Santa Barbara, Calif. – Aug. 9, 2019 – The finals of the America Cup featured a thrilling matchup between the Farmers and Merchants Bank and Klentner Ranch. Farmers and Merchant Bank started the game with a two-goal advantage since they lined up as a 14-goal team with five goal player, Juan Monteverde, substituting for injured 7-goal player, Lucas Criado.
Both teams started evenly exchanging goals in the first chukker. In the second chukker, Klentner Ranch began to gain back the handicap goals with two impressive field goals from Geronimo Obregon and a tough goal from Justin Klentner. Unfortunately, Klentner was injured in the play and had to be replaced by his son, Luke Klentner.
FMB came back, returning 3 goals and left the score 7-5 to FMB at halftime. In fourth and fifth chukker the two teams battled it out as Klentner caught up the score to 8-9. Then in the sixth, Marcos Alberdi scored a crucial goal to tie up the game. However, it was not enough as FMB finished it off with a beautiful field goal from Juan Monteverde with only 40 seconds remaining on the clock. This left FMB victorious 10-9 and undefeated in the tournament.
Juan Monteverde earned MVP for his ability to adapt to a new team and win the game under pressure. Best playing pony was awarded to Felipe Vercellino’s third chukker horse Brookshire.
Farmers and Merchants Bank’s Danny Walker commented on the win. “Team FMB – A band of brothers that have dedicated themselves in preparation, focus, & discipline which allows us the best chance to win. As we compete, we do so with confidence because we have trust in each other’s as a player and team player skill. We appreciate that we are blessed with a good string of horses and a coach, Lucas Criado, that keeps us concentrating on the goal at hand. As the team entered the sixth chukker yesterday, it was our own Captain America, Lucas Escobar, expressing ‘This is our chukker, let’s go win’. This attitude of confidence as our leader allows us to enjoy the day, enjoy the polo and be a team that is rewarded with a moment of success.”