3rd Annual Woodford Reserve Polo Classic

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Bourbon Chocolate Cherry Pairing

July 13th was a beautiful day for polo at the San Diego Polo Club. Patrons were in for a real treat with our wonderful sponsor Woodford Reserve offering delicious tastings of their Kentucky bourbon. It was a day filled with equestrian fun, including a lovely Pa De Dux Dressage Demo.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Bourbon 5 sources of flavor

Woodford Reserve Bourbon is hand crafted in small batches. This artisanal process allows Woodford Reserve’s all five sources of bourbon flavor to have a distinct taste and crisp, clean finish. Their tasting booth sampled the Woodford Reserve Bourbon paired with dark chocolate and dried cranberries.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Bourbon Tasting

In the first match of the day at 1pm, we had San Fernando vs Twin Palms/San Judas. In the 1st Chukker Roberto Estudillo scored the first goal of the match, followed by Ashton Wolf. Ashton then scored two more goals for Twin Palms/San Judas in the 2nd Chukker followed by one by Eugenio Garza who was subbing for Ramon Richard on Twin Palms/San Judas. In the 3rd Chukker Diego Velarde scored two goals via penalty shots for his team San Fernando. Topo Mendez scored anther as well for Twin Plams/San Judas. At the half time break it was 3-5 in favor of Twin Palms/San Judas.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Tritech-San Fernando

The 4th Chukker, started off with a goal by Diego Cossio, and then one by Diego Velarde, both for San Fernando. Ashton Wolf scored one as well for Twin Palms/San Judas. The 5th saw Diego Cossio again, followed by Chris Maloney scoring 2 more for Twin Palms/San Judas. The excitement got heavy in the 6th and final Chukker as Diego Velarde and Adolpho Ramos for San Fernando. Followed by Topo Mendez scoring anther for Twin Palms/San Judas to bring it to a tie. Chris Maloney scored another for Twin Palms/San Judas to break the tie, but due to a foul, it did not count, sending the match into over time. Diego Velarde finally scored the winning goal for San Fernando in the over time 7th Chukker.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Dressage

During our intermission was a lovely we had a wonderful Pa De Dux. It was a Prix St. Georges level Pas de Deux by Joy Rothe and Sarah Pinney, riding full sister and brother Oldenberg horses Rolex and Rohan. The two horses seemingly danced together to music often mirroring their upper level Dressage movements to match the beat of the music and the rhythm of the horses.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-National Anthem

We had the lovely Christina Peterson a 19 year old local pop singer/songwriter who has performed at Humphrey’s by the Bay, Petco Park, and Qualcomm Stadium. She is a student at San Diego State and also enjoys performing for non-profit organizations such as the Make a Wish Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-group San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Step-Repeat

We also had the very talented Jill Courtemanche Millinery showcasing her fabulous hats for people to do a little shopping for their perfect hat. Just in time for Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-First Ball Throw In

Woodford Reserve did the honors of throwing in the ceremonial first ball for the feature match.

The 2nd match of the day at 3pm was between Woodford Reserve and Herradura Tequila. John Eicher started out the first chukker of the match with a goal for Woodford Reserve. Followed up by one by Diego Larreglia. Colton Bancroft then scored one for Herradura Tequila.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Action-Ellen-Greenhill

In the 2nd Chukker Virgil Kyle made another for Woodford Reserve. Graham Bray and Chris Collins also both scored for Herradura Tequila.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Action

For the 3rd Chukker there was another goal scored by Colton Bancroft, followed by Graham Bray. Virgil Kyle scored one for Woodford Reserve. At the half time it was 5-6 in favor of Woodford Reserve.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Action-2

Coming into the 4th Chukker, Herradura Tequila made another 4 goals, two by Colton Bancroft, one by Chris Collins, and one by Graham Bray. In the 5th and 6th Chukkers Graham Bray made another 2 goals and Chris Collins 1 to finish and win the game for Herradura Tequila. The match ended with a total of 7-11 in favor of Herradura Tequila.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Players

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Event-Bourbon Herradura Tequila Winners

Written by Cara Helminski

Photos by Arielle Vey (social) & Matt Bentley (action)

International and Local Polo Players Kick Off 2014 Season with Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club


Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club reached a record breaking 3,200 attendees on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Polo fans and San Diego socialites flocked to Rancho Santa Fe for two thrilling polo matches, a fashion show, live DJ and plenty of people watching.




Land Rover of San Diego brought in a fleet of gorgeous 2014 Range Rover Evoques and Range Rover Sports, which was the main focal point during the fashion show & presenting ceremonies.

The well-dressed attendees enjoyed mingling in the Polo Pavilion presented by Riviera Magazine, watching the match from the VIP tent, toasting champagne glasses in the garden section and bumping into friends in the general admission area.



We had a few craft cocktails on draft, including a strawberry rhubarb Woodford Reserve julep and Herradura Tequila Flor de Paloma, two of our favorites. Guests also enjoyed an assortment of spirits, local craft beer, hand selected wines, and of course, champagne!

chef-dawn-parks-wild-thyme-company-opening-day-polo Our Sunday Polo Kitchen is presented by The Wild Thyme Company, offered plates to share (their cheese plate is delicious) or more traditional sandwiches, salads (another favorite is the beet caprese salad) and daily specials.


Their food is both classic and trendsetting while maintaining the highest standards of culinary excellence with an emphasis on seasonal options. The full menu can be seen online here.


Land Rover of San Diego’s Sales Guide, Matt Deep threw in the ceremonial first ball to kick off the 7-goal polo match. Team Rancho Santa Fe battled it out against team Del Mar.


Mia Bray (subbing for Colton Bancroft), Kimo Huddleston (subbing for Ashton Wolf), Graham Bray and Mike Manno made up team Rancho Santa Fe (6-goal team). New to SDPC, Emma Stachowitz, Jennifer Alexy, and John Eicher joined resident player Diego Cossio to make up team Del Mar (7-goal team). Because team Rancho Santa Fe is 1-goal lower than team Del Mar, a point is put on the board in favor or the lesser team.

Things started off slowly in the first half with two points for each team. Both Kimo Huddleston and Mia Bray scored for Rancho Santa Fe. John Eicher and Diego Cossio scored for Del Mar. Mia Bray and Graham Bray both scored  in the second half, pushing their team into the lead. Jennifer Alexy scored one in the 4th chukker and Diego Cossio scored two more in the 5th and 6th chukkers. Although each team scored the same amount of points, Team Rancho Santa Fe was crowned victorious due to the lesser handicap.

Opening-Day-San-Diego-Polo-Club-2014-crowd Opening-Day-San-Diego-Polo-Club-2014-crowds



During intermission, Raina Leon Style & Design presented the 2014 Opening Day Fashion show, featuring local boutique, Van de Vort. Sunglasses were provided by another locally owned brand, RAEN. Men’s fashion was sponsored by J.Hillborn.




After the fashion show, the feature match began with the parade of teams led by Matt and Patrick of Land Rover San Diego. Nationally acclaimed and Grammy Nominated Songtress, Sacha Boutros sang our National Anthem.


Sacha impressed the crowd with her amazing vocals.


Riviera Magazine’s partners threw in the first ball to kick off the 3pm match.

The 3pm match was between sponsors Woodford Reserve and Herradura Tequila. Ellen Greenhill, David Samaniego, Christopher Collins Jr, and SDPC president, Chris Collins made up team Woodford Reserve. Ramon Richard, Roberto Estudillo, Diego Velarde and Topo Mendez made up team Herradura Tequila.


The first chukker started off hot with 3 goals on the board for Woodford Reserve, scored by David Samaniego (2) and Christopher Collins Jr (1). Both Ramon Richard and Diego Velarde scored for team Herradura. Christopher Collins Jr. kept up the momentum by scoring an additional two in the second chukker. Topo Mendez scored 1 for his team. By the 3rd chukker, the score was 6 to 4 in favor of Woodford Reserve.


During half time, guests were encouraged to step onto the grass for the traditional champagne divot stomp presented by Korbel California Champagne.


Flutes of Korbel Brut Champagne and Korbel Rose Champagne were served from the backs of four beautiful Land Rover Evoques by our Van de Vort models.


Team Herradura Tequila increased their defensive strategy and didn’t allow team Woodford Reserve to score any in the 4th chukker, while Diego Velarde put one through the goal posts. In fact, their defense was so effective, team Woodford Reserve was not able to score for the remainder of the game. Team Herradura Tequila kept posession of the ball. Ramon Richard scored another goal and Diego Velarde scored two more for his team. Diego Velarde had the most goals on the afternoon: 5. Team Herradura Tequila beat Woodford Reserve 8 to 6.


Publisher of Riviera Magazine, Jessica Cline, joins winning team Herradura Tequila on the trophy deck to present trophies.


Sponsor, Armando Flores of Charco Design & Build poses with team Herradura Tequila before giving away an authentic Woodford Reserve polo jersey to a lucky fan.

Opening-Day-2014-San-Diego-Polo-Club-Korbel-Champagne-Divot-Stomp-4 Opening-Day-2014-San-Diego-Polo-Club-Korbel-Champagne-Divot-Stomp-3




2014-Opening-Day-San-Diego-Polo-Club-Men-womens-Fashion 2014-Opening-Day-San-Diego-Polo-Club-Women-FashionWith a San Diego’s beautiful people, it’s no wonder Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club is such a fashionable affair.


DJ Here kept the party going by spinning beats until dusk.

Although we celebrated Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club on June 1, the fun doesn’t stop. Join us every Sunday until the end of September for action-packed polo and family-friendly fun! See the schedule for more details.

Herradura Cup

This past Sunday, September 16th marked Mexican Independence Day and we celebrated with the Herradura Cup hosted by San Diego Polo Club’s season sponsor Brown-Forman.  Guests were treated with tastings and drinks featuring Herradura Tequila, made from 100% naturally fermented agave and crafted authentically in haciendas since 1870.  The atmosphere of the spirited afternoon was complete with a twelve-piece Mariachi band from Chula Vista.

Ed Carias, Tequila Marketing Manager of Brown-Forman, conducted trophy presentations. The first place team of the classic was awarded with Herradura Reposado and the second place team was given Herradura Silver.  Reposado is aged for nine months longer than its category standard giving the liquor a rich copper hue and a decadently smooth taste.  Herradura Silver is the ideal ingredient for the ultimate margarita as it is a delectable amalgamation of citrus and agave flavors.

Sunday also served as an appreciation day for UC Alumni from all over the state. In addition, SDPC also played host to Miss San Diego and Miss County of San Diego, Anna Mason who delivered a beautiful performance of the National Anthem.  Barbara Jacobs, owner of Edison in Los Angeles, carried out the first ball throw in and hosted guests in the Herradura Pavilion.  Musical performances on Polo Sunday included the talented David Maldonado.

The first match of the Herradura Classic was a ten-goal match featuring team Trinity versus Team Hanalei Bay.  Santiego Trotz of team Hanalei Bay started off the match with the first goal of the game scored on behalf of Hanalei Bay.  Trotz’s point was soon followed by an additional goal for Hanalei scored by young player, Patrick Uretz.  Team Trinity was unable to answer Hanalei’s lead and the first chukker came to a close with team Trinity: 0, Hanalei Bay: 2.

The second chukker proceeded the first chukker in much the same manner.  Santiego Trotz proved himself to be Hanalei Bay’s MVP going on to score an additional two goals followed by a goal on behalf of Marcos Bignoli.  While Hanalei Bay was able to advance their lead by three goals, team Trinity closed the second chukker unable to score a goal on Hanalei.

Team Trinity took advantage of the third and fourth chukkers to make their move scoring their first two goals of the match by Rick Paicius and Artie Cameron.  The fourth chukker ended Trinity: 2, Hanalei Bay: 8.

Team Trinity utilized successful defense tactics in the fifth chukker preventing team Hanalei from scoring.   Mariano Gutierrez and Tim Rudy rose to the occasion scoring Trinity a goal apiece.  The fifth chukker ended at Trinity: 4, Hanalei: 8.

In the sixth and final chukker of the match, team Trinity fought for the win engaging Hanalei in an intense shoot out demonstrating excellent athleticism and teamwork.  Patrick Uretz of Hanalei scored the first goal of the chukker quickly answered by Rick Paicius of team Trinity.  Tim Rudy went on to advance Trinity by a point only to be returned by a goal on behalf of Marcos Bignoli. Ultimately, it was Mariano Gutierrez of team Trinity that scored the final goal of the chukker giving Hanalei Bay the win with a total of 10 points to Trinity’s 7.

The second match of the day was the tournament’s ten goal finals featuring Tequila Herradura (Twin Palms/StarMeadow) versus Hanalei Bay.  This match was an engrossing one as the score board reached some of the highest numbers of the season.  Gaston VonWernich of team Tequila Herradura scored the first goal of the game quickly answered by Jared Sheldon of Team Hanalei.  Both teams were matched for skill as reflected in the score at the end of the first chukker, Tequila Herradura: 2, Hanalei: 2.

While Tequila Herradura started off the match strong, they fell silent in the second and third chukkers as team Hanalei took to the offensive.  Both Mariano Fassetta and Chris Collins Jr. proved them selves to be valuable assets for Hanalei scoring a goal each in both the second and third chukker.  Going into the fourth chukker, the score was Tequila Herradura: 2, Hanalei: 7.

The fourth chukker was an impressive exhibition of talent as both teams refused to give the other any leeway.  Mariano Fassetta started off the chukker with a goal for Hanalei Bay sparking a charge on goal for Tequila Herradura who scored two points on behalf of Gaston VonWernich and Chris Maloney.  Ultimately, both teams were neck-in-neck throughout the fourth chukker scoring three goals apiece wrapping up the chukker with Tequila Herradura: 5, Hanalei bay: 10.

The fifth chukker proved to be the most riveting yet.  While Gaston VonWernich single handedly scored two goals for Tequila Herradura, Mariano Fassetta was ignited scoring three consecutive goals for Hanalei followed by an additional goal by Chris Maloney Jr. Going into the sixth and final chukker, the score was Tequila Herradura: 7, Hanalei Bay: 14.

In a surprising turn of events, Twin Palms took advantage of the sixth chukker to silence Hanalei Bay, making one final attempt at the win.  While team Hanalei failed to score a single goal in the sixth chukker, Colton Bancroft, Graham Bray, and Gaston VonWernich scored a goal each wrapping up the chukker at Tequila Herradura: 10, Hanalei Bay: 14.

If you missed the fun this past Sunday, join us this weekend for the USPA Spreckels Cup hosted by Giving Back Magazine.  The match will benefit the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera.  The Spreckles Cup is held annually in commemoration of John D. Spreckels who first discovered polo in the late 1800’s.  The first Spreckels Cup was inaugurated in 1909 and, since it rediscovery in 1988, has been played for and revered ever since.

USPA Rossmore Cup Finals

The USPA Rossmore Cup Finals this past weekend, Sunday September 9th was a reverential day hosted in honor and appreciation of our service men and women. The San Diego Polo Club was honored to host Tender Loving Canines, a non-profit that provides assistance dogs to returned soldiers to help them acclimate back into civilian life.

During Intermission, the Poway Valley Vaulters performed amazing acrobatic feats on the backs of moving horses.  Equestrian Vaulting is an international sport that fuses together gymnastics and dance while cultivating astounding coordination, balance, teamwork, and creativity.

Musical performances on Sunday included the band Forty Nineteens and the National Anthem sung by the Equinox Members.  Mike Uretz of the Pacific Coast Handicap Committee performed the First Ball Throw In.

The first match of the day was a three-goal game featuring team San Fernando versus team San Judas. San Fernando started off the match strong scoring three goals in total, one on behalf of Roberto Estudillo and two on behalf of Diego Velarde.  Miguel Gomez wrapped up the first chukker with a point for his team San Judas.

In the second chukker, San Fernando proved they were a force to be reckoned with as team MVP, Diego Velarde scored three consecutive goals.  The second chukker ended at San Fernando 6, San Judas 3.   In the third chukker, both teams scored two goals apiece lead by Ramon Richard who fought to keep San Judas in the game.

In the fourth and final chukker, team San Fernando fought and successfully held on to their lead.  While Harrison Samaniego started off the chukker with two consecutive goals for team San Judas, it was ultimately team San Fernando that took the win with two final goals on behalf of Diego Velarde: San Fernando 10, San Judas 7.

The second match of the day was an action-packed demonstration of agility and excellent horsemanship.  The ten-goal game featured the teams of Twin Palms/Starmeadow and Hanalei Bay.  Marcos Bignoli of team Hanalei Bay started off the first chukker with a bang scoring two consecutive goals for his team, neither of which was answered by Twin Palms.

In the second chukker, Gaston VonWernich brought Twin Palms back into the game with two consecutive goals while Patrick Uretz, of team Hanalei Bay scored a goal wrapping up the second chukker: Twin Palms 2, Hanalei Bay 3.  In the third chukker, both teams were neck-in-neck scoring two goals each.

Graham Bray of team Twin Palms took advantage of the fourth chukker to even out the score by successfully making his team two goals. At the end of the fourth chukker the score settled at Twin Palms 6, Hanalei Bay 6.

If the match was gripping before, players had polo onlookers on the edges of their seats during the fifth chukker.  With a glimpse at victory, both teams fought to secure the win during the fifth chukker. While Graham Bray continued on to score yet another point for team Twin Palms, Santiago Trotz of team Hanalei Bay displayed supreme athleticism single-handedly scoring three goals.  Going into the sixth and final chukker the score of the match was Twin Palms 7, Hanalei Bay 9.

The sixth chukker began with a goal by Marcos Bignoli of team Hanalei Bay inching his team three points ahead of Twin Palms.  Soon after, Gaston VonWernich answered Bignoli’s point with a goal of his own.  Ultimately, it was Santiago Trotz who acquired the winning shot for Hanalei making the final score: Hanalei Bay 11, Twin Palms 8.  Marcos Bignoli was awarded MVP and Burlap presented him with a $100 gift card.

Come join us this coming Sunday, September 16th for the spirited Herradura Cup!  The Herradura Cup falls on Mexican Independence Day and will include a live 12-piece Mariachi band.  This weekend is also SDPC’s UC Alumni appreciation day and the Club will play host to the 2011 Miss San Diego titleholder, Marina Inserra.

Woodford Reserve Polo Classic


       This last Sunday, July 15th marked the celebration of the Woodford Reserve Polo Classic.  Woodford Reserve hosted VIP members and guests in the Polo Lounge treating guests to an assortment of tantalizing specialty Woodford cocktails.  The lounge was adorned to reflect the brand’s signature colors of rich browns and glowing oranges and was complete with lounge furniture so that VIP guests could watch the action-packed polo matches in the epitome of comfort.


      In addition, the San Diego Polo Club and Woodford Reserve teamed up with the Del Mar Race Track.  The Club gave away tickets for Opening Day at the races to anyone who purchased a Woodford crafted beverage.  Woodford Reserve also offered tastings to Sunday’s polo enthusiasts including drinks by the names of Spreckles and Hair of the Horse, names that embody the polo spirit.


      Land Rover of San Diego, another sponsor of the 2012 San Diego Polo Season, was also featured last Sunday.  The Range Rover that was on display emanated both polo luxury and comfort and epitomized the ultimate car to tail-gate in on Polo Sundays.


      Intermission between polo matches featured the engaging Ballistic Racers Flyball Team.  Flyball is a captivating competition involving two teams of dogs that participate in a relay race involving agility, collaboration, and astounding training.  This is truly a sight to be seen. 


      Polo Sunday kicked off with a match at 1PM featuring the teams of Starmeadow/Adeptus and San Judas/La Pasion.  In chukker one, Diego Cossio of San Judas/La Pasion was first to score. By the end of the first chukker, San Judas/La Pasion was in the lead with three points to Starmeadow/Adeptus’ one point scored by Colton Bancroft.

In the second chukker, Joseph Stuart brought Starmeadow/Adeptus back with a goal.  In the third chukker, the women on the field took charge with both teams scoring a goal a piece-Colleen Wilson for Starmeadow/Adeptus and Tracee Brunetti for San Judas/ La Pasion.

San Judas/La Pasion took the opportunity to pull ahead in the fourth and fifth chukkers with two goals scored by Tracee Brunetti and one by Gaston Von Wernich.  In the fifth chukker, Graham Bray scored a goal for Starmeadow/Adeptus.

Going into the sixth and final chukker, Starmeadow/Adeptus had four points while San Judas/La Pasion was in the lead with eight points. While Diego Cossio of San Judas/La Pasion scored a goal in the last chukker, Starmeadow/Adeptus fought to the very end scoring three goals between Joseph Stuart and Graham Bray.  The sixth chukker proved to be an exciting conclusion to this action-packed match with San Judas/La Pasion taking the win with nine points to Starmeadow/Adeptus’ seven points.


      In the second polo match of the day, the teams of Hanalei Bay and Woodford Reserve took to the field in a fierce competition of skill and riding.  In the first chukker, Mike Kerly of team Woodford was the first to score.  Mariano Fassetta, of Hanalei Bay, came back to score two goals while Mariano Guteriez of Woodford tied up the first chukker-Hanalei Bay 2: Woodford 2.

The second and third chukkers were met with equal talent on behalf of both teams. Between the two chukkers, Mariano Fassetta and Ron Bonaguidi scored one goal each for Hanalei Bay, two points that were matched by Mariano Guteriez of Woodford Reserve.   By the end of the third chukker, Hanalei Bay was in the lead with 5:4.

The match between Hanalei Bay and Woodford Reserve took a turn in the fourth chukker as team Woodford sprang ahead scoring four goals.  Woodford Reserve player Ellen Greenhill scored two goals during the fourth chukker, followed by fellow teammates Bryon Ward and Mike Kerley.

In the fifth chukker, Hanalei Bay’s Mariano Fassetta answered Woodford’s lead by single-handedly scoring three goals for Hanalei Bay bringing them back into the game.  The fifth chukker came to a gripping conclusion with both teams tied at eight points.

The sixth chukker proved to be the most momentous as both teams exemplified skilled horsemanship and teamwork.  The match began with a goal for Hanalei Bay by Mariano FassettaMariano Guterriez tied the chukker by scoring a goal for Woodford Reserve.  The action-packed matched came to a close with Fassetta’s goal giving the win to Hanalei Bay with a final score of Hanalei Bay 10: Woodford Reserve 9.


      If you missed this cup hosted by Woodford Reserve, join us on September 16 for the Herradura Cup featuring their one-of-a-kind tequila.  This event happens to fall on Mexican Independence day and is sure to be one of the many highlights of the 2012 Polo Season.