Mar 11, 2020 4:59 PM
Meeting Palm Beach Equine (Scott Swerdlin, Gringo Colombres, Nico Escobar*, Lucas Diaz Alberdi) for the second time, Traveller’s Rest (Kristos Magrini, Robert Orthwein, Santino Magrini, Nachi Du Plessis) set out to redeem their previous loss and bring home the Butler Handicap® Final trophy on Tuesday, March 10, at Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida. Following a strong offensive sixth chukker, Traveller’s Rest solidified their place as the champion, defeating Palm Beach Equine to take the title 10-6.
A fast pace was set in the opening stage of the match as Santino Magrini executed an impressive ride-off to open the scoring and give Traveller’s Rest the early lead. Trading goals throughout the first two chukkers, the teams kept the tally within one. Scoring two goals in the second chukker, Palm Beach Equine was matched by Du Plessis (substituting for Matias Magrini) who provided offensive firepower for Traveller’s Rest with two consecutive field goals. Foul trouble slowed Traveller’s Rest momentum in the third and despite their best efforts, neither team was able to make a successful shot on goal. Headed into halftime, Traveller’s Rest retained a narrow advantage 4-3.
Both teams produced strong defensive plays to start the second half, with missed opportunities frequenting the closely-matched game. Unable to land on the scoreboard for the second consecutive chukker, Palm Beach Equine saw their deficit grow to two after Du Plessis’ second Penalty 2 conversion provided the only offense in the fourth chukker. Landing his second Penalty 2 of the game, Escobar opened the fifth, but Traveller’s Rest held steadfast to the lead. Ending the fifth 6-5 in favor of Traveller’s Rest, the team in red extended their advantage throughout the remainder of the game.
Both teams trading penalty goals to start the sixth, Traveller’s Rest quickly began firing on goal. Following a strong goal by brother Kristos Magrini, Santino Magrini ran the ball from one end of the field to the other, increasing his team’s lead to three with just minutes remaining. A final goal from Kristos Magrini secured the victory and the Butler Handicap® trophy for Traveller’s Rest 10-6.
Scoring three goals, Kristos Magrini was named Most Valuable Player. “After our opening defeat we played two more games together which I think helped a lot,” Magrini said. “Our strategy didn’t change much at all playing Palm Beach Equine the second time, but I was playing more forward the first day and I think we were more focused in the final.”
Santino Magrini’s Los Marchitos Ruspoli was named Best Play Pony.
Photos courtesy of Port Mayaca Polo Club.
*Nico Escobar is an active member of Team USPA. The mission of Team USPA is to improve the sport of polo in the United States by developing the talent/skills of young American players through mentored training and playing opportunities, ultimately leading to a pool of higher rated American players.
Effective Date: Saturday, May 16, 2020
The suspension of USPA Tournaments and Events will be lifted for USPA Member Clubs in locales where hosting polo matches and tournaments is permitted under applicable state and local laws, executive orders and similar decrees. The USPA Member Clubs in these locales are encouraged to follow all such requirements of their state and local authorities with respect to polo operations. In addition, we also encourage all USPA Member Clubs to take the precautions recommended by the CDC. We are preparing a detailed list of best practices for USPA Member Clubs as they return to hosting USPA Tournaments and Events and plan to circulate these guidelines within the next week. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will notify you if we determine a different course of action is necessary.Read More