Following several weeks of stop-and-go play due to rain, New Bridge Polo & Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina, was finally able to finish the Northrup Knox Cup which began in late September on Sunday, October 21. Four teams competed over nearly a month for a chance to win the Northrup Knox Cup title. SD Farms (Sayyu Dantata, Juan Martin Obregon, Peco Polledo, Jim Deal) and Crestview Genetics (Aidan Meeker, Alan Meeker, Hugo Lloret, Tatin Zubiaurre) advanced to the final by merit of the two best records in the tournament. Six chukkers showcasing a powerful offensive drive gave SD Farms the notable Northrup Knox Cup win 18-7.
The two teams had met previously in the tournament in a closely-contested game that went into overtime and ended in favor of Crestview Genetics. Similarly, SD Farms had suffered a disappointing loss in the National Copper Cup Final two days’ prior against Skaneateles by single goal. Anxious to start the Northrup Knox Cup Final strong and ready to prove themselves, SD Farms’ Juan Martin Obregon and Peco Polledo sunk an impressive eight goals in the first two chukkers while keeping Crestview Genetics scoreless aside from their two-goal handicap awarded at the onset of the game. SD Farms’ Jim Deal continued his team’s forward momentum by nailing a field goal at the top of the third. “This was my first time playing 12-goal polo, and SD Farms was an amazing team to be a part of,”shared Deal. “I started working for Owen Rinehart in August, and was very fortunate to meet Peco in one of Owen’s practices. They mentioned they needed a 1-goaler for their team in the fall season and I was of course thrilled. Sayyu gave me very nice horses to play and he, Juan Martin and Peco made it an unforgettable experience. They helped me to think at a much faster pace on the field, and taught me how to position myself in this level of polo so that I am always contributing, whether I am in the play or not.”
Despite the seven-goal difference on the board, Crestview Genetics would not be discouraged, and Tatin Zubiaurre was able to make two penalty conversions towards the end of the third to get Crestview Genetics in the game, as the first half ended 12-4. Their eye on the prize, SD Farms continued their attack with a powerful hat trick by Obregon while shutting out Crestview Genetics’ attempts at goal in the fourth. Each team managed to add an additional three goals in the remaining two chukkers, maintaining the wide gap installed in the first half. The intense offensive strategy executed by SD Farms worked out in their favor as they hoisted the Northrup Knox Cup high to claim the 2018 title 17-8.
Most Valuable Player was awarded to SD Farms team owner Sayyu Dantata. “Sayyu and the teamed played very well throughout the game,” commented Polledo. “We played well, moved the ball fast, put a lot of pressure on the other players and the horses played great. We have been playing together for two seasons and we are getting to know each other well and that is important.” Juan Martin Obregon’s eight-year-old Argentine chestnut mare Jovina, played in the fourth chukker, was presented with the Best Playing Pony blanket.