Meet Kimo Huddleston

We swung by Kimo’s barn and found him with his two daughters, Hi’ilawe and Ilihia, jamming to some Hawaiian tunes and cleaning his horse stalls.
Kimo, tell us how you got here.
Well, it starts with Steph (my wife).  We met in Oahu at a polo match.  She came to watch and we just started talking.  One day we went riding and when she fell off and got back on, I knew she was the one.  We got married, moved to the big island and had 2 girls, Hi’ilawe and Iliha.  Steph became a nurse and wanted to move to San Diego to take care of her family.  Playing polo in San Diego seemed like a great opportunity so she didn’t have to ask twice.

Kimo holding his youngest daughter Uakea and chatting with his eldest, Hi’ilawe.
How long have you played here and where else have you played?
I’ve been here for four years.  My family is here, so we don’t move around (like most players).  I’ve played in San Diego, Indio and Oregon.
How long have you been teaching at our Polo School?
This is my third season.
How did you get involved in the Polo School?
I started teaching private lessons in my spare time and it just developed from there.  I started teaching intermediate lessons and just this past year, beginner lessons.  I actually like the beginner lessons better because the players don’t know much and are better students.  I go crazy when someone has taken 3 lessons and they think they know everything.  I want to knock them around.  I’ve been playing for 30 years and they think they know more than me.  I love teaching and helping people who want to learn.
So, what do you do to relax?
I can’t.  Well, maybe with a golf club.
What do you mean, golf?
Yea.  I was going to come to San Diego to either play polo or golf.  I won a $700 bet a few years ago on the Encinitas golf course.  I guess the full sleeve of tattoos threw the guy off.
That’s pretty funny.  Switching gears here, how do you find help?
Well, Hi’ilawe (his eldest daughter) helps me groom.  She needed money and something to do over the summer.  I figure I have to pay someone, it might as well be my kid.
What about finding a horse?  What is the process involved?
Once you put out the word at the barn, they (horse breeders and trainers) come out of the woodwork.  Everyone is different with how they choose horses.  I look for one a good size and good tempermant.  I don’t care if it’s ugly, it has to be good.  And it’ll look good playing.  Then you stick and ball with it a bit, try it out in practice chukkers, see how it handles and then make a deal.
Does that usually take a few weeks?
Yea.  If it takes longer than that, you’re not going to buy it.
That makes sense.  Do all of your horses have Hawaiian names?
Yep.  Hula Girl, Shakalaka, Onolicious, Big Mama… I actually have a funny story about Big Mama.  I was playing her in a game and this larger woman was on the opposing team.  The woman came ripping right past me and Big Mama wanted to go fast too, but I said, “easy Big Mama, easy.”  The heavier woman came up to me after the game and told me it wasn’t very nice that I commented on her weight.  Everyone laughed and I explained the horse’s name was Big Momma.
Oh no.  Big Momma sounds like a trouble-maker.  Tell us Kimo, what does the future hold for you?
I was meant to play sports, so I’ll keep playing polo for as long as I can.  Then retire and play golf!

Surf Cup & Hat Day!

It was another exciting afternoon at San Diego Polo Club as crowds gathered for the annual Surf Cup.

In the first match, Kimo Huddleston (4) of Monteverde/Southwind had a stellar performance, surprising onlookers with a breakaway after a knock in, trapping an air ball and sailing it though the goal about 40-60 yards out.  With just 10 seconds left in the 2nd chuckker, his resulting goal tied the game at 4 to 4.

Miguel Gutierrez of team Hanalei Bay/Adeptus broke a quiet streak, scoring 3 goals in the match.  And Mariano Fassetta racked up 4 more goals in the second half to ultimately take his team to the trophy deck.

Alvaro Tadeo, at a diminutive 5’8” compensated for his stature with aggressive action on the field.  He scored 2 goals for team Monteverde/Southwind but it wasn’t enough to win the match – the team was outscored by team Hanalei Bay/Adeptus who came out on top, 10 to 8.

During intermission, Del Mar Hat Company produced a fun fashion show celebrating Hat Day at the San Diego Polo Club.  Models showed off hats big and small, just in time for the Race Season!

In the feature match, Tritech/La Pasion thought they had it in the bag during the first half of the game, winning 8 to 1 over San Judas/San Fernando.  But San Judas/San Fernando gave Tritech/La Pasion a run for their money in the final chukkers.  Ramon Richard and Roberto Estudillo scored 3 goals each.

Tracee Brunetti earned the ball well and scored 4 goals for team Tritech/La Pasion who won the match 12 to 8.

Guests mingled with the players during the Polo After Party and listened to the Bill Magee Blues Band.

The “Late Nite After Party” was held at Paradise Grille and sponsored by Mogl.

Tailgating at Polo

Tailgating is one of the oldest and most traditional ways to view polo.  Before grandstands and tents were set-up, fellow players and spectators often parked their cars on the sidelines to watch the match.

To this day, when we host matches at the San Diego Polo Club, whether it’s a practice game on Thursday or tournament game on Saturday morning, you can bet your life you’ll see fellow polo players parked in their golf carts, trucks and cars, watching the game.

We invite you to pack your favorite items (and friends) and join us on Sunday for an afternoon match.  It’s only $10 per person and you do not need a reservation!  Check the summer schedule here.

Check out some of our favorite tailgate items!

Stemless champagne flutes (and they’re plastic!)  Also available at Coconut Lime in the Flowerhill Promenade.

Champagne & popchips.Urban Picnic Bucket Set by Dansk keeps your champagne cool!

Spread out on the grass with a picnic blanket. This one has a waterproof backing!
It couldn’t get any easier with the Table in a Bag/Picnic Chair from Crate & Barrel. Roll it up and pack it in the car.

Collapse this tote once you’ve finished your picnic goodies.

Squishy Silicone Bowls perfect for pasta salad!
Bamboo Plates & Utensils

Bring yummy craft brew to share with your group.  Try Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale!
Hope to see you on the flip-side!

Pan-American Cup Finals/ 4th of July Celebration

The San Diego Polo Club celebrated Independence Day with two matches, golf cart polo, and live music by the Heat Showband.  With festive decorations, noise-makers, temporary tattoos and plenty of spirit, the guests had a wonderful time.

We started the day with a 9 chukker round robin match.  La Pasion/San Fernando came out on top over teams Tritech/Monteverde and Star Meadow/San Judas.  Roberto Estudillo of La Pasion/San Fernando scored a whopping 5 goals in 4 chukkers, Diego Cossio scored 3 goals, Charly Cendoya scored 1 goal, and Tracee Brunetti scored 1 goal, totaling 10 goals for the team.

During the intermission exhibition, fans were encouraged to join our players in a game of golf cart polo.  Inspired by her son’s win of the round robin match, Senora Estudillo had a fabulous time swinging the mallet on the golf cart.

The feature match between Adeptus/H2 and Southwind/Hanalei Bay was a fun one.  Jesse Bray (3) of Adeptus/H2 had a few killer shots, scoring 4 goals for his team.  Eyes are on Bray for the next few years, as he is only growing to be a stronger player.  Miguel Gutierrez (4) had 2 goals, and Colleen Wilson (0) scored 2 as well, totaling 8 for the team.

Southwind/Hanalei Bay, with a handicap of 2 above Adeptus/H2, won the Pan-American Cup on Sunday.  Star of the show, Mariano Fassetta (6) scored 10 goals alone.  Chris Collins (1) scored 3 goals, and Krista Bonaguidi (-1) scored an additional goal, racking the points up to 14.  The fourth member, Alvaro Tadeo (3), celebrated his win with his baby daughter, Valentina, on the trophy deck.

Krista Bonaguidi (-1), Chris Collins (1), Mariano Fassetta (6), Alvaro Tadeo (3)

 

After the classic pretty woman divot stomp, children under 12 participated in a watermelon eating contest.  Winner was Ian from San Diego and his sister came in second place!  Ian won a gift certificate to Geppetto’s Toy Store.

Music, drinks and dancing with the band Heat proved to be exciting, as the red, white and blue dressed members floated around the crowd and encouraged participation.

Meet Guillermo Li.

Half Peruvian and half Chinese, Guillermo Li shares his polo inspiration and aspirations with the SD Polo Club.  Handicap 5.

Tell us about yourself.  How did you start playing polo?
I grew up in Peru and my dad played polo.  Initially, I didn’t like horses, but after being around them so much, I grew to love them.  I started playing at 13.  In 2002, I started traveling internationally.  Both of my brothers play polo, too.

Where have you played?
Everywhere.  Colombia, Equador, Chile, Brazil, Australia, North America, South America… do you want me to keep going?

Sounds like you’re well traveled.  When did you come to San Diego?
Two years ago.  A friend recommended me to Ramon Richard.

What or who inspired you to play polo?
At one point in my life, Aldolfo Cambiaso.  He’s the best player in the world, no?

Yes, he is.  And what is your favorite thing about polo?
Adrenaline and being on a team.

Have you ever had a bad injury?
Oh, yes, a couple.  I was playing in Colombia in 2004 and I was hit with a mallet in the eye.  I’m half blind in my right eye.

Wow!  That’s something that could change your career.  Have you ever thought of doing something else?  What’s in store for the future?
I hope to continue to develop as a player and continue teaching polo in Peru and Mexico.

Best Dressed Contest

Believe it or not, one of the most common questions we get asked at the San Diego Polo Club is – “What do I wear to the matches?!” For anyone new to Sunday Polo choosing an outfit can be quite a daunting task. No one wants to show up completely overdressed and by the same token you don’t want to come looking like a complete schlub!

However, at the San Diego Polo Club, anything goes! We want you to be comfortable, we want you to be yourself, we want you to select an outfit that reflects who you are, whether that be a dainty sundress, an over-sized hat, some strappy sandals, a searsucker suit, a casual polo shirt or linen pants. Really, anything goes! Consult our Fashion Section in the San Diego Polo Magazine to get more ideas on what to wear and to find local stores where you can purchase some great items for Sunday Polo!

And as an added incentive to dress to the nines this summer, we’ll be selecting a “Best Dressed Attendee” every Sunday who will receive 2 Free VIP passes for Sunday Polo and 2 tickets to the Del Mar Racetrack. Our staff is going to be on the look out for fashion trend setters, so dress to impress!

Our winner from Antique Cars and Cigars / Father’s Day Sunday was Dr. Steven Bernick. He definitely turned eyes with this hip summer suit and tan fedora.
So remember, anything goes for Sunday Polo but remember ladies – don’t wear heels!

Meet Ashton Wolf

He has 30 horses, 3 kids, 1 wife and a whole lot of love for polo.  In our opinion, Ashton has grown into a great team player, and often times you will hear him communicating with his team during play.  Having Ashton on your team may be your greatest asset.

How did you start playing polo?
I started grooming for Casablanca (an American team in San Diego) and took lessons with the White Family.  I picked it up quickly and soon became pro.

Have you ever had a bad injury?
(laughs) You name the bone, I’ve broken it.  Hand, wrist, cheek, nose, foot…

How did they happen?
Mostly from being bucked off.  But I played through the game.  You have to.

Is there any technique to falling off a horse?
Yea, don’t fall off.

What about finding a groom?  Do you have any advice?
Trial and error.  Everyone likes things a little different, so a good groom is taught by the horse’s owner or pro.

How many horses do you have?
30.   A lot of them are young and not ready to play polo yet.

Wow.  That must take up a lot of time.  What is your daily routine?
Wake up early, check on the horses, ride a few sets, chill and either play in the afternoon, stick and ball or ride again.

Where are you from?
My father is from Austria, but I’m from here (USA).  I’ve done a lot of traveling in Europe, Asia, etc.  My wife, Marisa, is from Guatemala, so we’ve traveled in Central America quite a bit.

Didn’t you just take a vacation?
Yea, to Thailand with my wife and kids.  It was gorgeous.  We went to the Philippines and Singapore too.


A
shton & Marisa


Ashton & Sophia


Ashton & Matias

Tell us about your kids.
Ana Sophia is 5, Matias will be 3 in a couple weeks and Isabella will be 1 in September.  Isabella is running the show.  They like to help me with the horses- feed, ride, or wrap their legs (mainly just Soph).  We are like any normal family- go to the beach, play outside, ride bikes, anything really.

You and Marisa seem pretty laid back.  It’s hard to imagine you have 3 kids and 30 horses!
My wife is amazing! Plus, we have tons of family and friends that love the kids as much as we do.  Everyone contributes to their lives.

Matias, Erika (soon to be Auntie), Sophia, Isabella, Uncle Coco (Marisa’s brother), Marisa.  Supporting Papa Ashton at Empire Polo Club.

Lincoln / Father’s Day Recap


Father’s Day saw beautiful weather and an exciting feature match to wrap up the Rancho Santa Fe Cup Finals presented by Lincoln.  Tritech/Princeps in the blue jerseys held onto their 1-point lead over Hanalei Bay/San Fernando in the white jerseys to eek out a 10-to-9 win.  The intense back and forth match saw highlights as Roberto Estudillo barely missed a goal in the 6th chukker, giving up the opportunity to tie up the score and take the game into overtime.

Chris Maloney (blue) and Roberto Estudillo powered down the field.

Dirk Wray, Ashton Wolf, Gaston VonWernich, Chris Maloney

Spectators and social members enjoyed ahi tacos and other treats from ChiliCo Catering and ambled across the field for the Korbel Champagne Divot Stomp.

Fans also visited the Lincoln technology display and took a chance to test drive the technologically advanced line of Lincoln vehicles including the MKX, MKZ Hybrid, MKT, and Navigator.

For more info, visit Witt Lincoln in San Diego.

The “Cigars & Cars” event of course included the Liberty Tobacco cigar lounge. For more photos of the event, visit our Facebook page.

Meet Diego Cossio.

We sat down with the shy and very humble Diego Cossio and learned a few surprises about this polo star.

How did you get your start?
I started playing in 1996 in the US.  I played for 10 years under the famous Steve Crowder.  He’s a good man and I owe him a lot.

Where do you play now?
San Diego of course, but I love playing in Calgary and Florida.


Do you do any cross-training?
I swim and play soccer.  After injuries, I lift weights.

Oh really?
Don’t put that.

What is your favorite sport to watch?
Ice hockey because it’s similar to polo in that the key is following the ball and pushing players out of the way.  Soccer too.

What about when you want to veg out?
Veg out?  Family Guy.  It’s light hearted and easy to watch.  The stuff they get away with is crazy.

Favorite movie?
Horror definitely.  The Exorcist.

Favorite book?
Wow.  It’s been a while.  The Alchemist – it’s simple but the ending is very good.

Can you play any instruments?
I’m actually an accomplished musician, you didn’t know that?  I’ve been playing guitar for a few years, self taught.

Diego and his band performing at Crash and Burn 2010.

So, what’s on your iPod?
Slayer, Rob Zombie, Alice in Chains, Pantera.

Anything in spanish?
Oh yea, Hermetica!  They are a really good heavy metal band in Argentina.

What’s a typical meal?
Meat.  If I can eat steak 3-4 times a week, I’m happy.

Any exciting news?
I’m taking a trip to Europe with my girlfriend, just for fun.  We are leaving Colton behind for a couple of days.  We don’t have plans, just a wedding to attend in Scotland, then backpack around for a bit.

Stacy and Colton, Diego’s family.

Sounds fun.  What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to continue playing polo for a few years.  Eventually, I would want to go back to farming sugar cane – I grew up doing it.  I just really love the whole process.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Home – Tucumán Province, Argentina (known internationally for its sugarcane).