May 31, 2016 4:05 PM

twin palms pope challenge santa barbara polo

SANTA BARBARA, CA. (May 31, 2016) Twin Palms narrowly averted a comeback by the Antelope Polo Team in the 2016 Pope Challenge. Twin Palms had dominated the first five chukkers, but the Antelope Polo Team was hot on their heels. Santi Trotz had the crowd cheering as he scored the tying goal for Antelope with less than two minutes remaining in the final chukker of play. With ten seconds remaining before the first warning horn, Santi Wulff of Twin Palms took back possession of the ball near the far boards and redirected it towards the center of the field. Teammate Graham Bray quickly established himself on the line, catching a member of the Antelope team on the wrong side of the play drawing a whistle in favor of Twin Palms. Wulff pounded the final goal through the uprights from the 30 yard line. The final score 14-13 favoring Twin Palms.

twin palms pope challenge santa barbara polo

After a narrow win on Friday, Twin Palms aimed to create and maintain the lead from the beginning of the match. Antelope kept the score close throughout the entire game but was unable to pull ahead of the Twin Palms team. Vercellino scored eight goals for the Antelope team. His black mare, “Barbarita,” was awarded Best Playing Pony.

twin palms pope challenge santa barbara polo

The winning Twin Palms Polo Team joined forces this past January at the Eldorado Polo Club 12 Goal. The team has played a total of eight tournaments together, competing in seven finals and bringing home five 12 goal trophies.

twin palms pope challenge santa barbara polo

Santi Wulff, named Most Valuable Player of the match, has enjoyed playing with the team over the past few months.

“[As a team] We have learned how we all play and how each other’s horses play so we know what we can count on each chukker. It helps us make a plan to put the best combination of horses on the field. Our strategy is to try and play open polo and keep the ball moving. Antelope is a difficult team because Santi [Trotz] does a great job of reading a team’s strategy and adjusting their plan which can make it complicated," said Wulff.

twin palms pope challenge santa barbara polo

Twin Palms

Remy Muller 3

Graham Bray 3

Santi Wulff 5

Chris Maloney 1


Jim Wright 1

Felipe Vercellino 5

Santi Trotz 5

Geoff Palmer A

Consolation Final Results

1st place: Highwood

2nd place: Farmers and Merchants Bank

3rd place: Klentner Ranch

For more information and to purchase tickets visit their website.