Tue

Jun

2

REGIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

Houston Polo Club

6:00 PM ET

Pegasus/Propaganda

Horsegate

Tue

Jun

2

REGIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

Houston Polo Club

7:00 PM ET

ML Bar Ranch

BTA

Wed

Jun

3

REGIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

5:00 PM ET

Manderleigh

Brookland Plantation

Thu

Jun

4

REGIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

Houston Polo Club - f

Time TBA

TBA

TBA

See All Hide
WATCH NOW: Live Coverage of
WATCH NOW: Live Coverage of

Tue

Jun

2

REGIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

Houston Polo Club

6:00 PM ET

Pegasus/Propaganda

Horsegate

Tue

Jun

2

REGIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

Houston Polo Club

7:00 PM ET

ML Bar Ranch

BTA

Wed

Jun

3

REGIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

5:00 PM ET

Manderleigh

Brookland Plantation

Thu

Jun

4

REGIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

Houston Polo Club - f

Time TBA

TBA

TBA

WATCH NOW: Live Coverage of

THE LATEST

NEWS

LAS MONJITAS SOLIDIFY THEIR PLACE AS 2020 GAUNTLET OF POLO® CONTENDERS

Feb 24, 2020 9:19 AM

SHARE

*Las Monjitas - C.V. Whitney Cup Champions - Mackenzie Weisz, Francisco Elizalde, Camilo Bautista, Pelon Stirling (FL20-09987) ©David Lominska web
2020 C.V. Whitney Cup Champions - Las Monjitas (L to R) Mackenzie Weisz, Francisco Elizalde, Camilo Bautista, Pelon Stirling.

Qualifying for the C.V. Whitney Cup Final for the second year in a row, Las Monjitas worked their way into position to capture the trophy that was lost in 2019 with two new teammates. Playing against La Indiana, the team credited with ending the inaugural GAUNTLET OF POLO® champion Pilot’s undefeated streak, both teams took the field on Sunday, February 23, at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. Well-executed defense kept the scoreboard deadlocked for three consecutive chukkers but an offensive drive spearheaded by the combination of Pelon Stirling and Francisco Elizalde enabled Las Monjitas to gain the advantage, narrowly becoming the only 2020 GAUNTLET OF POLO® contender 11-10.

“The whole team has been stepping up in every game that we’ve played. Both Francisco Elizalde and Mackenzie Weisz are very talented players, Francisco is very well mounted and Mackenzie is very well organized with Las Monjitas. I have a lot of confidence in them and I know the two of them in front can make a huge difference so I’m happy to work for them from behind.”  – Pelon Stirling

Las Monjitas' Pelon Stirling hits a neckshot with fellow 10-goaler Polito Pieres in pursuit.
Las Monjitas' Pelon Stirling hits a neckshot with fellow 10-goaler Polito Pieres in pursuit.

Although the first chukker only yielded a single Penalty 3 conversion, the game opened up throughout the first half as the intensity of what was at stake prevented either team from giving up an inch. Losing his footing yet sinking a neckshot off a seamless pass from Mackenzie Weisz, Francisco Elizalde secured the first field goal in the second. Firing back with two impressive goals shot from distance, La Indiana kept the game tight and evened the score 2-all to end the chukker. Trading goals in the third with rapid fire, Polito Pieres and Elizalde demonstrated their ability from the penalty line as the scoreboard remained locked headed into halftime 4-all.

Elizalde picked up a swift goal within the first minute of the fourth chukker, but La Indiana countered with a powerful team play as Jeff Hall sunk a nearside neckshot to level the playing field at the end of the chukker for the third time. Managing to pull away for the first time in the fifth, Las Monjitas scored a game-changing four consecutive goals, three off the mallet of Elizalde. Capitalizing on a mishit near the goal, Polito Pieres put his fourth goal of the day on the board to end the fifth 9-6 in favor of Las Monjitas. Bringing his second-half momentum into the sixth, Elizalde doggedly picked up a pair of goals to widen their lead 11-6, but La Indiana refused to concede without a fight. Shrinking the gap goal by goal, La Indiana outscored their opponents in the final chukker with three field goals and a Penalty 1. Time was on their side as Las Monjitas kept La Indiana at bay just long enough to claim victory 11-10 and the $100,000 prize reserved for the tournament winners.

“It’s nice to be back,” Camilo Bautista said. “The last game we played at IPC was the U.S. Open Polo Championship® Final and this is our second time playing the C.V. Whitney Cup Final so we are very proud. We have two very tough tournaments coming up so we are taking it one game at a time. It worked this time, so hopefully it keeps on working.”

La Indiana's Jeff Hall maintains possession with Polito Pieres and Las Monjitas' Francisco Elizalde close behind.
La Indiana's Jeff Hall maintains possession with Polito Pieres and Las Monjitas' Francisco Elizalde close behind.

Recently turning 17 two days prior, Mackenzie Weisz is holding his own in the 22-goal competition. “Mackenzie managed the pressure as well as anyone,” Stirling chimed in on his young teammate.

Responsible for eight of Las Monjitas’ 11 total goals, Francisco Elizalde was named Most Valuable Player.

Most Valuable Player Francisco Elizalde riding Best Playing Pony Dolfina Molinera.
Most Valuable Player Francisco Elizalde riding Best Playing Pony Dolfina Molinera.

Best Playing Pony honors were presented to Dolfina Molinera (Open Chimento x Dolfina Milenaria), played by Francisco Elizalde in the second and sixth chukkers. Her first year in the United States last year, Dolfina Molinera captured the 2019 Best Playing Pony of the entire U.S. Open Polo Championship® Tournament.

Although not able to play on his own horses in the C.V. Whitney Cup, Stirling is looking forward to unleashing his string against the tough competition in the USPA Gold Cup®. “Las Monjitas called me in December and my horses came late so I’ve played some from Adolfo Cambiaso, Michel Dorignac and Nacho Novillo Astrada and they have been great,” Stirling said. “Hopefully now that my string has arrived we’ll keep playing like this, game by game.”

The second tournament of GAUNTLET OF POLO™, the USPA Gold Cup®, began Sunday, February 23, with Patagones defeating Equuleus. All games will be livestreamed on Global Polo TV which can be accessed on GlobalPolo.com with a free registration.

Las Monjitas graphic
La Indiana graphic

All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska

USPA

LEARN TO PLAY

Click Here
×

Online shopping is not available in your country

Find Retail Locations