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Mon 8th Mar 2021

C.V. Whitney Cup Final

Park Place prevail for $100,000 prize money

On 7 March The C.V. Whitney Cup Final was played at the International Polo Club, Palm Beach, ending the battle between nine teams for this illustrious 22 goal title which started back on 17 February. The tournament comes with the added kudos of being the first leg of the Gauntlet of Polo and with it a £100,000 prize.
Scone came into the Final undefeated with an unblemished four victory record through the qualifiers and so were the ones to watch on paper. But Park Place were not rolling over, evenly matching every Scone offence which made the result anybody’s guess for the duration of the game, as the scores were never more than a goal apart at any stage.
In a 10-goal master class it was Hilario Ulloa who led Park Place’s attack, scoring seven of his team’s 11 goals, with Adolfo Cambiaso smoothly notching up four goals for Scone, ably backed up by Peke Gonzalez playing strongly off his 6 goal handicap with a tally of four.
With goal matched for goal and neither side conceding a point without a battle, it was no surprise that the close-fought drama spilled over into an extra chukka.
Five minutes of overtime saw missed opportunities for Scone’s Poroto Cambiaso and then from Park Place’s Matt Coppola. Ultimately it was the might of Ulloa who prevailed, finding Jack Whitman on the boards who raced part David Paradice to slot the ball through the posts to secure a Park Place win 11-10.
For his efforts Jack Whitman was named as MVP, while Best Playing Pony went to Hilario Ulloa’s Lavina Heroica. 
The C.V. Whitney Cup Final Teams:
Park Place (22): Jack Whitman – substitute for Andrey Borodin (0), Matt Coppola (4), Juan Britos (8) & Hilario Ulloa (10)
Scone (22): David Paradice (0), Peke Gonzalez (6), Poroto Cambiaso (6) & Adolfo Cambiaso (10)

Photograph: During the entire game the teams were always within one goal of each other, leading to a thrilling extra chukka. By ©Alex Pacheco

Tue 2nd Mar 2021

C.V. Whitney Cup Continues

Semi Finals Set

Action from our American cousins continues at International Polo Club, Palm Beach with The C.V. Whitney Cup which began on 17 February. The 22 goal tournament forms the first leg of The Gauntlet of Polo and this year sees nine teams competing for their chance to win the title and with it the $125,000 prizemoney at 18 goal level. La Indiana secured the first spot in the Semi Finals, ranking first after two rounds by securing victory over Aspen Dutta-Corp. Scone defeated Aspen/Dutta Corp 12-9, but their place in the Semi Final was not guaranteed. 
Meanwhile on 27 February a duo of high goal matches saw Coca-Cola secure a 13-10 victory over Santa Clara. Park Place also emerged victorious against Cessna with a 10-6 clear margin
In the feature game of the week, Pilot and Tonkawa met in a rematch, where Tonkawa emerged victorious for a second time, defeating Pilot 10-9 in overtime. 
This meant that Coca-Cola, Park Place, Scone and Tonkawa had to face a penalty shootout on Monday 1 March to establish who will secure the remaining Semi Final spots. Coca-Cola, Park Place and Scone were the overall winners of the shootout and will now join La Indiana in the Semi Finals on Wednesday 3 March with Coca-Cola vs Park Place and Scone vs La Indiana, with the tournament concluding on Sunday 7 March. All of the matches are being live streamed via Global Polo here.
2021 C.V. Whitney Cup Semi Final Teams:
La Indiana (22): Michael Bickford (2), Nico Escobar (4), Jeff Hall (6) & Polito Pieres (10)
Scone (22): David Paradice (0), Peke Gonzalez (6), Poroto Cambiaso (6) & Adolfo Cambiaso (10)
Park Place (22): Andrey Borodin (0), Matt Coppola (4), Juan Britos (8) & Hilario Ulloa (10)
Coca-Cola (21½): Gillian Johnston (1½), Mackenzie Weisz (3), Julian de Lusarreta (8) & Nico Pieres (9) 
Photograph: Peke Gonzales scored four goals for Scone to secure their Semi Final slot. By ©Alex Pacheco

Mon 1st Mar 2021

Postponed 2020 U.S Open Women’s Championship Played

Nina Clarkin flies in from New Zealand to clinch the title

Back in March 2020 hopes were high for Hawaii Polo Life for a second victory in the U.S. Women’s Open, but Covid-19 had other ideas and the tournament was postponed. On 27 February the action was back on at The International Polo Club Palm Beach as the eleven month wait was over as the tournament reached it conclusion.
Last year the tournament was played up to Semi Final places, with Rocking (featuring Milly Hine and Hazel Jackson for us Brits) set to play Hawaii Polo Life and Cowdray women’s polo stalwart Lia Pearson’s Cowdray Vikings due to play BTA/The Villages. But due to logistics with the postponement and the need to get the Final played Rocking and Cowdray Vikings offered a forfeit. So action for the title fast-forwarded to the Final with BTA/ The Villages returning with exactly the same all American line-up, whilst Hawaii Polo Life swapped out Anja Jacobs for Dolores Onetto.
Hawaii Polo Life looked strong from the outset, branding their dominance on the action with three consecutive goals in the first chukka from Nina Clarkin. Despite fouls aplenty in the second chukka it was Nina Clarkin and Hawaii Polo Life who capitalised on the penalties, finding the posts twice from the Penalty 2 line. With a 5-1 tally in their favour at half time Hawaii Polo Life had certainly done what they had set out to do as Helen Flanagan explained, “We knew that they [BTA/The Villages] were going to come in really hard, so our plan was to play as hard as we could and get as many goals on the board in the first half.”
Valiant efforts from BTA/The Villages did not really gain momentum until the final chukka when they clawed back four goals with nothing in reply from their opponents. But, sadly, as so often is the case, it was too little too late and Clarkin’s dominance in the previous three chukkas meant Hawaii Polo Life clinched the victory 6-4 and so the retention of the title they won back in 2019.
It was an impressive display of strength from Nina Clarkin, despite only flying in from New Zealand the day before she notched up all of her team’s six goals herself, “I arrived yesterday, stick and balled and then came to play today, so it wasn’t ideal, but I was given amazing ponies and when you play horses of that quality it’s very easy to just get on.” The team had not had time to practice and it was Onetto’s first time playing at such a high level, which made the victory all the more remarkable.
Dolfina María, ridden by Mia Cambiaso in the first chukka was awarded the Best Playing Pony honours. Despite being on the losing side, BTA/The Villages’ Tiffany Busch was named Most Valuable Player.
Eyes will now turn to the 2021 tournament, which is due to start on 10 March, with the Final scheduled for 20 March.
2020 U.S. Women’s Open Final Teams:
American BTA/The Villages (22): Kylie Sheehan (5), Paige Boone (5), KC Krueger (6) & Tiffany Busch (6) 
Hawaii Polo Life (22): Pamela Flanagan (4), Mia Cambiaso (8), Nina Clarkin (10) & Dolores Onetto (0)
Photograph: Hawaii Polo, winners of the postponed 2020 U.S Open. By ©David Lominska

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