Jan 20, 2020 6:04 PM
Claiming the title for the second year in a row, Geoff Palmer’s Antelope won the Mack and Madelyn Jason Memorial Final on Sunday, January 12, at Eldorado Polo Club in Indio, California. On a beautiful, sunny day in southern California, Antelope maintained the lead throughout the 8-goal final to defeat Twin Palms 12-8.
Riley Jordan stepped in for Antelope’s Geoff Palmer (Grant Palmer 0, Santiago Trotz 4, Marcos Llambias 4, Riley Jordan 0) and Mia Bray took the field in lieu of Chris Maloney for Twin Palms (Graham Bray 3, Juan Curbelo 5, Mia Bray 1, Ryan Kerley -1).
“We [Antelope] decided to play classic polo in the final because Twin Palms is a very physical team. Each one of us stayed strictly with one man throughout the game which worked very well for us.” – Grant Palmer
Opening the first chukker with a Penalty 4, Santiago Trotz was countered by a quick Penalty 2 from Twin Palms to level the score. Securing a second consecutive penalty conversion to gain an early advantage, Juan Curbelo was met by Antelope’s strong offense, responding with four powerful goals of their own. After two field goals and two penalty conversions, Antelope led by three goals after the second 5-2. Adding his first tally to land all Antelope teammates on the scoreboard in the third, Riley Jordan successfully tripled up his opponents. Determined to narrow the gap before halftime, Twin Palms’ Curbelo once again sprung into action with his third goal of the game. Although outscored by the end of the third chukker, Antelope remained in the lead 6-4.
Silencing Antelope in the fourth, Twin Palms fought back with a goal each from Curbelo and Mia Bray, their offensive tactics equalizing the score 6-all. Unwilling to relinquish the lead they had worked so hard to establish in the first half, Antelope retaliated to mirror play in the previous chukker. Striking for the first time since the second, Trotz hammered a Penalty 4 between the posts as his teammate Llambias added two consecutive field goals. Dominating the fifth, Antelope headed into the final chukker back on top 9-6.
Attempting to chip away at the lead, Twin Palms took advantage of a Penalty 2 to come within two goals, but their efforts were short-lived. Producing three strong field goals, Antelope extended the gap to a comfortable five-goal lead with only minutes remaining. Scoring a final goal with just seconds on the clock, Twin Palms conceded the win to Antelope 12-8.
Scoring five goals total, Antelope’s Marcos Llambias was named Most Valuable Player. Grant Palmer was named Most Valuable Player sponsor.
Best Playing Pony honors were presented to Paz, owned and played by Santiago Trotz in the third chukker and Geoff Palmer’s 9-year-old Ata, played by Grant Palmer in the fourth chukker. "Ata is from Alex Olmos' Cria Olmos breeding," Palmer said. "On the field she is very handy and plays with a lot of heart."
*Mia Bray is a 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.
All photos courtesy of ©Kerri Kerley.
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