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FROSS AND FROSS BEATS ARDEN'S FINE JEWELERS AT WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT

Nov 01, 2016 2:50 PM

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A Flight Winning Team: Fross & Fross Wealth Management - Claire Brougham, Cecelia Cochran, Karen Reese, Tess Pimsner. Pictured with tournament sponsor Arden's Fine Jewelers representatives, Kate and Blake Gallaher with Walker Townley and Bennett Gallaher.
A Flight Winning Team: Fross & Fross Wealth Management - Claire Brougham, Cecelia Cochran, Karen Reese, Tess Pimsner. Pictured with tournament sponsor Arden's Fine Jewelers representatives, Kate and Blake Gallaher with Walker Townley and Bennett Gallaher.

Written by Cody Hills for The Villages Daily Sun

Female-only event features 11 teams competing in what organizers call a “special weekend.”

It was all about the ladies this weekend at The Villages Polo Club – and they didn’t disappoint. A wild flurry of action throughout Sunday afternoon on the final day of the Arden’s Fine Jewelers Women’s Tournament produced three championships awarded across three handicap finals. Fross and Fross defeated Arden’s Jewelers 7.5-2 to win the top flight A Division title to cap off the weekend’s action, which featured nearly 40 women and a Polo Club weekend-record 11 teams participating.

Laura Willson of Fross & Fross runs to goal as United Healthcare's Lilly Martiniere races to meet her in B Flight tounament action.
Laura Willson of Fross & Fross runs to goal as United Healthcare's Lilly Martiniere races to meet her in B Flight tounament action.

Even while finding herself on the losing end of the main event on Sunday as a member of Arden’s, Paige McCabe, director of polo in The Villages, said the experience of hosting the all-female tournament was a momentous one. “It was a special weekend for us to get all women together,” McCabe said. “Obviously polo is a co-ed sport and we’re all ranked on the same handicap scale – but when you get just women playing together on their own handicaps, you really get to see the skill of the girls and show off their abilities.”

Citizen First's Katie Mitcham goes for the hook on Whitney Vogt of McLin Burnsed in B Flight tournament action.
Citizen First's Katie Mitcham goes for the hook on Whitney Vogt of McLin Burnsed in B Flight tournament action.

McCabe said the two-day tournament sans male participation crucially assists in opening the door for the younger generation of female polo players, introducing them to the game with considerably less trepidation. “I think it was a great opportunity to get the younger girls out there, ones that might be intimidated out there against the big guys,” McCabe said, ”It’s nice to be able to put them into a safe and comfortable environment to be introduced to the sport.”

Fross & Fross' Cecelia Cochran with a beautiful approach to the ball in the A Flight Championship Final.
Fross & Fross' Cecelia Cochran with a beautiful approach to the ball in the A Flight Championship Final.

Fross and Fross didn’t let a 1.5-goal advantage to start the A Division championship game go to waste, immediately jumping out to a 4.5-1 lead after two chukkers, eventually cruising to the 7.5-2 victory. Claire Brougham, who was named most outstanding player of the tournament, cracked home a goal in the final two chukkers of action to push Fross and Fross to the victory.

A Flight Best Playing Pony: Bill played by Courtney Asdourian and owned by Team USPA member Herndon Radcliff
A Flight Best Playing Pony: Bill played by Arden's Fine Jewelers' Courtney Asdourian and owned by Team USPA member Herndon Radcliff

The all-women’s tournament was a can’t-miss event for three generations of one Villages resident, who took advantage of the underlying message at play. Carole Marshall brought along her daughter and nine-year-old granddaughter, Elizabeth, to Sunday’s championship action as a way to spend an afternoon together. “When they announced they were having the women’s tournament, I just knew I had to bring my daughter and grandbaby,” Marshall said. “It stands for something a little bigger than a game on horses, I think. It shows my girls, regardless of age, that women can do anything they set their mind to.” For Elizabeth, who had never even heard of polo prior to attending on Sunday, the experience and company of the afternoon is something she’ll remember for quite some time. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” Elizabeth said. “But getting to spend time with my mom and grandma, just the three of us watching it together, I won’t ever be able to forget what polo is.”

B Flight Winning Team: City Fire - Teresa Connelly, Loryn Lamport, Jennifer Williams, Claire Brougham. Pictured with tournament sponsor Arden's Fine Jewelers representatives, Kate and Blake Gallaher with Walker Townley and Bennett Gallaher.
B Flight Winning Team: City Fire - Teresa Connelly, Loryn Lamport, Jennifer Williams, Claire Brougham. Pictured with tournament sponsor Arden's Fine Jewelers representatives, Kate and Blake Gallaher with Walker Townley and Bennett Gallaher.

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