BILL FICK FORD
On the last Sunday of the Spring 2023 polo season at the Houston Polo Club, spectators were treated to a double header game day with the Subsidiary Final and Final of the National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) presented by Bill Fick Ford! The NYTS tournament requires players to be 19 years old or younger, and players from California, El Paso, and Dallas joined the Houston players in a competitive two-day tournament.
|Bill Fick Ford’s Will Mudra (red jersey) riding Flash, tries to avoid the hook from Sentinel Trust’s JB Long (white jersey)
|In the Subsidiary Final action between Bill Fick Ford and Sentinel Trust, Bill Fick Ford took a commanding 4 to 0 lead in the first chukker thanks to team capitan, Will Mudra. Sentinel Trust got back in the game with goals from JB Long and Francesca Felhaber to end the second chukker trailing 3 to 5. Long scored his third goal of the day in the third chukker to bring his team within one goal going into the last chukker. Bill Fick Ford reorganized in the fourth chukker, and with goals from Mudra and Tomas Tejera they came away with the win with the final score of 7 to 5!
Between the games, the crowd enjoyed the tradition of the halftime divot stomp. Complimentary champagne was served, divots were stomped and memories were made! The weather was beautiful and soon it was time for everyone to be seated and enjoy the last game of the season, the NYTS final between Vintage Polo and DeCillo Equine!
|Vintage Polo’s Joe Bob Lequerica (purple jersey) on Moon reaches for a nearside as his sister, Lily Lequerica from the DeCillo Equine team, rides in on Blade for defense
Team Vintage Polo, captained by Joe Bob Lequerica, displayed impressive team organization and discipline for players that were just getting to play their second game together. Vintage Polo dominated the first 2 chukkers with a 4 to 0 lead, and DeCillo Equine went back to the drawing board to regroup for the last two chukkers. Joe Bob Lequerica kept the offensive pressure on as he was first to score in the third chukker on his best playing pony Gato Bravo, to make the score 5 to 0. After fighting through a crowd of Vintage Polo defenders, DeCillo Equine’s Alec Felhaber found the first goal of the game for his team! DeCillo Equine played hard man to man coverage in the second half, only allowing Vintage Polo to score one more goal in the last chukker, as Vintage Polo came away with the win, with the final score of 6 to 1.
Winning team: Vintage Polo
Judah Altic, Kelsey Bray, Julian Martinez, Joe Bob Lequerica
presented by USPA Governor-at-Large Steven Armour
|Subsidiary final winners: Bill Fick Ford
Claire Bogart, Tomas Tejera, Matthew Werner, Will Mudra
presented by USPA Governor-at-Large Steven Armour
Subsidiary Final BPP: Dually,
played by Will Mudra, pictured with Grace Mudra
presented by Alex Chavez with Engel & Völkers Houston
NYTS Final BPP: Gato Bravo
played by Joe Bob Lequerica, owned by the Lequerica family, pictured with groom Emi Silvestre
Alec Felhaber, Will Mudra, Kelsey Bray, JB Long, Joe Bob Lequerica, Lily Lequerica, Uma Villanueva
presented by USPA Secretary Chrys Beal
12 GOAL USPA LIVINGSTON MEMORIAL CUP
In the last 12 Goal tournament of the Spring Season, the Livingston Memorial, five teams played for the belt buckles in memory of Daren Livingston, a friend in the polo world and past polo manager of the Houston Polo Club. After bracket play, all five teams were tied with (1,1) records which put each team captain into a shootout. The two winning teams of the shootout would advance to the final as Brookshire Polo Club was first to qualify, later followed by Old Pueblo, and the finalists were set!
|Old Pueblo’s Jeff Hall controls the ball on Gypsy
Handicapped at 12 goals, Old Pueblo started the game with 1 goal on the scoreboard as they played against the 13 goal Brookshire Polo Club team. BPC quickly brought the score to a tie as teammates Toro Ruiz and Vaughn Miller Jr. scored one goal a piece to Old Pueblo’s Sterling Giannico’s one goal to end the first chukker tied 2 to 2. BPC found their offensive rhythm, as Ruiz scored back to back goals followed by Milo Dorignac earning his first goal of the game to end the second chukker up 5 to 2. BPC’s Miller, Ruiz, and Dorignac added to their lead in the third chukker, however Old Pueblo’s Jeff Hall and Giannico came alive at the end of the period scoring three goals to trail 5 to 8 going into halftime.
BPC’s Toro Ruiz runs down the field
BPC played hard in the fourth and fifth chukkers, scoring another five goals over Old Pueblo’s three, to hold a strong lead of 13 to 8 going into the sixth and final chukker. To begin the last chukker, Dorignac scored his fifth goal of the game to give BPC 14 goals on the board. However, Old Pueblo never gave up and started their comeback run as Duilio Diaz, Giannico, and Hall each scored a goal a piece, making it a 3 goal game. Unfortunately time was not on their side, and the final horn blew as Brookshire Polo Club came away with their third tournament win of the season!
Winning team: Brookshire Polo Club
Scott Wood, Vaughn Miller Jr., Milo Dorignac, Toro Ruiz
presented by Tammy Livingston with Belles Buds Rescue
|MVP: Toro Ruiz
pictured with Tammy Livingston with Belles Buds Rescue
owned and played by Toro Ruiz pictured with grooms Luciano Fenoccio and Carlos Ramirez, presented by Tammy Livingston with Belles Buds Rescue
6 GOAL LONESTAR CUP
In the last 6 Goal tournament of the season, C-Bar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia Grill and BTA rose to the top of 12 teams to face each other in the final of the Lonestar Cup! C-Bar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia Grill’s Nick Dunbar was replaced by JB Long making their team handicap 5 goals, which awarded them a .5 goal on the scoreboard. BTA’s Joao Aranha and Jimmy Seward traded goals with C-Bar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia Grill’s Vaughn Miller Jr, to end the first chukker 2.5 to 2 in favor of C-Bar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia Grill. In the second chukker, BTA took a half goal lead momentarily, but Miller struck again to end the first half 3.5 to 3.
BTA’s Joao Aranha (red jersey) hits the nearside while riding Barbarita with C-Bar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia Grill’s Carin Middleton riding in defense on Cadence
C-Bar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia Grill’s Carin Middleton was first to score in the third chukker, followed by Miller to give their team the biggest lead of the game yet. Aranha managed to score at the end of the chukker to keep BTA in the match trailing 4 to 5.5. At the start of the fourth chukker, Miller got away from the BTA defenders and scored his fifth goal of the game! With less than three minutes remaining in the chukker, BTA’s Aranha took over for his team as he scored back to back goals to trail 6 to 6.5. With less than 30 seconds left on the clock, the ball was bowled in and BTA ran out of time as C-Bar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia Grill came away with their first tournament win of the season!
BTA’s Joao Aranha (red jersey) on Spud gets hooked on the play by C-Bar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia Grill’s Bryan Middleton on Heli
Winning team: CBar Thoroughbreds/Patagonia
Bryan Middleton with son Rex, Vaughn Miller Jr., Carin Middleton, JB Long, (not pictured Nick Dunbar)
played and owned by Bryan Middleton, pictured with grooms Juan Baez and Margarita Martinez and Rex Middleton
Pro Am: Patriots Cup
Winning team: Bearsden/Crows Nest Ranch
Joe Wayne Barry, Jimmy Seward, Carol Farnsworth, Brandey Heckeroth
|Intermediate: WC Tractor
Alice Russo, MC Akins, LJ Williams
MVP: MC Akins
BPP: Hilio, played by LJ Williams, owned by Mark Prinsloo, presented by Danya Bogart with Sands Farm
American National: Charlotte Kampshoff, Eli Hall, Santos Villanueva
MVP: Triston Kampshoff
BPP: Betty White, played by Bradie Kimbrough, pictured with father Austin Kimbrough
BTA: Shirley Krueger, Gael Munoz, Clementine Barry
HPC Gold: Christopher Payan, Russell Melnar, Evelyn Wroe, Rex Middleton
Special Thank You to our 2023 Sponsors!