Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 4, 2018 – After trailing for most of the game, Palm Beach Equine rallied for five goals in the final chukker to capture the Limited Edition 12-Goal Series on Saturday at windswept Grand Champions Polo Club. Palm Beach Equine (Nico Escobar, 2, Nick Manifold, 3, Gringo Colombres, 7, Scott Swerdlin, 0) knocked off defending champion Patagones (Joaquin Avendano, 1, Robi Bilbao, 4, Benjamin Avendano, 2, Santi Wulff, 5) with a thrilling 13-12 victory in a hard fought battle of unbeaten teams. It was the second time in three years Palm Beach Equine won the title.
“We were definitely the underdogs,” Scott Swerdlin said. “I couldn’t believe how happy I was. That’s polo. We weren’t winning until the last minute of the game. Before we knew it, it was an amazing game. I can’t remember anything that exciting I’ve played in.
“I am very happy,” Swerdlin said. “Gringo put everything together. I just said, okay Gringo tell me what you want me to do. He said just close the back door and let me go forward.
“The sport is getting so much quicker and I am getting so much older,” Swerdlin said with a smile. “I am surrounded by good players and sitting back there making sure no one goes by.”
Colombres scored a game-high nine goals with four in the final chukker including the game-winner to earn Most Valuable Player honors.
“We were lucky because we were trying hard the whole game and we couldn’t score,” said Colombres, raised to seven goals for the 2018 season. “The last chukker we tried our best and said let’s put eveything in and each one play their best horses.
“We have a good team with good chemistry, young, old and good combination,” Colombres said. “I know Nick. Scott and I been playing a long time. Nico is new to the team and very good and young. I am really happy about this team. I just want to keep playing good.”
Colombres’ horse Africano was named Best Playing Pony for the tournament. For the second day in a row, JM Lisa, ridden and owned by Bilbao, was named Best Playing Pony for the game.
The winning team received framed prints designed by Brazilian-born renowned artist Romero Britto of Miami Beach. The artist-signed award features a polo player in full swing on a polo pony surrounded by a palm tree, heart and whimsical designs of color.
The club’s 12-goal league play continues in February with the Sieber Memorial 12-Goal Tournament featuring nine teams including Palm Beach Equine, Patagones, Beverly Equestrian, Goose Creek/GSA, Valiente, Sebucan, Mayer Ranch, Newport and Skaneateles.