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Worth Bragging About
It’s not that we don’t adore EACH AND EVERY Polo game, but today’s NetJets vs. Newport was special.
It was the USPA North American Cup Subsidiary game.
Santa Rita had already won the tournament in a match prior to the Subsidiary, beating Casablanca in a nice, calm, square competition which let us fans enjoy a spectacle that was easy on the eyes and soul. Beautifully played. Nice notch in Santa Rita’s belt, and it brought forth a very pretty smile from Melissa Ganzi, who scored what seemed like goal after goal.
Santa Rita came out as winner of the USPA North America Cup
But then right after, the Subsidiary put the icing on the cake.
A “not-a-dull-moment-in-the-game” special feature. Fast but not furious, because that would have a negative connoitation. No, these two teams had a positive spirit about them, and it was as if two tango dancers in love were showing off their moves.
Newport forging their way past NetJets to gain control of the ball
Like the planets were aligned just right.
What I mean is, you had two solid teams here. I will not go into game specifics per se, because this blog is about the fan experience. There are far more knowledgeable people and better writers out there to give you a technical recap of the match.
Sharon Robb is one of them, and she is accurate as well as detailed. I recommend subscribing to her blog/newsletter on Grand Champions Polo Club’s website here: https://www.gcpolo.com/
Agustin Obregon (front) and Gene Goldstein
Troy and I are polo fans, and everything you see here, is from a fan’s perspective, not a professional’s. It will stay that way – we have no intention to become Polo players or Umpires or Grooms or professional Photographers or anybody else. We’re too old (haha) and we like who we are. We do however want to keep learning every possible aspect of the game, and we learn so much every day. There are incredible people out there who share their vast knowledge: Thank You Chris Vining (Rest peacefully in Polo Heaven) for the history, Jeff Heatley for your experience and passion, Dale Schwetz for your insights, Steven Lane for your expertise, Sandy Pallot Klein for your guidance, and all the wonderful Polo friends we have made over the years for their love.
How does this affect you?
For one, I hope to be better informed and make these posts more interesting.
Most of all, though, I want to give you the feeling, that you can enjoy this sport as much as Troy and I do. Over time, I will be writing about how we got “hooked”, how we had our humble first fan experiences, and how confusing all the information seemed to us. When in fact, it’s really easy to enjoy Polo in Wellington.
Polo Hall of Famer Tommy Biddle on a mission
So here’s what I saw:
Newport forging ahead with a very capable Gene Goldstein, whose contributions to this game were spot-on. Being there exactly at the right time when needed, Gene delighted us with calm but accurate presence.
Agustin Obregon is a long-time fixture in Wellington games, and he knows how to get the job done. Nicely. It was no different today, except all worked together on a master plan.
A steady Kris Kampsen knows what it means to be a team player, and had been exactly that for a long time. Good to know that you can trust your team mates, so they all are at ease with each other.
Then you had Pablo Spinacci, who you can always rely on as a strong asset to the game. Pablo won the MVP award, and his horse’s MVPony award was going along nicely with that. Pablo is never flashy, but he is an excellent player who gives you a good game to watch.
On team NetJets, Larry Austin and his crew brought home the 11-10 win in overtime. Really, both teams should have won, but NetJets was lucky enought to have the edge and finally take the goal that made the difference.
I don’t know too much about Jesse Bray, and haven’t seen him often. Oh – this man can play!
Crowd favorite (at least as far as I’m concerned, lol!) Sugar Erskine was stellar, as he always is.
Tommy Biddle. Aah… Tommy Biddle. Hard working and strong, but with the focused strategy of a chess player. In the Karate world, he would be a dragon.
If you put the same teams, the same players into another game some other day, the outcome would be vastly different. The game would be different. Simply because it was so perfect.
They were equally strong, equally good on both sides. A treat for those who watched them play.
Dropping the ball in Polo is a good thing…
And all I can do, is write from a fan’s perspective: what I saw, what I felt, how my fellow Polo enthusiasts were cheering and discussing a strike or a pass.
Even though I’m constantly learning more about the game, the rules, the moves and techniques, I am still just a layperson. Always will be, and that’s ok.
In the meantime, Thank You Gentlemen for a Polo Symphony well played!
All are winners in my book!
Can you enjoy Polo games in Wellington, even if you don’t live nearby? Absolutely! Just go to ChukkerTV.com to watch live. We recommend it!
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