Winning Team Gehache/Prime Source, L to R: Ruben Gracida, Agustin Zavaleta, Mike Sheller and David Flynn. Photo credit: K. Kumpart
This memorial tournament is held in honor of George Pope, a 5-goal player in the 1930 era. This tournament was originally rotated amongst several polo clubs until it found a permanent home in Santa Barbara.
In the Pope Challenge Consolation Final at 1 p.m. it was Long Beach/McPolo over Mansour/Chadmar 11 to 7. On the first absolutely beautiful sunny Sunday there was a nice crowd out to experience polo at its’ finest. This season was beset by rain the first two games of the Pope Challenge were played on Friday May 19, the second and third rounds were rained out, so the winner of the first round went to the finals played this past weekend.
The winning Long Beach/McPolo teammate Dan Walker scored 6 goals, 3 from the penalty line; teammates Diego Cosci scored 3 and Matthew Walker scored two. Playing for Mansour/Chadmar, rated at 8-goals, Mariano Gonzalez led his team with 6 goals, 4 were penalty shots; and Roberto Zedda scored one.
In the Finals for the Pope Challenge played at 3 p.m. it was Gehache/Prime Source (prounounced hey-ha-chay) who won 10 to 8 over Grants Farm/Klentner Ranch. Gehache/Prime Source came into the game with two goals on the scoreboard (the team handicap was 10, while the opposing team had a handicap of 12 this gave Gehache/Prime Source 2 points to start). Gehache/Prime Source held on tight on the field was evenly led by teammates Augustine Zavaleta with 4 goals, one from the penalty line; and Ruben Gracida with 4 goals, one from the penalty line. Despite being down 4 goals Gehache/Prime Source had a comeback that lasted five chukkers. To their great credit, they were able to get Gehache out of sync and took advantage of the missed opportunities to score.
It looked like it Grants Farm/Klentner Ranch was going to dominate the play, as Joseph Stuart went “coast-to-coast” and scored the first three goals of the game in the first five minutes. The crowd was immediately locked into the game.
Stuart on the Grants Farm/Klentner Ranch team had a total of 5 goals; Tim Rudy also knocked in 2 goals; and Andy Busch made 2 goals from the penalty lines.
SUNDAY, JUNE 4, 11 VIC GRABER MEMORIAL
This memorial tournament is held in honor of Vic Graber who helped keep polo alive in Santa Barbara during a declining period in the 1950's and 1960's. Established shortly after his death in 1983, the tournament remembers an "old friend" and supporter of the club.
Sunday @ 1 p.m. and 3p.m.
3300 Via Real, Carpinteria 93013
Admission: $10 general; kids under 12 free