The Agua Alta tournament was founded by Italian polo player Alberto Ardissone in 2000. Ardissone wanted to play great polo with players from around the world with a beach setting. With the help of Giorgio Brignone, the founder of the Careyes Polo Club, the tournament still continues and is one of the most famous and prestigious tournament in Mexico.
After 10 days of polo at the Careyes Polo Club, the tournament teams travelled north three hours to La Patrona Polo club, where a new polo event was held. The new event is called The Pacific Circuit and offers one of the most beautiful coastlines on the Pacific Ocean.
During the week of play, many social activities were scheduled, including an opening night party at the house of Alberto Ardissone. Tucane, a popular and upscale clothing line, presented the teams with shirts to wear during the tournament. Other sponsors included Destino Rentals of Puerto Vallarta, both states of Jalisco and Riviera, Naygarit, Tequila Cuervo Gold, Stella Artois, Panyc, a specialty leather boutique, and Froyland of TOP Sports.Two restaurants, Playa Rosa Beach and Punto Como, each held events at their venue and hosted a cocktail evening for the tournament. La Patrona Polo Club showcased their club one night at the larger than life screening in the Plaza de Los Caballeros.
Players from England, Portugal, USA, Italy, Argentina and Mexico attended to win the coveted Agua Alta tournament. For the first time in tournament history, a women player competed. Rebecca Foltz, from Seattle, Washington, only began playing polo six months ago. She played on the Careyes.net team with Roberto Gonzalez Gracida, Miguel Gomez de Parada and Juan Galan. The son of polo professor extraordinaire the late Major Hugh Dawnay, Sebastian Dawnay, was on the roster for team Switzerland with Chris Falk, Will Falk, and Cedric Schweri. Dawnay had not played for several years in Careyes and it proved to be a special moment for him as his father’s ashes are scattered on the number one field.
Play was continuous throughout the week and after 90 chukkers of play, the finalists were decided. Team Fortaleza with Valerio and Pancho Aguilar, Erick Cornejo and Guillermo Jimenez played against the Careyes.net team, both with a win-loss record of four to one. During the finals all players came out with their best horses ready to go, but Fortaleza came out extra strong. They were leading in the first chukker by 3 to 0 and they continued to dominate the game. At halftime the score was 7-3. The Careyes.net team came to life in the fourth chukker with two quick goals. At the end of a competitive game the score was 8 to 5 with Fortaleza taking home the championship of the 19th Annual Agua Alta Tournament.
Best playing pony was Nacha, 4-year-old mare owned by Gomez de Parada. Professional MVP was Sebastian Dawnay and MVP patrons were both Jimenez and Cornejo.
Polo is played from November to through April, please visit careyes.com for more information. Next year the 20th Annual Agua Alta will be played April 12 to the 20th, 2019.