U.S. Open Women’s Handicap Champions – My Table Riveroaks.com Lia Salvo, Carolyn Stimmel, Courtney Price, Grace Mudra. Photo: Kaylee Wroe.
Herk’s Store and Grill (14)
Kendall Plank sub. for Tiffany Orthwein
My Table / Riveroaks.com (14)
Grace Mudra 0
Carolyn Stimmel 4
Lia Salvo 8
Courtney Price 2
The U.S. Open Women’s Handicap Final at the Houston Polo Club in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, November 12, pitted evenly matched teams Herk’s Store and Grill against My Table/Riveroaks.com (MT/R). MT/R came out strong in the first chukker with two early shots on goal that barely missed the mark. MT/R’s Lia Salvo began to hit her stride and scored two goals, a 40-yard open penalty followed by a field goal to take the lead. Kendall Plank of Herk’s Store and Grill, substituting for Tiffany Orthwein, answered with a neckshot goal after the thirty second horn to end the chukker 2-1. Hazel Jackson and Plank traded goals with Salvo in the second and MT/R maintained their one goal lead 4-3 at the half.
Herk’s Store and Grill Kendall Plank and My Table Riveroaks.com Courtney Price.
Photo: Kaylee Wroe.
Missed penalty opportunities in the third kept both teams scoreless with an unchanged 4-3 score in favor of MT/R entering the final chukker. Two minutes into the fourth, Jackson converted a penalty 3 quickly followed by a breakaway goal from the throw-in to bring the score 5-4, Herk’s Store and Grill regaining the lead. MT/R’s Lia Salvo retaliated by converted a penalty 2 to tie the score 5-all, following up with a goal from the field to reclaim the lead. As the players hustled to the throw-in the final horn sounded to end play and My Table / Riveroaks.com captured the 2016 U.S. Open Women’s Handicap defeating Herk’s Store and Grill 6-5.
Most Valuable Player was awarded to Lia Salvo, with one-hundred percent accuracy on her penalty shots, she scored all six of the winning My Table/Riveroaks.com goals. Best Playing Pony Amateur was presented to Shakin Vibes played by Wendy Stover in the fourth chukker and owned by both Wendy and her husband Stacey Stover. “I bought her at the first Aiken sale for $2,700 dollars as a three-year-old and trained her. I played her all over the United States for about 12 or 15 years–she is around 18 years old now, it’s great to see her playing for Wendy,” Stacey Stover beamed. Best Playing Pony Professional was presented to Thing 2 played by Lia Salvo in the first and fourth chukker, owned by Billy Mudra.
My Table Riveroaks.com Lia Salvo. Photo: Kaylee Wroe.
Jet Linx (Carin Middleton, Sheila Lequerica, Jana Conkwright, Claire Brougham) defeated St. Regis (Maria Hartley, Sarah Prinsloo, Kristy Outhier, Mimi Shirey) 9-4 in the U.S. Open Women’s Consolation Final to capture third place. As an increasing number of American Quarter Horses are finding a career on the polo field, which was part of the motivation for the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) in developing an alliance with the American Polo Horse Associaion, AQHA recognized a “Best Performing American Quarter Horse.” This prize was awarded to Mike registered as Charro Cowboy, played by Sheila Lequerica of Jet Linx. Bred by L.A. Waters Quarter Horses in Utopia, Texas, CJ and Sheila Lequerica bought and trained him.
“I am one proud momma! Grace had so much fun playing with her friend Courtney Price. She learned a lot from Lia and Carolyn, which will help her in the future. We look forward to the interscholastic season and to next year’s women’s tournament!” exclaimed Pam Mudra, Houston Polo Club Manager and mother of 2016 U.S. Open Women’s Handicap Champion Grace Mudra.
18-year-old student at Texas A&M Galveston Courtney Price of MT/R will be playing in tomorrow’s U.S. Open Women’s polo Championship® Final for Rocking P Lockton. She described her strategy going in to the game as “Less defensive than how I will be playing tomorrow. Today, my plan was to first take my man, then go to the ball. It was a good game, open and free. It all worked out great!”
My Table Riveroaks Carolyn Stimmel and Herk’s Store and Grill Hazel Jackson.
Photo: Kaylee Wroe.