What an amazing inaugural tournament with top female players from all over the world. Games were so close between the four competing teams, two ended up in overtimes. Any team could have won, and the fields, horses, and tournament were all world class. It was great to have American players do so well and showcase that we can compete with the best in the world.
Ebony, the BPP, is a Canadian TB that was purchased from the Winnipeg, MB track as a 3 year old. The polo trainer, Cesar, who originally purchased her, took his own life 3 years ago, exactly this time of year. I bought her from him, and finished her. It is such a testament to the 2nd careers that so many thoroughbreds have in polo. The year Cesar passed, Ebony won BPP that same weekend in Santa Barbara too. It brings back a lot of bittersweet memories. She is a war horse. In the first game of the WPCO she played the 1st chukker, half of the 4th, and I scored the game winning goal on her in OT. Then, in the final, she again played the 1st chukker, and I scored the goal on her in OT again. She is tough, and never gives up with a willingness to play as hard as she can for as many minutes as it takes.
Almost my entire string came from Canadian race tracks and I think it is important that young players learn to be trainers because unless you have a huge budget it is the only way you can ensure that you will be well mounted and able to compete. Also, it teaches you to be a versatile rider so you can travel and adapt to any horses you are given.
A huge thank you to Dawn Jones, Paige Beard, the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, Sarah Siegel – Magness, Cancha de Estrellas, the USPA, US Polo Assn, Homegrown Events, and everyone that organized and hosted the first ever Women’s Pacific Coast Open. Congrats to my teammates and Plank & Co too.
The WPCO is part of a series of women’s high goal tournaments across the United States including the USPA East Coast Open, USPA US Open, and The USPA Texas Open. This tournament will make history as the highest level of women’s polo ever played on the West Coast at a 16-20 goal women’s handicap rating.