Aug 16, 2021 3:21 PM
The 0- to 3-goal Paigahs Seahorse Cup played out its fifth season at Mountain View Polo Club in Charles Town, West Virginia, August 7 and 8. Taking advantage of the Tournament Stimulus Package (TSP), five teams battled for $2,500.00 in prize money in the arena nestled atop the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Saturday’s semifinals began with a round-robin between three teams: Triangle Area Polo Club (Maud Eno, Tammy Havener, David Brooks), Rebellis (Gabriel Boie, Kasey Morris, Luis Echezarreta), and Aviators (Rohail Khan, Monica Soucy, Damian Di Claudio) followed by a semifinal game between Paigahs Seahorse (Akemi Tinder, Shamsiya Shervani, Sierra Goff, Hugo Pasten) and DI Polo (Kelly Xiao, Ava Nunes, Juan Carlos Gonzalez). The Aviators prevailed in both round-robin games to secure the first spot in the final. DI Polo kept spectators on the edge of their seats, sealing their win against Paigahs Seahorse in the final chukker to also advance to the final.
DI Polo and Aviators met in an intense final dominated by DI Polo’s Juan Carlos Gonzalez and Aviators’ Damian “Pinino” Di Claudio, backed by young players. It was a tough battle between the two pros and Rohail [Khan] and I worked hard to play good defense and give Damian [Di Claudio] as many chances to score as possible,” Soucy said. “It was my first time playing with my teammates, but they were great and I learned a lot from both of them.” Aviators flew ahead in the first chukker 6-1 and held on to the lead, widening the gap as Di Claudio singlehandedly claimed 12 goals, including three two-pointers. Creating a strong lead, Di Claudio helped his team soar to victory 19-8 and the Aviators etched their names on the perpetual trophy.
Most Valuable Player was awarded to 11-year-old Rohail Khan for his tremendous maturity, team coaching, and impressive three goals and plays during the heated final. “Rohail [Khan] was a machine, his consistent plays and good attitude made him a great choice for MVP,” Soucy commented.
Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Nera, owned by DI Polo’s Juan Carlos Gonzalez who helped close the gap in the third chukker. The Sportsmanship Award was presented to Luis Echezarreta for his incredible patience and coaching of Rebellis and opposing teams.
After Sunday’s final, teams and guests were treated with home cooked Indian food provided by tournament sponsor Shamsiya Shervani and Paigahs Equestrian Gear. Shervani gave a touching speech to remember her grandfather and his Seahorse polo team, for whom the tournament is named.
All photos courtesy of ©Laura Goddard.
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