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27

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New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM UTC

Skaneateles

Field One

Fri

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29

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

8:00 PM UTC

UN-STA-BLE

TBA

Sat

Oct

30

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM UTC

Tipler Law/Cooper H&S

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31

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

8:00 PM UTC

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Upatoi Green/ Foxdale Equine

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Wed

Oct

27

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM UTC

Skaneateles

Field One

Fri

Oct

29

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

8:00 PM UTC

UN-STA-BLE

TBA

Sat

Oct

30

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM UTC

Tipler Law/Cooper H&S

Hutchinson Farms

Sun

Oct

31

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

8:00 PM UTC

LBL

Upatoi Green/ Foxdale Equine

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NEWS

TEXAS ARENA LEAGUE WRAPS UP ANOTHER SEASON WITH END OF LEAGUE AWARDS

May 04, 2021 5:13 PM

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Texas Arena League Award Table.
©David Murrell.

The Texas Arena League (TAL) completed a record season in 2021 with 114 player participants over four events. Due to weather, locations were moved and dates postponed with Legends Polo Club (Kaufman, Texas) and Brookshire Polo Club (Brookshire, Texas) hosting two events each. In past years, Texas Arena League has traveled to more host clubs throughout the season including Two Wishes Ranch (Lockhart, Texas) and Midland Polo Club (Midland, Texas). In all, 83 games were played at four different levels: 6- to 9-goal, 3- to 6-goal, 0- to 3-goal and C flight (beginner league).

Southwestern Circuit Governor Paul Jornayvaz visited the TAL final event hosted by Brookshire Polo Club and was in attendance for the final awards. “The Texas Arena League has established a foundation under arena polo in the United States that will endure and inspire future generations participating in the sport,” Jornayvaz said. “It has been extremely successful in growing the sport of polo, and specifically arena polo, in our circuit. Arena leagues will grow the sport throughout the United States with the support of the USPA.”

Horsegate's Anson Moore hitting a backshot during Texas Arena League action. ©David Murrell
Horsegate's Anson Moore hitting a backshot during Texas Arena League action. ©David Murrell

“We love playing in the Texas Arena League,” Horsegate’s Nick Stefanakis said. “It offers us the chance to play as a family.” Nick Stefanakis plays with his sons Lance and Sloane and nephew Anson Moore during the league. “All of these boys learned to play in the arena when they were young and continue now in Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) polo. Now because of TAL they have the opportunity to play arena polo at any level.”

“Texas Arena League is very competitive,” Moore commented. “We get to bring everything we have learned in I/I to the next level.” “There is always something to look forward to in the league,” Lance Stefanakis added. “It grows every year and we get to compete against people from all over and challenge ourselves.”

Teams and individuals compete in games within TAL for both league points and USPA tournaments. It is a format similar to the Pacific Coast Arena League (PCAL) and is being adopted in other parts of the country including Illinois with the new Chicago Polo Arena League.

Horsegate's Lance Stefanakis chased by JD Polo's Javier Insua. ©Caitlin Demura Photography
Horsegate's Lance Stefanakis chased by JD Polo's Javier Insua. ©Caitlin Demura Photography

“Arena polo is taking off everywhere,” said USPA Arena Committee Chairman Robin Sanchez. “Texas Arena League, PCAL, and other arena leagues are just part of it. Arena polo under the lights has become extremely successful as a spectator draw for clubs like Twilight Polo Club (formerly Great Meadow Polo Club in The Plains, Virgina), Seneca Polo Club (Poolesville, Maryland), Commonwealth Polo Club (Paris, Kentucky), and other locations. Also many of the national arena tournaments are in high demand. Arena polo is where the sport is headed - from a historically viable spectator sport, to getting new players started, to intercollegiate/interscholastic competition and beyond.”

Texas Arena League concluded the season with their End of League Awards presentation on Saturday, March 27, for the C flight, 6- to 9-goal and 0- to 3-goal and Sunday, March 28, after the final games of the 3- to 6- goal.

“Texas Arena League was one of my favorite tournament series that I’ve played so far,” Lara Strausseld said. “It was super competitive in the arena but still very social and fun outside of the arena. Traveling to different locations and meeting all these different people was a phenomenal experience and one that allowed me to grow my polo connections.”

Elite Motion & Performance's Lara Straussfeld captured the Royal B Threads Best Team Player for 0-3 Goal. ©David Murrell
Elite Motion & Performance's Lara Straussfeld captured the Royal B Threads Best Team Player for the 0- to 3-Goal. ©David Murrell

In addition to TAL points and USPA tournament wins, players in USPA arena tournaments received points toward the 2021 National Arena Amateur Cup (NAAC) scheduled to be played in November at Legends Polo Club.

Thank you to all of the wonderful sponsors and supporters of TAL – U.S. Polo Assn., Nutrena, Catena, Galvin Agency, Royal B Threads, Aubone Mallets, Elite Motion & Performance, Jackrabbit Tack and Consignment, Superior Equine Sports Massage Therapy, Casablanca Polo, Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program, American Quarter Horse Association, David Murrell Photography, USPA Intercollegiate/Interscholastic program, USPA Umpires LLC, USPA Arena Committee and USPA Polo Development Initiative.

Texas Arena League season runs January through March and will return for another great season in 2022. For more information visit the website at www.texasarenaleague.com or follow TAL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The results from all 2021 games used PoloSK the polo scorekeeping app. View all of the results on www.polosk.com.

End of League Awards

Nutrena Best Playing Pony

0- to 3-Goal: Sonita, played and owned by Brady Williams
3- to 6-Goal: Yamin, played by Lance Stefanakis and owned by Horsegate
6- to 9-Goal: Outlaw, played by Hannah Reynolds

Nutrena Best Playing Pony Sonita, played and owned by Brady Williams. ©David Murrell
Nutrena Best Playing Pony Sonita, played and owned by Brady Williams. ©David Murrell

Catena Sportsmanship

0- to 3-Goal: Gal Shweiki
3- to 6-Goal: Don English

Galvin Agency Most Valuable Player

C Flight: Taylor Hooten
0- to 3-Goal: Lance Stefanakis
3- to 6-Goal: Vance Miller
6- to 9-Goal: Will Walton

0-3 Goal Galvin Agency Most Valuable Player Lance Stefanakis. Presented by Ashley Aguilar and Shannon Galvin. ©David Murrell
0- to 3-Goal Galvin Agency Most Valuable Player Lance Stefanakis. Presented by Ashley Aguilar and Shannon Galvin. ©David Murrell

Aubone Mallets

Sportsmanship 6- to 9-Goal: Umair Kaimkhani
Sportsmanship Runner-up 0- to 3-Goal: Verity Cameron
Sportsmanship Runner-up 3- to 6-Goal: Ashley Owen

Sportsmanship Runner-up for 0-3 Goal Verity Cameron with an Aubone Mallet. Presented by Paul Jornayvaz. ©David Murrell
Sportsmanship Runner-up for 0- to 3-Goal, Verity Cameron, with an Aubone Mallet. Presented by Southwestern Circuit Governor Paul Jornayvaz. ©David Murrell

The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program Best Playing Thoroughbred

0- to 3-Goal: Blitz (Jockey Club Shouldagonetocourt) played and owned by Lara Straussfeld

“I was honored to get the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TJCTIP) Best Playing Thoroughbred award in the 0- to 3-goal,” Straussfeld said. “I am extremely proud of Blitz. I relied on that mare and in every game she played her heart out. It is a nice accomplishment for me personally, because I made her myself so I’ve seen how far she can go.”

The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program Best Playing Thoroughbred for 6-9 Goal Gemma (Jockey Club Knight Spice), owned by Legends Polo Club. Pictured with Nacho Estrada and Steve Armour. ©David Murrell
The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program Best Playing Thoroughbred for 6- to 9-Goal, Gemma (Jockey Club Knight Spice), owned by Legends Polo Club. Pictured with Nacho Estrada and presented by USPA Governor at Large Steve Armour. ©David Murrell

3- to 6-Goal: Zama (Jockey Club Eur Who) owned by Legends Polo Club
6- to 9-Goal: Gemma (Jockey Club Knight Spice) owned by Legends Polo Club
Overall: Panela (Jockey Club Tonality) owned by Legends Polo Club

The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program Best Playing Thoroughbred Overall Winner Panela (Jockey Club Tonality), owned by Legends Polo Club. Pictured with Nacho Estrada. ©David Murrell
The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program Best Playing Thoroughbred Overall Winner Panela (Jockey Club Tonality), owned by Legends Polo Club. Pictured with Nacho Estrada. ©David Murrell

AQHA Best Playing Quarter Horse

0- to 3-Goal: Izzy (AQHA Short Sophisticatt) played by Brady Williams
3- to 6-Goal: Whiskey (AQHA Wyatt’s Whiskey Doc) played by Wyatt Myr
Overall: Sonita (AQHA Holis Sonitalena) played and owned by Brady Williams

Jackrabbit Tack High Point Individual

0- to 3-Goal: Javier Insua
3- to 6-Goal: Anson Moore
6- to 9-Goal: August Scherer

Royal B Threads Best Team Player

0- to 3-Goal: Lara Straussfeld

“Being chosen as Royal B Threads Best Team Player in the 0- to 3-goal was another amazing honor,” Straussfeld said. “I think that came from playing on multiple teams and our teamwork was great. It was all around a great tournament series and experience.”

Royal B Threads Best Team Player Award Winner for 0-3 Goal Lara Straussfeld, presented by Paul Jornayvaz. ©David Murrell
Royal B Threads Best Team Player Award Winner for 0- to 3-Goal Lara Straussfeld, presented by Southwestern Circuit Governor Paul Jornayvaz. ©David Murrell

3- to 6-Goal: Brady Williams

Murrell Photo Best Presented

0- to 3-Goal: Javier Insua
3- to 6-Goal: Stephanie Colburn
6- to 9-Goal: Villa Ecleto, Morgan Tennant

Murrell Photo Best Presented 0-3 Goal Winner Javier Insua, presented by Paul Jornayvaz. ©David Murrell
Murrell Photo Best Presented 0- to 3-Goal Winner Javier Insua, presented by Southwestern Circuit Governor Paul Jornayvaz. ©David Murrell

Jackrabbit Tack Horsemanship Award

0- to 3-Goal: Ashley Owen
3- to 6-Goal: Ariel Mancebo

Jackrabbit Tack Horsemanship Award Winner for 3-6 Goal, presented by Robin Sanchez. ©David Murrell
Jackrabbit Tack Horsemanship Award Winner for 3- to 6-Goal, presented by USPA Governor at Large Robin Sanchez. ©David Murrell

Elite Motion Most Improved

C Flight: Emrey Owen
0- to 3-Goal: Katerina Kotova
3- to 6-Goal: Nacho Estrada

Elite Motion Most Improved Award Winner for C Flight Emrey Owen, presented by Steve Armour. ©David Murrell
Elite Motion Most Improved Award Winner for C Flight, Emrey Owen, presented by USPA Governor at Large Steve Armour. ©David Murrell

Superior Equine Sports Massage Therapy Best String

0- to 3-Goal: Legends Polo Club
3- to 6-Goal: Horsegate
6- to 9-Goal: Villa Ecleto

High Point Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Alumni/Player

0- to 3-Goal: Mark Osburn (Texas Tech)
3- to 6-Goal: Lance Stefanakis (Houston)
6- to 9-Goal: Will Walton (Dallas Polo Club, Retama, Texas A&M)

Casablanca High Point Individual Overall: Nacho Estrada
U.S. Polo Assn. Players’ Choice Competitor:
August Scherer
Royal B Threads Best Host Club:
Legends Polo Club

Casablanca High Point Individual Overall Winner Nacho Estrada. ©David Murrell
Casablanca High Point Individual Overall Winner Nacho Estrada. ©David Murrell

End of League Team Standings

C Flight

Winner: Legends Polo School (Marcus Murphy, Taylor Hooten, Jan Pieter Zweegers)
Runner-up: Bar Spur/Tesla
Third Place: Crosshair Ranch

0- to 3-Goal

Winner: Horsegate (Ariel Mancebo, Lance Stefanakis, Nick Stefanakis)
Runner-up: JD Polo
Third Place: Leaseplan
Fourth Place: Los Gauchos

0-3 Goal Champions: Horsegate- Ariel Mancebo, Lance Stefanakis, Nick Stefanakis. Presented by Paul Jornayvaz. ©David Murrell
0- to 3-Goal Champions: Horsegate - Ariel Mancebo, Lance Stefanakis, Nick Stefanakis. Presented by Paul Jornayvaz. ©David Murrell

3- to 6-Goal

Winner: Horsegate (Nick Stefanakis, Lance Stefanakis, Anson Moore)
Runner-up: Dallas Polo Club
Third Place: Legends Polo Club
Fourth Place: Oklahoma

3-6 Goal Champions: Horsegate- Nick Stefanakis, Lance Stefanakis, Anson Moore, Ariel Mancebo. ©David Murrell
3- to 6-Goal Champions: Horsegate - Nick Stefanakis, Lance Stefanakis, Anson Moore, Ariel Mancebo. ©David Murrell

6- to 9-Goal

Winner: Legends Polo Club (August Scherer, Megan Rahlfs, Nacho Estrada)
Runner-up: Prestonwood
Third Place: Dallas Polo Club

All photos courtesy of ©David Murrell.

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