Apr 06, 2018 8:00 PM
Finalists in the USPA National Inter-Circuit Championship, New Hope and Hillcroft/Tito’s Handmade Vodka met to settle the score on Sunday, April 1, at the Sarasota Polo Club in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Even, until the sixth, Hillcroft scored two pivotal goals in the final minutes of play that would win the game 8-6.
Gaining one goal on handicap, Hillcroft/Tito’s added the only goal of the first chukker to start off a surprisingly low-scoring game. Play continued to progress slowly throughout the first half, Hillcroft/Tito’s maintaining a slight overall lead. A Penalty 2 conversion by Marcos Bignoli earned New Hope their first point of the game in the second, followed up by a field goal to tie the score 2-all. Responding with two shots on goal, Herndon Radcliff* shifted the advantage back to his team, ending the half 4-3 in favor of Hillcroft/Tito’s.
Strategizing to create a greater gap on the scoreboard in the second half, both teams intensified their game. Bignoli’s field goal was doubled by two Hillcroft/Tito’s goals, all four Hillcroft/Tito’s players now contributing to the total tally. Defending their territory well from offensive drives, New Hope forced Hillcroft/Tito’s to ride off the field with their second scoreless chukker of the game in the fifth. Working diligently as New Hope’s sole scorer, Bignoli scored from the penalty line and again from the field to tie the game 6-all moving into the final chukker. Subbing in for James P. Uihlein in the final 30 seconds of the fifth chukker, Buck Schott was fresh for the sixth and went on to score first from the field. Working as a team to prevent Bignoli from scoring again, Hillcroft/Tito’s shut out New Hope and claimed the final point off the mallet of Radcliff to pick up the win 8-6.
Scoring all six of New Hope’s goals, Marcos Bignoli was awarded Most Valuable Player. His mare Angie, from Pablo Dorignac, was presented with Best Playing Pony honors.
*Herndon Radcliff is a member of Team USPA. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
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