Have a safe and joyous holiday season!
-The San Diego Polo Team
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The San Diego Polo Club welcomed Nacho Figueras and Hilaro Figueras during his first-ever visit to the San Diego Polo Club at the fourth annual Woodford Reserve Classic, which took place on Sunday, June 28. The charity polo match benefited International Testicular Cancer Foundation, a charity that raises awareness about testicular cancer in younger generations. ITCF was created in memory of a young man that lost his battle to testicular cancer at a young age.
Nacho Figueras and his son Hilario Figueras assisted in winning the game for La Jolla Polo Team, which celebrated their victory in front of a large crowd alongside Reuben Katz, Shannon John Johnson, and Ellen Greenhill. The team fought against Team ITCF, which featured Vice President of the San Diego Polo Club, Nour-Dean Anakar, Stephan Goss, Nicole DeBurg and Team Captain, Diego Cossio. The two teams played each other in a short two chukker polo match.
In partnership with the La Jolla Polo Team, Nacho Figueras and his son Hilario played an exhibition polo match in front of the San Diego Polo Club audience in order to raise awareness about the International Testicular Cancer Foundation.
His wife Delfina Blaquier enjoyed the afternoon in the VIP tent with other guests, including the founder of UGG Brian Smith, Craig J. Venter Institute’s COO Nicole DeBurg, Zeeto Media’s CEO Stephan Goss, Reuben and Natasha Katz, Board Member of ITCF Shannon John Johnson, General Manager of BMW Encinitas Darrin Fetterolf, Regional Marketing Manager of Brown-Forman Ivan Toro and Woodford Reserve Marketing Manager Lisa Renard.
The San Diego Polo Club invited guests to a Woodford Reserve’s Distiller’s Select Kentucky Bourbon and Doubled Oaked Bourbon pairing with sweet caramel and fresh apple slices.
Woodford Reserve also served cocktails to VIP guests during the half-time divot stomp and presented the winning team with Woodford Reserve barrel head timepieces and bottles of bourbon.
BMW of Encinitas led the ceremonial Parade of Teams in both matches with a fleet of luxury cars, including the new hybrid BMW I-8.
The national anthem was sung by San Diego Opera’s Christen Horne and Jim Smallwood, founder of the International Testicular Cancer Foundation with Natasha and Bela Katz of La Jolla Polo Team, provided the ceremonial first ball throw in to start the game.
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.
The San Diego Polo Club (SDPC) celebrated Father’s Day on Field 5 with a special Father’s Day Brunch. Guests enjoyed a brunch buffet and coffee while enjoying a day full of equestrian fun.
Gates opened at 11:00am as guests and their fathers enjoyed items from a wonderful brunch menu that included Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits, Crème Brulee French Toast Casserole, Spice Rubbed Tri Tip and an Andouille Sausage Carving Station, along with Kale Caesar Salad, Fresh Fruit Platters, and Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
The first polo match of the day began at 11:30am between Adeptus Nutrition/Pasion and Von Furstenburg. Diego Cossio scored twice in the 1st Chukker for Von Furstenburg followed by one goal from Ashton Wolf representing Adeptus Nutrition/Pasion. By the 3rd Chukker Von Furstenburg had leaped ahead by one point from David Samaniego. Diego Cossio locked in the win in the Final Chukker with one more goal from Von Furstenburg; the final score being 5-3.
We had the pleasure of hosting Rhianna Wilson as our national anthem singer during the day’s intermission. Rhianna Wilson is 17 years old and will be a Senior in High School this fall. She is a 3rd Generation San Diego Native who resides in Ramona with her family. Rhianna is a Petty Officer in her NJROTC class at school and a vocal artist for the Girls Against Abuse Musical Charity. She has had the honor to sing the National Anthem for the SD Padres, Rodeos, SPAWAR Ceremonies, but the one that has meant the most was for NBC’s Salute to Service aboard the Midway on Veteran’s Day this past November.
The feature match of the day began at 1:30pm between Luna Polo and Night Watch. the 1st Chukker consisted of two goals from Diego Larregli representing Luna Polo and one goal from Diego Velarde representing Night Watch.
In the 2nd Chukker Bernie Diaz scored for Night Watch. Topo Mendez brought Luna Polo ahead by one point soon after.
Diego Larregli scored three goals in a row for Luna Polo in the 3rd Chukker. Diego Velarde scored one for Night Watch.
In the 4th Chukker Diego Velarde and Manny Rodriguez scored for Night Watch, leaving the final score in Luna Polo’s favor at 6-5.
Diego Larregli won MVP with 5 goals on the afternoon. Steve Pollack presented Diego with a pair of sunglasses, courtesy of SDPC’s Official Eyewear Sponsor, Leisure Society.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tracee Brunetti also scored one for their team in the fourth chukker. Final score was 4 to 3, Team Von Fuerstenberg.
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.
Publisher of Riviera Magazine, Ken St. Pierre presented both teams with gift bags on the trophy deck.
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.
Craig Venter presented Leo, owned by Colleen Wilson of Adeptus Nutrition, with the Best Playing Pony award- carrots!
Guests enjoyed the 7th Chukker After Party presented by Riviera Magazine with beats by DJ Here.
Sunday, June 29th was another beautiful day here at the San Diego Polo Club– a bright, breezy polo-filled afternoon. With our fantastic sponsor Chambord Vodka in attendance, we had a festive purple and pink theme to the tents to match their blackberry flavored liqueur and vodka. Patrons enjoyed tastes of Chambord Vodka & Liqueur while watching the action on the field.
The PEERS Network & Challenged Athletes Foundation were also in attendance as proud supporters of Sunday Polo.
The first match at 1pm between Starmeadow/MonteVerde and Twin Palms/San Judas, started of with a bang when Jennifer Alexy scored the first goal for her team, Twin Palms/San Judas. Colton Bancroft also scored for Starmeadow/MonteVerde. The match ended with at Twin Palms/San Judas at 9 and Starmeadow/MonteVerde with 10, taking the win.
Guests of all ages attended the Sunday Polo event, from tailgating to the VIP tent!
At intermission we had a fun and informative polo demonstration by Diego Velarde and Diego Larrreglia. They showed us all some great moves and demonstrated the basic hitting positions and rules, while announcer, Steve Lewandowski broke down the line of the ball and a bit about strategy.
A representative of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Jeffrey Odom, did the honor of throwing in the first ball. Jeffrey is a former F-16 Crew Chief for the United States Air Force and Captain of Team USA Wheelchair Rugby. The Challenged Athletes Foundation also have a space at the event that showcased how they help those with physical disabilities.
It is the mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) to provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.
The second match of the day at 3pm was an exciting one with San Fernando vs Team Chambord. San Fernando dominated, scoring the first 3 goals of the match in the first chukker. The talented John Eicher scored 4 of the 9 goals for his team, Team Chambord.
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!
Porsche of San Diego had their gorgeous automobiles on display, including the all new 2014 Porsche Cayman.
The first match was a consolation game played between Twin Palms/San Fernando and Adeptus. Colleen 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Thank you to Ranch & Coast for being our media sponsor and Kiptyn Locke for emcee-ing the event!
We had the pleasure of hosting Chukkers for Charity to benefit Sentebale on Sunday, June 24. Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso to help the forgotten victims of poverty and of the HIV/Aids epidemic. Sentebale means “forget me not” and aides orphans and vulnerable children in Africa.
“Lesotho is fighting for survival. Nearly one third of Lesotho’s people are infected with HIV/AIDS – the third highest rate in the world. There are an estimated 400,000 orphans and vulnerable children in a country of 1.8 million. Life expectancy has plummeted to 34 years.”
Although Prince Harry was not able to attend the event, the San Diego Polo Club looks forward to the innagural event and counts on his presence in San Diego in the years to come. For an exclusive interview with SDPC’s Creative Director and Living Polo, follow the link here.
We started the event with a Cancha Pequena match with students from our Polo School. Cancha Pequena is one of two new leagues at the San Diego Polo Club, which gives arena students a chance to progress on to grass polo. We also introduced a 3-goal league this summer.
West Coast Aerospace’s family sponsor, Jake Brumby played the captain, flanked by Hawaiian pro, Kimo Huddleston in the defensive position number 4. The two blondes, Kerstie Allen and Jocelyn Parker played offense. The teamwork between players led them to victory over San Fernando/San Judas.
The feature match was a close one. Family Sponsor, Colton Bancroft scored a high of 5 goals on the afternoon, but it wasn’t enough for the team to win. In Chukker 2, Diego Cossio made a phenomenal defensive move when he backed the ball out of the goal mouth and took it to the other end of the field for a point his team. Patron and the Club’s Sweetheart, Tracee Brunetti, score the most important goal of them all in the 6th chukker to win the match for La Pasion/Southwind.
After the match, Lena Evans of Sentebale announced the winner of the $17,000 diamond and emerald earrings donated by CJ Charles Jewelers of La Jolla. Guests also bid on silent auction items throughout the day. In total, we raised over $30,000 for Prince Harry’s charity, Sentebale.
It was another beautiful day in Rancho Santa Fe on June 17, Father’s Day. We flew in a dozen antique biplanes, which took off after the feature match. We also had an assortment of antique cars, from a 1931 Model A Deluxe Roadster, to a handful of Woodies. The Del Mar Cigar Club provided imported cigars, just for Dad.
We kicked off the day with a match at 1pm. Monteverde/H2 took the lead with 4 goals over Starmeadow/Southwind. In the third chukker, Starmeadow/Southwind put 4 points on the board to tie up the match. Points went back and forth in the next few chukkers, and by the 6th chukker, Monteverde/H2 won by 1 point.
Ellen Greenhill 0 Colton Bancroft -1
Mariano Gutierrez 5 Mike Kerley 3
Christopher Collins 2 Graham Bray 5
Ron Bonaguidi 0 Chris Collins 1
The Finals of the Father’s Day Cup was a tight one. Chris Maloney of Twin Palms/La Pasion scored the two of the first 3 goals against Hanalei Bay/Adeptus. But Hanalei Bay/Adeptus made a come back in the third chukker, taking the game into their lead 6 to 4. Krista Bonaguidi and Colleen Wilson scored the two last goals for Hanalei/Adeptus, securing the win over Twin Palms/La Pasion.
Twin Palms/La Pasion Hanalei Bay/Adeptus
Tracee Brunetti -1 Krista Bonaguidi -1
Chris Maloney 1 Joesph Stuart 4
Gaston VonWernich 5 Mariano Fassetta 6
Diego Cossio 4 Colleen Wilson 0