Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
The Westchester Polo Club's annual Players Tournament brought out friendly but fierce competition as polo club members teamed up with advanced players from its polo training program to compete in the traditional 4th quarter arena polo face-off, a highlight of the club's Awards Weekend. With pleasant autumn weather on tap for the weekend, 5 eager teams suited up for the seasonal contest, held at Newport Polo's regulation-size outdoor arena at its private training facility in Portsmouth, RI. A closely matched Bronze Consolation Round and a high scoring Final made an electrifying finish to the weekend of competition.
The tournament's random draw pitted Avalon Farm in purple jerseys (Margaux Buchanan, Katie Mitcham and Suzanne Duncan) against Rough Riders in orange (Meg Stowe, Chris Fragomeni and Catie Reed) in Game 1 of the Semi-Final round on Saturday. The evenly matched teams were neck and neck through 4 high-scoring chukkers that included a pair of 2-pointers by each side, as Avalon Farm's slight advantage was overcome in the second half by the Rough Riders for the 13-12 win, earning a berth in the Finals. Game 2 of the Semi Final round featured a Round Robin between Newport in white jerseys (Arthur Brenninkmeijer, Felipe Rojas and Dan Keating), The Avery in maroon jerseys (Touba Ghadessi, Eliana DaCunha and Minnie Keating), and wearing navy, Foxtrot (Roger Souto, Luke Merrick, Eric Schneider and Amy Garrison). Newport and Foxtrot each logged a win over The Avery, and were evenly matched in their faceoff, with Newport earning a trip to the Finals with a 5-4 win.
Sunday's rivalries began with the Bronze Round consolation round robin between The Avery, Foxtrot and Avalon Farm. Foxtrot clipped The Avery by a goal and trotted over Avalon Farm to claim 3rd place in the tournament.
Excitement grew as the Final round got underway. A dead even first chukker ended with a slim lead for Newport, but Rough Riders rallied into the lead in the next chukker until a 2-pointer by Newport leveled the score at 5 all. Momentum continued for Rough Riders, taking an 8-6 lead in the 3rd period, but the pedal hit the metal in the final chukker, as 8 points went back and forth, with Rough Riders maintaining the advantage until a Newport 2-pointer assumed the lead, followed by a go-ahead goal for the 12-10 victory.
A new perpetual trophy made its debut in the prize giving ceremony, and winners prizes were handed out by Club Manager Dave Markell. The Westchester Polo Club's 2020 Season individual achievement awards were presented by former winners. Nominated by their peers, the Sportsmanship Award went to Clark Curtis and the Most Improved Player Award went to Luke Merrick. Finally, service appreciation gifts were presented to Dave Markell, Club Manager; Patrick Quigley, Umpire; and Amy Garrison, Tournament Committee.