Polo Players Edition

DEC 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 With both teams willing to lay it all on the line, players arrived to the field slightly overzealous, leading to fouls early in the first chukker. Rocking P's Hazel Jackson quickly capitalized on a Midland error, converting the ensuing penalty, followed closely by a field goal from teammate Lottie Lamacraft for an early lead. Midland Polo Club's efforts to score fell short, resulting in a shutout first chukker. "We played the same team before and [didn't want] to come in underestimating them," said Jackson. "We saw them play against Nina [Clarkin] the other day and they were phenomenal. We watched back their games, and came in super prepared." Midland Polo Club managed one goal in the remainder of the first half off the mallet of Tiamo Hudspeth, but an unstoppable Jackson continued to shoot on goal, Rocking P leading the charge at halftime 4-1. Playing in the first half and splitting a man with her sister Courtney, 15-year-old Bridget Price, last year's Handicap champion, remarked on her first Open experience. "It was definitely faster and so exciting to play. There was more man-to-man contact and it's more open," she explained. Plays and strategies were discussed during the divot stomp and, hungry for a comeback, Midland Polo Club reorganized its team under the direction of coach Corky Linfoot. Izzy Parsons worked hard to create goal shot opportunities for her team, but Midland Polo Club struggled to hold back Rocking P's Jackson, as she hammered in three consecutive shots. "We were playing some really clean, classic polo, going in pairs. That was really our game plan going in at the beginning, play a lot of defense so we could open up the field and let Hazel play her game," said Courtney Price. The gap widened though Midland Polo Club put up a solid fight until the bitter end. It was unable to overtake the seasoned Rocking P team. Hudspeth managed one more goal for her team, a neckshot off grey mare Pringa before the final horn sounded, signaling Rocking P's 10-2 victory. Rocking P's Tiva Gross was happy with her first year of Women's Open competition. "It's a huge honor. I've been trying to come here for many years and to finally get a chance, and win, is an added bonus," she said after the game. "I had a great team, they made it an absolute pleasure, it was so fun. Some great opposition too, I don't think the score really reflected how well they played." Hazel Jackson was awarded Most Valuable Player, contributing seven of her team's 10 goals on the day. "I love the team I chose," exclaimed Jackson. "Karl [Price] gave me the mission of finding our team and I am so pleased I chose these girls. They are massive team players, they always take one for each other and we've had a super fun week as well." Her third chukker chestnut mare, Maxima, owned by Marcos Villanueva, was presented with the Professional Best Playing Pony blanket. Amateur Best Playing Pony honors were presented to Emma, owned by the Price family and ridden by Courtney Price in the fourth chukker. "She was a little machine today," said Price. "She was giving it her all—we were flying." The tournament got under way on Nov. 6 with BTA, armed with the formidable English 10-goaler Nina Clarkin, challenging the women of San Saba. Firing hard on its opponents' goal posts, BTA maintained the lead throughout four chukkers to claim the first win of the day, 7-4. In the next match, Rocking P met Midland Polo Club. Rocking P was eager to start off solid with its newest team member, Kenyan 6-goaler Tiva Gross. Three unanswered Rocking P goals in the first chukker set the tone for the remainder of the game, Midland Polo Club adding only one to the scoreboard off the mallet of Molly Smith. Rocking P players combined for an additional three goals to finish the day strong, 6-1. The next day, Rocking P faced off against rival San Saba, eager for redemption after suffering a disappointing overtime loss in Rocking P's Bridget Price, Courtney Price, Tiva Gross, Lara Lamacraft and Hazel Jackson are congratulated by Paul Jornayvaz, far left, David Yurman's Nene Soumare and Land Rover Houston Central's Jason Lacher, center, and Steven Armour, far right.

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