Opening Day Exceeds Expectations

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.

American Heart Association Painted the SD Polo Club RED for the Inaugural Go Red Campaign

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Sunday’s finals of the Pacific Coast Polo Tournament also celebrated the inaugural American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign.  Emceed by ABC’s Bachelorette runner up, Kiptyn Locke, the American Heart Association had their first ever San Diego STRUT to promote heart health in women, along with a silent and live auction.  The Polo Club was decked out in red and all guests sported red flair in support of the organization.  According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one killer in women, which is more than all types of cancer combined!

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Porsche of San Diego had their gorgeous automobiles on display, including the all new 2014 Porsche Cayman.

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The first match was a consolation game played between Twin Palms/San Fernando and AdeptusColleen Wilson, owner of Adeptus had a spectacular afternoon, scoring 5 goals for her team.  Roberto Estudillo of Twin Palms/San Fernando also had a fantastic game, scoring 3 for his team.  Twin Palms/San Fernando was slow to start, but caught up by half-time, making the score 5 to 5.  Adeptus shined in the 5th chukker, bringing their team up 3 more point and winning the match 8 to 7.

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During intermission, the local community participated in the Go Red STRUT, a community-based, one-of-a kind fashion show.  Led by the San Diego Polo School students and Uakea Huddleston, the STRUT included two heart disease victims, one being a 4 year old boy.  Celebrity judges AJ Machado, Chris Cantore, Natasha Stenbock, Lisa Murphy, Mia Stefanko and Kiptyn Locke, judged the “strutters” and gave out prizes to various winners.

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Just after the American Heart Association’s Go Red STRUT, our announcer and auctioneer, Steven Lewandowski raffled off items for charity!

The national anthem was sung by two American Heart Association volunteers, one of which is a heart disease survivor.

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The feature match and finals of the Pacific Coast Polo Tournament consisted of Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi -1, Ashton Wolf 3, Mariano Fassetta 6, David Samaniego 0) and Starmeadow/Monteverde (Ellen Greenhill -1, Colton Bancroft 0, Martin Ravina 5, Graham Bray 4).  Hanalei Bay kicked off things in the first chukker with 3 goals but letting Starmeadow/Monteverde sneak up in the 3rd chukker.  Krista Bonaguidi scored 3 in the feature match, making her one of the high scorers on her team.  The game was all tied up in the 4th chukker, 7 to 7, but Martin Ravina scored 4 goals in the final chukkers to lead his team to victory.  Starmeadow/Monteverde beat Hanaeli Bay 10 to 8.

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Guests enjoyed the Korbel California Champagne Divot Stomp during half time and the Paul Cannon Band after the matches.

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When guests sampled Black Stallion Winery‘s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, they received a fun Black Stallion branded Go Vino glass!  Black Stallion’s chardonnay is one of our biggest sellers at Sunday Polo!

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Thank you to Ranch & Coast for being our media sponsor and Kiptyn Locke for emcee-ing the event!

Second Wind of the 2011 Season!

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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.

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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

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.


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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.

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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!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kDYEAnYofI]