Earning a second opportunity to redeem their sizable 12-5 loss in bracket play, Foxdale Equine/Adamson Ford met Crestview Genetics for a rematch in the Pete Bostwick Memorial Final on Friday, May 17, at New Bridge Polo & Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina. In a competitive game heavily driven by penalty conversions, Crestview Genetics’ accuracy from the penalty line was on display in the second half, rewarding the 2017 winning team with this year’s 8-goal trophy 12-7.
Firing twice from the field, Foxdale Equine/Adamson Ford was determined to make a strong first impression on the indomitable team, asserting themselves offensively and leaving their opponents scoreless in the first chukker. Capitalizing on an easy Penalty 2, Crestview Genetic’s Hugo Lloret secured the only goal of the second, landing his team on the board. As Crestview Genetics began to find their footing, the third signaled the start of powerful plays between Mariano Gracida and Lloret, the pair acquiring three goals to Foxdale Equine’s one. Assuming the lead for the first time to end the half 4-3, Crestview Genetics’ rapid ascent would continue almost exclusively from the penalty line.
In an exhibition of skill, both teams traded multiple penalty shots in the fourth, Gracida starting off the series of scoring with his second Penalty 2 of the game. Matching each other goal for goal, opposing 5-goalers Lloret and Alan Martinez added two penalty conversions to their respective tallies. Propelling Crestview Genetics forward, Lloret retaliated once again in the fifth with a powerful field goal followed immediately by a Penalty 3 conversion. Attempting to chip away at the increasing four-goal lead, Dennis Santana secured a Penalty 2, but Gracida quickly responded to maintain the gap. Heading into the final chukker 10-6 in favor of Crestview Genetics, Lloret’s relentless pursuit produced a final pair of goals to seal the win. Striking from the line for the fourth and final time, Martinez answered back, but the effort was not enough to derail the unrelenting force who claimed the trophy 12-7.
Having played many times with team owner Alan Meeker and scoring an impressive nine out of 12 goals, Lloret commented on the team’s efficiency and chemistry. “Everyone on our team played great and did their individual job on the field,” Lloret said. “We [Crestview Genetics] play with a system that works well for us.”
Mariano Gracida was named Most Valuable Player, contributing three goals to the scoreboard. “Our team is very well mounted and all the horses have been exceptional in every game throughout the tournament,” Gracida said. “Also we feed off each other’s confidence and never bring negative energy to the game. On the field we are always focused on the next play and remain focused even if we make a mistake.”
The Best Playing Pony blanket, sponsored by Aiken Audiology, was awarded to Hugo Lloret’s Barbie, a 10-year-old bay American Thoroughbred played in the fourth chukker.