The San Diego Polo Club (SDPC) celebrated the end of their 28th season in Rancho Santa Fe with the United States Polo Association (USPA) Spreckels Cup & Closing Day presented by Woodford Reserve. Heels2Heal was the exclusive charity partner with specific ticket and auction proceeds benefiting San Diego Youth Services.
Gates opened at 12:30pm and guests were lined up as early as 9:30am itching to get a good spot to watch the final match at 2pm. Players and VIPs mingled in the Woodford Reserve Lounge and sipped on bourbon infused specialty cocktails as they took awe of the 105 year old Spreckels trophy that was on display with hundreds of beautiful garden and piano roses overflowing the cup.
The VIP tent was filled with 500 guests, including players, family, friends, sponsors, and of course, the Heels2Heal guests right in the front row. Over 1,300 guests piled into the venue, dressed to the nines in red accents, hats and chic polo outfits.
The day started out with a classic demonstration of rider and foxhounds, presented by the Santa Fe Hunt. Established in 1969, the Santa Fe Hunt/West Hills Hounds is a Masters of Fox Hounds Association recognized Hunt located in Temecula, California. They are a diverse group of riders brought together by love of horses, open spaces, country values and riding with a fine pack of foxhounds as they work a scent. The San Diego Polo Club is honored to welcome back Terry Paine and the Santa Fe Hunt every year.
Sonya is a TV Personality, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Fashion Show Designer & Producer, and philanthropist. Her “Sexy Socialite News Girls Pre-Fall Fashion Show” featured the San Diego News Girls, including Brandi Williams, Kimi Evans, Natasha Sweattle, Sabrina Fein, Tabitha Lipkin, and Staci Ortiz-Davis. Over 20 female models and 10 male models featured fall fashions from Matti D, Nicole Miller, Mister B’s, Jill Courtemanche Millinery, TRE, and Van de Vort.
After the fashion show, guests were encouraged to grab a drink at the bar or get a bite to eat and settle in for the final match of the season, the USPA Spreckels Cup Finals.
Five teams had been competing for the chance to play in the 105 year old tournament, The USPA sanctioned Spreckels Cup. On September 28th, 2014 the top two teams fought it out for the title of Spreckels Champions. After weeks of
competing for a spot in the final game, Starmeadow/Roseville Motor Car and Twin Palms took the field for the final tournament of 2014.
Anthony Ballard did the honors of singing the national anthem during our Opening Ceremonies. With over 25 years’ experience, Anthony’s diverse background spans opera, musical theatre, non-musicals, tap, jazz and ballet. Anthony is an active member of the San Diego Opera’s Core Chorus and has appeared in over 50 San Diego arts productions since moving to the area in 1993.
After the anthem, Suzanne Brown from Woodford Reserve did the honors of throwing in the ceremonial first ball and starting off the first chukker!
The first goal of chukker one was scored by Graham “the big guns” Bray for Starmeadow. Twin Palms’ Gaston Von Wernich was right behind him, scoring for his team. Playing for the trophy, Von Wernich scored the next three goals in chukker two.
Ashton Wolf made a comeback, scoring two goals for Starmeadow. Chukker three started with a goal from Twin Palms’ Ryan Robertson. Colton Bancroft fired back, scoring one for Starmeadow. Not one to back down easily, Robertson scored the remaining goal of chukker three, lengthening his team’s lead. At halftime, the scores were Starmeadow 4 / Twin Palms 6.
During the traditional “Pretty Woman Divot Stomp,” guests enjoyed a sample of Korbel California Champagne as they mingled with friends and replaced the divots that were kicked up by the horses during the first half of the game.
Plowing ahead in chukker four, Robertson again scored. Passing the reins to teammate Von Wernich, Twin Palms scored their 8th goal of the game; Von Wernich’s 5th.
Like chukker four, chukker five belonged to Twin Palms. Alvaro Tadeo scored first for his team. Robertson picked up the second goal. Going into the last chukker, the score was Starmeadow 4 / Twin Palms 10.
The final goal was scored by Tadeo of Twin Palms. Adding in team handicaps, Starmeadow ended with nine goals. Though Starmeadow fought hard, Twin Palms was on fire. They came to win and with eleven goals, they did just that.
Both teams joined together on the trophy deck for the Trophy & Awards Presentation. First off was the most improved player award, which was awared to Virgil Kyle by previous president and founding member, Ron Bonaguidi. Kyle has excelled in his skill level in 2014.
Second was the sportsmanship award, which went to one of our newest members, who has displayed courtesy and sportsmanship to his fellow players. Eric Hammon was the recipient of this great award.
Our founding father, Willis Allen was very instrumental in encouraging young players to get involved in the sport of polo. The San Diego Polo Club created his namesake award to honor Willis and congratulate the best all-around young player under 30 based on horsemanship, sportsmanship and playing ability. Judy Collins, daughter of Willis Allen, presented this award to 17-year old Colton Bancroft.
Out of the 48+ horses played in Sunday’s polo match, the best playing pony is just that– the best pony out there. Gail Greggson of the California Thoroughbred Breeder’s Foundation presented the trophy to Graham Bray for his horse P1. This horse has won 4 best playing pony awards in the last two years!
Torry Spreckels is the great granddaughter of John D. Spreckels. She and her daughter Jessica and granddaughter Molly presented the second place team with the Spreckels trophies. Both Molly and Jessica play polo today, carrying on the Spreckels family tradition. Christine Wuthrich, the great great grand daughter of John D. Spreckels also helped present the trophies.
All of the players were then welcomed onto the stage and everyone was gifted with a nice bottle of Woodford Reserve, a small-batch straight bourbon distilled in central Kentucky. The distillery itself is a national historical monument!
Jose Luis & Lovie Rocha, owners of JL Rocha, have been designing and manufacturing handmade leather shoes & jackets for over 3 generations in Mexico and now they are in the United States. Lovie & Jose Luis presented each of the winning players with a fine lambskin jacket from their collection completely made by hand.
Scott Walker, USPA Lieutenant Governor for Southern California, presented the winning teams with their trophies as well as awarded Most Valuable Player of the game to Gaston von Wernich!
Guests stayed until dark, dancing and partying with polo players and members. DJ Beatnick kept the energy up and rocked the beats for one of the best after parties in history!
Photos by Jim Bremner & Topher Riley. To see more, visit us on Facebook.com
San Diego Polo Opening Day, one of Southern California’s most highly anticipated social, fashion, and athletic events of the year is right around the corner, June 1st, 2014! This Opening Day, whether you are enjoying the game from the VIP white tent or the front lawn, you will undoubtedly want to be dressed to the nines, polo style. Ladies, are you wondering what to wear to Polo Opening Day? Need not worry, Nubry, San Diego’s #1 Fashion and Style Website, has put together The Official San Diego Polo Style Guide to answer all of your fashion and style queries!
Bright colored dresses are vibrant and catch the eye of other pologoers during the sunny afternoon. Opt for beautiful summer colors like coral, hot pink, teal, and kelly green or a floral or printed dress with a variety of these hues. Pastels are always welcome and our favorites include mint, pale pink, baby blue, yellow and orchid.
For more style advice, fashion tips, and recommendations for what to wear to polo, visit www.Nubry.com, San Diego’s #1 Fashion and Style blog.
Follow San Diego Polo Club on Instagram here: @sdpolo and follow Nubry on Instagram here: @nubry | Be sure to post pics of your outfits on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using hashtag #SDPolo and #Nubry.
Emerging polo star Jesse Bray, a native to southern California, was selected as the winner of the USPA Equus & Co. Award and the $10,000 prize that goes with it, which honors the Team USPA player who best exemplifies the program’s principles. The Equus & Co. Award was presented on Sunday, April 13 immediately following the 26-goal U.S. Open Polo Championship quarterfinals at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, FL. Jesse Bray, Lucas Reid and Will Tankard were all nominated for the prestigious award.
“The three finalists are dedicated to the sport of polo and have worked hard to improve in all areas,” said Team USPA Program Director Kris Bowman in describing this year’s finalists. “Jesse, Lucas and Will are prime examples of the future of American polo. They are the true embodiment of the principles on which Jim Whisenand founded this prestigious award.”
Bray, a 4-goaler who is based in California, has won numerous tournaments around the country. Last summer at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, he captured top Best Playing Pony honors in the 12-goal Intra-Circuit Cup with Can-Can and the 12-goal Vic Graber with Antelope, where he also earned the MVP award. He also won the Spreckles Cup at the San Diego Polo Club and finished it off by being selected as winner of the prestigious Willis Allen award, which recognizes the top all-around player, sportsman and horseman under 25 years-old.
The 21-year-old Bray has been on winning teams since 2010, when he was a part of the Eldorado Polo Club team that won the USPA National Interscholastic Championship. Bray is also a four-time winner of the Western Regional Interscholastic Championships.
Join us as we kick off our second half of the 2013 Polo Season with Aloha Sunday. We are partnering with ilovemusubi.com for this island inspired Sunday. The Wild Thyme Catering Company and Chef Dawn Parks will be putting together a special menu consisting of Hawaiian specialty items like Loco Moco, Pineapple Pig with Coconut Rice and Ahi Poke. We’ll have fresh plumeria lei, shave ice and hip shaking island jams from Kieljhon of Ezzrah.
Pavilion tickets and General Admission tickets are still available online: sandiegopolo.ticketleap.com
Join us for a Saturday of casual polo, from 8-goal pro pool to the USPA National Youth Tournament Series. Clubhouse bar opens at 3pm.
Admission is FREE.
You are welcome to bring a picnic, but please no outside alcohol.
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
The place to be on Sunday afternoon was the San Diego Polo Club in Rancho Santa Fe. With perfect weather, gorgeous people, and majestic horses playing polo, there was no other way to spend the day. The San Diego Polo Club had their most successful day in 26 years with a record breaking attendance of 2,000.
Riviera Magazine sponsored the event, along with BMW of San Diego and Mini of San Diego. Riviera’s publisher, Jessica Cline, was our guest of honor and presented Hermes trophies to the winners, compliments of Neiman Marcus.
The San Diego Polo Club debuted their first fashion show, with dresses by Poppy, shoes by Shoes Me, accessories by Nomadic Fashion and shades from Raen Optics. Corals and blues are the color of summer. Fashionista, Michelle Guerin of the San Diego Union Tribune said it best in her recent article, this season offers a kaleidoscope of prints and pops of color.
The Feature Match between Jetsuite/Monteverde and Starmeadow/Adeptus was a riveting one. Both teams were neck and neck throughout all six chukkers with Mariano Gutierrez scoring the winning shot for Jetsuite/Monteverde.
Thank you to everyone who came out for a glorious, sun-filled day of Polo! Join us this Sunday for our Father’s Day celebration including antique biplanes, cars, and cigars.
Special thanks to Frank Tupas and Dominick Lemarie for photography!
On Saturday, we celebrated the beginning of our 2012 Polo Season. Although the weather was a bit chilly, the event was stellar. DJ Noel spun tunes while his sidekick pleased the crowd with the sound of the saxophone.
Wild Thyme Company made a great impression with a beautiful cheese plate, grilled seasonal vegetables and scrumptious tray passed appetizers, including a mini cheeseburger, english pea arancini and spiced ahi tuna.
Guests enjoyed the thrilling game of golf cart polo, champagne and polo friends.
Photos courtesy of Richard Nesdale and Jeffrey Trout.
Some of us kicked off the weekend stick and balling on Friday evening at Eldorado Polo Club with Kyle Fargey. The rest of us headed out on Saturday morning to participate in a group lesson with Erik Wright of Wrightway Polo.
To end the day, we celebrated at Empire Polo Club‘s Blue and White Argentine themed party. Guests were encouraged to dress in the country’s colors. Fire pits kept us warm as we watch the Argies cook up the traditional asado meal. We ran into San Diego players Miguel Guiterrez, Mariano Gutierrez, Rick and Robin Paicius, Graham Bray, Jesse Bray, Nourdean Anakar, Colleen Wilson, Ellen Greenhill, Kimo Huddleston and his family, Billy Ramos, the Brumby Family, and Erik Wright and his family. San Diego members danced the night away!
Sunday morning we met at Eldorado Polo Club and had a fantastic lesson with Kyle Fargey. We were split into teams and played a few coached chukkers.
We finished off the day with lunch and Sunday Polo!
Photos Courtesy of Jim Bremner, Amy Irving & Lacey Winterton.