May 28, 2023 2:34 AM
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (SBPRC) in Carpinteria, California, is buzzing with excitement as the 2023 polo season kicked-off in grand style. This year promises to be exceptional, with a record nine teams competing in four 12-goal tournaments, including the USPA Legacy Series’ Lisle Nixon Memorial and the Pacific Coast Circuit Intra-Circuit Cup. As one of the premier polo destinations on the west coast, SBPRC offers a unique blend of family-oriented camaraderie and exceptional fields setting the stage for an unforgettable season.
The club takes pride in its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, and this season's team rosters reflect this spirit. Notably, two father-son teams, Klentner Ranch and FMB, add a special familial touch to the competition. Additionally, Dundas showcases Sarah Magness and her son Cable as part of their roster, while Brian Boyd returns to the club to play alongside his son-in-law Carlos “Carlitos” Gracida Jr.
One of the key factors that contribute to the exceptional quality of play at SBRPC are the outstanding fields. In addition to the club's own fields, the support of external field owners, including Siegel-Magness’ Cancha de Estrellas, the Busch family's Folded Hills field, and Pat Nesbitt's Bella Vista, ensure a top-notch playing surface.
All teams have brought in a formidable lineup of horses, with many of them transitioning directly from the renowned Wellington Polo Tour (WPT) and U.S. Open Polo Championship hosted by National Polo Center (NPC) - Wellington. This infusion of high-caliber equine talent promises an intense and fast-paced competition throughout the season.
Another highlight is the inclusion of professional sportswomen Mia Cambiaso and Hope Arellano*, who bring their exceptional skills and determination. Their participation not only adds an exciting dynamic to the season, but also promotes inclusivity and accessibility within the sport. By showcasing their exceptional talents, SBPRC is breaking barriers and making polo more relatable to a wider audience while fostering healthy competition.
“I’m thrilled to have a record nine teams competing in the 12-goal season. Our club has always been welcoming as a family club and the rosters reflect that, listing two father/son teams (Klentner Ranch and FMB), Sarah Magness and her son Cable of the Dundas organization, and now Brian Boyd returning to our club after a hiatus to play with his son-in-law Carlitos Gracida. Second-generation teams such as Antelope and Folded Hills/FMB Too! are well coached by their founding fathers at the team tents.”
“We are honored to have the support of the outside field owners to supplement our club fields, and we have a new field coming online soon. The quality of fields complements the high caliber of horses that these teams bring. Several teams brought horses straight from the Wellington Polo Tour and U.S. Open Polo Championship, and the pace of play and intensity of competition reflects that. For example, a team such as BenSoleimani.com or Mokarow Farms will spend the entire off-season organizing strings and planning horses [for] this very elite competition.”
“Our club staff has been working at a furious pace to have everything ready, as we did suffer an exceptionally rainy winter. All the hard work from our field crew, grandstand and hospitality specialists, and polo office has paid off; with the fields playing very well, the grandstand full of spectators to cheer on the players, and a new fieldside restaurant offering delicious coastal steakhouse cuisine to refresh everyone after a busy day of polo.”
“A very special highlight of this season that is near and dear to me is having professional sportswomen Mia Cambiaso and Hope Arellano ride onto the field to compete with determination and skill on an equal basis with the men. Both young ladies are elegant horsewomen and exciting players. Seeing Hope and Mia making plays in the 12-goal is also a special highlight for our fan base that promotes the sport as more accessible and relatable to people who come to polo from outside of the industry."
“The competition is amazing. The fields at the Santa Barbara Polo Club are great and we are very fortunate in that we are able to use Dundas' fields as well as my home field at Folded Hills. We have a great team this year, captained by Santiago Wulff, with Henry Walker in the back and Santino Magrini and me in the front. We are also lucky to have my father Andy Busch as a coach for our team.”
“The season at Santa Barbara has started in full force. Teams are all very competitive and even our Dundas I and II teams are going at it. Mia has been a really exciting and fun addition to our group. I love having another woman on my team, and I feel this level of competition is so good for all of us.”
“This spring I am just trying to have a good season. I want to make sure my horses are playing well and try to play the best I can. Playing for La Karina is so much fun—I’m really enjoying myself. I have always wanted to play a season here, it’s absolutely stunning! Carlitos called me this winter about playing, and it was a dream come true. It couldn’t have been with a more fun team, so I’m very grateful. It’s probably the most competitive 12-goal I have played. It’s a great vibe—everyone has been kind and welcoming. I’m excited for the rest of the season, I definitely won’t be ready to leave—I love it here! After [this], I will be going to England to play with Semper Anticus.”
*Hope Arellano is an Active Team USPA Member and Santino Magrini is Team USPA alumnus. 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