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Agustin Obregon, Jeff Blake and Inaki Laprida.

Gonzalo Delfour, Agustin Obregon and Inaki Laprida.

Jeff Blake, Gonzalo Delfour, Julian de Lusarreta and Agustin Obregon.

Polito Pieres.

Tommy Collingwood, Jared Zenni and Kris Kampsen.

Nick Manifold, Joao Paulo Ganon and Jared Zenni.

Michel Dorignac, Facundo Obregon, Nick Manifold, Joao Paulo Ganon and Jared Zenni.

Facundo Obregon and Kris Kampsen.

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Photographs may be used free of charge only in relation to the PMG press releases they pertain to.

Palm Beach Illustrated and Tonkawa Clinch Spots in Iglehart Cup Final

Written by: Alannah Castro & Darlene Ricker
Client: International Polo Club Palm Beach
Release Date: 2015-03-03

Smooth Sailing for Palm Beach Illustrated in 10-7 Win Over CT Energia

Wellington, Florida – March 3, 2015 – Palm Beach Illustrated and Tonkawa will advance to the 20-goal Iglehart Cup Final on Saturday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). In Tuesday’s semifinals, Palm Beach Illustrated bested CT Energia 10-7 and Tonkawa took Villa del Lago 13-8.
Palm Beach Illustrated         CT Energia
Tommy Collingwood   5            Alessandro Bazzoni 2
Jared Zenni   3                        Nic Manifold   5
Facundo Obregon   6                Joao Paulo Ganon   7
Michel Dorignac 6                    Kris Kampsen   6                     

If a polo match had a mantra, this one would have been slow and steady wins the race. Palm Beach Illustrated’s play was a textbook example of how to win a polo game with drama-free determination – and still keep things interesting.

Regardless whether it was leading, trailing or tied, Palm Beach Illustrated kept cruising around the field with cool-headed control and consistency. There weren’t more than a handful of whistles during the entire match, and only two goals were made on penalty shots. That’s not to say there weren’t some supersonic ride-offs and mano-a-mano moments, but all in all it was a relatively smooth ride to victory.

“I was confident from the beginning that we were going to do well. We were patient and leading for the entire game,” said Michel Dorignac, noting that his teammates have been working well together and playing consistently in their last few games. “So far it’s been great fun. I think one of the reasons is that it’s a very balanced team. Everyone on the team can play polo, take the men and carry the ball. So we only have to hit and run and be smart. That’s it.”

As easy as he made it sound – and as easy as Palm Beach Illustrated made it look much of the time Tuesday – high-goal polo is never a cakewalk. The game began in fits and starts, with CT Energia trying its darnedest to give its opponents a few gray hairs. CT Energia made some initial headway, scoring once in each of the first two chukkers and mounting a strong defense that thwarted Palm Beach Illustrated from scoring in the second.

“We missed six or seven (shots on goal) in the second chukker,” said Jared Zenni. “But after that we started making a little more space for each player so that they had more time and could really define the goals.”

That adjustment worked as intended for Palm Beach Illustrated. The team made two goals in the third chucker and kept its opponent off the board. In the opening moments of the second half, Tommy Collingwood stretched Palm Beach Illustrated’s lead to three points. That triggered a collective comeback by CT Energia, with three of its members contributing to a beautifully orchestrated goal. Nic Manifold stopped the ball long enough for Kris Kampsen to come through with a powerhouse of a backshot. As the pack scampered downfield, Manifold read the play perfectly. He took the ball on a breakaway, surprising his opponents by backing off just before the goal mouth to allow super-scorer Joao Paulo Ganon to finish the play and score.

For a time it looked like CT Energia was getting its groove back. The team jumped into the mix at the top of the fifth chukker with three quick goals from the field, two of them by an energized Alessandro Bazzoni. Then with the ball suddenly hurtling toward him, Kampsen – with the wingspan of a pterodactyl – stabbed it out of the air and sent it into goal. That brought CT Energia into true contender status, with only one point separating it from the leader. Palm Beach Illustrated wasn’t about to let that stand for long, however. Dorignac made his third and fourth goals of the day in the final chukker, with the game ending 10-7 for Palm Beach Illustrated.

Collingwood attributed his team’s success to discipline. “We kept pushing forward, playing open, listening to our teammates, everybody doing his part of the job,” he said. “We got a few lucky bounces off the horses that maybe helped out, but I think we just played really well.”

The much-anticipated 26-goal USPA Piaget Gold Cup opens Thursday at IPC with four high-octane matches starting at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. The lineup: Orchard Hill vs. Coca-Cola; Valiente vs. Lechuza Caracas; Engel & Völkers vs. Las Monjitas, and Alegria vs. Audi.

Tonkawa Takes Command, Defeats Villa del Lago 13-8

Tonkawa defeated Villa del Lago 13-8 in the semifinal of the Iglehart Cup at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC).

Villa del Lago                           Tonkawa
Jim Zenni   A                             Jeff Hildebrand   A
Agustin Obregon   5                   Gonzalo Deltour   7
Polito Pieres   9                         Inaki LaPrida   7
Julian de Lusarreta   6               Jeff Blake   6

The match started off with dominant play by Polito Pieres, fresh off a win in the C.V. Whitney Cup with his Orchard Hill squad. In his high-octane style, Pieres went on a scoring spree, using his teammates as battering rams to run the ball up the field. Villa del Lago racked up three goals in the first chukker.

The game took a quick turn in the second chukker, however. Tonkawa gained momentum when Gonzalo Deltour took off on a hot streak, scoring his team’s first goal on a nearside neckshot. He followed that up with two penalty conversions to tighten Villa del Lago’s lead to one point (4-3).

Tonkawa took control in the third chukker, driving in goal after goal and keeping a wide-open pace. A high-speed goal by Agustin Obregon and a penalty conversion by Pieres kept Villa del Lago in the match, tying the score 6-6 at the half.

The fourth chukker remained tight as Tonkawa and Villa del Lago fought for control, but Tonkawa pulled ahead 9-7. Inaki LaPrida and Deltour demonstrated brilliant team work in the fifth chukker, hitting passes seamlessly on the run and racking up three more goals. The sixth chukker was a pitched battle as each team went all out. Villa del Lago put its passing game to work. Julian de Lusarreta crushed a pass to Pieres, who sent it to Obregon for a run into goal, sewing up a 13-8 victory for Tonkawa.

"It was a tough match. Today we had the lineup that we didn't have the last tournament," said Deltour. He typically plays the number two position but was number one in the match against Villa del Lago. All in all, he said, “We played good open polo. My thanks to my teammates. They played really well."

The much-anticipated 26-goal USPA Piaget Gold Cup opens Thursday at IPC with four high-octane matches starting at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. The lineup: Orchard Hill vs. Coca-Cola; Valiente vs. Lechuza Caracas; Engel & Völkers vs. Las Monjitas, and Alegria vs. Audi.


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