This past Sunday marked the celebrated USPA Spreckels Cup and Closing Day of the 2012 Polo Season! While Sunday harbored bittersweet undertones, polo enthusiasts went out in style-literally. Over 1300 guests adorned in 1920s, Gatsby attire we in attendance to cheer on the two competing teams of Hanalei Bay. Not only was last Sunday one of the biggest events of the season, but the San Diego Polo Club also hosted their second largest Sunday Polo crowd.
Season sponsor, Land Rover of San Diego also added to the lavish luxury of the afternoon by hosting an appreciation party in the Polo Pavilion. In addition, guests were presented with samplers of Korbel’s California Champagne from the back of a Range Rover during the infamous Pretty Woman Divot Stomp. SDPC’s partnership with Land Rover proved to be an advantageous one as two of the club’s members purchased Range Rovers that day! Congrats on the new cars!
Anthony Ballard, a social member at SDPC, provided polo onlookers with a spirited performance of the National Anthem. Other musical guests on Sunday included Belly Up sponsored music by Crush Effect with live saxophone keys further cultivating the Gatsby-esque atmosphere.
Antique biplanes, old cars, and the Gatsby theme really brought out the comraderie and fun at the San Diego Polo Club!
While there was only one polo match on Sunday, fans were not deprived of a thrilling performance of athleticism, teamwork, and awe-inspiring horsemanship. The first and only match of the day was a ten-goal competition featuring Hanalei Bay I versus Hanalei Bay II. The tension and excitement in the air was tangible as SDPC’s President, Ron Bonaguidi went neck-in-neck against his wife Krista Bonaguidi for the coveted title of Spreckels Cup Champion.
Mariano Fassetta, of team Hanalei II, scored the first goal of the match. Fassetta’s point was soon answered by Santiago Trotz of team Hanalei I. Fassetta took advantage of the first chukker to prove he was a force to be reckoned with as he went on to single-handedly score an addition two goals for his team. In comparison to the first, the second chukker was a quiet one as both teams regrouped and reevaluated their game plans. Marcos Bignoli and Santiago Trotz scored a goal apiece for Hanalei I ending the second chukker at Hanaeli I: 3, Hanalei II: 4.
Hanalei Bay II increased their lead by two points in the third chukker on behalf of Chris Collins Jr. and Mariano Fassetta. In the fourth chukker, Hanalei II employed impressive defensive skills preventing Hanalei I from scoring a single point. Hanalei Bay II took advantage of the fourth chukker to solidify their lead. Mariano Fassetta started off the shooting spree by scoring two consecutive goals for Hanalei II followed by two points by Jared Sheldon and Chris Collins Jr.
Going into the fifth chukker, Hanalei II had a six-point lead on Hanalei I. While Chris Collins Jr. of Hanalei II scored the first goal of the chukker, Marcos Bignoli and Santeigo Trotz scored a goal apiece for Hanalei I.
The final chukker is always an enthralling one but this past Sunday, the sixth chukker took on an even more heartfelt meaning as both teams strived for the title of Spreckels Cup Champion. With his eye on the prize, Chris Collins Jr. of Hanalei I scored two consecutive goals to start off the chukker. Unwilling to hand over the victory, Patrick Uretz of Hanalei I answered Collins with two consecutive goals of his own. While Marcos Bignoli scored the final concluding point of the day for Hanalei Bay I, ultimately it was Hanalei II who took the win and the recognition as USPA Spreckels Cup Champions- Hanalei I: 9, Hanalei II: 14.
Not only were the teams recognized for their talent at large but also Mariano Fassetta, of team Hanalei II, was decorated as the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Polo Season. Fassetta was presented with a $100 gift card to SDPC’s After Party Sponsor, Burlap. In addition, the Best Playing Pony title was awarded (in the form of delectably crunchy carrots) to Pampeano owned by Santiago Trotz.
Thank you to everyone who made this one of the most memorable Summer Polo Seasons that San Diego has ever known!
More photos here.