Polo Players Edition

JAN 2019

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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P O L O R E P O R T 50 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N line-up (Julio Gracida, Whistle Uys, Mariano Gracida, Pablo Pulido) eked out a 10-8 victory over Audi (Santos Bollini, Justin Daniels, Brandon Phillips, Pablo Dorignac). Pablo Pulido was MVP and his 10- year-old grey mare, Alexa, was Best Playing Pony. Sebucan saw balanced scoring with Pulido scoring four goals, Mariano Gracida three, Whistle Uys two and Julio Gracida one. Audi started out with a two-goal handicap and was led by three goals off the mallet of Santos Bollini. Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Pablo Dorignac, Whistle Uys, Julio Gracida) kept up its momentum into the Fall Plates tournament, defeating Audi (Tony Calle, Marc Ganzi, Brandon Phillips, Carlitos Gracida), 14-10. Audi, a 13-goal team, started off with a 2-0 lead and built a 3-2 advantage after the opening chukker. Sebucan found its momentum, outscoring Audi, 4-1, to take a 6-4 lead after two chukkers. Audi took advantage of Sebucan fouls in the third chukker, converting three penalty shots to go into halftime tied, 7-7. The halftime deadlock was the closest Audi would get. Sebucan, playing four-man team polo controlled the last three chukker, outscoring Audi, 4-2, for an 11-9 lead, 1-0 to lead 12-9 and 2-1 for the final 14-10 score. Julio Gracida, 30, one of the most dominant players on the field, was named MVP. His 12-year-old mare Fantastic Roo was Best Playing Pony. On Nov. 11, Whitehall Ranch (Bill Lane, Sugar Erskine, Whistle Uys, Pablo Dorignac) knocked off Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Mariano Gracida, Julio Gracida, Tito Gaudenzi) to win the Polo Gear Challenge, but it wasn't easy. The lead changed hands nine times. Sebucan started off with a 3-0 lead on handicap, but was shut out by Whitehall Ranch, 1-0 and 2-0, in the first two chukkers to begin the third chukker tied at 3-3. Whitehall Ranch outscored Sebucan, 3-1, with goals from Dorignac, Lane and Uys for a 6-4 halftime lead. Sebucan came out hot in the fourth chukker, dominating the throw-ins to outscore Whitehall Ranch, 3-1, to end the chukker tied at 7-7. Julio Gracida scored off the throw-in to open the fifth chukker and scored again on a 100- yarder in the air to put sebucan up 9-7 with 3:07 left in the chukker. After the teams exchanged goals, Sebucan led 10-8 with 4:45 left in the sixth chukker before costly penalties enabled Whitehall Ranch to rally with three clutch penalty conversions. With 12 seconds left in regulation time, Erskine converted a 60-yard penalty to clinch the win and end Sebucan's hopes of winning its forth consecutive tournament of the season. Dorignac, who scored a game-high five goals, was selected MVP. Daphne, a bay mare played by Lane and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was Best Playing Pony. The Pedro Morrison Memorial on Nov. 18 capped off the medium-goal season. Aspen Valley (Morgan Van Overbroek, James Rogerson, Mariano Gracida, Carlitos Gracida) defeated St. Moritz (Reto Gaudenzi/Daniel Crasemann, Tony Calle, Jeff Hall, Marc Ganzi), 3-1 in the final of a round-robin match. In the other rounds, St. Moritz defeated American Polo Horse (Sebastien Le Page, Santos Bollini, Pablo Dorignac, Tito Gracida), 4-1, and Aspen Valley defeated American Polo Horse, 4-2. Carlitos Gracida, who scored four goals, was named MVP. Tuesday, a 5- year-old dark bay mare, was selected APHA Best Playing Pony. Played by Dorignac, she is owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm. In other action, St. Moritz (Morgan Van Overbroek, Pablo Dorignac, Mariano Gracida, Reto Gaudenzi) won the four-chukker Reto's Birthday Cup, honoring Reto Gaudenzi, one of the sport's greatest visionaries. They beat Aspen Valley (Sebastian Le Page, James Rogerson, Juan Bollini, Tito Gaudenzi) Van Overbroek was MVP. —Sharon Robb Gwen Rizzo presented Fall Plates trophies to Sebucan's Pablo Pulido, Pablo Dorignac, Whistle Uys and MVP Julio Gracida. GREGORY S. RATNER Whitehall Ranch's Bill Lane, Sugar Erskine, Whistle Uys and Pablo Dorignac won the Polo Gear Challenge Cup.

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