Oct 06, 2020 4:22 PM

2020 Kentucky Cup Champions: Faraway - Kris Kampsen, Julian Daniels, Lucas Criado Jr., Hutton Goodman.
2020 Kentucky Cup Champions: Faraway - Lucas Criado Jr., Kris Kampsen, Julian Daniels, Hutton Goodman. ©Mathea Kelley

Emerging from a field of five teams, both Faraway and WM Polo competed in the 2020 Kentucky Cup Final at Mt. Brilliant Polo LLC (Lexington, Kentucky), with Faraway claiming the title 11-7. Both team owners Hutton Goodman and Jackson Woodward were introduced to the sport through members of their families, connecting them to a sport which would become an important part of their lives.

Faraway’s Hutton Goodman got his start in polo when he was just a teenager. “I started playing polo when I was 15 years old, after my uncle invited me down to watch him play 26 goal. I watched with Joe Barry and at the end of the game he said, ‘you know, you could do this.’ I started playing the next week.” Since then Hutton Goodman has gone on to play in college at the University of Virginia as well as participate in many important tournaments. “I have played in a lot of tournaments over the years,” Goodman said. “Among them are the U.S. Open [Polo Championship®], all of the 26-goal season, the 20-goal season, the East Coast Open, Silver Cup®, Texas Open, and Fancourt Cup Invitational.”

Hutton Goodman prepares to make a shot downfield. ©Juana Criado photos
Hutton Goodman with a deep neckshot during the 2018 Silver Cup® at Greenwich Polo Club. ©Katerina Morgan

To Goodman, the Kentucky Cup is special because he hosts the tournament at Mt. Brilliant Polo LLC. “It’s our farm and we invite our friends to come and play in a 14 goal in September,” Goodman said. “Many great teams have come to play over the years such as Orchard Hill, Crab Orchard, White Birch, Isla Carroll, Riverview, Altaris, Hillcroft, WM Polo and Port Mayaca.” Although having to adjust to some changes this year due to the pandemic, tournament polo in the United States has continued to be played safely. “Polo in the United States is a little complicated this year with COVID-19, as a lot of teams do not want to travel,” Goodman said. “However, we still had a great tournament this year, with a lot of very competitive games.”

WM Polo’s Jackson Woodward has been involved in polo for almost 40 years. “I started playing polo at Broadacres in Oklahoma in the early 80s with my dad and brother,” Woodward said. “Bob Moore and John Smicklas ran the club and were both gentlemen.” Woodward has a special history in polo that included both university and professional play. “I played at the University of Virginia (UVA), then professionally after college for a year or so, and then went to work,” Woodward said. “While at UVA I played on a collegiate all-star team that traveled to play in Argentina. That was a great trip and a great experience I will never forget.”

WM Polo's Jackson Woodward on the ball. ©Mathea Kelley
WM Polo's Jackson Woodward on the ball. ©Mathea Kelley

That is where his involvement with the sport temporarily stopped. “I was out of polo for about fifteen years and started playing again about six years ago,” Woodward said. “One of the main reasons I returned to polo was how much I enjoy raising and training young horses. At my farm in Kentucky we are breeding and starting all of our own horses. I am a big believer in Monte Roberts’ training methods and being with our babies is really important to us,” he continued. “Chad Middendorf and I partner on all of our babies. In fact, one of our homebreds was just sold to 8-goaler Christian “Magoo” Laprida. Definitely the horses and training are what excites me most these days about polo.” For the last six years, Mt. Brilliant has been breeding polo ponies with mixed genetics, such as the American racing Thoroughbred, and the results seem to be promising.