| What excitement as the United States Polo Association® (USPA) and Greenwich Polo Club hosted the USPA Monty Waterbury 2019! Two beautiful summer Sundays in Greenwich, Connecticut watching action-packed, fast paced polo, drinking creative cocktails and eating lobster, what could be better than that?
Monty Waterbury - Let the Good Time Ride
Sunday, June 23, 2019
We attended the first public match of the Monty Waterbury Cup on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at the Greenwich Polo Club located in breathtaking backcountry Greenwich. The gates opened at 1:00 pm with game time at 3:00 pm, and we arrived early to see The Brant Foundation Art Study Center's collection of contemporary works by the Swiss artist and sculptor Urs Fischer's (born in 1973) solo exhibition entitled, ERROR, whose pieces were designed to push the envelope of creative thinking and make us look beyond preconceived notions.
Our next stop was a visit to the Branca Bar where we sampled Fernet-Branca neat as well as in refreshing cocktails, the Branca Buck made with Fernet-Branca, Ginger Beer, and Lime, and the Carpano Bianco Grapefruit Spritz made with Carpano Bianco, grapefruit soda, and lime, to get in the spirit of the game, as Fernet-Branca has long been a favorite of polo players.
We continued to the new Players' Lounge VIP, where we would watch the match, and the Veuve Clicquot flowed effortlessly and guests also indulged in creative cocktails by The Cup Bearer including vodka-based Persian Lemonade, gin-based Polo Thyme, tequila and mezcal-based Chukker, and bourbon-based Palermo. We opted for the Palermo, which was made with bourbon, Brancamenta, lemon, raw sugar, with a mint garnish served icy cold in Sertodo Copper. Delicious!
We mixed and mingled with old and new friends pre-match and had the pleasure of interacting with the Modern Mentalist Kevin Nicholas who kept us enthralled with his talent and his mind-boggling skill.
Debra C. Argen and Mondern Mentalist Kevin Nicholas
The Team Rosters for Sunday, June 23, 2019
Altaris v Reelay
Wearing white and burgundy, Altaris, a 16-goal team, consisted of Felipe Cho (A) in position 1, Marcos Garcia del Rio, ranked at 5 in position 2, Nic Roldan ranked at 8, the highest ranked American polo player, playing in position 3, and Nick Manifold with a 3-goal rank, in the number 4 position.
Action packed polo
Wearing gray and playing for Reelay, a 15-goal team, consisted of Will Tomita (A) in position 1, Mariano Gonzalez ranked at 7, in position 2, Matias Magrini ranked at 7 in position 3 and Nicolas Dias Alberdi ranked at 1, in position 4.
The match opened with a handicap of 1 goal for team Reelay. Nicolas Dias Alberdi scored the first goal for team Reelay bringing the score 2 to 0 over Altaris. Quick action by Marcos Garcia del Rio scored for Altaris, followed by another goal for Altaris by Nic Roldan, closing out the first chukker Reelay 3, Altaris 2.
The non-stop excitement continued in chukker 2, when Matias Magrini scored for team Reelay, followed by a goal for Altaris by Nic Roldan, closing out chukker 2, Reelay 4, Altaris 3.Chukker 3, another goal by Matias Magrini brought the score Reelay 5, Altaris 3, followed by an incredible play by Nic Roldan from 80 yards out bringing the score to 5 - 4 for Altaris. A 60-yard penalty in favor of team Reelay allowed Mariano Gonzalez to take the penalty shot and score, closing out the first half with a score of 6 - 4.
Half-time brought the enthusiastic fans out on the field for a parade of summer fashions as adults, children, and even a few dogs participated in the fun of the traditional stomping of the divots, replacing the grass removed by the horses' galloping hooves.
Nic Roldan scored along the ground, his fourth goal this game, in chukker 4, with Altaris now leading the way 7 over Reelay 6. A free hit for Reelay by Magrini tied up the 4th chukker 7 - 7. More action in chukker 5 as Nick Manifold scored for Altaris, followed by a 2 minute penalty for him. Reelay got a freeshot from 30 yards, Gonzalez hit it wide, the goal was good, new score had Altaris 9 over Reelay 8. Another goal by Reelay and it was down to the wire in chukker 5 closing with a tied score of 9-all.
Chukker 6 brought more action by Nic Roldan, giving Altaris a 2-goal lead over Reelay. Reelay had 1 hit from 30 yards in an undefended goal, with Mariano Gonzalez scoring and leading with 11 - 10 with 2 minutes 35 remaining on the board. Felipe Cho scored with 30 seconds left to tie the score 11 - 11, resulting in an overtime 7th chukker with Reelay scoring the first goal, winning the match Reelay 12 -Altaris 11.
Trophies and gifts were presented to the winning team, Reelay, as well as to the runners-up, Altaris. Best Pony went to Nic Roldan's horse. After the Awards ceremony there was authentic, traditional Argentine Carne Assado, Veuve Clicquot, and music to close out a fantastic Sunday of polo in Greenwich, and the first public game of the Monty Waterbury Cup.
Bring on the Hardware
Altaris- 16 Goal Team
Philipe Cho(A), position 1
Marcos Garciadel Rio, (5), position 2
|Nic Roldan, (8),position 3
Nick Manifold,(3), position 4
Debra C. Argen and Matias Magrini
Reelay -15 Goal Team
Will Tomita(A), position 1
Mariano Gonzalez, (7), position 2
Matias Magrini, (7), position 3
Nicolas Dias Alberdi, (1) position 4
Sunday, June30, 2019
Once again, we arrived early when the gates opened at 1:00 pm, and thankfully we had, as we were comfortably inside the Players' Lounge VIP where DJ Felicitas Ruiz created a party atmosphere before a sudden storm with high winds and torrential rain hit. No worries, fans huddled indoors or inside the Players' Lounge VIP and indulged in Mount Gay Rum and Plantation Rum sponsored by Barbados Tourism while riding out the storm.
Jamaal Bowen, Mixologist, and Edward F. Nesta
The rain delay provided the perfect opportunity to speak with two of The Island House polo players, Toro Ruiz Jorba from Argentina and Peter Holowesko from the Bahamas, who were slated to play team Reelay for a 6:00 pm game.
Interesting to note is that Toro, age 20, started to play polo at the age of 6. He is ranked a 7, and is the nephew of Matias Magrini (ranked 7). Matias' sons, Kristos Magrini and Santino Magrino (he also plays for The Island House), also play polo. Peter is a "newcomer" to the game, having started playing polo only 6years ago. Their favorite place to play polo? For Toro, it is Argentina. For Peter, it is Greenwich, CT.
Toro Ruiz Jorba, Felicitas, Peter Holowesko
The rain and windstorm pushed the 3:00 pm game for Postage Stamp Farm versus Mt. Brilliant to 3:30 pm, when the rain finally stopped, the sun came out again, and the game was able to proceed.
Note: Due to the rainy week, many of the non-public matches had to be postponed, so although June 30th would have been the conclusion of the Monty Waterbury Cup, more games need to be played to complete the series.
Debra C. Argen striking the "Polo Pose"
The Team Rosters for Sunday, June 30, 2019
Postage Stamp Farm v Mt. Brilliant
Both teams were 16-goal teams and were well matched. Wearing red and playing for Postage Stamp Farm, Annabelle Gundlach (not ranked yet), playing in position 1, Brandon Phillips (ranked at 4), playing in position 2, Martin Gandara (ranked at 4), playing in position 3, and Tomas Garcia del Rio (ranked at 8), playing in position 4.
Wearing white and playing for Mt. Brilliant, Bo Goodman, (ranked at 1), position 1, Augustin Arellano, (ranked at 3), position 2, Michel Dorignac, (ranked at 6), position 3, and Julian Daniels, (ranked at 6), position 4.
Brandon Philips lead the charge for chukker 1 with Tomas Garcia del Rio rushing in to score the first goal for PSF. A penalty resulted in a goal for Mt. B. bringing the score to a tie, 1 to 1. PSF scored again closing out the first chukker PSF 2 to Mt. B1.
Annabelle Gundlach scored a quick goal in chukker 2, followed by more heavy action by both teams, ending the chukker with a score of PSF 7 to Mt. B 3. Minutes into chukker 3 Julian Daniels (Mt. B) took an injury with 5:52 on the score board. After being checked by the doctor he returned to the field to play the rest of the chukker.
Chukker 4 was a blur of activity with Mt. B scoring a quick goal, then 2 more goals by PSF ending the chukker PSF 9 to Mt. B 5. In chukker 6, PSF scored twice, MT. B scored once, ending the chukker with PSF leading 11 to 7, with Postage Stamp Farm winning the match.
An awards ceremony followed the match, with trophies and gifts to the winning team, Postage Stamp Farm, and to the runners-up, Mt. Brilliant. Brandon Phillips was the MVP.
Postage Stamp Team
After the ceremony, we had the pleasure of meeting Annabelle Gundlach and her 4-month old miniature Schnauzer Charlie, as well as Augustin Arellano and his dog, and the legendary Mariano Aguerre (ranked 10-goal handicap, the highest rank in polo, with only a few achieving that level).
Annabelle Gundlach and Charlie
Despite the early rainy start, the day turned out to be a beautiful Sunday in Greenwich, Connecticut watching another day of fantastic polo. After the match, there was music by a Bajan band sponsored by Barbados Tourism, along with authentic, traditional Argentine assado, and of course, more Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Postage Stamp Farm - 16 Goal Team
Annabelle Gundlach,(0), position 1
Brandon Phillips,(4), position 2
Martin Gandara, (4), position 3
Tomas Garciadel Rio, (8), position 4
Maguerre and Edward F. Nesta
Mt. Brilliant - 16 Goal Team
Bo Goodman,(1), position 1
Augustin Arellano,(3), position 2
Michel Dorignac, (6), position 3
Julian Daniels, (6), position 4
Editor's note: The final match for the Monty Waterbury Cup was played on July 5th, 2019 between The Island House and Reelay with The Island House coming out victorious at 12 to 10 over Reelay, and with Toro Ruiz Jorba scoring 5 of The Island House's 12 goals.
Information About the USPA Monty Waterbury Tournament
"The Monty Waterbury is the third oldest official USPA trophy in active competition, named in honor of 10-goal polo immortal James "Monty" Waterbury. Monty was a member of The Wanderers polo team, which won polo's first US Open Polo Championship in 1904. In 1922, two years after his passing, his friends and teammates played for the first Monty Waterbury Cup, at the Meadow Brook Club in Westbury, Long Island, where it became a perpetual challenge trophy for a 28-year stretch. Historically, the U.S. Open Polo Championship was also the semifinal game for the Monty Waterbury. The inaugural games in 1922 boasted crowds of up to 20,000 people, who witnessed monumental eight chukker long battles. Previously hosted in 2003, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, this year will be the sixth time the tournament has been hosted at Greenwich Polo Club."
The True Champion of Polo
A little background on the game of polo:
Polo, called the "sport of kings," is a daring, high action, intense sport that takes place on horseback, although it has also been played on camel, elephant, and bicycle, with its beginning around 600 BC. By the year 800, polo had swept Asia, and by 1850 British officers added polo to their sports repertoire.
In 1873 the first club in Europe was established with fixed rules, and in 1876 the first polomatch was played in the United States in New York City. In 1890, the United States Polo Association® (USPA) was founded, which "is the national governing body for the sport of polo in North America and is the second oldest sport governing body in the United States preceded only by the United States Tennis Association."
Played on a 300x160 yard field, (the equivalent of 10 football fields), a polo match consists of two teams riding on horseback at speeds of up to 35 mph charging the field with bamboo mallets held in their right hand attempting to hit a plastic ball through the end goal. Players may swap out their polo "ponies" any timeduring or between chukkers.
Polo consists of 6 periods called "chukkers" that last 7.5 minutes each. If a tie results at the end of the 6th chukker, the match goes into overtime with the clock set for another 7.5 minutes with the first team to score winning the match.
Each team has 4 players who are ranked by their skill level (goal level), (usually 2 - 10 goals), with the higher the number the better the player. Most players are ranked at 2 goals or less, and only a small group of worldwide players reach the rank of 10 goals.
Each player on the team wears a number from 1 - 4 that designates their position. Player 1 is the attacking offensive, player 2 also plays offensive and assists player 1 in the attack, player 3, usually the most experienced player on the team, has the job of passing and hitting the ball down the field, while player 4 plays defense and defends the goal and passes the ball.
Polo is both a participant and spectator sport as between the third and fourth chukkers there is a break and the traditional stomping of the divots by the well-dressed spectators to smooth and replace the grass torn by the galloping hooves of the horses. It is a time to stretch one's legs and mingle on the playing field while providing a needed service.
About the United States Polo Association®: "Founded in 1890, the United States Polo Association (USPA) is the national governing body for the sport of polo in North America and is the second oldest sport governing body in the United States preceded only by the United States Tennis Association. With over 270 member clubs and 40 national tournaments, the USPA governs polo handicaps, tournament rules and safety regulations, to ensure the welfare and being of both horse pony and player. Funded by sales from the officially licensed consumer brand, U.S. Polo Assn., the USPA purposefully re-invests revenue by underwriting numerous association services and player development programs to expand and sustain the sport of polo. For more information, please visit www.USPolo.org or follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook."
About Greenwich Polo Club: "Established in 1981 by Peter Brant,the Greenwich Polo Club is the venue for high-goal polo during the summer season in the U.S. Nestled in the beautiful backcountry of Greenwich, CT and internationally recognized for its rosters of legendary teams and players, Greenwich Polo Club hosts public USPA high-goal polo matches on Sundays throughout the summer."
2019 Greenwich Polo Club Season
Shreve. Crump & Low Cup
June 9, 16, 2019
June 23, 30, 2019
July 14, 21, 2019
East Coast Open
August 25, September 1, 2019
East Coast Open Final
September 8, 2019
Greenwich Polo Club
Field Address (location of public matches)
1 Hurlingham Drive, Greenwich CT 06831
Mailing Address (office, not the Polo Field)
80 Field PointRd #3,
See you at Greenwich Polo
United States Polo Association®
Telephone: +1- 800-232-USPA
Follow the United States Polo Association® on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/USPoloAssociation
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