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.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/1029347

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Page 40 of 67

POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 39 Jr. (Prestonwood Polo Club), Will Walton (Dallas Polo Club), and was coached by Team USPA veteran Mason Wroe. Both semifinal matches were extremely exciting. After trailing 4-0, Western Region made a comeback against Florida in the second half to win 6-4. In the other match, Central Region maintained its early lead over Eastern to claim the second final spot, 6-4½. The final of the Cecil Smith Cup was set for Sunday, Sept. 2, with the Western Region facing off against the Central Region. Central was trailing the aggressive Western Region team, last year's runner-up, moving into the fourth and final chukker. Wroe gathered his players and reminded them to play four-man polo. "When it got tough, they relied on each other," Wroe said. "It's really special to see them keep their composure and pull together as a team." With time winding down, Price converted a Penalty 4 and Miller scored one from the field. Central ultimately pulled off a narrow 6-5½ victory to capture the Cecil Smith Cup. "Our strategy was to simplify our polo more than we did in the semifinal so instead of turning, we just hit a hard, straight backshot. It really helped because we made some breakaways and definitely got the ball moving, which was key," Grayson Price told representatives of the USPA. In the consolation match, the Eastern Region outscored the Florida Region, 5-3½. At the awards ceremony, Matt Cohen's family, who came out to watch the tournament for the weekend, presented the Matt Cohen MVP award to Vaughan Miller. Cohen, a young polo player who participated in several NYTS qualifiers, died in 2015 from diabetes. He was 15. The Sportsmanship Award was given to Brennan Wells and the Horsemanship Award was presented to Malia Bryan. Finally, Petata, a mare owned by Luis Saracco and played by Bayne Bossom, won Best Playing Pony for her fantastic performances both days. Designed with player development in mind, the National Youth Tournament Series was created in 2013 and is the first national outdoor tournament series for youth competitors. This year's championship was a huge success and the culmination of the incredible effort that clubs put into providing opportunities for young players to compete with and against their peers throughout the year. Many thanks to the Polo Development, LLC for bringing this special event into existence with the help of many volunteers and USPA clubs all over the country. It would not have been possible without the generosity of so many families, players and organizations. Thank you to the Columbine Polo Club, the Jornayvaz Family and the Valiente organization for hosting this special event with the utmost hospitality. A special thanks goes out to Chrys Beal and the entire USPA NYTS Committee for its hard work and vision, as well as Charles and Marcia Smith for donating the perpetual Cecil Smith Cup. Thank you to the USPA Umpires, LLC, the NYTS awards sponsors U.S. Polo Assn. and Texas Polo, and to all of the coaches for their fantastic leadership in this year's event. The tournament would not have been possible without the horse providers including BTA Polo, Luis Saracco and George Dill, as well as the players who brought their own horses. Many thanks to Erica Gandomcar-Sachs, Circuit Governor of the Rocky Mountain Circuit, the Denver Polo Club and all of the parents of the 2018 NYTS Championships. Everyone's hard work and generosity made both the Women's Challenge and the NYTS Championship a huge success and will no doubt make the future of the sport great for years to come. Central's Cipriano Echezarreta, Grayson Price, MVP Vaughn Miller Jr. and Will Walton won the NYTS Championship. Coach Jim Wright with Black's Lila Bennett, Cory Williams, Jenna Tarshis and Olivia Uechtritz after they won the Girls' All-Star Challenge.

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