Finals of USPA Spreckels Cup Ends 2012 SD Polo Season with Huge Success!

This past Sunday marked the celebrated USPA Spreckels Cup and Closing Day of the 2012 Polo Season!  While Sunday harbored bittersweet undertones, polo enthusiasts went out in style-literally.  Over 1300 guests adorned in 1920s, Gatsby attire we in attendance to cheer on the two competing teams of Hanalei Bay. Not only was last Sunday one of the biggest events of the season, but the San Diego Polo Club also hosted their second largest Sunday Polo crowd.

Season sponsor, Land Rover of San Diego also added to the lavish luxury of the afternoon by hosting an appreciation party in the Polo Pavilion.  In addition, guests were presented with samplers of Korbel’s California Champagne from the back of a Range Rover during the infamous Pretty Woman Divot Stomp.  SDPC’s partnership with Land Rover proved to be an advantageous one as two of the club’s members purchased Range Rovers that day!  Congrats on the new cars!

Anthony Ballard, a social member at SDPC, provided polo onlookers with a spirited performance of the National Anthem. Other musical guests on Sunday included Belly Up sponsored music by Crush Effect with live saxophone keys further cultivating the Gatsby-esque atmosphere.

Antique biplanes, old cars, and the Gatsby theme really brought out the comraderie and fun at the San Diego Polo Club!

While there was only one polo match on Sunday, fans were not deprived of a thrilling performance of athleticism, teamwork, and awe-inspiring horsemanship.  The first and only match of the day was a ten-goal competition featuring Hanalei Bay I versus Hanalei Bay II.  The tension and excitement in the air was tangible as SDPC’s President, Ron Bonaguidi went neck-in-neck against his wife Krista Bonaguidi for the coveted title of Spreckels Cup Champion.

Mariano Fassetta, of team Hanalei II, scored the first goal of the match.   Fassetta’s point was soon answered by Santiago Trotz of team Hanalei I.  Fassetta took advantage of the first chukker to prove he was a force to be reckoned with as he went on to single-handedly score an addition two goals for his team.  In comparison to the first, the second chukker was a quiet one as both teams regrouped and reevaluated their game plans. Marcos Bignoli and Santiago Trotz scored a goal apiece for Hanalei I ending the second chukker at Hanaeli I: 3, Hanalei II: 4.

Hanalei Bay II increased their lead by two points in the third chukker on behalf of Chris Collins Jr. and Mariano Fassetta.  In the fourth chukker, Hanalei II employed impressive defensive skills preventing Hanalei I from scoring a single point.  Hanalei Bay II took advantage of the fourth chukker to solidify their lead.  Mariano Fassetta started off the shooting spree by scoring two consecutive goals for Hanalei II followed by two points by Jared Sheldon and Chris Collins Jr.

Going into the fifth chukker, Hanalei II had a six-point lead on Hanalei I. While Chris Collins Jr. of Hanalei II scored the first goal of the chukker, Marcos Bignoli and Santeigo Trotz scored a goal apiece for Hanalei I.

The final chukker is always an enthralling one but this past Sunday, the sixth chukker took on an even more heartfelt meaning as both teams strived for the title of Spreckels Cup Champion.  With his eye on the prize, Chris Collins Jr. of Hanalei I scored two consecutive goals to start off the chukker.   Unwilling to hand over the victory, Patrick Uretz of Hanalei I answered Collins with two consecutive goals of his own.  While Marcos Bignoli scored the final concluding point of the day for Hanalei Bay I, ultimately it was Hanalei II who took the win and the recognition as USPA Spreckels Cup Champions- Hanalei I: 9, Hanalei II: 14.

Not only were the teams recognized for their talent at large but also Mariano Fassetta, of team Hanalei II, was decorated as the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Polo Season.  Fassetta was presented with a $100 gift card to SDPC’s After Party Sponsor, Burlap.  In addition, the Best Playing Pony title was awarded (in the form of delectably crunchy carrots) to Pampeano owned by Santiago Trotz.

Thank you to everyone who made this one of the most memorable Summer Polo Seasons that San Diego has ever known!

More photos here.

Willis Allen Cup

This last Sunday, August 19th marked the second half of the 2012 polo season, the sequel to the season’s Opening Day that was held in June.  The Willis Allen Cup is held annually to commemorate the San Diego Polo Club’s “Founding Father,” Willis Allen.  Allen helped to secure the very land that SDPC exists on to this day.

In addition, the San Diego Polo Club hosted special guests Awakenings Charity, Fred’s Playland, and Motu Hawaii.  Awakenings Health Institute is committed to providing a campus setting that offers holistic and traditional therapy to individuals and their families who have suffered from major trauma and lasting paralysis.  Fred’s Playland has been a loyal supporter of SDPC for years.  Sunday was a bittersweet one as friends and colleagues of Fred’s wished him all the best as he moves away from San Diego.

Motu Hawaii is dedicated to bringing the “aloha spirit” of the islands to the states by embodying and emulating the culture, joy, and beauty of the Pacific Islands.  The family of Motu Hawaii was also in attendance on Sunday handing out beautiful, hand-made Hawaiian leis that wafted the sweet, tropical scent of the islands throughout the pavilion.


The intermission exhibition between polo matches featured the family of San Diego Polo Club’s pro player, Kimo Huddleston.  Stephanie, Hi’ilawe, and Ilihia Huddleston accompanied by Kahiau Freitas performed both a captivating and alluring hula demonstration that left fans and players alike speechless.  Guests were also treated with a soothing collection of Hawaiian melodies throughout the day performed by Tini Grey.

The San Diego Polo Club would also like to say a special thanks to world renowned, Australian-born lyric soprano Alice Teyssier who sang the National Anthem.


The first match of the Willis Allen Cup featured the teams of Hanalei Bay versus Twin Palms/Starmeadow.  In chukker one, Krista Bonaguidi of team Hanalei Bay was first to score. At the close of chukker one, team Hanalei Bay led three goals to one.

In the second chukker, team Hanalei Bay scored three consecutive goals-two for Mariano Fassetta and one for Christepher Collins.  Twin Palms/Starmeadow met Hanalei Bay’s three goals with two of their own on behalf of Gaston VonWernich and Chris Maloney.

Twin Palms/Starmeadow took advantage of the third chukker by tying up the score at six points for Hanalei Bay, six points for Twin Palms/Starmeadow.  In the fourth chukker, Twin Palms/Starmeadow pulled ahead into the lead scoring three goals with the help of Gaston VonWernich, Colton Bancroft, and Graham Bray. Christepher Collins of team Hanalei Bay scored a point for his team.

The fifth chukker was action packed as Hanalei Bay fought to stay in the match.  Mariano Fassetta and Christepher Collins scored two consecutive goals for Hanalei Bay while Chris Maloney scored a goal for Twin Palms/Starmeadow.

Heading into the sixth and final chukker, both teams were positioned for the win-Hanalei Bay 9: Twin Palms/Starmeadow 10.  Twin Palms/Starmeadow secured their lead with two goals shared by Colton Bancroft and Graham Bray. Mariano Fassetta of team Hanalei Bay scored the concluding goal of the match with Twin Palms/Starmeadow taking the win, twelve points to Hanalei Bay’s ten.


If the first polo match of the day was a gripping one, the second polo match had onlookers on the edges of their seats.  The teams of Adeptus and Trinity took to the field for the feature match of the Willis Allen Cup demonstrating that both agility and determination can lead to fierce competition.  In the first chukker, Alvaro Tadeo of team Adeptus was first to score.   This first goal helped to spark a shoot out as team Trinity scored four goals and team Adeptus scored three in chukker number one alone.

In chukker two, team Trinity was able to hold on to their one goal lead by scoring one point by Tim Rudy to match team Adeptus’ one goal on behalf of Joseph Stuart.  Similarly, in chukker number three, both teams fought neck-to-neck scoring two goals apiece.

Team Adeptus rose to the occasion assuming the lead in chukker four.  Joseph Stuart single-handedly scored all four goals for team Adeptus while Tim Rudy and Arthur Cameron scored a goal each for team Trinity.  The fifth chukker came to a suspenseful conclusion with both teams tied at eleven points.

In the sixth and final chukker, both teams utilized teamwork to fight up until the very end for the win. While Rick Paicius of team Trinity scored a goal, it was Jesse Bray of team Adeptus that helped bring his team home with two goals.


If you missed the San Diego Polo Club’s second Opening Day, mark your calendars! This Saturday, SDPC is volunteering at TERI Inc.  Volunteers will be given the opportunity to learn about EQUISSAGE and provide therapeutic riding lessons.  In addition, this polo Sunday marks the Willis Allen Memorial Cup Finals and will feature SDPC luxury car sponsor, Land Rover. This Sunday will also include a magnificent dressage performance by Rebecca Ridgon who has received rider medals in Bronze, Silver, and Gold by the United States Dressage Federation.