Polo Players Edition

OCT 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 31 Klentner Ranch (Justin Klentner, Jesse Bray, Remy Muller, Mariano Obregon) couldn't escape the memory of last year's Santa Barbara season when the team cruised to two of three victories before losing last year's Pacific Coast Open final in a heart- wrenching double overtime match to Danny Walker's Farmers & Merchants Bank. While it was disappointing, Klentner got some satisfaction hearing some refer to it as the best final in years. "We, as an organization, have quickly climbed the ranks so we are pretty new to the PCO. We're a local team but we've been playing 12-goal polo so we made the jump about four years ago to play the 16-goal every year. We were happy to be there," he said. "Danny [Walker] had been trying to win for 40 years. We felt really fortunate that basically in Year 3 we were there. Obviously, its heartbreaking to lose in double overtime. Klentner said he has won just about every tournament at Santa Barbara except the PCO. After some reflection, and some sage advice from competitor Paco de Narvaez, Klentner said the team decided to tighten the focus to the PCO for this season. "It's not that the other tournaments aren't important, because they are and everyone wants to win whatever they can, but the primary goal is the PCO," he said. "It's very hard to win them all. It's a long two months and the horses get tired. Last year, we were in three of the four finals so our horses played that many more games." This year, Klentner reinforced his string with six more horses and Bray added two more to his string. Obregon and Muller, new to the team this season, both came well mounted. "Coming into the tournament this year we just wanted to make sure we weren't snakebit," Klentner said. "We were a little bit more selective and everybody played 10-12 horses the whole season and when we got to the PCO, we each cut our list down to our top eight." The team failed to reach the final in the first two events, the Skene and America Cup, losing the semifinals of both to Lucchese (Toly Ulloa, Facundo Obregon, Jeff Hall, John Muse). Klentner said he was a little concerned at that point but they were in both of the semifinals and almost all of their losses were by just a goal, so the team knew it was right there. "We just wanted to stay the course with the horses so we didn't just burn ourselves out," he explained. Lucchese took the Skene and Restoration Hardware won the America Cup, so both were trying to keep their momentum rolling. RH edged Farmers Jesse Bray takes a deep neckshot in the final of the Pacific Coast Open. Photo by David Lominska/Polographics

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