Dec 16, 2019 3:59 PM

2019 Southwestern Circuit Arena Women's Challenge Champions: SMU White - Adrianna Arguello, Grace Grotnik, Lindsay Bellack, pictured with Nacho Estrada.

The final tournament in the Mid-Continent Women’s Polo Series was played at Legend's Polo Club in Kaufman, Texas, on Wednesday, December 4. Three teams participated in the round robin including SMU Blue (Robin Sanchez, Lily Foregger, Sofia Garvin), SMU White (Grace Grotnik, Lindsay Bellack, Adrianna Arguello) and Legend’s Horse Ranch (Megan Rahlfs, Katie Anderson, Kim Buttram).

Current SMU varsity and JV women players competed as well as former intercollegiate players who have returned to the sport. The game was umpired by August Scherer (Culver Academies, Southern Methodist University) and Devan Groves (Oklahoma State), both I/I alumni.

The teams played a round-robin format with SMU White securing a narrow victory in the last seconds of the final chukker to claim the title. "During the final chukker when the ball popped out I took it along the wall and Lindsay [Bellack] defended me," Grotnik said. "When I missed Lindsay told me to stay ahead and she knocked it forward along the boards so I could score. All season I have been playing with Lindsay who is a senior and Adrianna, a freshman, although new to polo is eager to learn. She took out the man very well. It was definitely a team effort and I couldn’t have scored the last goal without my teammates."

A former intercollegiate player from the University of Oklahoma, Kim Buttram was immediately hooked on the sport. “I developed an extensive riding history when I was younger. I tried anything and everything I could growing up including dressage, barrel racing, hunter/jumpers, and I was even an exercise rider for a racehorse trainer,” Buttram said. “I wouldn't have been exposed to polo if it hadn’t been for the intercollegiate program. After I graduated, work and then kids prevented me from riding as much as I wanted, and I drifted away from polo.”

BPP Donego
Best Playing Pony Donego, pictured with Megan Rahlfs.

Missing the days of playing polo, Buttram was thrilled to find Legend’s Horse Ranch where she started taking lessons. “Nacho Estrada has been fantastic and so patient helping me get back into the game after more than 20 years,” Buttram remarked. “It has been a lot more challenging than I thought to get my riding skills back. While I’m not anywhere close to being at the level I was in college, I’m looking forward to improving and really excited about playing in some of the local leagues.”

MVP Grace Grotnik
Most Valuable Player was awarded to Grace Grotnik. Pictured with Nacho Estrada.

SMU White’s Grace Groznik was named Most Valuable Player. Robin Sanchez, the only player in the arena who did not play intercollegiate polo, was presented with the Sportsmanship Award. Donego, a mare played by Megan Rahlfs in the second and fourth chukkers, received Best Playing Pony honors. “She was donated to us by Marc and Melissa Ganzi," Rahlfs said. "She has a really good mouth, a great bump and she is really comfortable and easy to hit off of. She is also very trustworthy which helps my confidence going into plays.”