Jul 18, 2016 7:01 PM

Arena Circuit Delegates Cup Teams

Written by Michael Esparza, USPA Intern at the Santa Barbara Polo Club. Photos courtesy of David Lominska.

July 13, 2016 - Santa Barbara, CA. The USPA Arena Circuit Delegate's Cup, better nown as "Arena Fun Day," took place this past Saturday at Santa Barbara Polo Club, and provided plenty of fun. Weeks of hard work and preparation went into this event, and the first 0-1 flight goal took place as the weather reached an ideal 70 degrees.

Four teams competed in a two-chukker bracket tournament. Many out-of-town players from the Central Coast, Pasadena, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Texas and Mexico City travelled to Santa Barbara Polo Club to come play. The intense first match ended in a penalty shoot out. All of the chukkers were exciting to watch and team CPC consisting of Kristen Ludwig, Lovive Laverdure, and Troy Crumley came out victorious.

Arena Circuit Delegates Cup Horse and Player

As the bracket play finished, the arena was prepared for the Arena Delegate's Cup. Klentner Ranch featureing Tony Uretz, Luke Klentner, and Team USPA member Remy Muller faced off against the experienced JRB/Central Coast Polo Club consisting of Lizzie Peck, Joel Baker and Jake Klentner. It was a back and forth match with intense playing. With passion and teamwork, both sides fought for the custom knives and bragging rights awarded to the victors.

Klentner Ranch took an early lead, and both teams came together, heightening the quality of play. Once the fourth chukker began, the observers neglected all food and other distractions as the intensity increased. JRB/Central Coast Polo Club took the lead as cheers from the audience filled the air. Down by one, with 30 seconds remaining, the exciting match seemed to be over. Many fans assumed JRB/Central Coast Polo Club to be victorious, but the talented Klentner boys had no such thought, and battled until the end. The athletes fought hard for the line and Luke Klentner found the gap he was looking for and sprung forth. With seconds left, Luke smashed a beautiful neck shot and the crowd went silent as Tony Uretz shouted “yes!” The ball moving with velocity, dug itself into the corner of the goal to tie things up. Spectators for both sides united in shouts of praise and excitement. In the name of “Arena Fun Day,” both teams shook hands and ended in a satisfying tie at nine. JRB Polo won the handmade Mooremaker knives on the coin toss.

Arena Circuit Delegates Cup Chukker

Polo Patron Justin Klentner, father of Luke and Jake, sat in his golf cart wearing the proudest smile on his face that resonates in the hearts of fathers. Nothing else mattered in this moment and as hands covered mouths and the crowd stood to their feet, one could not help but smile at the beauty of this simple game.