SD Polo: Where are you from and how did you get involved in polo?
Jared: Poway, CA. My family plays polo so I was on a horse pretty much from birth. I didn’t start playing with adults until I was seven. My dad’s side of the family is very involved in polo. My grandfather Russ Sheldon is currently rerunning for Governor at Large (of the USPA). My father, Billy Sheldon is 7 goals in the arena and has represented the USA in the FIPS and in the arena. My cousins Shane and Danika Rice are currently working in polo in Houston and their mother Sherry Sheldon also plays.
SD Polo: What did you do before you became pro? What do you do in the off-season?
Jared: Before Polo I attended New Mexico State University where I played on the intercollegiate team there. On the off seasons I manage the Bel Air Polo Club, located in Burbank, CA which is open year round.
SD Polo: Where have you played and what is your favorite place to play?
Jared: I have mostly played on the California Circuit, (Santa Barbara, Indio, San Diego) but I have also been lucky enough to go to clubs in Florida, Canada, Texas, and a few other East Coast locations. Santa Barbara is my favorite place to play because it has the best mix of quality polo and quality fields. It definitely doesn’t hurt that its across the street from the beach.
SD Polo: Have you ever had a bad injury?
Jared: I have had a few good injuries. I broke my orbital bone (eye socket) back in 2006 and in Santa Barbara this season I broke my collar bone. Luckily I was able to get a plate put in so I could be back in time to play here (in San Diego).
SD Polo: Is there any technique to falling off the horse?
Jared: Tuck and Roll, and try not to get run over, I guess.
SD Polo: What do you do when you’re not playing polo or spending time with the horses?
Jared: Playing XBox with friends, hitting the gym, and taking my girlfriend and our two dogs to the beach. I love mexican food too, especially if its from the Poway Taco Shop on Midland road.
SD Polo: What does the future hold?
Jared: I’d love to go to Europe and catch an Arsenal game or travel to Argentina. Hopefully my life involves polo, polo, and more polo.
We are playing with a fantastic group of people in September. If you’ve never followed the season of polo in San Diego, September is the best month to see action-packed games. We welcome new players and new competition.
The first match on Sunday brought Hanalei Bay versus Southwind Adeptus. Ron Bonaguidi, our President and Patron of Hanalei Bay played well, scoring 1 for the team in the first chukker. Mariano Fassetta, now called the “Argentine Assasin” by our announcer Steve Lewandowski, scored 3, and Alvaro Tadeo scored 2 for Hanalei Bay.
Southwind/Adeptus played beautifully on Sunday afternoon. Pedro Orellano scored 5 for Southwind/Adeptus, Colleen Wilson scored 2, Chris Collins scored 2, and even Mike Kerley got one. Needless to say, Southwind Adeptus came out on top. They are looking good this week, defeating Hanalei Bay 10 to 6.
During intermission, the San Diego Polo Club observed 9/11 by presenting the Rainbow Riders Drill Team of Poway. The 8 women mounted horses decorated in sparkling red, white and blue colors and paraded the field with gorgeous American flags. In addition to their performance, we asked all current armed forces, veterans, and emergency responders to join us on the field.
Congressman Martin Garrick gave a wonderful speech in remembrance of those effected by the tragedy of 9/11. Our announcer, Steve Lewandowski brought the audience to tears as he congratulated each one of our heroes for dedicating their lives to helping others. It was a very special day to remember the tragedy of 10 years ago and to count our blessings.
On Friday, Trinity met in our Clubhouse to watch a previous practice game against Starmeadow in order to prep for their Sunday match. They talked strategy and how to handle one of our best and most aggressive players on the field, Graham Bray.
The feature match started out slow, with Jesse Bray, Colton Bancroft (subbing for his mom, Joy Bancroft), and Graham Bray each scoring 1 for Starmeadow. Trinity scored 2 (Jared Sheldon and Mariano Gutierrez). Jared Sheldon spiced things up in the second chukker by getting bumped off his horse. He got right back on and continued playing.
Fans celebrated the half time Divot Stomp with tastes of Rose Champagne sponsored by Korbel California Champagne. Every Sunday we hide a decorated champagne cork on the field and the person who finds the cork gets a bottle of Champagne!
Starmeadow and Trinity took the half time to form a game plan, and both teams came back stronger than the first half. Jesse Bray scored 3 for Starmeadow and Colton Bancroft (only 14 years old!) scored one. Meanwhile, Rick Paicius, Jared Sheldon and Mariano Gutierrez each scored one for Trinity, bringing the game up to 7 to 6, Starmeadow in the lead.
In the 5th chukker, things heated up again and Sheldon had another fall. Again, a little bruised, but not seriously hurt, Sheldon continued playing. Jesse Bray scored a few more, totaling 7 goals that afternoon. Mariano Gutierrez put 2 through in the 6th chukker, but it wasn’t enough for the win. Graham Bray did the honor of scoring 2 more in the 6th chukker, just to be sure Starmeadow walked away victoriously.