Folded Hill Pope Challenge Kicks Off Opening Weekend at Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club

Santa Barbara, Ca. – May 6, 2019 – Opening weekend at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club kicked off with the first round of tournament play in the Folded Hill Pope Challenge. Out of the six teams entered, Antelope Jr. was the sole team to survive the weekend undefeated.

Photo: Shannon Miller
Photo: Shannon Miller

With a full day of tournament polo, the first game of the Opening Day was a match-up between Klentner Ranch and Dundas Polo Team. Dundas Polo took a strong lead in the first three chukkers, leading Klentner Ranch 7-4 at the half. A strong performance by Jason Crowder putting nine goals on the board secured the win for Dundas Polo Team finishing with a score of 12-8. Both teams will enter the final weekend of the tournament with a 1-1 record.

The second game of the day was a match-up for Farmers and Merchants Bank against Geoff Palmer’s Antelope Polo. Both teams were entering the field with a loss in their previous game, making a win on Sunday crucial. It was a very close game all the way through. Danny Walker was the highest scoring player on the field with five goals. It was a dramatic finish as Lucas Criado took the ball coast to coast to put the ball through the goal mouth just as the second horn blew. This final goal saved them from overtime and won the game for FMB, 10-9.

Jimmy Wright. Photo: Shannon Miller
Jimmy Wright. Photo: Shannon Miller

The featured match of Opening Day was between FMB Too! and Antelope Junior, two teams coming off of wins in the first round. However, FMB Too! featured a slightly different line up as an injured Henry Walker was replaced with Pepe Rodriguez rated at one goal. This replacement player allowed for FMB Too! to start the game with a one goal handicap. The teams battled back and forth with FMB Too! defending their one goal lead until the fifth chukker. Antelope Jr.’s Pipe Vercellino scored 5 goals from the penalty line before scoring Antelope Jr.’s first goal from the field in the fifth chukker. Grant Palmer scored a skillful goal from the field to allow his team to begin the final chukker up by one. FMB Too!’s Juan Monteverde and Santi Wulff both scored in the final chukker, but it was not enough to match the goals by the opposing Jimmy Wright andPipe Vercellino. Antelope Jr. narrowly defeated FMB Too! by one to secure their spot as theonly remaining undefeated team in the tournament, 9-8.

About Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the premier destination for summer polo. Players and Patrons from all across the globe call Santa Barbara their home for the summer, bringing world class polo to the Southern California coast. Spectators gather for matches on Friday and Sunday afternoons from mid-April to October. Polo matches are open to the public with a wide range of hospitality and guest seating. All are welcome to join for an exciting afternoon of heart pumping action. Please visit the Spectator Information page for more information.For more information and to purchase tickets, visit our website, www.sbpolo.com.

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