5th Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower

Polo-Party

The The Fifth Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower returns bigger, badder and better than ever, and is less than two weeks away! Last year the Scottsdale Polo Championships drew the biggest crowd in the country for a two-day polo event with over 12,000 fans, enjoying the four-match showdown at the annual Polo Party.

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On Saturday, October 24th at the WestWorld of Scottsdale, our players from San Diego, including Tony Yahyai, Tracee Brunetti, Alvaro Tadeo and Kimo Huddleston will be playing in front of the thousands of specators. At 11:00am, catch Tony Yahyai and his team Club Cabo take on Polo Azteca.

Make sure to catch the San Diego Polo Club in action as Tracee Brunetti, Kimo Huddleston, and Alvaro Tadeo take on the Arizona Polo Club at 1:00pm. At 3:00pm, the reigning champions, the Clogau Wales Polo Team vs. Aspen Valley Polo Club, with SDPC friends Melissa Ganzi and Nic Roldan. A Polo Clinic by some of the Valley’s top professional players will follow.

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This year, attendees are in for a treat with sneak previews of the 2016 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction along with local car clubs lining the field, Larsen Gallery’s LIVE Fine & Contemporary Art Auction and the Phoenix Symphony!

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Nearly 15,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event! For a full schedule of the day’s festivities, please click here.

Tickets for the matches and other festivities can be purchased here.

We look forward to seeing you in Scottsdale!

Starry Starry Night 2016 to benefit Voices for Children

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Voices for Children’s 13th annual Starry Starry Night gala was held on Saturday, September 19, 2015, at the San Diego Polo Club in Rancho Santa Fe. Co-chairs for the event were Stephanie Bergsma and Dwight Hare, and the theme was “When You Wish Upon A Star.”

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Janice Dodge transformed the polo fields once again with garden glam styling as the evening sky transitioned from sunset to starlight. More than 340 supporters of Voices for Children gathered for sumptuous craft cocktails, curated by Snake Oil Cocktail Company -and paired with savory bites designed by Andrew Spurgin, LTD and Culinary Concepts Catering.

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The sparkle of dotted garden lights strung over luxurious lounges and tablescapes of deep blue and crisp white. The evening was designed to create an intimate gathering around a central stage to focus on the heartfelt success stories of the children helped by VFC and an exciting live auction. Starry Starry Night grossed a record $1.37 million and netted $1.13 million to support the life-changing work of our Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) who advocate for San Diego County foster children in Court, in schools, and in the community.

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Following a delicious dinner and fundraising activities, guests found their way to a dancefloor brought to life by the music mix of DJ Brandon Noel and his team of live club performers. Favorite late night treats were donuts and “cereal milk”, meant to remind us of the kid inside us all! Rentals supplied by Raphael’s Event Works. Technical support provided by Meeting Services, Inc. Event Design, Decor, Florals and Logistics provided by Janice Dodge, Inc.

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Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused children by providing them with volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). We believe that every child deserves a safe and permanent home, and to that end, will review and monitor every court file in the system, provide a CASA to every child in the foster care system who needs one, and advocate to improve the lives of foster children. In addition, Voices for Children increases awareness about the foster care system, and advocates for legal policies and practices that enhance the quality of life for foster children.

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

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.

Closing Day After-Party at Searsucker

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Because the food and cocktails shouldn’t have to end after the divot stomp.

Continue the excitement of San Diego Polo Club’s closing day with the unofficial after-party at Searsucker Del Mar on Sunday, September 27th!

Located in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center, celebrate the USPA Spreckels Cup winner with Chef Brian Malarkey’s New American Classics, including dishes like the Scallops “Surf & Turf” with pork belly, the Loin “Filet,”, or the Shrimp and “Dirty” Grits. Move on from one sport to the next with the NFL Sunday Ticket on 6 TVs on the Searsucker Sports Patio, available to watch with all-day bar bites, happy hour specials, $20 beer buckets.

And don’t forget to save the date! Join Searsucker Del Mar on Tuesday, October 6th for a 6-course, Pigs & Pinot wine pairing dinner for $55 per person.

It’s all something to do after polo season ends. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.searsucker.com or call (858) 369-5700.

Member of the Month: Vance Barse

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Who are you, Vance Barse? 

I am the amalgamation of dichotomous stereotypes, and have been told I unintentionally challenge the status quo given my eclectic passions that often aren’t associated with one another.  I like big words, too.

I was actually first introduced to polo while dining at Scalini’s about a decade ago.  My intellectual curiosity prompted me to attend a match to learn more about the game and I was immediately hooked, so I became a social member.  Polo is an endeavor one must experience first-hand to truly value its inherent thrill.  Given my L4-L5 back issue, I’ve been afraid of playing but several members this season have convinced me to take my first lesson.  Topo, are you reading this?

A few years after becoming a social member, the firm for which I was working moved me (against my will, I might add) from San Diego to Florida.  Not many members know this, but I travelled full-time for years consulting the top private wealth advisors at family offices, RIAs, wire houses, etc.  I travelled to multiple cities each week and thus had no time to enjoy polo as I did at home here in San Diego.

Life took an unexpected turn when my grandmother “Red,” with whom I was very close, had a major stroke.  The docs told me she couldn’t walk, could barely talk, and needless to say was miserable, so I resigned from my career to go spend time with her in the nursing home during what we thought would be her rehabilitation period.  Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and it became apparent that she was permanently immobilized and never going home.  In that time we shared together, she and I had countless heart-to-heart discussions on life, spirituality, family, happiness, and what truly matters in life.  She emphasized how none of our material possessions can be taken to the “other side” and stressed the importance of living the life we want to live, not the life we or others think we have to live.

After she transitioned, I decided to ride across the country on one of my Harleys to make up for the lost time sacrificed while living out of a suitcase.  It was an amazing journey!  I rode to Manhattan, Miami, Chicago, the Space Needle, Yellowstone, the Ryman Auditorium, Colorado Rockies, Old Faithful, Mt. Rushmore, Jackson Hole, and ended up back here in my beloved San Diego.  As soon as my feet hit the sand, the decision to move back was made and that was a year ago this month.

As fate would have it, I decided to leverage the expertise acquired in my career and join Manning Wealth Management, a San Diego-based registered investment advisor that is affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network®.  Commonwealth is one of my former client firms (and in my opinion, the best broker-dealer out there!).

Oh, and I love ZZ Top, Vivaldi, smoking cigars, black-tie events, riding my Harleys, stand-up comedy, really really strong coffee, and above all else, the always amazing Jodi Fliss.

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What do you do?

I provide a much more personal approach to comprehensive investment services.  In addition to investment management, my firm specializes in unique strategies designed to help alleviate income and estate tax issues and works closely with clients’ CPAs and estate attorneys in doing so.  There are a number of strategies and services of which individuals and families are unaware.  All that is needed is the opportunity to learn more about their situation to identify where we can be of service and we often compliment the financial planning that has been done by their current advisor and work in conjunction with other advisors.

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What can you tell us about the current market?

Quite a bit, but I’ll try to keep it short.  I actually have a free Economic Insights newsletter to which readers can subscribe by emailing me at .  The newsletter is educational, easy to read, features my media appearances, and keeps readers in-the-know on current happenings in the economy.

Speaking of which, we are at a very unique time from an historical perspective because for several years, the Federal Reserve has stimulated our economy via Quantitative Easing and by keeping interest rates (specifically the fed funds rate) artificially low.  To ensure I don’t sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher, allow me to paraphrase: essentially, the Fed’s efforts have allowed the U.S. economy to live Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way,” which has been great, and we now have good fundamentals.  But this “free” party, like all parties, must come to an end, and the difficulty is that we can’t just end a multi-year party cold turkey without experiencing a hangover of epic magnitude.  The Fed needs to end this party slowly, gradually, and methodically, and I suspect it will.

Markets recently declined worldwide, but the U.S. should continue to fare well because of the overall structure of the economy, strong currency, and limited financial exposure.  As I write this, the Fed announced today that it will leave rates unchanged due to financial market instability and low inflation.  China has played a significant role in the volatility of the global economy, particularly with its unexpected devaluation of the Yuan, and China will likely be a source of further uncertainty and volatility.  One thing that should be of concern to investors is the negative impact rising interest rates will have on bonds.  Way too much to write here, but I am happy to share some insights over a Buzz Box and/or cigar.  These and other topics are covered in my newsletter, so I hope readers reach out to subscribe.

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Who are your firms’ clients? Who are your potential clients? Who can benefit from your services?

My firm’s core clients are business owners, executives, and high-net-worth individuals and families.  The aspect I value most in serving as a fiduciary is the opportunity to be of service to a broad range of individuals with whom I share similar interests.  As of now, I don’t have a minimum and I’ve structured this intentionally to allow the opportunity to serve people of varying financial situations for the long-term in guiding them in achieving their financial goals.  Most people can benefit from the services I provide, whether it be a rollover 401(k) or IRA situation, an “up and coming” entrepreneur, or a high-net-worth individual or family.  I often hear “…I have an investment person,” and one of my core competencies is investment management, but I’ve found that in most cases there is room to work adjunctively with a current advisor.  This can benefit a client by providing the comprehensive, holistic financial planning services in which my firm specializes.

I am saddened because we only have one week left in this polo this season—what am I going to do on Sundays now?—but I hope to see all the familiar faces of fellow polo enthusiasts between this season and next!  One last thing, please do me a personal favor: don’t text and drive.

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Vance Barse offers securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. He is located at 401 B Street, Suite 2300, San Diego, CA 92101 and can be reached at 619-237-9977.

The Call of the Wild

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

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.

USPA Rossmore Cup - Twin Palms- Pasion

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

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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!

Step Up Your Game with the Fall Polo Challenge

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: or 619-247-4448