so I can beat him.
SD Polo: Did your dad teach you to play polo?
Jesse: I had a lot of help from different people… Kimo, Danny Rowland, Gaston VonWernich, but mostly my dad.
SD Polo: When you’re playing with sponsors, do you ever give them feedback, or do you leave that to the older pros?
Jesse: We all help each other. The sponsors usually ask for feedback or how to improve. I’ll help anyone that wants to learn.
SD Polo: What was Team USPA about?
Jesse: The USPA picks 8 players between ages 18-31 to be on the team. We go to clinics, they help with internships, networking and jobs too. It gets my name out of California. I worked with Julio Arellano, one of the best players in the United States. He was one of the mentors in the program and I really learned a lot from him.
SD Polo: You’re young and you have your whole polo career ahead of you. Where do hope the sport takes you?
Jesse: Ideally, I’ll travel the world and play polo. I’d love to travel Europe and Argentina. I’ll be the best I can be.
Jesse and Graham Bray
Jesse Bray of Starmeadow went home on Saturday afternoon after playing a practice game with his teammates, Joy Bancroft, Jessica Bailey and his father, Graham Bray. He massaged his shoulders and complained to his mother he needed ice packs for his upper back. When his mother asked why his shoulders were so sore, he responded, “I’ve been carrying the old man all day,” insinutating he played better than his father and led the team to victory. Graham didn’t take it lightly.
The following day, Graham Bray played spectacularly on field one in front of the Sunday crowd. Scoring a total of 9 goals, he showed his son that the “old man” is still the boss. Jessica Bailey, straight in from Indio, scored 2 goals for Starmeadow, and Jesse Bray scored 3 (only 6 less than his father). Joy Bancroft played a strong defense, keeping the goals in favor of Starmeadow.
Tritech/Princeps scored their first two goals in the fourth chukker, starting things off slow. In the 6th chukker, each teammate scored a goal, bringing the total up to 9. Unfortunately for Tritech/Princeps, Mr. Graham Bray of Starmeadow stole the show and the game.
Diego Cossio of Monteverde kicked off the feature match with style, knocking in 2 goals. Teammates Ellen Greenhill and David Samaniego each scored one, blowing San Fernando/San Judas out of the water in the first chukker. Diego Cossio admits he had a horrible 2nd chukker, letting Guillermo Li and Charly Cendoya of San Judas/San Fernando score, tying up the match.
Each team scored another goal in the fourth chukker keeping the tied game, but in the 5th chukker, Matt Walker scored one and Diego Cossio scored two pushing Monteverde into the lead.
Both Ramon Richard and Charly Cendoya of San Judas/San Fernando scored, but it wasn’t enough to take the win. Monteverde came out on top 12 to 8.
David Samaniego and Roberto Estudillo
The San Diego Polo Club celebrated the day with TERI Inc, a non-profit working hard to make the lives of special needs children better. They spoke about their therapeutic riding program and sold artwork done by their students. Teri also received a check for $10,000 from Canon Business Solutions!
Check out the video below!
On July 19th the San Diego Polo Club hit the town again, and this time to attend All Bets on Burlap, a charity event supporting The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER). CANTER is a national charity, with their California chapter opening in 2008. They provide retiring thoroughbred racehorses with opportunities for new careers through rehab, retraining and rehoming. They offer free web listings for thoroughbred horses who are retiring from racing and they also take donated horses into their adoption program, where they are given rehabilitation (if needed) and training before being adopted out to approved homes.
The event was a huge success and attendees had the opportunity to socialize with top jockeys and trainers like Mike Smith, Aaron Gryder, Chantel Sutherland, Joe Talamo, and Tyler Baze, while they had a first tasting of Burlap’s exotic menu which included: squid, chicken satay, Korean Kowboy style ribs, shrimp & grits, sweet potato fries, red chili rock shrimp and many other mouth watering dishes!