Feb 26, 2019 9:20 PM

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Eight teams competed in the 0- to 3-goal and seven teams played in the 3- to 6-goal flights at Two Wishes Polo Club (Lockhart, Texas) near Austin, Texas, for the second leg of the Texas Arena League (TAL). Two Wishes Ranch, a member of the Central Texas Polo Association, includes an outdoor arena, plenty of turnout and stalls and (during the grass season) two outdoor polo fields. Plans for 2019 include added lighting to the arena and an event barn. St Edward’s University, a newly formed collegiate polo team based out of Austin, Texas, were on hand to help set up and sell concessions; their members are ready and eager to enter a team in intercollegiate competition next year.

Ashley Owen sweeps the ball into goal as fellow TAL player Karl Hilberg looks on in awe.
Ashley Owen sweeps the ball into goal as fellow TAL player Karl Hilberg looks on in awe.

Teams and individuals in TAL compete for points given for win-tie-loss record in their matches at all four events and also receive points for Sportsmanship, Most Valuable Player and Best Playing Pony honors in each game. TAL encourages travel for playing opportunities, camaraderie and spectator involvement. In addition to points gained within Texas Arena League, all USPA Circuit Events also garner players points toward qualifying for the National Arena Amateur Cup (NAAC) under the new NAAC format. Players from all over the state of Texas and Oklahoma have been participating at single locations or are planning to participate throughout the entire league – Legend's Polo Club in Kaufman, Texas, near Dallas, Two Wishes Polo Club (Central Texas Polo Association) near Austin and Midland Polo Club (Midland, Texas) in West Texas. All tickets sales and individual donations benefit TAL’s Charity Partner Make-A-Wish.

Second year player Ashley Owen played on Legacy in both flights, “the Texas Arena League has been a great opportunity for me to play competitive arena polo again. I started my polo career in the arena at Texas Tech University [Lubbock, Texas]. I have had the opportunity to enjoy field polo on and off over the years, but the arena is in my roots and it has been so much fun to get back to and play competitively. This weekend it was great to be reunited with old friends from college. Polo seems to be a common thread that allows us to see each other and catch up. My daughter has joined me on the trips and to share the TAL experience with her has been so special for us. Arena polo is a great place to start learning to play and she is looking forward to participating in the Middle School League in a few years.”

Wyatt Myr of OKC CCC Ranch with a booming neckshot down the arena.
Wyatt Myr of OKC CCC Ranch with a booming neckshot down the arena.

Teams are vying for the coveted custom-made Texas Arena League belt buckles. While individual awards include a Catena watch for Sportsmanship, gear bag and clothes from U.S. Polo Assn. for Most Valuable Player, blanket from Nutrena for Best Playing Pony, Bombers spurs from Jackrabbit Tack for High Point Individuals in each flight, custom-made boots from AB Boots for High Point Overall, Best String prize from Superior Equine Sports Massage, Fan Favorite prize from Shannon Galvin Agency/American National Insurance and additional prizes for Best Host Club (chosen by players), Best Team Player, and Player’s Choice Competitor (chosen by players). Awards will take place at the final location at Midland Polo Club the weekend of March 16.Follow all the results and action on Texas Arena League Facebook (Texas Arena League), Twitter (@arena_texas), and Instagram (@texasarenaleague) or the website

Results from TAL at Two Wishes Polo Club

Most Valuable Player and Fan Favorite Mark Osburn with Wilson Riddle.
Most Valuable Player and Fan Favorite Mark Osburn with Wilson Riddle.

Special Award Winners

The Galvin Agency/American National Insurance Fan Favorite Player: Mark Osburne (chosen by spectators who vote for their favorite player via social media).

The U.S. Polo Assn. Most Valuable Players: Devan Groves, Jack Crea, Tres de la Paz, Ashley Owen, JT Shiverick, Cindy von Falkenhausen and Mark Osburn.

Catena USA Sportsmanship Award Recipients: Tom Arbuckle, Gal Shweiki, Greg Summers, Omar Polio, Karl Hilberg, Holly Wood, Jack Crea, Greg Summers.

Nutrena Best Playing Ponies: Fany owned by Ariel Rodriguez and played by Cindy von Falkenhausen, Wild owned and played by Wendy Stover, Solita owned and played by Javier Insua, Dakota owned by Karen Summers played by Wyatt Myr, Isabella owned and played by Kelly Coldiron, Gema owned and played by Nacho Estrada, and Sonita owned and played by Brady Williams.

Match Play Results

USPA Arena Congressional Cup: Castillo Polo (Trenton Werntz, David Werntz, Cindy von Falkenhausen, Karen Summers) defeated South Padre Island (Pud Nieto, Tom Arbuckle, Abi McVaney).

USPA Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Military Tournament: Central Texas Polo Association (Javier Insua, Tres de la Paz, Holly Wood) defeated OKC CCC Ranch (Allen Bowman, Kelly Coldiron, Greg Summers).

USPA Arena Challenge Cup: Williams Polo (Brady Williams, Mark Osburn, Bleu Bannister) defeated Texas Military (Chloe Rivas, Gal Shweiki, Zubair Hamir).

Texas Arena Legaue 0-3 Goal Challenge: Legacy (Ashley Owen, Kyle McGraw, Javier Peralta) defeated Legend’s (Nacho Estrada, Ismael Vazquez, Jack Crea).

I/I Alumni Tournament: Legend’s (JT Shiverick, Omar Polio, Nacho Estrada) narrowly defeated South Padre Island (Pud Nieto, Wendy Stover, Cindy von Falkenhausen).

USPA General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller Military Tournament: OKC CCC Ranch (Wyatt Myr, Greg Summers, Kelly Coldiron) defeated Big Time Polo (Devan Groves, Brady Williams, Dalton Woodfin, Wendy Stover).

USPA Southwestern Circuit Arena Constitution Cup (Played as a round-robin): Legacy (Kyle McGraw, Ashley Owen, Loreto Natividad) defeated both San Antonio Polo Club (Jack Crea, Gal Shweiki, Trey Crea) and Central Texas Polo Association (Karl Hilberg, Tres de la Paz, Javier Insua) with San Antonio Polo Club defeating Central Texas Polo Association in their portion.

All photos ©David Murrell.