Willis Allen Memorial Cup Finals

The Willis Allen Memorial Cup Final this past weekend, Sunday August 26, was a heart-felt and reverential way to honor the club’s “Founding Father,” Willis Allen.  The San Diego Polo Club also hosted special guests from Ivy Leagues across the nation in an Alumni appreciation day.  Schools in attendance included Harvard, MIT, Georgetown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Cornell, Princeton, Oxford, Yale, and Cambridge.

The club’s luxury car sponsor, Land Rover of San Diego, was also present Sunday and was featured in the Polo Pavilion showcasing four of their most coveted models including the timeless Range Rover, Land Rover LR4, Range Rover Sport, and the new 2012 Evoque.  During the divot stomp, polo enthusiasts were treated to first class service while being served Korbel’s Sweet Cuvee champagne from the tailgate of the 2012 full Range Rover.

At intermission, SDPC was elated to have Rebecca Ridgon and her boyfriend David Blake who performed an enthralling and captivating dressage demonstration.  The United States Dressage Federation has recognized Ridgon’s excellence as a rider on numerous occasions making her the USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist recipient.  In addition, Ridgon trains and campaigns her horses for the Grand Prix.  Blake has also been recognized by the USDF receiving the bronze, silver, and gold medals on a horse he trained himself.  Ridgon and Blake had the entire polo venue spellbound with their astounding horsemanship and meticulous performance that sent shivers down the spines of onlookers.

Musical talents this past Sunday included the Bill Magee Blues Band and national anthem singer Briana Robell.  Robell is the 2012 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of San Diego as well as the inductee into the national Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.

Starting off the day were the teams of San Fernando and West Coast Aero Space who took to the field for the three-goal match.  Scoring the first goal of the day was the San Diego Polo School’s very own Amir Mojaver.  By the end of the first chukker, San Fernando had the lead, 4:2.

In the second chukker, Kimo Huddleston proved himself to be the MVP of team West Coast Aero Space as he scored three consecutive goals.  In fact, Huddleston was responsible for all five goals for team West Coast Aero Space wrapping up the second chukker at San Fernando 6, West Coast Aero Space 5.

The third chukker was a gripping one as both teams fought to prevent the other from scoring.  In an impressive demonstration of teamwork and athleticism, San Fernando and West Coast Aero Space proved they were forces to be reckoned with.  In the end, team San Fernando persevered scoring one goal by Roberto Estudillo.

The fourth chukker began with a goal by Kimo Huddleston of West Coast followed by a goal by Diego Velarde of team San Fernando.  While Huddleston scored all seven of the goals for his team it was ultimately San Fernando that took the win-8: 7.  Enraptured by their win, team San Fernando tipped their helmets to the audience and road by the VIP tent in a victory lap, elating the crowd.

We had a surprise guest this weekend, Mr. Memo Gracida, one of the best polo players of our time, graced the fields on Sunday at the San Diego Polo Club.  Gracida has won 16 U.S. Opens, more than any other player in history.  He held a 10-goal handicap for 21 years, has won every important tournament, and is the Polo Hall of Fame.  It was quite an honor to have Memo Gracida throw in the first ball of the Willis Allen Memorial Finals.

The second match of the day featured the 10-goal teams of Trinity and Twin Palms/Starmeadow.  Chris Maloney, of team Twin Palms/Starmeadow, scored the first goal.  Maloney’s goal was quickly answered by team Trinity who went on to score three consecutive goals with the help of Rick Paicius and Tim Rudy.  In the second chukker, both teams scored three goals apiece making the score Trinity 6, Starmeadow 4.

While the score remained neck-in-neck throughout the third chukker, Twin Palms/Starmeadow took advantage of the fourth chukker to pull themselves into the lead.  Demonstrating excellent defense tactics, Twin Palms prevented Trinity from scoring the entire fourth chukker while scoring three goals for themselves.  At the end of the fourth chukker, Trinity had eight points while Twin Palms had 10.

The sixth chukker proved to be the most riveting of the day leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats.  Arthur Cameron and Mariano Gutierrez of team Trinity scored two goals for their team pulling Trinity in the lead 12:11.  With 28 seconds remaining in the match, Gaston VonWernich scored a goal for Twin Palms/Starmeadow tying up the score at 12 points.  Adding to the excitement, a foul was called on VonWernich’s play and neither umpire (Mike Kerley or Kimo Huddleston) could come to an agreement.   The dispute between umpires led them to usher in the “third man” for a verdict.   In the end, VonWernich’s goal was taken away from team Twin Palms giving team Trinity the win in an engrossing match of polo- Trinity: 12, Twin Palms: 11.

Join us this Sunday, September 2, for our annual White Party! SDPC will also feature season sponsor, Hoehn Jaguar complete with an all white fleet of luxury vehicles.  Also, look forward to our elegant fashion show that will both emphasize and encompass this season’s new trends and inspirations.

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.