Santa Barbara, Calif. – Oct. 1, 2018 – Barrossa overcame Farmers & Merchants Bank in regulation time in the Travel Associates Harry East Memorial at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. The single-elimination tournament featured four teams, including newcomers Cancha de las Estrellas. Klentner Ranch lineup changed slightly from the previous tournament, switching Piers Bossom for Sean Keys. Dan Walker played alongside Warwick Prendiville, Santi Wulff and Omar Mangaji for Farmers & Merchants Bank.
In the semi-final round Klentner Ranch fell to Barrossa in the overtime period. With the new addition to the team, Piers, the average age of Klentner Ranch fell to just 17.5 years! Farmers & Merchants Bank passed to the final by defeating Cancha de las Estrellas.
In the Travel Associates Harry East Memorial Final, Farmers & Merchants Bank established an early lead over their opponent, Barrossa. Wulff drew first blood, scoring from the field to start the match and was quickly followed by a goal from the penalty line by Walker. A goal each by Max Menini and Francisco Guinazu tied the score at two goals each. Wulff struck again, scoring his second goal in the chukker, 3-2, in favor of FMB.
Guinazu answered back, scoring for the Barrossa team, 3-3. A whistle halted the game’s momentum, giving Wulff a 60-yard penalty shot and another mark on the board. Guinazu and Walker each scored once more before the chukker closed, leaving FMB a one goal advantage.
Barrossa took advantage of their speed in the third chukker and overcame FMB’s lead, tying the score at six goals each before halftime.
Spectators were treated to a fantastic second half of play with minimal fouls and fast, open polo. Barrossa and FMB each scored three goals from the field in the fourth chukker. Guinazu and Wulff each had six goals credited to their name in the match before the start of the fifth chukker.
Menini took control of the ball at the onset of the fifth chukker and scored three consecutive points for Barrossa. A valiant defensive effort held FMB scoreless, 12-9.
FMB rode into the final chukker ready to fight back against a strong Menini/Guinzau combination. Wulff and Walker scored a combined three goals, but a goal each by Jef Graham and Guinzau secured the victory for Barrossa 14-12.
Francisco Guinazu was named MVP and his mare “Anna” was named Best Playing Pony. When talking to him, it is clear that Anna holds a special spot in his heart. Guinazu purchased the unbroke mare while in Texas in June of 2015. Shortly after, he went to San Diego to play his first season in the U.S., where he began working Anna under saddle. “I have had almost five strings since I have been in the US, and she has been in every one of them. She was treated badly by the previous owner, but within the first year she became a sweetheart and loves being hugged on and pet. Anyone can ride her – from a beginner to a kid or a pro. She is super smooth, handy, balanced, athletic, quick and very pretty. As she has always been with me in this country, Anna is the pampered girl of the barn!”
Travel Associates Harry East Memorial
Farmers and Merchants Bank
Dan Walker 2
Warwick Prendiville 1
Santi Wulff 5
Omar Mangaji A
John Ziegler A
Jef Graham A
Max Menini 5
Francisco Guinazu 3
Bayne Bossom 1
Luke Klentner A
Jesse Bray 6
Piers Bossom B
Cancha de las Estrellas
Sarah Siegel-Magness B
*Mariano Fassetta 5
Joe Henderson 4
Leigh Brecheen A
*Juan Curbelo 5