Apr 02, 2019 2:35 PM


Story courtesy of Eldorado Polo Club/Tony Gregg

Bush League winners
2019 Pacific Coast Circuit Governor's Cup Champions: Bush League - Virgil Kyle, Ryan Robertson, Jose Rodriguez, Ulysses Escapite.

The Pacific Coast Circuit Governor's Cup Final held on Sunday, March 24, at Eldorado Polo Club in Indio, California, featured Bush League challenging the Centurions, with $7,500 for the winners and $2,500 to the runners-up. Bush League's Virgil Kyle and Ryan Robertson returned for their third appearance in the tournament final in four years and Cheryl Schindel previously played in the 2015 final.

Ignacio Saracco scored within the first 90 seconds of play and the Centurions (Cheryl Schindel, Luis Saracco, Ignacio Saracco, Santiago Mendez) were the first to land on the scoreboard. Their early lead would be short lived as Bush League (Virgil Kyle, Ryan Robertson, Ulysses Escapite, Jose Rodriguez) quickly came back to apply pressure, resulting in a Penalty 3 conversion from Ryan Robertson. Robertson's goal was closely followed by a field goal from Ulysses Escapite to land Bush League in the lead 2-1 after the first.

Centurions - Cheryl Schindel, Luis Saracco, Ignacio Saracco, Santiago Mendez.
Centurions - Cheryl Schindel, Ignacio Saracco, Luis Saracco, Santiago Mendez, pictured with USPA Pacific Coast Circuit Governor Danny Walker.

The Centurions leveled the playing field in the second as Luis Saracco converted a Penalty 2, but Bush League's Escapite nailed a Penalty 4 to overtake the lead by one at the half 3-2. Ignacio Saracco scored his second field goal early in the third to again equalize the score. Rodriguez then added a pair of well-earned field goals while Robertson scored his second open goal opportunity, a spot Penalty 2, to double up on Bush League's lead 6-3.

Rodriguez scored his third goal of the game in the fourth, placing Bush League in the lead by four goals 7-3. Needing five unanswered goals to win, the Centurions not only had time to contend with, but a strong Bush League defense to break through. Luis Saracco was able to score a pair of field goals, but it wasn't nearly enough and Bush League claimed their second title in three years 7-5.

Best Playing Pony: Ygritte, owned by Virgil Kyle and played by Jose Rodriguez.

Jose Rodriguez was named Most Valuable Player and Ygritte, owned by Virgil Kyle and played by Rodriguez in the third chukker, was selected as Best Playing Pony.

The victors were gifted bottles of Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky which was presented by Ed Adams, Master of Whisky, and representative of Oban & Lagavulin. Pacific Coast Circuit Governor, Danny Walker, presented the trophies and checks to both teams.

All photos ©Kerri Kerley